Gift Acceptance Policy
A. Protection of Charity – This Gift Acceptance Policy defines what types of charitable gifts may and may not be accepted by Meals on Wheels of Tampa. In many cases, certain types of offered gifts will require review and approval by the Board of Directors prior to acceptance by Meals on Wheels of Tampa.
B. Protection of the Donors – A number of provisions in the policy are designed to ensure that donors will be solicited for charitable gifts in an appropriate and ethical manner. This policy also sets out provisions for accepting charitable gifts with donor restrictions and for ensuring that those restrictions will be honored according to the terms of the gift.
C. Gift Review – The Board of Directors delegates its responsibility for accepting or rejecting gifts to the Gift Review Panel (GRP) which normally consist of the Chair of the Resource & Development Committee, the Executive Director, Director of Finance, Director of Major Gifts, and Development Director. The panel may request additional Board members or staff to assist in specific gift decisions if necessary. The GRP shall make decisions regarding the acceptance or rejection of offered gifts with three of five GRP members present and in agreement.
D. Gift Review Decisions – The GRP shall render its decisions promptly, in writing. A letter shall be issued to the donor, signed by the Executive Director when a gift is rejected, explaining the reasons for the rejection. A gift acceptance will follow normal gift receipt process.
2. Gift Solicitations
A. Authorized Solicitations – Gifts may be solicited for Meals on Wheels of Tampa only by designated employees and authorized representatives, which may include board members and other volunteers. All solicitors shall be provided with a copy of this policy and shall be required to follow it. Other persons who are aware of gift opportunities shall refer prospective donors to the Meals on Wheels of Tampa Development staff.
B. Confidentiality – All information about a donor and the donor’s financial and legal situation shall be maintained in the strictest confidence. This information shall not be discussed inappropriately nor shall it be released to the public. All files containing donor and prospect information shall be securely maintained so as to ensure donor privacy.
C. Ethical Behavior – All gift solicitations shall be conducted in a fully ethical manner, abiding by the Donor Bill of Rights. Solicitors shall also faithfully abide by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice.
D. Professional Advice – Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall always avoid any appearance of rendering legal, tax, financial or investment advice to donors in the course of a charitable solicitation.
E. Appropriate Solicitations – The best interests of the donor shall be respected in all gift solicitations and acceptance. Solicitations shall include full disclosure about the nature of the proposed gift. Gifts that would jeopardize the best interests of the donor (or the donor’s family) shall not be solicited or accepted. Solicitors may not ever use any type of pressure technique to unduly influence the donor in making a gift decision.
3. Gift Restrictions
A. Unrestricted Gifts – Unrestricted gifts are charitable gifts that are donated to Meals on Wheels of Tampa for any purpose Meals on Wheels of Tampa deems fit in carrying out its mission. The donor does not place any restriction on the way Meals on Wheels of Tampa may use the gift.
B. Restricted Gifts – Restricted gifts are gifts that are donated to Meals on Wheels of Tampa with a stipulation by the donor that Meals on Wheels of Tampa will use the donated funds or assets for a particular purpose, or that Meals on Wheels of Tampa manage or invest the donated asset in a certain manner. All gift restrictions, not consistent with stated purpose, priorities or campaigns, shall be approved by the Gift Review Panel prior to accepting a gift for that purpose.
C. Gift Agreements – Meals on Wheels of Tampa may enter into a gift agreement with a donor to assure the donor that the agreed-upon gift restrictions shall be honored by Meals on Wheels of Tampa. Gift agreements may be particularly important for donors who wish to place restrictions on estate gifts. All such agreements must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Gift Review Panel.
4. Gift Types
A. Cash Gifts – Unrestricted gifts of cash, and cash equivalents, may be routinely accepted by Meals on Wheels of Tampa staff without GRP review. This category includes gifts by check, money order, credit card, automatic bank transfer, money market funds and certificates of deposits. Coins and currency may be accepted but is not the preferred method.
B. Publicly-Traded Securities – Unrestricted gifts of most publicly-traded securities may be routinely accepted by the Meals on Wheels of Tampa staff without GRP review. These gifts include shares of common and preferred stock, corporate bonds, government bonds, municipal bonds, and mutual funds. Proposed gifts of partnership interests, options, futures and other types of publicly-traded securities require review by the GRP prior to acceptance. Upon acceptance, donated securities shall be immediately deposited into the Meals on Wheels of Tampa investment account and handled according to Meals on Wheels of Tampa investment policy statement (IPS).
C. Bequests – Unrestricted charitable bequests arranged by a donor in a Will or Trust may be routinely solicited by Meals on Wheels of Tampa staff. Solicitations of restricted bequests require GRP approval of the restriction. Estate distributions of unrestricted cash gifts may be routinely accepted by the staff. Distributions of estate gifts that carry restrictions that have not previously been approved by the GRP, require GRP approval prior to acceptance of the bequest. Estate distributions of non-cash gifts, except for publicly-traded stock, bonds and mutual funds, require GRP approval prior to acceptance by Meals on Wheels of Tampa. The GRP reserves the right to disclaim any restricted estate distribution, or any unrestricted estate distribution of that is neither cash nor publicly traded securities.
