Asha CentralNJ/Princeton Marathon:
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much money does each runner pledge to raise when joining the program?
Each runner is encouraged to target raising $100/mile, i.e., $2600 for the full marathon(26.2 miles), $1300 for the half marathon(13.1 miles), $310 for the 5k and $500 for 8k. However, the minimum pledge amount that each runner is absolutely required to raise is $50/mile for the full marathon ($1310), $65/mile for half marathon ($850), $87.50/mile for the 8k ($350) and $70/mile for the 5k ($250).
- Is the pledge amount different for students and past runners?
Yes, students and past runners pledge to raise a minimum of $55/mile for the 5k ($200), $62.50/mile for the 8k ($250), $50/mile for the half marathon ($650) or $38/mile for the full marathon ($1000).
- Is there a deadline by which time the money has to be raised?
Yes. Asha-CNJ funds projects on a yearly basis, and since funding decisions are taken at the beginning of each calendar year, Decemeber 31st is the deadline posted for all fundraising by the runners.
- What does committing to the Asha's marathon program mean?
Asha-CNJ has to keep its promise of funding the various projects that it supports year over year, and relies entirely on the success of its fundraising activities (such as the marathon program) to keep its promises. Hence, each runner is required to guarantee that he/she will raise the pledge amount, failing which, he/she will donate the difference amount towards the funding of projects supported by Asha-CNJ. At the time of commitment (following the 6-week trial period), each runner is required to sign a letter stating these terms, and to provide Asha-CNJ with a credit card number as a guarantee. Note, however, that from Asha-CNJ's past marathon program experiences, most runners easily raise the pledged minimum.
- If a runner has to unavoidably drop out in the middle of the training program (due to injury, other commitments), what happens to the runner's committment to Asha-CNJ?
We believe that runners participate in the program with the sincere intent of raising funds for the cause, hence the committment will be voided in the unfortunate event that the runner has to leave the program. However, the initial training fee of $15 (for 8k or 5k) or $50 (for the half-marathon or full-marathon) will not be refunded.
- What kinds of donations are accepted? Is there a preferred mode of donating?
At present time, Asha for Education (AfE) accepts donations made by writing a cheque or on Asha's website (use the 'Donate' link on the specific runner's profile page please) using a credit card (Visa or Mastercard). The preferred mode of payment is online using a credit card. But, AfE pays a small fee for each online credit card transaction. Therefore, if you wish to make every dollar count, then a cheque made out to 'Asha for Education' would be the way to go. Though cash donations are also accepted, it is difficult to handle and is the least preferred way to donate.
- Where should my donor send a check?
Please make the cheque out to: 'Asha for Education' with 'Marathon 2009 for <Runner Name>' printed in the memo, and mail it to:
Asha for Education
(Central New Jersey)
1308 Centennial Ave, Suite 117
Piscataway, NJ 08854
- What is this address (personal, postbox)?
This is a Postbox address.
- My donor has handed me a check/cash. Who should I give this to?
You may hand the check/cash to any of the Asha-CNJ volunteers, preferably the treasurer. Some opportunities to meet Asha-CNJ's volunteers include: Sunday morning training runs, bi-monthly Asha-CNJ meetings on Saturday, Rutgers campus strolls, etc. You may also mail the cheque to the above listed postal address, ensuring that the memo is filled in as requested above.
- Are credit card donations on AfE's server safe? What security measures are taken?
Yes. All sensitive information passing over the Internet between this site and your computer is encrypted before it is transmitted. AfE and Authorizenet (our credit card processor) use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology.
- Can donations be made from overseas donors? What are the means?
If the donor has an international accepted Credit Card (Visa/Mastercard), he/she may use it to make an online donation from the link provided on the runner's profile webpage. Else, the donor may visit his/her bank and make a US Dollar cheque and mail it to the New Jersey, USA address mentioned above.
- Does AfE accept cash donations in currencies other than US dollars?
No, sorry, US dollars only.
- My overseas donor does not have a appropriate credit card and cannot write dollar cheques? How can he/she still donate?
A couple of alternatives: (a.) the donor could borrow a friend's international credit card to make the donation online and the friend in cash, or, (b.) you can make the donation yourself(credit card, cheque), and then personally collect the money from the said donor when you meet next.
- My overseas donor is having problems using his credit card to donate online, who should I contact about this?
Please send an email to the treasurer with as much details of the problem encountered. Contact details of treasurer can be found here.
Track the Fundraising
- How is fundraising for each runner tracked by Asha?
Each runner is provided a webpage and donation link (specific to the runner) to present to his potential donors. The individualized donation link allows Asha-CNJ to match each online donation towards the fundraising of a specific runner. Similarly, Asha-CNJ maintains a log of donations received in the form of cheques (or cash) along with the runner information. While, Asha-CNJ maintains a thorough internal record of all of this information, this information is also tracked online on the webpage provided to each runner. Note that it is extremely important that the runner instruct his/her donor to make online donations using only the link provided on the individualized webpage. This is the only way Asha can track donations towards the specific runner.
- Is the runner informed when a donor donates online using a credit card?
Yes, credit card donations are not only instantantly acknowleded to the donor, but is also reported to the specific runner. The information is also automatically updated on the runner's marathon page. The email notification, however, is only sent to the runner on the following day of the donation. Please check your Spam/Bulk folder before reporting any loss of such notification.
- Is the runner notified when a donor donates by mailing a cheque directly to Asha-CNJ?
