AmeriCares has a proven track record of success supporting disaster relief. According to their 2012 fiscal report, each $10 in cash contributions to AmeriCares enables them to deliver $200 in aid, including medicines, medical supplies, and support for partner agencies working in West. That means if we’re successful in reaching our $15,000 fundraising goal, Austin Bakes for West will be helping to send over $300,000 in emergency relief to our neighbors in West.
AmeriCares has been working on the ground in the United States since the 1980s, providing medical aid, relief supplies and health care in crisis situations and where there are long term needs for support. Their operational model is time-tested, and the organization has won national recognition for its efficient use of funds and successful humanitarian work.
AmeriCares has the infrastructure in place to accept a large gift from Austin Bakes for West and to use the funds efficiently where they’re needed most. The organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so gifts towards their efforts in West are tax-deductible. (More about that in a moment.) They have an extensive, transparent record of their financial information, including annual audits published online.
Businesses and individuals supporting Austin Bakes for West can give to the AmeriCares via cash, check and our online giving page. Each Austin Bakes for West location has committed lead volunteers who will be responsible for managing individual gifts and ensuring that they are accounted for at the end of the bake sale. We have a game plan in place to track donations, report them transparently, and to make sure every penny ends up safely in AmeriCares’ hands.
Austin Bakes for West is a donation-based bake sale. That means instead of listing prices on each item, we’ll look to customers to decide the value of their purchase and support relief efforts in West accordingly. We’ll accept cash and checks (made out to AmeriCares, please) at the eight bake sale locations in Austin, Bee Cave, and Round Rock. Supporters who wish to make a gift by credit card may do so at the Austin Bakes for West FirstGiving page. We’ll be able to make change and break some large bills at the bake sale next Saturday, but we are asking customers who are able to please bring exact change or a check made out to the AmeriCares.
Here is detailed information about our handling procedures for gifts:
- Cash: all cash collected before and during the bake sale will be combined into a money order, payable to AmeriCares, after the bake sale on Saturday, May 4th. We will give the money order, along with all checks, to AmeriCares that day. Donors who give cash will not receive a receipt for their personal gift, but they will be able to see how much cash we raised collectively when we report the amount on here our blog and on our FirstGiving online giving page.
- Checks: should be made to “AmeriCares” with West, TX written in the memo line. We will keep a log on our FirstGiving page of all checks that we receive. That way, donors can be sure that we have received their gift and see how their contribution has increased our total fundraising. We will give all checks to AmeriCares on Saturday, May 4th. AmeriCares will deposit the checks and mail each donor a gift receipt for tax purposes.
- Online: gifts in any amount can be made securely online at our FirstGiving page using a credit or debit card. Donors will receive two emails confirming their gift to AmeriCares: one immediately after their information has been received, and a second email confirming that their card was successfully charged for the gift. Donors can see their contribution on the Austin Bakes for West FirstGiving page, and their support will count towards our overall goal to raise $15,000 for the West, Texas, relief efforts.