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Anonymous donation?
March 30, 2006 1:17 PM   Subscribe

How can I make anonymous donations?

Is it possible to anonymously give away money? By this I mean donations where nobody knows who gave the money, particularly the recipient.

Suppose the donations are mainly to charities, but might also be to political parties/candidates or individuals. I know I can't really be anonymous when giving to politicians, but how close can I get?

Is it possible to give anonymously and still be able to claim a tax deduction for charitable donations?
posted by betterton to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The phrase "anonymous donation" typically means that the recipient doesn't reveal to any third party who the donor was, not that the recipient doesn't know who it was.

how close can I get?

Cash in an envelope with no return address.
posted by ook at 1:30 PM on March 30, 2006


Donation through most charities seems to meet that criteria: you give to the local homeless shelter, they distribute to the homeless, and the homeless don't know you exist.
posted by mendel at 1:37 PM on March 30, 2006


Here is a previous question that addresses the anonymous political donation part of this.
posted by smackfu at 1:39 PM on March 30, 2006


Gold coins in the Salvation Army kettle? They don't give receipts, though.
posted by fixedgear at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2006


Your other option is to go through a lawyer. You direct your lawyer to make the contribution "on behalf of a client who wishes to remain anonymous."
posted by onhazier at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2006


A money order mailed to them with no return address. Maybe also include a note saying "This is an annonymous donation."

Bonus: keep the reciept for a tax deduction.
posted by ChasFile at 2:00 PM on March 30, 2006


onhazier hit it on the head. I work in development for a non-profit. We do receive donations from "anonymous donors" and those gifts are made though attorneys or brokers, if the gift is stock.

We also sometimes get anonymous gifts from intermediary entities like Fidelity Charitable Trust. You give them the money, and then designate where it goes, and choose to be anonymous.
posted by kimdog at 2:21 PM on March 30, 2006


There are certain limits on how anonymous "anonymous" can be, because if it was too easy it could be used to launder money.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:34 PM on March 30, 2006


Yes, go through a lawyer. It's illegal to make political donations this way, but you can for others.
posted by alms at 2:43 PM on March 30, 2006


Wouldn't a money order also work, at least for donations that aren't huge?
posted by raf at 7:14 PM on March 30, 2006


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