Match-giving, fundraising and personal taxation for your expedition contribution
Your employer may help you with your expedition contribution. Also, some expenses connected to your expedition contribution as well as the expedition contribution itself may be tax-deductible. See below for more information on all of this, as well as examples of past participants.
Many employers, particularly in the USA and Canada, but also elsewhere (see examples below), will match fund charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and employees’ spouses. In Biosphere Expeditions' case this means that your employer may match fund your expedition contribution payments and other donations you make to Biosphere Expeditions. Some employers also provide matching funds to support employee volunteer hours.
We encourage you to speak to your employer to find out whether any match funds and/or volunteer grants exists where you work. You can also use the "Resources" slider below to find out, by searching an online database, if your employer provides match funding and/or volunteer grants.
And always remember that if you have questions about match funding, please feel free to contact one of our offices for more advice.
"I found out that my employer, Capital Group, has a matching gift program after I had been on an expedition with Biosphere Expeditions. When I told the people in the matching gift program that Biosphere Expeditions was a 501(c)(3) charity, they encouraged me to put in a request. Capital Group then matched the expedition contribution I had paid, which in effect meant an additional $2000 donation to Biosphere Expeditions' conservation efforts - a real win/win for everyone! I am glad Biosphere Expeditions made me aware of such corporate matching gift programs and I encourage everyone else to ask their employers too."
Jet Long (works for Capital Group)
"My employer in the USA, Thomson Reuters, has a matching gift program. The way it works is that my employer can match fund, as a charitable donation, payments that are made directly to Biosphere Expeditions, because Biosphere Expeditions is a certified non-profit NGO (in the USA, Biosphere Expeditions is a so-called 501(c)(3) non-profit). My employer also has a program called "Dollars for Doers", which matches the volunteering time spent and translates this into dollar cash donations for Biosphere Expeditions. Employees can request match funding through either or both of these channels. I chose the charitable donation pathway and my employer matched my expedition contribution, which meant that Biosphere Expeditions received my expedition contribution as well as my employer's charitable donation. My employer also offers paid volunteer leave, which is another way of benefitting from going on a Biosphere Expeditions project."
Hideko Kawabata (works for Thomson Reuters)
"My company has a 1/1/1 model where they are committed to donating 1% of employee time, 1% of technology and 1% of financial resources to non-profits. My company made it possible for me to make a positive impact through Biosphere Expeditions by conducting reef conservation research. Many companies offer some sort of incentive for employees to make a difference and I encourage you to look into these and to take full advantage of them."
Eric Moore (works for Salesforce.com)
"The company I work for in the USA has a donation matching program. For every dollar that I contribute to a non-profit organization, such as Biosphere Expeditions, Salesforce.com will match my contribution. In addition, my employer gives employees “volunteer time off”, which allowed me to use work time to do volunteer work on Biosphere Expeditions' coral reef conservation project in Musandam, Oman."
Jen Lee (works for Salesforce.com)
"As part of a Six Senses staff engagement programme, I participated in Biosphere Expeditions' Musandam coral reef project whilst working for Six Senses in the Maldives. I was so impressed by the way the work was conducted that I suggested that a similar project be set up for Maldivian reefs. Two years and quite a bit of work later, an expedition was set up in the Maldives - a perfect example of a win/win situation for everyone coming out of a staff engagement programme."
Anke Hofmeister, Marine Biologist (worked for Six Senses Resorts & Spas)
"I work for a company in Germany. As part of an incentive scheme I was presented with a voucher, which enabled me to have 75% of my expedition contribution for Biosphere Expeditions' Namibia big cats & elephants project covered by my employer, which obviously helped a lot in me being able to attend the expedition."
Some companies who provide match funding and/or whose employees have been on expedition with us
Depending on the participant’s country of origin, a portion of your expedition contribution as well as additional personal funds needed around the expedition (such as food, lodging and transportation) may be tax-deductible.
In the USA, for example, Biosphere Expeditions is a public charity, described by Sections 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(VI) of the Internal Revenue Code (often also referred to simply as a "501(c)(3)"). As a result, if expedition participants itemise deductions on their tax return, the real cost of joining Biosphere Expeditions in the field could be as much as 40% lower than you expect!
|"My spouse and I have taken part in many expeditions with Biosphere Expeditions. I have deducted my expedition expenses as charitable contributions each time, providing ample support documentation for each expedition deducted as a charitable contribution. The IRS requires a written acknowledgement from the donee to the donor, which specifies certain details. Biosphere Expeditions will be happy to supply this acknowledgment on request."
Alan M. Hoffberg (participated in expeditions to Brazil, Namibia, Honduras, etc.)
"When I came up with my budget to participate in Biosphere Expeditions' coral reef conservation / diving expedition to Musandam, Oman, I accounted for the fact that my expedition cost and travel expenses are tax deductible in the USA, where I live. That meant that the net cost of my expedition was substantially reduced. It’s amazing to think that one can participate in such an incredible experience AND get a tax benefit from it!"
Kathy Humphrey (participated in Musandam expedition)
Match-giving: You can search the database of www.doublethedonation.com to find out whether your employer provides matching gifts and/or volunteer grants. Or you can search another database via Habitat for Humanity's website.
If your company provides match gifts and/or volunteer grants, then you may need the following pieces of information:
Employer Identification Number (EIN) (i.e. Federal Tax Identification Number): 72-1614948
Organization Name: Biosphere Expeditions Inc.
Organization Mailing Address: PO Box 917750 Longwood, FL 32791
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization Type: Environment, Conservation, Animal
Personal taxation: In the USA and Canada, your expedition contribution as well as additional personal funds needed around the expedition (such as food, lodging and transportation) should be be tax-deductible. Below is a detailed document on how to go about it.
