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Ask Us: Why do fundraisers use the word ‘donation’ for a ticket?

Question: When people are holding fundraisers, why do they call the cost of a ticket a “donation?”

Whitey Harwood

Answer: The reasoning for using the term “donation” for the cost of a ticket or price of admission varies according to organization.

In some cases the term may be used to comply with rules. In others it dictates where the money is headed.

Two organizations prompted with this question both held fundraisers in March. Both also mentioned different reasons for using the term.

The Rowan Democratic Party held a fundraiser that featured Congresswoman Alma Adams as the speaker. The fundraiser was held, in part, to help the party raise enough money to secure office space in Salisbury.

The party’s chairman, Geoffrey Hoy, said he wasn’t sure of the exact reason the word “donation” is used. However, he said it was likely to comply with rules and regulations from the N.C. Board of Elections.

Laura Russell, an elections specialist at the Rowan Board of Elections, said she was unfamiliar with any rules that would dictate what a party could call its contributions.

For political parties and candidates, a fundraising event literally brings in donations to the entity or person’s campaign. Therefore, it may be literally correct to call the cost of a ticket to a fundraiser a donation.

The Salisbury Kiwanis Club also held its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser in March. The event required 600 pounds of sausage and about 750 pounds of pancake mix to feed the thousands of people who purchased or received tickets for the event.

The club’s president Jerry Lawson said the term “donation” for any of the Kiwanis Club’s fundraisers indicates that revenue received goes directly to charities the club supports rather than supporting the club itself.

Got a question for the Salisbury Post? Email it to askus@salisburypost.com

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