Things to consider

Before you host an event, read these important tips.


  • All auction (silent or live) items need to be valued at the fair market value (FMV). The value must be listed on bid sheets or at the auction table or included in any printed list of auction items, including live auction descriptions. 
  • IRS regulations require items valued at $5,000 or more to provide an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
  • If an item is not valued or valued as priceless, the final auction bid amount establishes the FMV; therefore, no portion of the payment is tax-deductible. Autographed items are deemed priceless. 
  • The FMV of the item must be disclosed to provide a gift credit. The charitable portion is the amount above the FMV.

Games of Chance (GOC)

  • Per Oregon state law, Games of Chance (GOC) are defined as: a raffle, bingo, or Monte Carlo (gambling).
  • The raffle license issued to St. Charles Foundation cannot be utilized for any event organized by an independent third party. Per the Oregon Department of Justice, only registered nonprofit organizations are permitted to conduct raffles within the state of Oregon. Individuals or commercial entities are not authorized to conduct a raffle under St. Charles Foundation’s license, even if the proceeds are intended for charitable purposes.
  • Community Organized Fundraising organizers are responsible for obtaining all permits and licenses. Per Oregon law, special licensing is required to conduct GOC games. If your organization would like to conduct a game of chance, individuals and organizations must obtain a license from the Oregon Department of Justice. For more information, please visit: Oregon DOJ Charitable Gaming.
  • St. Charles Foundation is prohibited by law from receiving funds generated by a third party through a GOC unless hosted by a qualified nonprofit and the proceeds from the GOC are used towards their charitable purpose.

Donations and Receipting

  • St. Charles Foundation can only provide a written tax-exempt receipt for tax purposes for a donation if the donation is made payable to and received directly by St. Charles Foundation.
  • In-kind donations to Community Organized Fundraisers and initiatives are not tax-deductible. St. Charles Foundation can only provide receipts for a donation directly made payable to St. Charles Foundation.
  • If donations from your fundraiser are deposited into another account outside St. Charles Foundation and then donated as a single sum (i.e., one check), only the individual whose name appears on the check is eligible to receive a tax-exempt receipt for the donation. In this instance, it is your responsibility to ensure the donors understand that a gift will not be acknowledged as a tax-deductible gift donation by St. Charles Foundation.
  • If a donor pays cash equal to or greater than $5.00 and would like to receive a tax-exempt receipt from St. Charles Foundation, you must submit full contact information for the donor along with the cash donation.
  • Under federal tax income law, if any good or services are received by a donor in return for a donation, the deductible portion of the donation is restricted to the amount by which the donation exceeds the fair market value of the goods or services received. Some examples include an auction purchase, meal, or gift. You will need to provide St. Charles Foundation with a detailed list of any goods and services received by the donor as part of their donation, along with their respective values.
  • In accordance with IRS regulations, the individual or organization conducting the fundraiser is responsible for disclosing to donors the exact dollar amount or percentage of their gift which will benefit St. Charles Foundation.
  • Submit 100% of all net proceeds to St. Charles Foundation (if sole beneficiary) or % of proceeds as determined on Community Organized Fundraiser application when St. Charles Foundation is not the sole beneficiary, as soon as possible after all costs have been paid/settled after the conclusion of the event/initiative, but no later than 90 days post-event. Any checks made out directly to St. Charles Foundation should be submitted within 14 days post-event.

Liability, Insurance and Permits

  • As the organizer, you are responsible for obtaining all necessary licenses and permits relating to the event and ensuring it is conducted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. 
  • The names St. Charles Foundation or St. Charles Health System cannot be used on any permits, applications, or agreements. 
  • St. Charles Foundation and St. Charles Health System, Inc. are not financially or otherwise liable or responsible in any way for the promotion or staging of any Community Organized Fundraiser or for any claims, damages, liabilities, injuries, losses, or expenses that arise out of or relate to a Community Organized Fundraiser. 
  • At your own expense, you agree to maintain liability insurance that is appropriate and acceptable to St. Charles Foundation. We may request proof of insurance at any time. 
  • The Community Organized Fundraising organizer/sponsor/ organization agrees to indemnify, refund, and hold St. Charles Foundation and St. Charles Health System harmless against and in respect of any claims, demands, losses, costs, expenses, obligations, liabilities, damages, recoveries, and deficiencies including interests, penalties, and reasonable attorney’s fees that shall be incurred or suffered by St. Charles Foundation and or St. Charles Health System, which arise, result from, or relate to the fundraising event or initiative, the organizer/sponsor/organization’s performance of its agreement as specified in these guidelines and Community Organized Fundraising application.

Nothing in this Toolkit is intended or should be construed as legal or tax advice. We encourage you and your donors to consult tax advisers regarding the deductibility of contributions.

Glossary of Terms

Budget: a detailed breakdown of estimated income and expenses for a development program, prepared in advance. Budgets show various cost categories, including personnel, printed materials, purchase and rental of equipment, office expense, venue, mailing charges, costs of events, etc.

Community Organized Fundraiser (COF): a Community Organized Fundraiser is a fundraising event/initiative organized by any person, group, or organization not employed by St. Charles Foundation or volunteering in an official capacity for a St. Charles Foundation organized event. 

Donation acknowledgement: a communication sent by a nonprofit organization to express gratitude to a donor for their contribution. It acknowledges the receipt of the donation and thanks the donor for their generosity. Unlike the tax-exempt receipt, the acknowledgment letter is not used as proof for tax deductions.

Donor: the individual, organization, or institution that makes a gift.

Fair market value: the price that an asset would sell for on the open market.

Good(s) and service(s): any item(s) or service(s) donor receives in exchange for donation, admission, or fee. Some examples can include a meal, auction purchase, gift certificate for a service, host gift, etc.

Nonprofit organization: organizations of members or volunteers, classified by the Internal Revenue Service as providing a public benefit without purpose of profit for members of the corporation.

Restricted gift/funds: restricted funds are any donations made and earmarked for a specific purpose by the donor giving assurance that the money can only be used for specific projects or purposes.

Tax benefits: savings in income, gift, and estate taxes brought about by giving to charitable institutions.

Tax-exempt receipt: a document issued by a 501(c) (3) organization (a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status) to a donor, to acknowledge the donor’s charitable contribution. It serves as evidence for the donor to claim a tax deduction for their contribution when filing their annual tax return.

Unrestricted fund/gift: a gift to an institution or agency for whatever purposes officers or trustees of the nonprofit choose. 

Virtual Fundraising Page (VFP): an online fundraising technique in which individual supporters or ambassadors fundraise on behalf of a larger cause or organization. These volunteer fundraisers promote the campaign to their own networks of friends and family online. Also known as peer-to-peer, social or team fundraising.