Gift Acceptance Policy
[NAME OF ORGANIZATION] (the "Organization"), a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established under the laws of the State of [GOVERNING LAWS], encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to help the Organization advance its mission.
1. Purpose. This Policy applies to all gifts offered to the Organization for any of its programs or services or for general operating needs. It sets out the conditions for the Organization's acceptance of gifts and provides guidance to prospective donors.
2. General Policy
2.1. Routine Gifts. The Organization gratefully accepts the unconditional donation of all "routine gifts." In this Policy, a "routine gift" means a gift of cash or publicly-traded securities or a pledge of cash or such securities.
2.2. All Other Gifts. Any prospective gifts need the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee, unless an exemption is otherwise available under this Policy.
2.3. Right of Refusal. The Organization will refuse any prospective gift that it believes is too restrictive in purpose or not in its best interest.
2.4. Questionable Gifts. The acceptance of a questionable gift or the decision to fulfill a questionable request from a donor will be brought to the Board of Directors (the "Board").
2.5. Committee Discussion. The Board's discussion will be guided by consistency with our mission and the preservation and continuance of our Organization in the community.
3. Gift Acceptance Committee
3.1. Designation. The [BOARD COMMITTEE] shall serve as the Gift Acceptance Committee. The Committee may consult with legal counsel at its discretion.
3.2. Responsibility. The Gift Acceptance Committee is responsible for
(a) properly screening and accepting all gifts other than routine gifts, and
(b) recommending to the Board of Directors any changes to this Policy that the Committee considers appropriate.
4. Use of Legal Counsel
4.1. Use by Both Parties. Use of legal counsel by both the donor and the Organization is advantageous to all parties. The Organization cannot serve as both the donor's advisor and the beneficiary of the donor's gifts. Therefore potential donors should be advised to consult independent tax and legal counsel before making any gifts.
4.2. Use by Organization. The Organization may seek the advice of its own legal counsel when it considers it appropriate.
4.3. Recommended Use. Review by the Organization's legal counsel is recommended for:
(a) closely-held stock transfers that are subject to any restrictions,
(b) gifts involving contracts (such as bargain sales) or other documents requiring the Organization to assume an obligation,
(c) transactions with any potential conflict of interest, and
(d) other instances deemed appropriate by the Gift Acceptance Committee.
5. Appraisals. If the claimed deduction for an item is $[5,000] or more, a qualified appraisal is required to substantiate the deduction. (See IRS publication 561 for more detail.) The Organization requires appraisals, prepared by an independent and qualified appraiser, for all gifts of real property, regardless of the claimed deduction. The cost of any appraisal is for the donor.
6. Confidentiality. Information learned by any member of the Organization, whether by Board member, staff, or volunteer, about a donor or the donor's assets or philanthropic intentions will be held in strict confidence, regardless of whether a gift is made.
7. Donor Conflict of Interest. The Organization urges donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and/or financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences.
8. Gifts Generally Accepted without Review. The following policies apply to both outright gifts of property and the gifts of property via a trust or other planned giving instrument. The following gifts are acceptable under the conditions and guidelines outlined below:
8.1. Cash. Cash gifts can take the form of currency, coin, checks, money orders, or bank drafts. Checks, money orders, and bank drafts should be made payable to "[ORGANIZATION]," stating the donor's designation of the gift, if any.
8.2. Securities. The Organization accepts both publicly-traded and closely-held securities.
(a) Publicly-Traded Securities
(i) Sale. Publicly-traded securities will generally be sold as soon as possible upon receipt.
(ii) Use of Funds. The funds from sale, less any transaction costs such as commission, fees, etc., will be directed to the appropriate program.
(iii) Gift Date. The gift date will be recorded as the day the securities are officially transferred to the Organization either directly to an Organization brokerage account or in person with signed certificates or stock power attached.
(b) Closely-Held Securities
(i) Acceptance. Closely-held securities (which include debt and equity positions in non-publicly-traded companies and interests in limited liability partnerships (LLP) and limited liability corporations (LLC)) may be accepted after consultation with legal counsel.
(ii) Review. Before acceptance, the Organization will review these gifts to determine that
(1) there are no restrictions on the securities that would prevent the Organization from converting them to cash in a timely manner
(2) they are marketable, and
(3) they will not generate any undesirable tax consequences for the Organization.
(iii) Repurchase. No commitment for repurchase of closely-held securities will be made before completion of the gift of the securities.
8.3. Real Estate
(a) Ability to Accept. Our ability to accept gifts of real property is influenced by a variety of factors including marketability of the property, any carrying costs (taxes, mortgages, etc.), and any risks the Organization may incur by accepting the property.
(b) Conditions to Acceptance. Before acceptance, the following conditions must be met:
(i) Property Information. The donor must provide the Organization with the property's address, parcel number, description, title history, current survey, along with information on any existing leases, taxes, carrying costs, and any other information requested by the Organization.
(ii) Property Value. The donor will provide information regarding the value of the property and current market conditions.
(iii) Visual Inspection. An Organization staff person or designated representative will undertake an initial visual inspection of the property to determine its condition.
(iv) Environmental Concerns. The donor will provide a written statement to the effect that he or she is not aware of any actual or potential environmental problems within the area where the property is located or, if aware, the nature and scope of any such problems. Specific problems may include hazardous waste, underground storage tanks, excessive noise, air pollution, pollution of surface or ground water on the site or flowing through the site, regulated wetlands, endangered species, and any other known or potential problems or notices of violation.
