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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~ January 2007 ~ Topics

US Rules Change on Donations
Online Volunteering
Association for Volunteer Resource Management

US Rules Change on Donations

Volunteers are quite often donors to organizations. The new "Pension Protection Act" has changed some of the rules. This is a brief summary of areas of interest to volunteers and their organizations. Be advised it is not legal advice and individuals should consult tax advisers or an attorney for greater detail. It helps however, if the person knows what to ask about.

Contributions Made Directly from IRAs:

  • In 2006 and 2007, if you are age 70 12 or older and have an Individual Retirement Account, you can donate up to $100,000 each year from your IRA to charity. The distribution will not be taxed as income as long as: the charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, the charity is not a section 509(a)(3) supporting organization, and the withdrawal goes directly to the charity. You do not need to itemize your taxes to take advantage of this provision; if you do itemize, however, you cannot also take the contribution as a deduction.

Used Clothing or Household Items:

  • Used clothing or household items donated after August 17, 2006, must be in "good" condition or better to be deductible. An exception is a gift worth more than $500, which can be of lesser quality but which must be documented with a "qualified appraisal" included with your tax return. For information on determining the fair market value of your donations, see the Salvation Army's on-line guide (http://www.satruck.org/ValueGuide.aspx), or visit your local Goodwill or other charity thrift store.

Gifts of Art, Collectibles, and Valuables:

  • There are new rules for deducting "fractional gifts," i.e., shares of an artwork, collectible, or other valuable, made after August 17, 2006.

Start Collecting Those Receipts—for Everything:

  • Beginning January 1, 2007, you must have a "bank record" or receipt for all monetary contributions you deduct. No more deducting that dollar you put in the kettle or collection plate.

Other provisions affect deductions for conservation easements, conservation contributions and rehabilitation tax credits, façade easements, contributions of vacant land in historical districts, and contributions of exempt use property. Consult your tax adviser or attorney for more information.

Online Volunteering

The United Nations has a program called Online Volunteering. (http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/) The Online Volunteering service connects development organizations and volunteers over the Internet and supports their effective online collaboration. It is a free service for development organizations and individuals worldwide. All online volunteering assignments facilitated through the Online Volunteering service contribute to sustainable human development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The site is quite user friendly and could be a model for setting up your own online volunteering opportunities. There is information on "why" online volunteering, the types of things volunteers do, and slick steps to registering volunteers. If you have not contemplated online volunteering now is the time to do so. And help is but a click away.

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Association for Volunteer Resource Management

The following press release was provided to Volunteer Today from the Association for Volunteer Resource Management.

Press Release

The VRM Roundtable has opened the door to the 21st century of volunteer resources management a little farther. Can you see the light? The VRM Roundtable, the project to build the new Association of Volunteer Resources Management (AVRM), has created the organization's new website (http://www.avrm.org). The new site is maintaining the news, blogs, survey results, registry, and other content developed under the former VRM Roundtable website and continue to grow and provide additional resources to volunteer resources managers (VRMs). To maintain continuity, the old URL (http://www.vrm-roundtable.org) will still work but be sure to change your bookmarked links to point to the new site!

Please let us know what you think as we continue to develop services to support VRMS throughout the United States. You can provide feedback on the VRM Roundtable/AVRM listserv or by sending an email to Leadership Team Leader, Celeste Sauls-Marks at: celeste.sauls@vrm-roundtable.org. The Taskforce remains committed to meeting your needs as a VRM regardless of where you are located or which industry you serve in.

The Leadership Team and the Taskforce of VRM Roundtable/AVRM continue to build dynamic new programming, partnerships and conferences that will enlighten, educate and foster the growth and sustainability of the profession as a whole. The Teams remain firmly committed to the guiding principles: transparency, inclusion and diversity of thought and participation. Your input is always welcome!

Check out the new website at http://www.avrm.org and let us know what you think!

A. Celeste Sauls-Marks, CVA
Leadership Team Leader
VRM Roundtable/AVRM

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