State and local associations across the country have been inundated with calls from members wanting to contribute to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
If you receive calls, here is some essential information to pass on.
First: Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for members on the main hurricane relief page, which are frequently updated. You're free to post this FAQ at your association Web site.
Also, for associations, there's this info:
Q. Should I direct members to donate to my association or directly to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation?
A. Because the situation in the affected areas is so dire, speed is of the essence. Therefore, direct contributions to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation are encouraged.
Q. Will NAR be able to track how many of my members donated to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation?
A. Although that's possible, because individual member donations often arrive as a lump sum through a state or local association, NAR can't tell which individuals have contributed.
Q. Will NAR issue tax receipts to my members if we collect the funds and send one check to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation?
NAR encourages associations that are collecting donations from their members to send those individual checks directly to NAR. A check made out directly to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and deposited into the foundation account provides contributors with the best proof that their donation was made to a 501(c)3 organization. Contributors can use their cancelled check as a tax receipt. Also, members who donate $250 or more will receive a donation acknowledgement letter by Jan. 31, 2006.
Stay tuned to this page for more FAQs.
If you have questions on how your association should respond to members, send them to Carolyn Schwaar.