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If you’re donating to Heritage Foundation with a non-US credit card, do it by phone or PayPal, not on their website

January 1st, 2015 at 08:46am

The Heritage Foundation, like most US organisations which can accept tax-deductible donations, is in the last stages of their end-of-year appeal. This is an important time of year for such US organisations as it is the end of the tax year for donation purposes, just like in Australia at the end of June when our tax year ends. Of course, being an Australian, I’m not eligible for any tax rebate for donating to a US organisation.

Like most organisations, Heritage is flooding supporters with email requests for donations, and including a link to the donation form on their website. Unfortunately this form has a bug which causes it to not handle transactions involving non-US credit cards properly. The transaction will succeed, but the page will claim it was declined and advise you to check the address you entered. It wasn’t until the third attempt that I worked this out…so yes, silly me did just give them triple the donation I meant to give.

The good news is that Heritage believe they can reverse the unintended payments…but not until Monday morning their time when some of their senior staff are back on deck, and by then I figure it will cost them extra in fees because my bank will have finished processing the payments, so I won’t bother and instead will just not donate to them for a while. I will call them back on Monday to make sure their senior staff are aware of the issue though.

So, if you’re using a non-US credit card and want to donate to The Heritage Foundation, their website buries a contact number ((800) 546-2843) and a link to a PayPal page (to which I won’t link…if you want to use it, go via the above link to the Heritage website rather than trusting a direct link to PayPal from my site) half way down an FAQ page. If only I’d seen that earlier.

Meanwhile I was also going to donate to Hillsdale College’s end-of-year campaign, but their website doesn’t accept non-US postal addresses (due to the same problems which Heritage have, perhaps?) and they have to be called by phone. Unfortunately they went home before 5PM eastern time, so that will have to wait until next week.

I did, however, donate to the Institute Of Public Affairs‘ end-of-year campaign (although why they have one at the end of the year, apart from it being a nice date, escapes me).

It is nice to start 2015 on a conservative note by supporting these organisations, even if it is requiring more effort than I was expecting.


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness,Samuel News

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  • 1. nbrettoner  |  January 1st, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Happy New 2015 & belated Christmas Greetings Samuel,

    I trust you & family have been & continue to enjoy same. πŸ˜‰
    By supporting the above-mentioned US organizations, do you then have some ‘membership-like’ access to their information etc?.
    Pease I do not wish to appear in any way critical, but rather just interested in perhaps why someone would care to support these organizations?. I am sure you have very good reasons to do so. But me being ignorant especially in such worldly matters, and perhaps others too, would be interested in being unignorantized (Very First Brand New Word for our Brand New 2015 πŸ™‚ , perhaps in a firstcoming (I hate fourthcoming!!) expose` in the future (unspecified time period). ?.
    It may make imho an interesting & enlightening blog post?.
    PS hope to be in Canberra around mid-May. Will be in touch when I have my2015 sojourn itinerary sorted. πŸ™‚

  • 2. Samuel  |  January 1st, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Hello, Merry Christmas, and Happy Calendar Greetings Noel.

    Those are very good questions. My reasons for supporting each of those organisations are similar but vary a little between organisations, and what I get out of that support varies as well.

    Both Heritage Foundation and the Institute of Public Affairs do some great work in researching conservative principles and how they relate to modern issues, as well as advancing conservative ideas in public discourse and to politicians.

    Heritage’s research is often of great benefit to other conservative organisations around the world, but more importantly in my view, the US is a key ally for Australia and other freedom-loving countries, but by straying from its conservative and constitutional principles, it puts that position at risk, and in turn puts Australia at risk. Heritage’s work is therefore important in helping to keep the US in a position which is of benefit to Australia.

    The Institute of Public Affairs advances conservative ideas in Australia and helps to guide some politicians (although I fear not enough are listening). I doubt the Liberal Party would have had the courage to follow-through on the repeal of the carbon tax if it hadn’t been for the support of the IPA.

    As for Hillsdale College, they do less general conservative advocacy work but are very focussed on the US constitution and ensuring people understand it properly. This, in my view, is extremely important in keeping the US on a conservative track. Their primary role is as a tertiary education institution (and they take no federal government money to do it), but in addition are working to expand and support non-government funded constitutionally-based primary and secondary education services to communities which want it. They also offer a bunch of free online courses to the public (as part of their advocacy efforts) on the US constitution and related matters.

    Hillsdale have been very kind to me in that, despite the fact I’m in Australia, they post “Imprimis” their monthly publication of conservative speeches to me. They also provided me with a guided tour of their campus (I only asked them if they had any rules regarding visitors who have no official business on their campus, and they offered a tour) which took valuable time out of the day for some of their staff. I have not had the opportunity to financially support them until now, and so am glad to be able to do so, and hope to continue to do so.

    In regards to what I get out of the donations.

    Heritage: I did not sign up for a membership. Membership would sign you up for extra publications etc, but I receive more than enough information from them as it is, plus I can’t do anything with or for them from within the US. That said, I think my donation will cause me to receive some of their member correspondence.

    IPA: I am a member and pay an annual fee. This signs me up for extra publications and invitations to events. I’m happy to donate a bit extra without further reward as I generally support their work.

    Hillsdale: I won’t receive anything in exchange for my donation, but helping to fund their work is a reward to me anyway.

    I hope you are able to make it to Canberra later this year Noel, and I look forward to seeing you again.


January 2015

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