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.

Finding Examples

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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