Without thorough gift acceptance policies and procedures, many otherwise sophisticated and successful nonprofits expose themselves to loss of credibility, aggravation, public relations nightmares, and even lawsuits.
Ford Thompson Consulting has extensive experience in developing comprehensive gift acceptance policies and procedures manuals that encompass all areas of your fund-raising program, including Planned Giving Policies; Endowment Policy; Endowed Fund Policy; Bequest Society Policy; Naming Opportunities Policy; Charitable Gift Annuities Policy; Securities Delivery and Transfer Instructions; Investment Policy and Spending Policy.
Nonprofit organizations should have clearly stated and continually updated written policies because those written policies:
- Define who has the authority to solicit and/or accept gifts on behalf of the nonprofit
- Ensure control of the development process in a central authority.
- Can clearly define "preferred use" to avoid the misunderstanding that such gifts are over and above budgeted allocations.
- Help to protect the nonprofit's exempt status.
- Assure equal treatment of donors.
- Define gift acceptance, naming restrictions, and protect the nonprofit from being "used," as an object of investment to shelter income and avoid taxes.
- Can establish development credibility and ethical standing.
- Assure donors of sound fiscal management and stewardship of their gifts.
- Enable a nonprofit to politically decline unacceptable gifts—perhaps protecting staff from well- meaning, but naive executives and board members.
- Prevent the overvaluing of gifts-in-kind and gifts of property.
- Can avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest.
- Can assure no personal gain inuring to staff or volunteer.
- Require that legal counsel review trusts, contracts and other agreements.
- Can preclude the appearance of the nonprofit coercing or otherwise unethically influencing donors.
Because it is essential that a staff knows what to anticipate when performing their on-the-job duties and tasks, written policies are a "must" for any nonprofit organization, large or small. All of the above elements are included in Ford Thompson’s gift acceptance policies and procedures manuals
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