(v) Environmental Audit. In order to protect the Organization from the high risk associated with accepting environmentally contaminated property, all proposed gifts of real property, including gifts from estates, will be subject to an environmental audit performed at the donor's expense. The Organization may consider an existing assessment if it has been conducted within the past six months and is related to previously existing contamination, not ongoing contamination. All prospective donors should be informed of this requirement as early in the process as possible, as discovery of a potential problem may have an economic impact on them, whether the Organization accepts the gift or not.
(vi) Right to Sell. Real property will generally only be accepted as a gift if the Organization is free to do whatever it chooses with the property. In most cases, the Organization will attempt to dispose of the property within one year. The Organization reserves the right to sell the donated property for whatever it deems to be an appropriate value.
(vii) Fees and Expenses. Before accepting the gift, the Organization and the donor will agree in writing as to all fees and expenses associated with the conveyance of the property. Valuation of the property for tax purposes will be determined according to the most current IRS guidelines and regulations.
(viii) Shared Ownership. The Organization may decline gifts that are part pooled income funds, limited partnerships, time shares or other shared ownership arrangements.
8.4. Tangible Personal Property
(a) Acceptance. The Organization accepts gifts of tangible personal property such art, coins, and other collectibles, jewelry, furniture, equipment, boats, and vehicles.
(b) Unusual Property. The Organization will also accept unusual items such as frequent flyer miles and savings bonds.
(c) Conditions to Acceptance. The Organization will accept these gifts, but only if the property is saleable, and the donor agrees that it can be either sold or used as the Organization's prefers.
8.5. Bequests. The Organization accepts and encourages bequests through donors' wills, trusts, and other testamentary documents. Such a bequest is not recorded as a gift to the Organization until it becomes irrevocable.
8.6. Life Insurance. The Organization will accept gifts of life insurance where the Organization is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy. The donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owing on the policy.
8.7. Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations. Donors are encouraged to designate the Organization as the beneficiary of their retirement plans. Such a designation is not recorded as a gift until the gift become irrevocable. If the gift is irrevocable but is not due until a future date, its present value may be recorded at the time it becomes irrevocable.
8.8. Charitable Remainder Trusts. The Organization may accept designation as the remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust. [The Organization [may / shall not] accept an appointment as trustee of a charitable remainder trust.]
8.9. Charitable Lead Trusts. The Organization may accept designation as an income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust. [The Organization [may / shall not] accept an appointment as trustee of a charitable lead trust.]
8.10. Charitable Gift Annuities
(a) Minimum Gift. The minimum gift accepted to establish a charitable gift annuity is $[MINIMUM GIFT FOR CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY].
(b) Number of Beneficiaries. There may not be more than two beneficiaries on a charitable gift annuity.
(c) Limits. No income beneficiary for a charitable gift annuity can be younger than 60 years old.
(d) Fees. Administrative fees will be paid from the income earned on a charitable gift annuity.
(e) Payment Rates. The Organization offers the current payment rates suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities.
8.11. Bargain Sales. A "bargain sale" is a sale of property to the Organization for an amount less than the property's current fair market value. The excess of the value over the sales price represents a contribution. The Organization, upon approval of the [President] and legal counsel, may purchase property on a bargain sale basis. The amount of the allowable deduction for a bargain sale will be subject to the IRS rules relating to bargain sales.
9. [Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review. Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review before acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include the following:
9.1. Oil, Gas, Mineral Rights. The Organization may accept oil and gas property interests with the approval of the Board of Directors. Criteria for acceptance of oil, gas and mineral interests include the following:
(a) Gifts of surface rights should have a value of $[20,000] or greater. Gifts of oil, gas and mineral interests should generate at least $[3,000] per year in royalties or other income.
(b) The property should not have extensive liabilities or encumbrances that make receipt of the gift inappropriate for the Organization.
(c) A working interest is rarely accepted. A working interest may only be accepted where there is a plan to minimize potential liability and tax consequences. The property is subject to the same environmental evaluation process as for other gifts of real estate.
9.2. [NOTE: Any gift's acceptance can be subject to review/approval. Users of this form will have to tailor this section to their specific needs.]]
10. Deferred Gifts
10.1. Review and Approval. Any planned gift agreement that requires the Organization to sign any document must first be reviewed and approved by the Organization's legal counsel.
10.2. Consultation with Organization. Prospective donors who are considering gifts to the Organization that will take effect at their death should consult with the Organization regarding how to properly designate the gift and to discuss any trust or bequest restriction that is being considered.
11. Restrictions on Gifts
11.1. Unrestricted and Limited Restriction Gifts. The Organization will accept unrestricted gifts and gifts for specific programs and purposes, but only if such gifts are not inconsistent with its stated mission, purposes, or priorities.
11.2. Declining Restrictive Gifts. The Organization does not accept gifts that are too restrictive in purpose, including gifts that
(a) violate the terms of the corporate charter,
(b) are too difficult to administer, or
(c) are for purposes outside the Organization's mission.
11.3. Illegal Source. The Organization may refuse any gift if there is reason to question its legal source.
11.4. Final Decision. The [Gift Acceptance Committee] shall make all final decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift and its acceptance or refusal.
12. Delivery. All gifts should be sent by registered mail or delivered in person to the Organization's offices at [ORGANIZATION ADDRESS].
13. Gift Acknowledgement. The Organization will acknowledge receipt of all gifts in writing and in a manner that satisfies the IRS's substantiation requirements for the deduction of charitable gifts by individual donors.
14. Review and Amendment of Policy. These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the Organization. The Board shall review this Policy [annually]. The Board must approve any changes to or deviations from these policies.