Yes there are stricter limitations on gifts to private foundations. Gifts to public charities by individuals have an annual limit of fifty percent of the donor's adjusted gross income. Gifts to private foundations however place that limit at thirty percent of the donor's adjusted gross income. The figures are somewhat different for corporate donors who can deduct ten percent of their taxable income. If the contribution is capital gain property rather than cash, the limitation is then thirty percent for public charities and twenty percent for foundations. The Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Nonprofit Excellence states that "Charitable nonprofits must be aware of and comply with Internal Revenue Code provisions (see e.g. I.R.C. section 170)" (VIII E 2). This is to make sure inaccurate information about gifts is not passed on to donors. A good source for these rules is IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions
The cause selected should be in line with the company’s corporate goals. It is not necessary that the target audience for the company’s product be the primary beneficiary of the cause, but a sincere link should exist between the company's business goals and the cause to which it commits itself. A company should first select a cause then choose the charities with which it will work. Partnering with charities is essential, but over-dependence can hurt the program’s development. Financial contributions are an important part of any cause program, but a successful cause program does not always require only donations of cash. Commitment of various other resources such as professional skills, technical knowledge, advertising, and equipment are also important. A company should communicate its involvement in a cause program through every possible channel. Programs in which customers can participate and promote informally are more effective.
"Causes and Effects", Carol L. Cone et. al., Harvard Business Review, July 2003, 95-101
No. When one buys a raffle ticket one is buying the chance to win the item up for raffle. Since the fair market value of the chance to win the item up for raffle is equal to the price of the ticket, the transaction is merely a purchase; therefore the purchaser has not made a donation.
Many states, under state solicitation laws, require that the nonprofit organization register with the state before participating in fundraising within the state. In order to assist nonprofit organizations in this registration process the National Association of State Charities Officials and the National Association of Attorneys General have created the Unified Registration Statement (URS). The URS “represents an effort to consolidate the information and data requirements of all states that require registration of nonprofit organizations performing charitable solicitations within their jurisdictions.”
A donor should not attach the written acknowledgement from the recipient organization to the donor's individual income tax return. Instead the donor must keep the written acknowledgement to substantiate the contribution.
Tax exemption under IRS code §501(c)(3) has two primary benefits: 1) the donor making a donation to the nonprofit gets a tax deduction, and 2) there is no income tax on related earned income. This is true for purposes of federal income tax and Iowa income tax. Other benefits include the ability to issue tax-exempt bonds for capital projects, qualification for tax-exempt retirement plans (403(b)), and special postal rates.