Is there a fee to enroll in the AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund program? There is no fee to enroll in the program. AVMF withholds 8% of gifts made on behalf of your practice for administrative purposes. This fee covers the expenses associated with the program such as sending acknowledgment/tax letters to donors, promotional materials, and gift processing.
Does the fund consist of a universal pool of money that I’m able to tap into at any time? No. Each practice that enrolls in the program receives a dedicated URL, which routes your donors to your practice’s online donation form. Your enrolled practice may only access funds donated to your practice’s account by eligible donors (see below).
Can our practice and employees donate to our fund? No. Veterinarians (or anyone else with a financial interest in the practice, including all practice staff members) are prohibited from making gifts directed to their own practice or practice. Similarly, gifts from the practice itself, its parent company, or any affiliates, will not be accepted.
Charitable, tax-deductible gifts can be accepted from clients, friends, supporters, and community members only. Why? The AVMF is a public charity exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. That tax status confers benefits that enhance our impact on the provision of charitable veterinary services. The AVMF must follow strict IRS rules and requirements. One such rule prohibits private individuals from benefitting from AVMF activities. We must avoid circumstances that could be perceived to provide such private benefit. As such, veterinarians, the practice and its affiliates, and others with a financial interest in a clinic/practice may not make charitable gifts directed to their own practice.
Is the money donated to the AVMF for my practice’s VCCF account ours to keep? No. Because your practice is not a charitable organization, The AVMF holds the funds in an account under your practice’s name until you access them by submitting a grant application that meets the VCCF criteria. To honor the intent of the donor to provide charitable veterinary care, funds in the account are only accessible through the submission of grant requests for the charitable care your practice provides.
How am I able to use the money in my account? Grants are awarded specifically to offset the expense to the practice for providing low or no-cost charitable direct veterinary care or shelter to an animal pursuant to the VCCF criteria. Grants will not be awarded to cover the cost of equipment, travel, membership dues, conference attendance, or other non-medical related items.
To expedite grant review, please make sure to provide a clear diagnosis, treatment, and care story in the respective fields on the grant application form prior to submission.
After submitting a grant application, when can I expect to receive payment? In general, please allow 2 to 4 weeks for a standard review of the grant application for compliance with the VCCF criteria, including any necessary follow-up prior to receiving payment from the AVMF.
Am I taxed on the money I receive from grant payments? We recommend that you speak with your financial advisor/accountant to discuss any tax implications involved with your participation in the program.
Is preapproval necessary before I provide care to an animal? Advance approval is not required. Grants are intended to offset expenses incurred by the practice from the veterinary medical services already rendered. Before accepting a charitable case, we recommend that you check your account balance to make sure there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of care if you intend to apply for a grant. It is also important to understand that AVMF has sole discretion to approve or deny grant requests.
Do you provide tax letters for in-kind donations? The AVMF does not provide tax letters for in-kind gifts that assign a dollar value, including medical supplies, raffle prizes, garage sale items, etc. However, the AVMF will provide a letter to the donor acknowledging receipt of the gift.
When I provide charitable care to an animal and receive a grant through the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, is there a way that I can receive recognition for my work? Yes! The AVMF is always looking to promote stories that demonstrate the effectiveness of this program. We want to hear about the inspiring cases you have managed and will do our best to 3 showcase your participation in the program in our AVMF Impact e-newsletter and/or social media pages.
Here is how (please include these items when you submit your grant application):
Submit a paragraph detailing the care you provided, the circumstances associated with the case, and before and after photos.
A quote from the client increases engagement with the story. Make sure to obtain the client’s permission for publicity purposes.
If our practice is sold, what happens to our VCCF fund? The VCCF fund attached to that practice will stay with the practice. It will not “leave” with the outgoing practice owner.