Download information on deducting expedition expenses for US tax payers 66.98 Kb
Match-giving: The concept of match-giving is not particularly widespread in the UK. However, many large employers will support and encourage employee involvement with non-profit/charitable causes and some will match donations made to non-profit organisations such as Biosphere Expeditions. However, rather than it being a set policy in many companies as it is in the USA, it is often up to the staff involved to show passion for a cause and be able to get their employer on side to assist in funding it. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of these options with us.
Personal taxation: The question that arises for UK tax payers is "can I Gift Aid my expedition contribution (i.e. the amount I am paying to take part in the expedition) or claim a tax deduction at the higher tax rate?". Unfortunately the answer is "no", because the UK government changed the law in 2000. As a result this type of contribution is no longer considered a charitable donation, nor is it eligible for Gift Aid or a tax deduction.
Match-giving: The concept of match-giving is not particularly widespread in Australia. However, many large employers will support and encourage employee involvement with non-profit/charitable causes and some will match donations made to non-profit organisations such as Biosphere Expeditions. However, rather than it being a set policy in many companies as it is in the USA, it is often up to the staff involved to show passion for a cause and be able to get their employer on side to assist in funding it. The best way is to find out from your employer what is possible in terms of support, perhaps using match giving programmes such as those of Westpac and GSK as examples. Note that in Australia Biosphere Expeditions Inc. is an incorporated non-profit association registered in the State of Victoria, incorporation number A004912Y, ABN 24002831061; we are also in the process of obtaining Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, which means that employers and individuals get a tax deduction when supporting Biosphere Expeditions financially through donations. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of these options with us.
Personal taxation: Similar to UK taxpayers (see above), expedition contributions are unfortunately not tax deductible in Australia, because a service (i.e. the expedition participation) is received in return. However, simple donations not connected to an expedition participation are fully tax-deductible.
Match-giving / Unterstützung durch eine Spende des Arbeitgebers: In Deutschland ist die hier beschriebene, vornehmlich angelsächsische Spendenkultur leider fast unbekannt. Der beste Weg in Deutschland ist es daher, Ihren Arbeitgeber von der Wichtigkeit unserer Naturschutzarbeit zu überzeugen und ihn zu bitten eine Spende an den Biosphere Expeditions e.V. (gemeinnütziger Verein, eingetragen im Vereinsregister Amtsgericht Würzburg, Registernummer VR 200383) für unsere Naturschutzarbeit zu machen. Für diese Spende können wir eine steuerlich absetzbare Spendenbescheinigung ausstellen. Die Höhe unserer Expeditionsbeiträge richten sich auch nach den aus Spenden zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln.
The best way to achieve match-giving in Germany (where it is not an established part of corporate culture) is to encourage your employer to make a donation towards our German charitable Biosphere Expeditions e.V. We can issue a tax-deductible receipt for this to your employer, so the employer benefits too. Expedition contributions are after all also dependent on financing we receive from other sources.
Personal taxation / persönliche Besteuerung: Da Sie für Ihren Expeditionsbeitrag eine Dienstleistung (sprich die Teilnahme an der Expedition) erhalten, dürfen wir leider, wie in England und Australien auch, keine Spendenbescheinigung ausstellen.
Similar to UK and Australian taxpayers (see above), expedition contributions are unfortunately not tax deductible in Germany.
Involve your company
Does your company publish a company magazine? If so, the editor would probably be very interested to hear from you as they are always keen to cover interesting features relating to their members of staff.
Many employers, particularly in the USA and Canada, but also elsewhere (see examples below), will match fund charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and employees’ spouses. In Biosphere Expeditions' case this means that your employer may match fund your expedition contribution payments and other donations you make to Biosphere Expeditions. Some employers also provide matching funds to support employee volunteer hours. Here is some more information about match-funding.
Some companies also have grants for non-profit organisations such as Biosphere Expeditions, so why not talk to relevant people in your company? You may have a Corporate Responsibility Manager, or an Environmental Manager or a Communications or Sustainability Manager who may be able to help you.
Some companies are also keen to get their staff involved in non-profit causes and might like to send staff members on an expedition or a taster day, so this is another option you could investigate.
I’m Axinja Munkel from Germany, a veteran of three expeditions with Biosphere Expeditions. My post-expedition enthusiasm and excitement after Altai, Oman and Namibia led to a request from my colleagues at the Bayer Schering Pharma to write about my adventures for the employer magazine. Later the feature was also published on the company’s intranet.
Support critical wildlife conservation and vital research by raising funds for Biosphere Expeditions. There are many ways to do this. Why not organise an event, or take part in a sporting endeavour? It’s fun, a great way to meet people and to do something different to challenge yourself. By raising funds you can make a long-lasting contribution to our wildlife conservation work worldwide.
My name is Serge Thebault and I am a vascular surgeon in France. Together with my wife Cathy, our first expedition with Biosphere Expeditions was to Namibia in 2008 and we went back there in 2010. After our first experience, I joined the Friends of Biosphere Expeditions and then got talking to Kathy Gill about helping to set up a project in France. Now we are talking to the government, NGOs and other people in our country (my neck of the woods is the Pyrenees) in an effort to find a conservation project that would benefit from having Biosphere Expeditions on board. I also talked to my business partners and have so far managed to raise 1000 Euros for Biosphere Expeditions. It’s great to know this will go directly to a good cause that we can be directly involved in and we hope to extend our involvement as our time allows in the future.