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Doing Domain Charity: Have You Done Any Lately?
What to do when the buyer pitches his or his clients charitable nature?

 2:14 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've received all the usual pitches:
  • I'm a college student and need this for a project
  • We're a small company and don't have much money
  • We're a startup and don't have much capital
  • We're a non-profit

The first 3 I just ignore.

The last one "may" be intriguing IF I can verify the NPO status for a fact AND IF the domain isn't a gold standard that is being sought for a . . prayer?

Have you ever discounted a domain or donated one "for the right cause"?

Anyone ever do such a thing . . and somehow get burned? The domain ended up in the wrong hands no long after the donation? The NPO turned out to be a real moneymaker . . for its unprincipled principals?

I'm giving thought to my latest "charitable solicitation". I may be willing to give some ground, for a variety of good reasons, but before I make a decision I've asked for a bit more information about the charity.

What do you do when asked to do charity?



 3:01 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

When asked to do charity, I much prefer the simplicity of cash donations!

If your research satisfies you that the charity is legitimate, and you decide that reducing your price expectations for the domain name would be a way to support them, make a deal you're comfortable with and leave it at that. Don't start second-guessing about what might happen at a later date.

What are the rules in your country about "donations in kind"? Is a domain name something you could donate and get a tax receipt for?


 3:18 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good questions. ;)

I don't know whether a donation in kind to a charity that is not a U.S. charity, one that may not qualify under U.S. tax law as a "Section 503 [en.wikipedia.org ] Charity" - but may qualify under another country's law - would qualify.

Ugh. More homework . . :P

Interesting thought: Craft a transaction where there is partial payment PLUS an element of a "donation in kind".

However, I'm certain the IRS will take a hard look at any donation in kind - especially a "domain donation". Donations in kind tend to require (if I recall correctly) a very sound appraisal of the think donated, to determine its fair market value.

Plan B: Rebated part of the sale/purchase price as a donation, though there isn't a dollar-for-dollar tax credit, i.e., there still will be taxable income even though you/I've given up "the income" via the rebate.


 3:13 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

This "charity question" comes up in a number of sectors.

I think the common advice for musicians asked to play fund raisers could apply here. Hold out for your normal fee but if you support the cause and they don't mess you around then donate a suitable proportion of the fee after they pay you.

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