Pearl Foundation money FAQs
- What items can I buy if I want my money to go only to the Foundation, with none of it going to your overhead?
You can buy a living room concert, the hand-written lyrics, or any other item marked "100% of monies spent on this item go to the Pearl Foundation".
- If I pay by credit card, is it the same as sending a check? Can I still deduct it?
No, not according to the IRS. We're sorry, but the Pearl Foundation does not have a credit card account. We're cheap on the Foundation's behalf, and those accounts cost money! We have recently added the alternative of charging Living Room Concerts, handwritten lyrics etc. to credit cards, but this is only for convenience's sake, for those fans who've said they could purchase more if they could charge it to a credit card. When you charge a Foundation item to your credit card, it shows up on your statement as having been paid to the Revenge Touring/Janis Ian account. That money is then transferred to the Foundation The only way an item is deductible as a contribution is if you pay by check or money order or a Paypal donation, because the Paypal account also goes straight to the foundation. For high dollar items such as lyrics or LRC's, we prefer a check, and so should you! If you have further financial inquiries, please send an email to our financial director.
- Why can't everything I spend go to the Foundation?
Just think about that for a minute. Where does the product come from? Manufacturers or retailers. We have to pay for the product before you can buy it. We have to pay for shipping, storage, packing materials, and labor - all before that product is even ordered! If Janis were rich enough to absorb 100% of all those costs, she would probably not be on the road very much - she'd be sitting on an island in the Bahamas. At live shows, in addition to all of the up-front costs, we also pay the cost of shipping to the venue, the venue commissions (20-40% of each sale is taken off the top by the venues nowadays), and franchise taxes. Last but not least, someone has to be paid to do the bookkeeping, so the IRS can be satisfied that we're operating on the level.
- Then how do you determine what the Foundation will get at the end of each year?
100% of Paypal donations made to to firstname.lastname@example.org go straight to the Foundation, as do checks made out to the Foundation, and 100% of anything in the show "tip jar". Then, at the end of each year, we add up all the merchandise profits from shows and the website; then we add up all the costs associated with merchandise, and a small percentage of website costs (the Yahoo! fees, for instance). The difference is what goes to the Foundation. In other words, Janis doesn't make a profit; she just gets some of the monies she's personally laid out for the Foundation paid back. In fact, when you pay for merchandise through Paypal, your postage costs are also donated to the Foundation, and Janis has to pay for them herself!
- So what kind of costs are associated with the merchandise and website?
Here are some of the annual costs Janis pays up front: monthly server fees, monthly maintenance fees, cost of maintaining the domain name, cost of updating the site and creating each year's holiday sale site (although much of the time is donated, we can't ask all the programmers to work for free), shipping fees for merchandise, import and franchise taxes, business management fees for figuring and filing the taxes (Janis' business management office donates the rest of the financial fees, or Janis absorbs it), purchase and/or production of merchandise, a portion of the cost when we have a merchandise sales person on the road, venue fees, merch salesperson salary... well, the list just goes on. That's one reason you see so few high-dollar items on the site, and why items are added so slowly; workshirts, for instance, ran us $16 per shirt before shipping or artwork were figured in. We try to carry mostly items that are low-cost and low-shipping.
- Can I get a little history here? and how do you choose the schools?
In 1998, Janis held the very first international Internet auction. Yes, pre-Ebay! 100% of those monies were donated to Goddard College, forming the first perpetual Pearl Foundation Scholarship. The Foundation itself was formed about three years later. We then began concentrating on schools serving the more challenged areas of the country. Because of our many foreign donors, we only endow at schools with an international student body as well as students from the United States.
- How much has the Foundation raised and given away, anyhow?
As of January 2012 the Foundation had raised and given away a total of $555,000. We can hardly believe it ourselves!
- What else can I do to help?
a) You can make a PayPal donation by following the links on this website. Folks have donated amounts from $1 on up, and all generosity is gratefully accepted!
b) You can make a cash donation. Janis was thrilled when fans gave her birthday "presents" of donations to celebrate her 50th birthday. Many people just handed her $5.00 extra at a show, or sent $50.00 in. Your cash donations are always welcome.
c) You can purchase one of the Foundation items, such as a Living Room Concert or hand-written lyric. We encourage fans to group together in order to hold an LRC, and have had a few instances where 10 fans will contribute $500 apiece for this purpose; the LRC is then held in a mutually convenient living room for them.
d) You can donate a portion of your monthly salary, and try to get matching funds from your workplace. We are an official IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization and are happy to provide documentation.
You can make us an offer. One person has been donating $500 per quarter for short guitar lessons from Janis. Others have paid to have dinner backstage with Janis before a show, to come and watch the sound check, to watch her putting on makeup and the like. Several people have paid for "personalized CD's" to be made; in other words, they pick two or three of their favorite songs and Janis makes them their own personal CD in her living room, singing live into the recorder. Someone donated $100 for 5 "personal photos" of Janis and her dogs. People have purchased picks, capos, straps, stage clothing. Remember that Janis' time is very limited, and price yourself accordingly. Any and all ideas are welcome!
f) Last, you can remember us in your will.
*100% of these donations goes entirely to the Pearl Foundation*
You can use the convenient PayPal button below.
Send us an email offering a donation in return for something special. (See the Pearl Foundation pages for more info!)
If you do business on eBay you can now add The Pearl Foundation to your list of supported charities through eBay Giving Works and donate a portion of your transaction. It's an easy way to contribute!
Or if you don't have a computer, you can send a check to:
The Pearl Foundation
PO Box 150099
Nashville TN 37215
(Please include a note explaining how you found that address without a computer and what exactly you are doing with MP3 files. Thank you.)
You can also explore a few items that benefit The Pearl Foundation 100% by following the URLs below:
MAKE US AN OFFER
LIVING ROOM CONCERT