The Power is Back On. Now What?

At we frequently get questions about collecting donations for a personal challenge or tragedy.  With the recent devastation of Superstorm Sandy on our minds, we offer some straightforward advice on raising recovery funds.


Q:  Do I have to be a non-profit to take donations?
A:  No.  Anyone can give you funds to help you or your loved ones recover from a disaster.   Futhermore, as long as you are not giving anything in return for the gift, you do not need to pay taxes on it.

Q:  Can my donors get a tax deduction for their donation to me?
A:  No.  Only registered 501(c)(3) organizations can provide a tax deductible receipt for a donation.

Q:  Can I collect donations from credit cards and checks online?
A:  Yes.  Services like allow your donors to enter their credit card or checking information to make a donation directly to you.

Q:  Does it cost money to collect donations online?
A:  Yes.  In order to process credit card donations,  services like must charge you a small fee.  In Rally’s case, that fee is 5.75% of the amount of each transaction. Rally does not charge other fees besides the per-transaction fee. There are many different services that you can use to collect donations online.  Some of them have a monthly or annual subscription fee, while others don’t.  Some can charge as much as 10% – 15% of each transaction.  Be sure to research fees before you start using a system.

Q:  How hard is it to set up an online donation account?
A:  Services like are designed to get small fundraisers up and running very quickly.  You will need a name for your rally – something like “Sandy Relief Fund” to get started.  You will be able to collect your first donation within 5 minutes of starting to create your rally.

Q:  How do I get the word out about my fundraising needs.
A:  Online fundraising tools like help you spread the word.  You can “sync” your email account so that some or all your email contacts will get the message about your need. will also connect to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can spread the word there as well.

Q:  What are some examples of people successfully raising funds for their personal challenges and tragedies?
A: has thousands of customers raising funds for their personal needs.  Here are a few examples.

Q:  How do I get started?
A:  Creating an account with is easy.  Just click on the “Join Rally for Free” button at, login with Facebook, and get started.

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