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Donate your unused Dream Airmiles to Charity
March 6, 2021
2:08 pm
Norman1
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Loonie said
… some charities have a minimum donation before they will give a tax receipt, so that the cost of receipting doesn't negate the value of the donation or make it look like they are spending too much on admin, for which some people will criticize them.

In addition,899 days sounds more like an AirMiles calculation than a charity's calculation. Often the receipts from charities don't go out until the end of the year, i.e. first quarter of subsequent year.

One food bank says exactly that on their web site.

Receipts are not issued for each individual donation during the year. Instead, one annual receipt is mailed the following February. No annual receipt will be issued to those who have donated less than $15 total throughout the previous year.

March 6, 2021
2:33 pm
Loonie
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That should have been "90 days" in my previous post that Norman1 cited. I've corrected the original. Typo.

March 7, 2021
8:08 am
RetirEd
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More broadly, on the subject of donating through commercial promotions, it can be a naughty trick!

For example, when Telus got an interim rate increase a few years ago, and it was rolled back by the regulatory authority, they were ordered to repay the interim amounts to subscribers. They then "invited" us to donate our rebates to some charity or other instead.

This is a common tactic - in almost all cases (though apparently not in Dream Miles') the institution then gets to keep the tax deduction. Telus turned a rebate they owed us into a partial refund of what they'd overcharged during the interim period.

Whenever possible, try to make donations directly through the appropriate charity, not through fund-raising promoters of agents taking commissions, often 30-50%.
RetirEdsf-frown

RetirEd

March 7, 2021
11:29 am
Norman1
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It is best to give to the charity directly. The arrangement the charity has with the agent is not always one would like to see.

Years ago in the US, there was controversy about those charity donation boxes one sees at the checkouts of stores. Shoppers think the money put into those boxes goes to the charity. Apparently, that was not the case. Some stores pay a monthly fee to the charity to "rent" those boxes. Under the arrangement, the store keeps whatever money shoppers put into those boxes. Imagine that!

A co-worker warned me about those people manning donation boxes at the store exits. One was caught taking money out of the box and spending it at the end of the day. I think a TV station investigated and the charity said that was okay!

Apparently, their agents are allowed to open the box and take some of the donated money to pay for a taxi ride home. sf-surprised So, if the agent manages to collect $50 a day and the taxi home is $30, then one is mostly supporting a taxi driver and not the charity.

March 7, 2021
2:08 pm
Loonie
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It's better to donate directly to the charity of choice. Who needs a middle man?

If you put a dollar in one of those boxes every week or agree to have it put on your bill, it adds up over the year to about $50. If you kept it at home in a piggy bank or put it in a HISA and made a donation in December, you might earn a few cents interest and would get a receipt for tax purposes, which is a much better deal for you.

Something else to bear in mind is that the organizations that are behind those boxes are not always registered charities.

That said, I haven't actually seen one in quite a while. The trend now is to ask you to put a donation on your bill which often goes to the merchant's in-house charity/foundation. That should make it harder to pilfer, but I prefer not to involve my money with merchant philanthropy.
The one thing that merchant philanthropy in-house does accomplish however, is that it gets people to actualy make donations, so the registered charity at the end of it all is better off. Many of us would never get around to t if left to our own devices.

In the olden days, employers had to pay for their employees (maybe it was just female employees; can't remember) to get home safely if they worked after a certain hour in the evening/night, by law. Not sure if that still applies, but it would be cost-saving for the employer to get the customers to pay for it through a "charity" box.

March 8, 2021
6:24 am
savemoresaveoften
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Tried to donate as I have 50 left when I switched over to cash mile.
The airmile website only set 500 as the donation amount ?!
Forget it...

March 8, 2021
9:52 am
Norman1
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Loonie said

Something else to bear in mind is that the organizations that are behind those boxes are not always registered charities.

That's for sure! I think some of the stores will rent that space at the exit to anyone who pays.

I discovered just that when a person stationed at the grocery store exit asked if I was interested in buying a foldout of coupons for $30. I agreed to have a look to see if the discounts would be worthwhile for the $30. Nothing worthwhile. Discounts for some boat ride, a spa visit, and other items at merchants I never heard about!

When I declined, the person said it was for a good cause. To help a former soldier in the military! What? It wasn't a registered charity! sf-surprised

It looked like just some guy running a Groupon-like marketing business. sf-frown I could probably get the same deals for free on Groupon or TravelZoo.

March 8, 2021
9:53 pm
Loonie
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I think of it as being similar to GoFundMe and the like. No charity, no tax receipt, no arm's length relationship, and no objective assessment of need. Do we know if the money actually gets to the intended recipient?

For all you know, the one you described, with the coupon book, could be a complete scam. That would not be unbeard-of, but probably illegal (fraud?).

March 9, 2021
5:38 am
Norman1
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Yes, it could have been a scam. I could have had an unpleasant surprise when I tried to redeem the coupons for the discounts.

Unfortunately, it isn't hard these days to swipe the logo of an unsuspecting merchant from their web site and print unauthorized coupons in full colour!

March 10, 2021
10:42 am
hwyc
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hwyc said
Airmiles stated I am supposed to receive the donation receipt from the food bank within 90 days of my Dream Miles donation. That never come. Is it just me ?  

My note to close the matter ... forwarded confirmation email from Airmiles.ca last year to Foodbanks asking for possibility to re-issue receipt & got one in email today sf-smile

Thanks to all who chimed in.

December 3, 2021
1:01 pm
hwyc
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Hello world. I am doing it again this year ... with the miles I did not use 🙂

... They are matching the first $500,000 donations

December 3, 2021
3:00 pm
savemoresaveoften
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hwyc said
Hello world. I am doing it again this year ... with the miles I did not use 🙂

... They are matching the first $500,000 donations  

Do they still set a 500 min miles ? If so forget it, yet again cuz I dont have that many.... Switched to cash miles years ago

December 3, 2021
4:04 pm
Loonie
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It's great that you are being generous, but I would be more inclined to use up the Miles on something I wanted (now or later) and, instead, donate actual cash to charity of choice and get a tax receipt.
But, then, I wouldn't collect Dream Miles either, just Cash Miles, which I cash on discount or bonus days at grocery store or gas.

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