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Would You Do This?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MMLawn, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    I have been approached by a TRUE Non-Profit Organization about maintaining a piece of their property this year. I know these fine folks very well and and have for many years and they would not in any way be a PITB and would be in fact very good to work with and would be on the money and on time with every single monthly payment and would be under yearly contract. Equipment and manpower of course is not an issue for me and it is in a service area we alreday go into. So...the details...

    The property is a sports "complex" type field consisting of a tad over 4 acres of turf area to be cut and slightly maintained. It is really just one big open fenced in area that has been professionally graded and seeded and is very flat and wide open to cut and is a soccer field and a baseball field on one end and a softball on the other as I said it is all open flat turf except one infield area on each end. The entire turf area is irrigated. The contract would allow a selective to be sprayed on the fence line which would cut out 90% of any trim work, maybe even more. It would be cut 2 times in March, then 4-6 times each month April-Oct, 2-4 times in Nov, 2 times in Dec and nothing in Jan and Feb. It would require a Pre-M and Fert in Spring and another Fert in the Fall. (They would be billed separately at cost plus 20% for the Fert and Pre-M with labor Donated for free in exchange for a Tax write off at our premium hourly price of $100 per man hour per the contract so that price is NOT added in the below). This is the entire contract.

    As they are on a very tight (and legitimate) budget they kinda just told me what they can afford and proposed when they contacted me which was:

    A) The largest Advertising sign they have on the sports property, location decided by me with our info for Free. (This would be seen by hundreds, probably thosaunds of folks during the year).

    B) Free advertisments in all of their yearly publications which are normally 2 major ones and 1-2 smaller ones.

    C) and $6900 yearly contract billed monthly Jan-Dec....which I know only comes to around a $140 per cut (Remember Fert is billed as a stand alone) which is low, but considering the turf area is again WIDE open space really, along with the advertising factor and the savings there and the fact that I like these folks there is more to consider than the checks for $6900 in my mind.
  2. GrassMasterNC

    GrassMasterNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Jump on it! The price is, as you said, a bit low, but coupled with the write off for the advertising factored in - and as long as you can float the overhead, you'll come out ahead in many ways! On a side note, what did they require for Insurance?

  3. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    Go for it!
  4. Gautreaux's LNG

    Gautreaux's LNG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 379

    Yep, I would do it.
  5. Updog

    Updog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    As long as you make money. Non profits usually pay more though they have so much money they have to spend all of it. Maybe they are young and growing if you go with them it could mean well paying jobs in the future. I was asked by a friend to bid on mowing their nonprofits location, small lawn 2 men 15 min. max. I told them 40 is our minimum they said no we need to pay you 300 per month. We keep the place looking great! :waving:
  6. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    Have you consulted with an ACCOUNTANT to see if the TAX angle is legal?

    Secondly, I wouldn't put too much "value" into the signage. I have a buddy here that did 4 baseball diamonds at a local school for signage on the fences of the diamonds and VERY LITTLE CASH. Even though there were literally more than 1000 kids (with parents) there on almost a daily basis during the summer baseball season, HE DID NOT GET ONE CALL from those signs!

  7. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 592

    You might want to have your accountant/professional tax guy look into your proposition for the $100/hr free labor tax writeoff thing. There was a discussion here that got very lengthy on this exact issue... I'm not sure if a concussion was ever reached or not.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Mike, I would probably do it.
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    It is not an issue with the IRS if it does not exceed what you would normally charge and this does not. Have done it for many years for NP's and it has even survived an IRS Audit :realmad: . The major key is the NP really being a IRS Registered NP and the donated work something that "really" needed doing and the cost being justifible and then lastly getting the "donation" form in writing that is required by the IRS. Also real break point for the IRS is where they really get concerned is $2500.00 per donation and it would be no where near that amount. Of course you also can't very well show $10K in income and $50K in donations on your 1040 ;)

    GrassMaster my Commerical Liability policy is for $5M. They required $2M.
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    <i>They would be billed separately at cost plus 20% for the Fert and Pre-M with labor Donated for free in exchange for a Tax write off at our premium hourly price of $100 per man hour per the contract so that price is NOT added in the below)</i>
    You won't be able to write off $100 per man hour.You'll be counting this as a loss,and as such,you can only write off (what it actually costs you) to perform this service.So if you're paying two guys $6 per hour and you're making $10 per hour,then $22 per hour,plus taxes and such,can be written off.Then you have to figure in other overhead,like gas used,percentage of insurance used,etc.,,
    It's going to be more of a headache trying to justify the write-off than it would ever be worth.
    Just my opinion.Make sure you talk to a CPA concerning this.Especially about the "write off" information.

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