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Re: AM: Should non-profits solicit donations through banner ads?

To:     Andrew Forbes <>
Subject:     Re: AM: Should non-profits solicit donations through banner ads?
From:     Ross Stapleton-Gray <>
Date:     Sun, 18 Jan 1998 13:13:09 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 18 Jan 1998, Andrew Forbes wrote:

> When a radio/tv station runs a PSA for a non-profit,
> does it count as donation for tax purposes?  If so,
> how is a value placed on the ad presentation? How
> would this work on the 'net?

In order not to arouse the suspicions of those who think I might be an
intelligent agent, a la Eliza, on the Net 24 hours a day answering
Netpreneur questions, I'll weigh in (and since I was conjured by name :-)
but I'm sure someone in the ad biz can weigh in with a definitive answer.

I believe that the broadcaster *would* be able to claim some sort of
deduction for the charitable donation, based on the opportunity cost (I
don't know how that's actually calculated, e.g., if you could run a spot
for the Save the Children Fund during the Super Bowl, and get a million
dollar charity write-off).

btw, one source for answers to these sorts of questions is an on-line
conferencing community like The WELL... in the Non-Profits conference
there there are a total of 42 topics; the contributors tend to include
both the NPO-savvy, and the neophyte.  Some recent topics:

   Software for Nonprofit Organizations
   The Living Hell that is a United Way campaign in your newsroom
     (a linked topic from the Media conference)
   Merchandizing as a means of fundraising
   Nonprofits' Successes in Using the Web
   Nonprofit Competition With For-Profit Business: Is It A Level Playing

While we've done well with the various Netpreneur lists (as opposed to the
original Web conferencing format), I still find The WELL
( an extremely important resource, both for ideas, and
a place to churn out my thoughts for others' assessment, and as a forum
for dredging up contacts.  At $15/mo. (or free for those of us who serve
as conference hosts) it's a bargain.

In a similar category to The WELL would be the MetaNet
(, which is physically-based in Arlington, VA and whose
principals have attended at least one Netpreneur event.

Ross Stapleton-Gray                     TeleDiplomacy, Inc.                    2503 Columbia Pike, Suite 118
Director, Electronic Embassy Program    Arlington VA 22204                  +1 703 685-5197 / 5257 fax

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