I am involved with a small not-for-profit. We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.
This blog is nominally tied to it, and also a hobby of mine. I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.
I am the junior member of the nonprofit, and I help with grounds keeping. I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here: www.maplelawncemetery.org).
The senior operator is Peter.
Occasionally other volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work. We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.
We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time. The not-for-profit is a small cemetery, which means that there aren’t very many funerals, just a few. We aren’t unlike volunteers, for a few reasons.
To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits. LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.
What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought to post today about making donations.
- One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity. In Canada, only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit. This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.
- This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters. We can’t return the favor of a donation with a deduction.
- Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations. Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
- Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations. If all goes well, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November this year (like last year).
- I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy. Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday. We’re operating a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.
- Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others. As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery. That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.
- CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations. They work with thousands of charities. They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.
David McConkey found inspiration in the pages of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton. Three points specifically raised that David McConkey emphasizes are explained below.
- Most people on Earth live in a democracy. Bill Clinton emphasizes that involvement in civil society is quite accessible to more people now than ever.
- Globalization and technology have made the fortunes of powerful millionaires and billionaires, Clinton writes. These same individuals are frequently prominent philanthropists.
- The Internet is certainly steadfast in the opportunity to make civil action. Together, small donors can have a huge impact.
Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working at this until any set point in the future. I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church. I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.
Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them. I invite you to visit us on Facebook. You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.
If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help. I appreciate that you took the time to visit and I hope that you had a terrific Father’s Day this June.
To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a stock photo intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose. Thank you for bearing with me.