D. Real Estate – All solicitations for, and acceptance of, gifts of real estate require GRP approval. While gifts of real estate may constitute large gifts for Meals on Wheels of Tampa, they must be approached with a reasonable degree of caution. Some gifts of real estate are generally not acceptable and can be routinely declined by the Executive Director or Development Team. These gifts include mobile homes, timeshares and property that is obviously unmarketable, environmentally hazardous or over-encumbered with debt.
When a proposed gift of real estate appears acceptable, the Development Team shall gather current information on the property, including a description, address, photo, names of owners, information about any mortgages or other encumbrances, insurance costs, property tax information, any other holding costs and an estimated value of the property. If the property still appears acceptable, Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall retain the services of an experienced real estate broker to analyze the marketability of the property. Once this information has been collected, it shall be forwarded to the GRP. If the GRP wishes to proceed with the acceptance of the gift, it shall retain the services of a qualified real estate attorney to oversee the process and ensure that the gift is properly analyzed and transferred.
Generally, a Phase I environmental audit and a qualified real estate appraisal will be required prior to accepting a gift of real estate. These are normally obtained by the donor and paid for by the donor.
E. Bargain Sales – Sometimes gifts of real estate shall be offered as bargain sales. In these cases, the donor arranges a three-way transaction. In such a transaction, the donor sells the property for a fraction of its value to Meals on Wheels of Tampa, which in turn immediately sells the property to a willing buyer for its full value. Even though Meals on Wheels of Tampa may own the property only momentarily, all of the provisions described above regarding real estate gifts shall be followed.
F. Tangible Personal Property – Gifts of tangible personal property are gifts of items, such as equipment, cars, boats, furniture, collectibles, antiques, art work, supplies and merchandise.
The Development Team, with the approval of the Executive Director, may generally accept unrestricted gifts of tangible personal property that can put to use in carrying out the mission of Meals on Wheels of Tampa. When a gift of tangible personal property is offered that is either restricted, or cannot be put to a “related use” at Meals on Wheels of Tampa, the gift must be approved for acceptance by the GRP.
G. Gift Annuities – Meals on Wheels of Tampa is not currently licensed to offer gift annuities, but it may do so in the future with the approval of the Board of Directors. In the meantime, Meals on Wheels of Tampa may suggest that donors arrange gift annuities for the benefit of Meals on Wheels of Tampa, using the gift annuity program of community foundations. In these cases, all of the policies and procedures of the community foundation issuing the gift annuity shall be followed during the solicitation.
H. Beneficiary Designations – Donors may name Meals on Wheels of Tampa of Tampa, Inc. (FEI 59-1679915) as a primary or contingent beneficiary on life insurance policies, annuities, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement and savings accounts. Where it is offered, donors may name Meals on Wheels of Tampa of Tampa, Inc.(FEI 59-1679915) as a beneficiary under a Transfer on Death arrangement on bank accounts and brokerage accounts. These estate gifts are revocable until death and do not pass through probate.
I. Charitable Trusts – Various types of charitable trusts, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts, may be arranged by a donor for the benefit of Meals on Wheels of Tampa. Although Meals on Wheels of Tampa welcomes and encourages this kind of philanthropic support, Meals on Wheels of Tampa will neither administer nor serve as Trustee for these trusts.
J. Life Insurance – A donor may donate a cash-value life insurance policy to Meals on Wheels of Tampa. This may be an existing policy, or a new policy that the donor acquires for the specific purpose of planning a charitable gift for Meals on Wheels of Tampa. Any gift of a life insurance policy that is not fully paid up requires approval by the GRP. Fully paid up, or self-funding policies, that require no premium payments may be accepted by the staff without GRP approval.
5. Administrative Policies
A. Gift Receipts – Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall issue a written receipt to donors for gifts received within 5 working days of the delivery of the gift to Meals on Wheels of Tampa. The receipt shall comply with all IRS gift substantiation requirements. In the case of non-cash gifts, the receipt shall provide a description of the item(s) donated and the date the gift was received by Meals on Wheels of Tampa. The receipt for non-cash gifts shall not provide a value for the gift.
B. Gifts of Property – Donations of property (neither cash nor publicly-traded securities) may require a “qualified appraisal” for purposes of calculating and validating the donor’s income tax deduction. The “qualified appraisal” requirement applies to gifts of property worth $5,000 or more, and for gifts of closely-held stock worth $10,000 or more. Although it is the donor’s responsibility to obtain and pay for the appraisal, Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall advise the donor of this requirement.
C. Gift Records – Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall maintain a record of all gifts received. This record shall include the name of the donor, the date of the gift, a description of the gift, and the value of the gift. Gift values recorded in the gift record are for internal use only. Meals on Wheels of Tampa does not provide donors with any estimate of the value of non-cash gifts. Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall also maintain files that contain copies of all correspondence, memoranda or other documents pertaining to the gift.
D. Planned Gift Expectancy Records – Meals on Wheels of Tampa shall maintain a record of each known planned gift arrangement for the future benefit of Meals on Wheels of Tampa. These records shall include all documentation related to the gift, including correspondence, documents and call reports.
E. IRS Reporting – If Meals on Wheels of Tampa sells or otherwise disposes of certain donated property within three years of the date of the gift, it must file Form 8282 with the IRS. This form is used to disclose the actual sale price of the donated item(s). The IRS may use the item to adjust the income tax deduction that the donor originally claimed for the gift.