What is a gift acceptance policy? Where can I find examples?
A gift acceptance policy guides a nonprofit in the types of gifts it can accept and educates the staff and board about critical issues triggered by certain gifts, according to attorney Kathryn W. Miree.
A carefully thought-out policy answers questions such as:
- What types of gifts will the organization accept, and what will it not accept?
- Under what circumstances will gifts be accepted?
- How will gifts be recognized and tracked?
- How will major gifts like real estate, life insurance policies, and stock be handled?
Why have a gift acceptance policy? According to attorney Gene Takagi:
Schedule M (Non Cash Contributions) of the new Form 990 asks whether the filing organization has a gift acceptance policy. Schedule M must be filed by organizations that either: (1) received more than $25,000 in non-cash contributions; or (2) received contributions of art, historical treasures, or similar assets, or qualified conservation contributions. Even if an organization is not required to complete Schedule M, it should consider adopting a gift acceptance policy.
Many nonprofits state their gift acceptance policies on their web sites. Try an Internet search for the keywords "nonprofit gift acceptance policy". For more specific results, add keywords for your subject area, e.g., "youth organization".
However, please note that policies are specific to the organization and its mission. Reviewing other nonprofits' policies can be instructive, but consider carefully your organization's own needs and priorities when creating your own.
See also our related Knowledge Base articles:
- What information should be in a gift acknowledgement letter? Where can I find samples?
- How can I find corporate sponsorship?
- Where can I find examples of corporate sponsorship levels?
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Explore resources curated by our staff for this topic:
Internal Revenue service
Take a look at the IRS rules for charitable contributions before working up that gift acceptance policy.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Gift Acceptance Policies
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation outlines its gift policy on its web site and also provides downloadable forms related to gifts of real estate and stock.
National Council of Nonprofits
Gift Acceptance Policies
Why you should have one and what it should say, plus links to examples.
Adler & Colvin
Gift Acceptance Policies [PDF]
Gift Acceptance Policies - Why, When, What, How and Who - Reprinted with permission from Charitable Gift Planning News.
Gift Acceptance Policy Sample [PDF]
This is a sample form that someone working, volunteering, etc for a nonprofit would read and sign. It focuses on avoiding accepting gifts that could be considered a conflict of interest.
Nonprofit Law Blog: Donation Policy
The Nonprofit Law Blog is published by California nonprofit attorney Gene Takagi. This post give guidance on establishing a gift and donation acceptance policy.
Kathryn W. Miree & Associates
Sample Gift Acceptance Policies
Sample policies written by experienced philanthropic advisors.
Cape Cod Community College Educational Foundation
Sample Gift Acceptance Policy [PDF]
This supporting organization, which helps to raise funds for a community college, offers an outline of its gift acceptance procedures.
Sample Gift Agreement Letter - Individual
Sample gift agreement letter
The Importance of a Gift Acceptance Policy
This article come from Wachovia Trust Nonprofit and Philanthropic Services and is available on the Philanthropy Journal web site. It details the objectives of a gift policy and gives advice on issues that should be taken into account when creating a policy.
Why You Need Gift Acceptance Policies
Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company, provides this article outlining the importance of a gift acceptance policy and offers suggestions on what such a policy should include.