Doodle staffers Jack Bunny and Dash, on why it's better to give to legitimate nonprofits and why the IRS wants you to dig into their information basket.
Photo of Jack Bunny and Dash by Joe the Cat.
Editor's note: Jack Bunny is a carrot wrangler and dangler who claims a familiar connection to legendary anarchist Bugs Bunny. Dash is a former detective and print journalist who turned to Doodling just to get a crack at Nigel's gin cabinet.
JACK BUNNY: Nothing quite like a surprise in the basket.
DASH: Nothing like an anarchist rabbit to spring something on an unsuspecting public on Easter.
JACK BUNNY: Hey, when I promise a basket of goods and the return of warm weather, you can rely on it. I'm not one for empty baskets ... or empty promises.
DASH: My reporter's nose detects some rabbit's foot trickery here. So, tell us, Jack, how do you fill an Easter basket and what should a body look for? How do we sort the good eggs from the rotten ones?
JACK BUNNY: Here's the deal. Easter baskets: sure, everything looks great. You have your nice woven basket full of hard-boiled eggs and candy, or maybe presents or a combo. Maybe you have a chocolate rabbit with a good set of ears. All of it is brought to you by an Easter Bunny representative and all of it is a surprise, meant to herald the arrival of Spring. It's all good stuff.
DASH: Where's the downside?
JACK BUNNY: You've been given this gift, and maybe you've given one or two. You're in a good mood. You're eating chocolate and sugar after all. Eggs are a source of protein. You have it all in that basket. Things seem good, at least on the surface.
DASH: But ... they're not?
JACK BUNNY: There's always someone out there, some miscreant soul, who shoves that rotten egg into the basket, or some bogus treat. It really puts my ears in a twist. Because, remember, all of this Easter basket stuff is a public service of us Easter Bunnies. We're a nonprofit organization of long-standing, recognized by the IRS.
DASH: You're performing a public service, and you do receive donations from people who help you fill and deliver baskets....
JACK BUNNY: Oh, yes. In fact, we rely upon goodwill and volunteers and cold, hard, cash. You know how much the price of sugar has gone up?
DASH: What's the crux of the problem?
JACK BUNNY: Believe it or not, and who wouldn't believe an Easter Bunny, there are bogus "charities" out there. Yessir. There are rotten eggs in this nonprofit basket, and a coupla rotten chicks who think it's better to take than it is to give.
DASH: Spill the beans, Jack. Give us the straight dope. Who are these rotten eggs?
JACK BUNNY:Chicks. Rotten chicks. Bogus nonprofits, stealing from people and Easter Bunnies. Dogs, too.
DASH: Chicks pretending to be goody-goodies and stealing from dogs, huh? Oh, I don't like the sound of that. Who are these chicks? What's their game? Are they into nonprofits that are NOT nonprofits? Jeepers. What a story. What a scam.
JACK BUNNY: Scam, it is. Even in these worsening economic times, there are still lots of generous folks who want to give and help others...
DASH: Sure. Sure, there are. But when these folks give to bogus nonprofits, they think they're already helped someone, and they may not be inclined to give to legitimate nonprofits. So, you could say ...
JACK BUNNY: Let's not dangle carrots. Call it what it is ... they're stealing from bunnies and dogs.
DASH: What's a body to do?
JACK BUNNY: Leave it to your anarchist Easter Bunny representative to tell you. You're a taxpayer, right? Well, the IRS has a wonderful search engine for nonprofits that YOU'VE paid for. Why not use it and check out these organizations? And, if you're still confused with the results, just call the IRS at their toll-free number.
DASH: Where is this IRS search engine? Is it in your basket?
JACK BUNNY: Yep. And you don't have to dig deep: go to IRS Publication 78, online search for charities. There's also a number on that site that you can call to talk to a friendly IRS representative. And, believe me, I've spoken to a few and they are friendly.
DASH: This is swell.
JACK BUNNY: There's more! If you want to do more, you can make a request of the nonprofit (or alleged nonprofit) you're interested in and request their IRS exemption particulars. They're required, by law, to have it ready for public disclosure.
DASH: The organization doesn't have a choice, does it? Those chicks can't give you the runaround?
JACK BUNNY: Dash, in my experience, rotten chicks will always try and give you the runaround. You just have to report them to the authorities when they do. Those chicks have to come clean with that IRS stuff. You can read about it at at the IRS site, here.
DASH: Jack, this has been one heckuva Easter surprise.
JACK BUNNY: You're telling me. I thought everybody knew this stuff. Oh, well, Spring, as they say, has sprung!