Monday, October 22, 2007

LICH: What do you mean, you want to give us money !!

As the faithful readers of this blog know, I have tried to effect a modest financial contribution to LICH, in recognition of its good work for the sick, and also in appreciation for its beautification of our block. This latter project is not complete, but it's on its way.

My wife and I manage our charitable contributions through the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund (CGF). Here is how this works. We give the money to CGF, and CGF gives it to any charity that we recommend, as long as it is properly recognized by Internal Revenue. There are tax advantages to modest givers like us, and also, it turns out, another advantage: CGF vets contributions to make sure that the proposed charity complies with federal rules. In the several years of our relationship with CGF, the procedure has worked without a hitch.

Well, with LICH there is a hitch. Not being privy to the ins and outs of the LICH bureaucracy, I don't know just why LICH does not currently qualify for charitable contributions from charitable gift funds. It apparently has something to do with the way LICH has structured its IRS status. I've been on the phone with CGF several times, and I was told that LICH needs to fill in some papers to qualify. CGF has repeatedly phoned LICH but LICH has not responded. And neither has LICH responded to the several e-mails that I have sent to their man in charge of fund raising. Of course it's only a matter of $300 in contributions from me, and so, it seems, from LICH's point of view, why bother.

And so, reluctantly, I withdrew our grant recommendation for LICH today.

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