When a cheque is received in the mailbox (address given above) with the memo stating the runner's name, we will send the runner an email notification, and also enter the details of the cheque in the fundraising log of the runner's marathon page.
- Can the runner update the fundraising log when he/she receives a cheque/cash donation before handing them over to Asha-CNJ?
Yes, the individualized webpage also provides an interface to list and track cheque, cash and matching donations (see below). Runners can log on to their marathon webpage account (which is also used to personalie the webpage) and follow the "My Fundraising" link to list such donations. Once these donations are handed over to Asha-CNJ, the status of such listed donations will be marked as 'Received'. Note: Please hand over cheques to any of Asha-CNJ's officers/volunteers (preferably the treasurer) as early as possible since they have an expiration date. It also reduces the duration for which the cheque is 'outstanding' from the perspective of the donor.
- Once Asha-CNJ receives a cheque, how long does it take for it to be deposited?
It typically takes 2-4 weeks from the time the cheque is received. AfE maintains a central banking system across most of its chapters and the transit time to the central treasury accounts for this delay.
- Are receipts sent to the donor for donations made?
Yes, all donations of $50 or more (or if a receipt is explicitly requested during an online donation) are automatically acknowledged by Asha-CNJ through either an electronic receipt document sent over email or a printed receipt sent to the postal address. Note that this receipt is separate from the simple acknowledgement sent immediately following an online donation. Receipts for smaller amounts can be obtained at any time by sending an email to one of the Asha-CNJ treasurers at the email provided here.
- What is it? Do all companies have such a program?
Many companies match donations from their employees to obtain tax benefits and to serve the community. It is a wonderful opportunity for the runner to receive double the original donation!!! Click here for more info and a partial list of organizations that have a matching-donation program.
- How does it work?
Companies handle matching donations in different ways and quite commonly through an outside organization. Most companies simply require a receipt from the target organization (required to be incorporated in the US & non-profit) to be submitted along with a form. Some companies after receiving a request from their employee sends a letter to the organization requesting a confirmation. Asha-CNJ requires such requests to be sent to the same postal address as mentioned above for mailing cheques.
However, some companies maintain an internal database of the set of organizations that can benefit from such matching donations. The company may have a set of requirements for organizations to qualify for the program. Several companies, not limited to the Tri-state area, already have 'Asha for Education' on their list. Please lookup your company's matching donation program and make best use of it!
- 'Asha for Education' is not listed in the company's list of organizations for matching donations. What can I do?
Please encourage the donor to lookup the procedure to add an organization to such a list (contact the HR department). Asha-CNJ will provide any assistance in terms of documents and other information that may help satisfy the company's requirements.
- 'Asha for Education' is listed, but has a different address (not the one for Asha-CNJ) in the company's database. What should I do?
'Asha for Education' has multiple chapters across US. However, all chapters are associated under a single organization with a single tax id. Even so, due to the overheads and inaccuracy involved in forwarding matching donations, it is most prudent to direct confirmation forms and the matching donation cheques to the chapter the particular runner is associated with. Please speak with your HR department to explain this situation and request that an additional address corresponding to the Asha-CNJ chapter be added to the companies database. Asha-CNJ, and future donors from the company thank you for taking this effort. Thanks!
- How is a matching donation accounted to a particular runner?
Subsequent to the above steps, i.e., once the company has verified the original donation, the company will mail out a cheque to Asha-CNJ. Either an accompanying letter or a memo on the cheque mentions the original donation, which will be used by Asha-CNJ to track and log the matching donations towards the fundraising efforts of the runner that received the original donation.
- How can I track a matching donation as part of my overall fundraising?
A matching donation finally amounts to another cheque sent directly from the company to Asha-CNJ. Hence the steps to tracking a matching donation are identical to tracking a cheque donation, refer to the 'Receiving Donations' section above.
Donations and Tax
- Are donations to AfE tax deductible? Is AfE a 501c(3) organization?
Yes, all donations to AfE are 100% tax deductible. AfE is a registered 501c(3) organization.
- What is the tax-id for AfE? Is this different for different chapters?
AfE's tax id is 77-0459884. This is the same for all chapters of AfE in the US.
- How does Asha-CNJ use the collected funds?
The collected funds will be used for the current active projects funded by the Asha-CNJ chapter, and also to start new projects. Please visit our Projects page to know more about these projects.
- Can a runner/donor request that funds raised/donated be used for a specific project?
Although this is not entirely infeasible, it would be dependent on other factors such as the current set of projects supported by Asha-CNJ, total amount of funds raised, and any prior funding commitments made by Asha-CNJ. Please get in touch with Asha-CNJ's officers to mention your request.
- Is Asha related to United Way?
United Way is another charity org. that runs several programs with various companies. Within a company an employee can donate to United Way (it'll benefit charity programs in the local area) or they can choose to donate to a different charity organization and United Way will channel that money.
Employees can choose to send it to Asha for Education - Central NJ chapter. Asha-CNJ is registered with United Way and the registration code is:
Address 1308 Centennial Avenue, Suite 117, Piscataway, NJ 08854
Acct. Code: 2055
If your donor was looking to donate towards your fundraising through United Way, as you can see from the above indirections, it would be quite difficult to track the donation to your name - it would be way simple if the donation is made directly from your marathon webpage.
- How can a runner track how the funds raised by him/her is being used?
Please come and join us in Asha-CNJ's bi-weekly meetings where volunteers discuss funds requirement, progress reports, site visits, and many other details and issues regarding the funded projects. Please see our home page for meeting details.