Finance FAQ

Raising Money

What is the 80/20 policy for field fundraising?

When funds are raised, 80% of these funds may be allocated to a field unit (Alliance, State, or Region) while the remaining 20% is allocated to supporting the Office of Field Operations and Technology teams. This 20% supports the provision of field leader training, onboarding, event support, and bookkeeping to support field growth.  

If an Alliance member makes a donation, can it be allocated to my Alliance?

Yes! Learn more here.

Can I put my local Alliance as a charity to be given money by places like Amazon Smile?

No. Because only an entity with non-profit 501c(3) status can be listed with Amazon Smile, only the national Braver Angels organization can be listed. The organization's EIN number is 13-3400377.

Can I collect cash donations at face-to-face events?

Please see our policy on cash donations

Can our alliance form our own non-profit, or have a fiscal sponsorship relationship with Braver Angels?

Braver Angels alliances are not separate non-profits; nor do they operate under a fiscal sponsorship model with Braver Angels. Fiscal sponsors are very hands off, with no management or support from the sponsor. In our model, the national Braver Angels organization provides training, tools, and support for the local alliances. We have staff members dedicated to solely supporting the field; staff members that develop and improve event/workshop material; staff members that help organize workshops and provide administrative support; and we provide finance and technology infrastructure. The 80/20 policy for fundraising helps pay for the centralized staff that support the field's success. The name Braver Angels has been registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and no other organization may use the name to do what we do.

Can our alliance create its own bank account using the Braver Angels 501c3? 

No, our finance structure does not permit this. However, we do support alliances in raising funds and spending them via our Field Funding Program. Please learn more about how to raise and access money for your alliance

I want to start an Alliance but I don't have a co-chair yet. Can I still start fundraising? 

Braver Angels is piloting the concept of a "proto-Alliance," an Alliance in formation, for which donations can be accepted. The same guidelines for fundraising apply to proto-Alliances as apply to Alliances. Although proto-Alliances are not listed on Braver Angels' public-facing Alliance map, the Field Finance team can provide a donation link for each proto-Alliance. If the proto-Alliance has not formed an official Alliance within one year, its funds will be overseen by the State Coordinator. In this case, the State Coordinator may give permission for the funds to be used in the proto-Alliance's region, but would participate in financial oversight. If you would like to form a proto-Alliance, please contact us.

Office of Field Operation (OFO) Funds

Can I request funds from the Office of Field Operations (OFO)?

Yes, OFO has funds to use for field projects (by States, Alliances, or individuals working with Alliances) that have the intention of 1) increasing membership, 2) expanding the reach of Alliances or creating new Alliances, or 3) strengthening relationships within Alliances. To request these funds, please fill out the Field Investment Proposal Form.

Spending Money

BILL Spend & Expense Cards (formerly Divvy)

I am not an Alliance Chair, State Coordinator, or Regional Lead. Can I get a BILL Spend & Expense card?

In the current rollout of the Field Funding Program, only those field unit leaders may get a BILL Spend & Expense card. Other members of our community will need to either ask their field unit's BILL Spend & Expense card holder to make a purchase with the card for them; or pay out of pocket and submit receipts for reimbursement, with approval of their field unit lead. Exceptions are occasionally made, and you can contact us to inquire.

I have a BILL Spend & Expense card, but a member of my State/Alliance who is far away needs to spend money. What do we do? 

Here are two possible solutions:

How do I know what will count for travel reimbursements? 

If a Field Unit has the available balance, no prior approval is needed to spend on travel expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per expense.  

When incurring expenses related to travel, try to make arrangements for travel, meals, and accommodations which are similar to arrangements you would make if the expenses were your own.  Government per diem rates are good guidelines to follow.  

If you have money in your respective Braver Angels budget, and your reimbursement expenses go over $500, you will need your State Coordinator's approval. If it goes over $1,000, you will need approval from the Office of Field Operations (OFO).  You will need receipts for all of your transactions, in order to get reimbursed.

Accessing Funds

Once I raise money via an Eventbrite or GoFundMe, how long will it be before I can access those funds?

Your field unit's fundraising ledger is updated once a month to reflect new donations. Typically, we would ask that you only spend funds that are reflected in your ledger. However, if you need access to recently-raised funds before they are visible in your ledger, please contact the field finance team and we will work with you to get access more quickly. 

My fund balance report is missing a donation I know my Alliance received. What do I do? 

If you see something missing in your report, please write to the finance team

Can a State spend an Alliance's money? Can an Alliance spend the State's money?

Each "field unit" -- each State, Alliance, and Region -- has its own pool of funds tracked separately. A State Coordinator cannot make decisions about how to spend an Alliance's funds; only the Alliance Co-Chairs can make that decision. The only exception is that the State Coordinator must give approval for expenses over $500.  If the State Coordinators wish to transfer money from the State's funds into an Alliance's account, that is permitted, and you can write to the finance team to request the transfer.  Similarly, an Alliance Co-Chair may not decide how the State spends its funds, however, an Alliance may choose to transfer its funds to the State account if the Alliance Co-Chairs wish.

Tax Deduction Letters

If a restaurant donates food, can they get a receipt for a tax deduction?

You are free to solicit donations from restaurants, but they are not entitled to and you cannot provide a receipt for them to take a tax deduction, due to the way their raw ingredients are already treated for tax purposes. You can offer to post a sign showing your appreciation for their donation, and announcing your gratitude to them during the event.

A member of my Alliance purchased an item and donated it to my the Alliance. Can they get a letter from Braver Angels for tax deduction purposes?

Braver Angels can provide a letter acknowledging receipt of the donated item, but legally we cannot state the tax deductible value.  Whenever something other than cash/check is donated it is up to the donor to substantiate the value of the donation on their tax return. To request a letter acknowledging receipt, please contact the Field Finance team.

A member of my Alliance wishes to purchase a venue for us. Can they get a letter from Braver Angels for tax deduction purposes? 

Unfortunately, Braver Angels cannot generate a tax letter if the venue is paid directly for its services. The only way for Braver Angels to generate a tax-deductible letter is if the donation is made directly to Braver Angels. A donation can be restricted to a specific Alliance or State by following these instructions, and the 80/20 rule will apply.