Fundraisers must comply with all federal, state and local laws governing charitable fundraising, gift reporting and special events. Massachusetts has strict regulations governing raffles and gaming events carried out for charitable purposes. Organizers may obtain more information on the rules governing the conduct of raffles and other “games of chance” in Massachusetts by contacting the Department of the Attorney General, Division of Public Charities, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, or by calling 617.727.2200.
You may also visit the Attorney General’s website.
Massachusetts General Hospital is not financially or otherwise liable for the promotion and/or staging of fundraising events by any third-party organization/individual. The sponsoring organization/individual may not incur any financial or other obligation on behalf of Mass General.
Third-party fundraising organizations/individuals must provide insurance certificates as required by local, state and federal laws. Mass General cannot be held responsible in any way for casualties and/or situations that occur at your fundraising event or promotion.
TAX DEDUCTIBILITY OF AUCTION ITEMS AND RAFFLES
Sale of Auction Items:
Per IRS Publication 526, “if you pay more than fair market value to a qualified organization for merchandise, goods, or services, the amount you pay that is more than the value of the item can be a charitable contribution. For the excess amount to qualify, you must pay it with the intent to make a charitable contribution.”
Steps for auction items:
- Determine the fair market value (FMV) of the item. The IRS defines the fair market value as the price that the item would sell for on the open market; the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.
- Make sure that the FMV for each auction item is posted during the auction. Please note, if an auction item is listed as “priceless,” the winning bid establishes the FMV and no gift has been made.
- If someone pays over the FMV for an auction item, a gift has been made and the donor should receive a tax receipt for the amount paid over the FMV.
- If someone pays less than or equal to the FMV for an auction item, no gift has been made.
- Please be sure to enclose a document that outlines donor names, item received, FMV and purchase price when submitting gifts to the Mass General Development Office for processing so that appropriate tax receipts can be produced.
- Raffle Tickets:
- Per IRS Publication 526, “you cannot deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay to buy raffle or lottery tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance.” If someone pays for raffle tickets, no gift has been made.
- Note: Donor Advised Funds (e.g. Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, etc.) cannot be used to pay for auction items or raffle tickets.
- Please click here to read more on Massachusetts State Law Regulations governing raffles.
Mass General is unable to open or manage bank accounts for third-party fundraisers. Instead, the hospital’s Development Office encourages organizers to protect their proceeds through careful financial management – especially if supporters’ individual checks are not mailed directly to Mass General.
The Development Office recognizes that organizers need funds to run their fundraisers and pay expenses. For these purposes, you may prefer to keep funds on hand, either in your own personal account or in a separate account earmarked for the fundraiser. In your pre-planning process, make sure to develop a budget, taking into consideration the type of fundraiser you are having and the many components related to the event. Mass General cannot pay expenses in anticipation of funds raised from a third-party event.
STEPS FOR MANAGING FINANCES
- Prepare a budget
- Record all expenses
- Get all estimates in writing and keep receipts
- Pay all expenses by check (avoid paying with cash)
- We also recommend that you consider the following as you develop your fundraiser:
- The cost of the funds raised must be reasonable
- Expenses should not exceed 30 percent of income
- It is more important to budget wisely in order to cover any items not being donated
- After all expenses have been paid and accounted for, please mail/deliver all net proceeds payable to Massachusetts General Hospital accompanied by a cover sheet
- Checks: Please have all checks made payable to Massachusetts General Hospital and be sure to reference the name of your fundraiser on the memo line. Please mail to the Mass General Development Community Fundraising office.
- Cash: Please deliver cash to the Development Office Community Fundraising office with a note indicating the amount included and name of your fundraiser.
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1310
Boston, MA, 02114-2792