A matching donation from the government is your tax dollars at work. So when the government says they are matching your donation - you are, in essence, paying twice (sometimes three times) for that single donation and ultimately, single tax credit.
All the more reason why you should be asking questions to the recipient charity. Here are some suggested questions:
- Use of proceeds?
- Timeline for disbursement?
- Accountablity reports?
- What happens if more money is raised that can't be deployed?
- Who is implementing the programs on ground?
- Who are the community partners?
- How were those partners selected and engaged?
- Who holds whom accountable in those partnership relationships?
- How long do those partnership agreements last?
- Whose money gets spent first, government or private donations? Publicly traded companies or privately held businesses? Public foundations or Private Family Foundations? Community Foundations or umbrella agencies, like the United Way? How was this decided?
- How is the interest on the funds held used? Overall, how are the funds managed for the long-term?
As we live in this generous society, our tax dollars may be supporting an organization that you wouldn't normally choose to support. All the more reason why you should be asking your MP, MLA and government representative how THEY are going to hold the recipient charity accountable.
As a donor it is your responsibility to know how your donation is being put to work. As a tax payer it is your responsibility to understand from your government how they are going to manage these "philanthropic" activities they are undertaking on your behalf.
If you are interested in the charities that we know where the money goes, check out the #YMMFireFund.