Gnome away from home

A post shared by Henry Bellagnome (@tourism_gnome) on

This is an Instagram account of a garden gnome -- Henry Bellagnome -- visiting various spots around the Capital Region. That is all.

OK, one or two more things. It's a way to catch attention for the Capital District Community Development Foundation, which is focused on promoting local tourism and businesses.

Also: One of the best things about the feed of pics is watching the look on the people's faces who have their pics taken with the gnome -- like you can see them trying to decide how much they should commit to the scene.

(Thanks, C.)


It's cute but also raising some red flags. The "capital district" branding has been phased out by NYS, so while it seems sort of official at first glance, it is clearly not.

The web site says it is a product of the "Capital District Community Development Foundation" but I don't see a 990 for such a foundation, nor does the name come up in the Charities Bureau Registry. Though they do have a donation button.

Can AOA confirm this is legit?

It's not a registered nonprofit organization. The "donate" button is linked to a Patreon page, so money given to this group would not be tax-deductible.

They state on the Patreon page: "When I reach $200 per month I will donate $50 each month to a different community group towards activities such as a community garden, farmer's market, concerts, etc." This is excellent, but again, people who contribute to this Patreon account would not be making a tax-deductible donation, and are not guaranteed to be supporting charitable nonprofit organizations.

It's a cute marketing/tourism promotion campaign, and I wish them lots of success... but they should be clearer about their charitable status.

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