Gift acceptance policy

LION's policies on fundraising and gift acceptance

October 10, 2012 by Dylan Smith

1. Unrestricted, outright gifts of cash, check, credit card, and publicly traded securities do not require approval. Routine gifts are accepted and administered through the Chair of the Board or Treasurer, both of whom have authority to accept routine gifts.

2. Gifts will only be accepted where there is charitable intent on the part of the donor. LION is unable to accept gifts that are overly restrictive in purpose. The most desirable gifts are those with the least restrictions, as unrestricted funds allow the organization to address its most pressing needs. Unless the board grants a specific exception, LION will not accept any gifts that:

  • Contain a condition that requires any action on the part of the organization that is unacceptable to the board.
  • Contain a condition that the proceeds will be spent by the organization for the personal benefit of a named individual or individuals.
  • Require the organization to employ a specified person now or at a future date.
  • Inhibit the organization from seeking gifts from other donors.
  • Expose the organization to adverse publicity, litigation, or other liabilities.
  • Require undue expenditures, or involve the organization in unexpected responsibilities because of their source, conditions, or purpose.
  • Involve unlawful discrimination based upon race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, color, disability, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

3. Noncash gifts will be accepted only when it is reasonably expected they can be converted into cash within a reasonable period of time or when LION can utilize the property in its operations. Generally, six months to one year shall be considered reasonable for conversion to cash. All noncash gifts to LION will be sold at the discretion of the organization, whose policy will be to convert the property to cash at the earliest opportunity, keeping in mind current market conditions and the potential use of the property in the accomplishment of LION’s mission.

4. Property encumbered by a mortgage or other indebtedness cannot normally be accepted as a gift unless the donor agrees to assume all carrying costs until the property is liquidated. Exceptions to this guideline can be made when the value of the property exceeds the anticipated exposure, or will produce income, or will be used by LION in its programs.

5. Associated expenses of a gift made to LION are to be borne by the donor.

6. Donors of property gifts of over $5,000, except for gifts of publicly traded stock, must obtain an appraisal by an independent third-party appraiser in accordance with current tax law requirements.

7. To avoid conflicts of interest, the unauthorized practice of law, the rendering of investment advice, or the dissemination of income or estate tax advice, all donors of noncash gifts must acknowledge that LION is not acting as a professional advisor, rendering opinions on the gift. All information concerning gift planning from LION is to be for illustrative purposes only and is not to be relied upon in individual circumstances. The organization may require a letter of understanding from a donor of a property gift, along with proof of outside advice being rendered, before such a gift will be accepted.

8. All gifts of life insurance must comply with applicable state insurance regulations, including insurable interest clauses.

9. LION does not accept any gifts requiring annuity payments that will be guaranteed by the organization.

10. All gifts and gift consideration must meet all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Refusal of Gifts

The Board of Directors shall have the right to refuse contributions that do not enhance, promote, and further the purpose of LION and the long-range financial viability of the organization.

Gifts of Stock

Gifts of securities will be acknowledged to the donor at the value received into the account, as of the day received. All securities will be sold immediately upon receipt into the account.

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