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Let's donate hotel points to get rooms for homeless people!

Let's donate hotel points to get rooms for homeless people!

Old Oct 26, 20, 12:08 pm
  #1  
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Lightbulb Let's donate hotel points to get rooms for homeless people!

I am working with a few churches and community groups here in Charleston SC to provide short-term rooms to those in need, such as Homeless Helpers Charleston and Charleston Uplift, both on Facebook. I bet there are many FTers who have some extra points in Choice, Wyndham, Radisson, IHG who would donate a night or 2 to them or to similar groups in their own communities. Hilton and Marriott points work nicely because they are transferable without fee, so FTers can donate small amounts of orphan points.
Who has ideas on how to make this work?
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Old Oct 27, 20, 6:30 pm
  #2  
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many nonprofits accept point (or mile) donations, i think they work out a deal with the hotel (or airline) company in question

also interesting on a related note that one can get under $5000/yr in donations and let donors get tax deduction without any paperwork (as long as it is legit, i would assume very bad results if something not legit was discovered by IRS)

check to see if local governments are involved with hotels along these lines and whether there are opportunities to partner

some small indie hotels might trade rooms for work, this org works with apartment buildings > Home - Shelters to Shutters

hopefully more orgs enter this space legitimately (vs charities with high salaries) , i may explore working on one in future

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Oct 27, 20 at 7:29 pm
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Old Oct 31, 20, 12:38 pm
  #3  
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Kagehitokiri, the trouble is that many of those donation programs convert the points/ miles to cash for the charities at a very poor exchange rate! The member donates enough to get a $100--200 airline ticket or hotel room(s) while the charity gets a measly $25 cash!
I'm suggesting booking hotel rooms with our points for persons in need, or programs where the points are transferred fee-free into a charity's big points account, from which their volunteers/ employees book rooms or flights at normal (or negotiated discounted) points rates. The present Fisher House programs are one example.
Also, I bet many FTers have a few myriads of orphan Wyndham or Choice points but are not keen on getting a 2-night stay at Ramada or Comfort Inn for themselves.
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Old Nov 2, 20, 12:35 am
  #4  
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I sincerely doubt one can take any US tax deductions for contributions of points, as the IRS has allowed most forms of points accumulation (not all) to not be subject to traces. This issue comes up on FT periodically, and whether airline or hotel points, no tax deductions are allowed.
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Old Nov 2, 20, 2:43 pm
  #5  
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like you said, fisher house is an example of actually booking using awards, presumably same for some other medical orgs

i'm pretty sure i recall seeing orgs SAY they do that in the past, but dont recall whether missions were as specific as fisher house

while homeless can be a tougher issue, media suggests many hotels/apartments in NYC are being used right now..

i was not saying anything about deducting donations of points, and i dont think OP was either
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Old Nov 2, 20, 8:15 pm
  #6  
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True, neither Kagehitokiri nor I wrote anything about tax-deductibility. Indeed, JDiver, donations of points are NOT US-tax deductible, because they are not taxable income in the first place.
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