Client Fundraising Basics – Part I

How is the money that I raise for NEADS used?

You can find the official statement on the Client Fundraising Agreement that you signed. Let’s break it down a bit more though.

All fundraising for NEADS, whether done by clients, members of the community, businesses, or other organizations, goes toward supporting the organization and its mission. Funds will never be earmarked for an individual’s benefit. This is why the $8,000 you are asked to raise is not a payment toward a dog.

Fundraising for NEADS is no different than fundraising for any other charitable organization. If a person raises funds for an organization, and then receives services from that organization, does that mean that the donations they brought in will pay for the services they receive? No, of course not. There must be no direct connection between the money they’ve brought in and the services they receive.

Consider this…

  • If NEADS chose to eradicate client fundraising and instead made clients pay for their dogs, that would be a cost of over $45,000 per client. That would also mean that NEADS wouldn’t be able to match a client with a Service/Assistance Dog until they’d made the full payment. The client fundraising model allows for clients to be matched with a dog whenever that perfect dog is ready, even if that’s before the client has completed their fundraising. NEADS places a good deal of trust in our clients, and we anticipate that clients will continue fundraising whether they have a dog yet or not. The fact that clients are tasked with raising $8,000 for the NEADS organization, instead of being required to pay $45,000 as a payment for a dog, is absolutely in clients’ best interest.
  • Many funders are not willing to work with Service Dog organizations that ask nothing of their clients. It has been shown that the risk of a client not properly handling their dog, or caring for it, increases when clients aren’t asked to contribute to the organization in any way. At NEADS, we get to know each individual client long before they take a Service or Assistance Dog home. This allows clients time to demonstrate their level of dedication and commitment and their understanding that working with a NEADS Service or Assistance Dog is a great responsibility. A client’s engagement through the fundraising process can help NEADS ascertain their level of personal responsibility and accountability.
  • When NEADS accepts a client, we commit to a long-term relationship with that person. NEADS supports clients from acceptance through the entire working life of their dogs. That means regular communications, check-ins, annual client surveys, access to the Client Resource Center and Client Alumni Facebook group (once matched), periodic recertifications, equipment and ID replacements, and more. There is a direct correlation between the effort clients put forth toward fundraising, and the effort they put forth toward maintaining a communicative relationship with NEADS.


NEADS Client Fundraising Policy

Funds raised through client fundraising go toward the operating cost involved in breeding, raising, training, and matching World Class Service Dogs. The contributions will not be applied for a client’s benefit or for a specific dog, and thus, are not refundable. For a detailed explanation of how donations must be utilized by a 501(c)(3), please refer to IRS publication 526, page 6.


NEADS Donation Policy

By making a charitable gift to NEADS, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, the donor understands that charitable donations are not refundable. The ongoing financial health of NEADS relies on accounting for and accepting irrevocable, non-refundable donations from the public. Therefore, NEADS considers all donations to be nonrefundable. Additionally, for a donation to be considered tax deductible for the donor, the Internal Revenue states that a donation is irrevocable.

All of this information can be found on the NEADS website, in your client fundraising packet, and on the tax receipts received by donors. If you have any questions about client fundraising, please don’t hesitate to contact me.