PERC, Inc. –Preservation, Environment, Recreation, Conservation– is an independent, U.S. based charity. Its sole mission is to support charities and community organizations in Abaco. PERC accepts donations from U.S. taxpayers and, in turn, makes donations –that are tax-deductible to the donors— to Bahamian charities that PERC has ‘qualified’ to receive them. PERC is not affiliated with any Bahamian charity or organization.
In technical terms, PERC is a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Under American tax law, U.S. taxpayers can deduct from income that is taxable in the U.S. the value of charitable donations. (Unlike Bahamian citizens, Americans pay taxes on income, which means that reducing the amount of this income produces a corresponding reduction in income taxes.) However, U.S. tax law does not allow a U.S. taxpayer to take a tax deduction for a donation made direct to a non-U.S. entity. But it does allow a full deduction if the taxpayer’s donation is made to an independent U.S. entity that will verify that that non-U.S. entity would qualify as a charitable organization in the U.S. PERC was formed to be that independent U.S. entity for Abaco charities and community organizations.
Typically, the U.S. taxpayer donates to PERC with the request that PERC in turn donate the money to one of the Abaco organizations that PERC has verified. PERC then makes its donation and sends the U.S. taxpayer a receipt to support the U.S. taxpayer’s tax deduction.
PERC hopes –and believes– that this process stimulates more generosity from U.S. taxpayers for the greater benefit of Abaco. For example, if the U.S. taxpayer pays income tax at the highest rates, then that taxpayer’s ‘after-tax’ effect will be the same whether the taxpayer donates $100 directly to a listed Abaco entity, or donates $180 to PERC, with PERC making the donation to the Abaco entity.
During the past decade, PERC has received and processed over $1 million on behalf of Bahamian charities and community organizations. Donors have included not only individuals, but large private and corporate foundations. PERC has handled individual and corporate gifts as large as $25,000 and, occasionally, gifts of appreciated stock on behalf of individuals.
PERC has no paid staff or facilities and it does not charge any administrative fees. PERC retains a small fraction of each donation (the lesser of 2% of each donation or $200.00) in order replenish a small bank balance to cover its out-of-pocket operating expenses, principally liability insurance, legal fees and a web hosting fee.
Although PERC is familiar with most of the charities that PERC supports, in order to fulfill PERC’s internal compliance regulations under U.S. tax law, a completed questionnaire is obtained from each charity that is designed to document its charitable mission and operational bona fides. In addition, each charity is asked to sign a “Use Agreement” that specifies how its funds are deployed and commits the organization to its mission. These documents are on file. PERC’s mission is laid out specifically in its Bylaws and Articles, and a set of internal rules has been adopted to guide the administration of operations. A U.S. not-for-profit tax return is prepared and filed annually. Doug Hyde, who lives with his wife, Margy, in Hope Town during the winter, serves as PERC’s president and treasurer. He volunteers his time.
PERC is governed by an independent board of directors who are, in addition to Doug, Charlotte Boyce, John Gearen, Ruth Harkin and Lindsey McCoy.
More information about PERC, including instructions on how to donate to PERC, is available at <www.percabaco.org>.
The following charities in Hope Town, Man-O-War and Marsh Harbour are qualified to receive donations from PERC, Inc.:
- Abaco Swim Club (Hope Town Pool)
- Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association
- Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization
- Byrle Patterson Memorial Garden
- Elbow Cay Community Association
- Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society
- Every Child Counts
- Friends of Abaco Animals
- Friends of the Environment
- The Gospel Chapel
- Hope Town Junior Sailing
- Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue
- Hope Town Primary Parent Teacher Association
- Man ‘O War Heritage Museum
- Man ‘O War Junior Sailing
- Man ‘O War Primary School
- MOWY Fitness
- New Life Bible Church
- St. John the Baptist Anglican Church
- St. James Methodist Church
- Wyannie Malone Historical Museum