Posts Tagged ‘Donation’

There is a black hole of ethics within Alberta Politics, and I am not sure if any party has been spared it. You see there is an ability for financing of campaigns to go unhindered, and to even have illegal donations made without so much as a blink by the governing party.

So what needs to happen?

What about taking financing of political entities right back to membership bases. Here is what I am thinking:

1) Ban any corporate or union donations

2) lower/enforce the cap on personal campaign donations to individuals of a voting age.

3) Cap spending per candidate campaign at a maximum of $5000, and that the provincial party can only spend $25,000. This makes for more efficient and targetted campaigns.

4) Instead of each candidate renting their own office, have each riding-zone a community centre in their area that the province will rent for all candidates to use as a central office so that citizens can go there to connect with all the campaigns.

5) Ban the unrecyclable lawn signs (pet peeve, and just environmentally unfriendly).

6) To be allowed to be on the ballot come election day a candidate must:

a. prove that they live in the riding their are running in.

b. prove an active campaign (not just be a name on ballot/flag bearer    of                  a party).

c. Attend 3 all candidate debates in the riding. Each debate to be held at local community centres/public schools.

d. disclose all donors the week before the election to the public.

e. If any of these requirements is not fulfilled, what happens is that there is a press posting at the ballot station informing voters candidate Y is no longer available for votes. Any votes cast for them will be counted as a spoiled ballot.

For parties, it is quite simple, if more than half of their candidates break the rules the party loses its charter and is unable to reform. Any elected MLA’s from that party become independents, if they opt to join another party they must resign their seat and run in a byelection.

If the party refuses to release all donors on election day (and in each public annual report) or is found to have received illegal donations they shall be disbanded and unable to run candidates or collect donations.

So Albertans? Does this sound like a plausible reform? and if so how do we do it?

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Rev. Debra W. HaffnerThe Religious Institute is in the fight of our lives, and we need your help.
Please donate now!
On February 21, 2012, the Religious Institute received shocking news from its fiscal agent, Christian Community Inc., that it had ceased business operations, and that it was shutting down immediately. In its capacity as our fiscal agent since 2001, Christian Community Inc. was responsible for processing all donations to the Religious Institute as well as managing its financial obligations. We were notified that all of the Religious Institute funds already obtained for fiscal year 2012, and all of the Religious Institute reserves and fund balance, were gone. With the exception of $3800 in a bank account in Connecticut, the Religious Institute’s foundation monies and reserves for the end of 2011 and all of 2012 had been used by the fiscal agent.

We immediately severed all ties between the organizations.

We are pleased to announce, effective immediately, The Unitarian Church in Westport (TUCW) is the new fiscal agent for the Religious Institute. In this role, it will receive tax deductible donations to the Religious Institute. (I have served this congregation as a Community Minister since 2003, and I have been a member there since 1988.) Additionally, the Religious Institute has started the process of being recognized by the IRS as an independent nonprofit organization, and is managing its own finances, under TUCW’s supervision. Once the Religious Institute receives IRS recognition as an independent nonprofit organization, it will no longer need the services of TUCW.
The ministry of the Religious Institute will continue. We are open, working 15 hour days, and are committed to our ministry. The work of the Religious Institute is too important, too vital for us to do anything but continue. We have done great work, changing the landscape of how denominations, faith communities, seminaries, and clergy approach sexuality issues. If you are not familiar with our work, please go to our web site at
If you have ever considered supporting the Religious Institute, now is the time. In the past three days, we have begun to receive donations ranging from $1.45 from a seven-year-old to commitments from foundations. In total, we must raise $425,000 in the next three months to implement the plan for 2012 activities. I am confident we can do so.  Every donation, no matter the size, will have a profound effect on the Religious Institute.

If you support sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and want to preserve the progressive religious voice in the public square on our shared issues, please make the most generous donation you can. A generous private donor has agreed to match every dollar until $10,000 that comes in from this appeal. Please ask your friends and colleagues to donate as well. Help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!

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Donations to the Religious Institute/TUCW are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations can be sent to the Religious Institute at 21 Charles Street, Suite 140, Westport, CT 06880, or can be made online at
Please pray for us. Your support will not only allow us to survive but once again thrive.
In faith,

Rev. Debra W. Haffner

PS Please make your donation TODAY. Any amount will be gratefully received. A donation will have never made such a difference.

Please donate now!

Funny thing struck me while recently tweeting (yes I am of the tweeps). But a question arose in my mind, why do we make donations? What is our drive?

Now the first thing that does come to mind is because we want to make a better world.

Yet is this true.

How often do we receive a tax receipt for our donations? Would we make the same donations without a tax receipt?

How many people that financially support a political party would still do it if they did not receive 75% of the donation back at tax time? Or a receipt for tax purposes? Which parties would survive if they lost the ability to provide tax incentive to donors?

Draw the circle a little wider, how many¬†religious institutions would survive if they¬†lost the ability to give tax receipts? If they lost that cherished “charity status” but then the question arises how many actually do the work they say they do?

These are questions that are pondered, what is the drive to give, because you believe in the cause or because you get the receipt? Take away the tax benefit would you still give? Would you still give as much?