We are not delivering meals. You are having one! The meal is a reason to get together, and what you do as a result is bring joy, relief, and honor to a hurting person or worthy cause. The meal helps you create a group, who creates a gift, that creates this bit of light in the world.
No. If hosting’s not your thing, think “organize.” This works wherever people can gather, so that means restaurants, coffee shops, break rooms, etc. We’ve even had “meals” in classrooms, where no food was served, our conversation was had, and a beautiful act to help someone was accomplished. That’s a win!
Some of the best stories we’ve seen emerged from really large groups. A meal group is simply 6-10 people. For a large group, just break it down into those numbers. The coolest part has been not only the great experience one group has around a table, but afterwards, watching people mix to hear about what was shared/who was helped by other groups.
Generally, no. We’d rather have participants just speak personally about their interests in the work of an organization. Additionally, if you get a representative from one organization, but not others, it could unfairly stack the deck in favor of that cause.
The meal organizer picks the amount when they organize and invite.
Usually in any group, there’s a wide variety of giving capacity and giving experience. We see two distinct roads (both good choices):
Low $ amount/High participation – You may be able to give $100 or more personally, but amounts from $10-$50 generally get the highest “yes” response rate because it’s manageable for most. What makes this a good pick? You can get folks off the sidelines, give them a great giving experience, and show what’s possible when we all do a little something to help.
High $ amount/Large immediate gift impact – If you go for a larger per person donation amount, you’ll generally have to invite more people to form your group. What makes this a good pick? 6-10 “yes’s” can turn into a month of groceries, rent or more for a deserving household. It can also help a nonprofit impact more lives or go deeper to help some they already serve.
As we said, either of these are good choices. Just pick what’s appropriate for your context.
92%. We process using PayPal. They charge 2.9% + .30 on every transaction. We charge a 5% fee to help keep the lights on. Think of this way, you had a great meal with only an 8% tip.
At this point, “No.” In our scenario, there’s a likelihood that your group may help a person you know, someone who needs a hand at the moment. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t like this scenario because of the opportunity for fraud. For this type of gift to be tax-deductible, that person would have to be qualified for need – meaning, if medical, a report from their doctor on condition and prognosis, or if financial, a copy of their latest tax return. It’s a pretty invasive process, and another task for someone who’s already down on their luck. We figured for these amounts, you wouldn’t care about saving a buck or two on taxes. You’d rather just help a friend.
No. We are a registered non-profit at the state level, but we suspended pursuit of federal 501c3 designation when we ran into that wall of qualifying individuals for need. We thought it was more valuable to create a system for generosity and care in our communities, than diminishing your ability to personally help for a few dollars in tax savings. We have an active board and we are financially reviewed/audited every year, so you can participate with confidence.
Yes. We have what’s known as a fiscal sponsor. That’s a sponsoring organization with 501c3 status, who oversees our work for charitable purposes. They make sure we disburse to legally-designated 501c3s, and when requested, they can qualify individuals for need to make those contributions deductible. If you’d like to donate to support our organization, you can do so by clicking on the “Donate Here”
button below. We’re listed under Ministry Projects and here’s a screenshot of what you should see: