HOW TO GIVE
Although it is being publicized by Amazon and others, the big book, BHUTAN, is not a product for sale in the normal sense. It is offered exclusively and in gratitude to patrons who contribute a gift of $15,000 or more to Friendly Planet. Gifts may be made by check, wire transfer, DTC stock transfer, or credit card (via Amazon.com):
WHERE YOUR GIFT GOES
Our plan is to produce a limited edition (500 copies) of the large book, and build a family of 500 patrons. This would raise approximately $4m in funds — a very handsome gift to support education in Bhutan. Of that, approximately half will be donated to the Ministry of Education in Bhutan (Pema Thinley is the Director General). Bhutan has approximately 350 schools and clear priorities on their resource needs.
Of the remainder, a portion will be set aside in a trust fund (the Friendly Planet Scholars Fund) to endow university educations for the young students in Bhutan, Cambodia and elsewhere who have worked hard to help on these projects. This means that students like Gyelsey, Choki, Lyhow and Cheang will be able to pursue a university education. As this fund grows, it will be used to endow a program of scholarships, student exchanges and small educational gifts.
Remaining funds will be used by Friendly Planet to build new sister school and school exchange programs, and to cover Friendly Planet's nominal operating expections.
Gifts to a 501(c)-3 nonprofit charity like Friendly Planet are tax deductible. When you receive goods or services from the charity in thanks as a quid-pro-quo, your federal income tax deduction is typically the size of your gift minus the fair market value of what you receive.
Thanks to generous sponsorship from HP, Amazon, and FedEx, the current estimated cost of goods for the big book is $6,000 (labor and materials for binding and stand). Friendly Planet donates additional labor and MIT has donated the imagery to make this possible, so that the maximum revenues can be put to good use. When you make a gift you will be given a receipt indicating this. The dollar estimate is subject to change, but essentially it means that you will be able to claim a deduction of $9,000 ($15,000 - $6,000). If you donate the book to a qualified nonprofit institution you can probably deduct the cost of goods as well.
As with all such gifts, consult your financial advisor before filing your tax return.