If you declare taxes in the United States, yes. We are a 501(c)(3) charity certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Ask your accountant what is the best way to reflect your donations in your federal tax return. If you declare taxes in some country other than the U.S., it will depend. Some countries recognize charities based in the U.S. for tax purposes, consult with your accountant before filling out any tax-related form in your country.
First, we are regulated and overseen by the IRS – Internal Revenue Service (federal fiscal institution of the United States). Second, we hold transparency as one of our core values, therefore every time that we use your donation to donate goods to the USB or scholarship/teaching awards you will see either a video with a testimonial showing the goods or explaining the impact in a beneficiary (in case it was a scholarship or an award) that your donation had. You can check those videos on our social media or on our accomplishments section on our website. Finally, the USB approves every donation in their Directors Meeting (Consejo Directivo) so you can check directly with them what was received and the value of the goods.
We use a trusted courier company to deliver the goods (equipment, books, reagents, supplies) directly to the USB. It’s the same company we have worked with since 2016 when we started sending donations to the USB. They do the logistics required for the goods to go through customs and then to the USB directly. Then the Department of Public Relations (Dirección de Relaciones Interinsticionales) checks every donation box, and verifies that everything we sent is there, and we give them the department that the donation is intended to and we inform the person responsible so it can arrange a pick up from the Public Relations office where the persons signs a document confirming receipt.
For larger projects, the USB authorities decide based on urgency and priority and let us know what those projects are. After that, we pick based on our current capacity to raise funds which and how to address those needs. For smaller projects, we use a Contest/Challenge scheme where the USB departments and laboratories send us their needs and we pick a few (from 5 to 15) to compete for your support using social media and videos. In the later case, you decide what the priorities are.
All equipment is processed as property of the university before pick up by the person in charge of the respective department. This makes it difficult for the goods to be taken out of campus. Also, the crisis in the USB is so dire that everyone knows when a new equipment is donated, so everyone will notice if it were to go missing.
We as an organization have no ties to the Asociacion de Egresados USB. They are a Professional Guild with activists and political activities. We only share the interest of a better USB, but AlumnUSB is a charity organization so we don’t take part (and can’t by law) in activism or political agendas. AlumnUSB is focused in donating to the USB and promoting networking between alumni abroad and US-based organizations. Another difference is that we don’t charge for memberships and we don’t offer special discounts or benefits, besides connecting you with products/services that will donate part of your payment for them. Finally, we are not and neither seek to represent Alumni in university-related committees of any kind as the Asociacion de Egresados USB does.