Gift Acceptance Policy

The organization

This policy serves as a guideline to the members of Connecticut Foodshare, hereto referred to as “the organization”, staff and Board involved with accepting gifts.  This policy allows for flexibility at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

To reach its mission, the organization needs to work with a variety of donors and so will generally accept gifts from all donors within the parameters of this policy.  However, if the CEO determines it is not in the best interest of the organization to accept a particular gift s/he has the authority to decline a gift.

The organization urges all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences.

The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to the organization for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services.

Use of Legal Counsel: The organization will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

A. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
B. Documents naming the organization as trustee or requiring the organization to act in any fiduciary capacity.
C. Gifts requiring the organization to assume financial or other obligations.
D. Transactions with potential conflicts of interest.
E. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions.

Restrictions on Gifts: The organization will not accept gifts that would result in:

  1. The organization violating its corporate charter
  2. The organization losing its status as a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization
  3. Too difficult or too expensive administration in relation to their value
  4. Any unacceptable consequences for the organization
  5. Are for purposes outside the mission of the organization

Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the CEO. If the CEO believes the organization is unable to abide by the restrictions placed by the donor s/he will notify the donor as such and will attempt to find a resolution that allows the organization to retain the gift. If no such resolution is found, the gift will be declined.

Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review:

A. Cash: Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card or on-line. Donors wishing to make a gift by credit card must provide the card type (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, American Express), card number, expiration date and name of the card holder as it appears on the credit card.

B. Marketable Securities: Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s endorsement or signed stock power (with appropriate signature guarantees) attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt unless otherwise directed by the organization’s Finance Committee. In some cases marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift; in such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by the Executive Committee.

C. Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans: Donors are encouraged to make bequests to the organization under their wills, and to name the organization as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.

D. Charitable Remainder Trusts: The organization will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.

E. Charitable Lead Trusts: The organization will accept designation as an income beneficiary of charitable lead trusts.

Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review – Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review prior to acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include, but are not limited to:

A. Tangible Personal Property: The Finance Committee shall review and determine whether to accept any gifts of tangible personal property in light of the following considerations:
a. Does the property further the organization’s mission?
b. Is the property marketable?
c. Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the property?
d. Are there any carrying costs for the property for which the organization may be responsible?
e. Is the title/provenance of the property clear?

B. Life Insurance: The organization will accept gifts of life insurance where the organization is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy. The donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owing on the policy.

C. Real Estate: All gifts of real estate are subject to review by the Finance Committee. Prior to acceptance of any gift of real estate other than a personal residence, the organization shall require an initial environmental review by a qualified environmental firm. In the event that the initial review reveals a potential problem, the organization may retain a qualified environmental firm to conduct an environmental audit. Criteria for acceptance of gifts of real estate include:

a. Is the property useful for the organization’s purposes?
b. Is the property readily marketable?
c. Are there covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, encumbrances or other limitations associated with the property?
d. Are there carrying costs (including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, or the like) or maintenance expenses associated with the property?
e. Does the environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?

Gifts that Will Not be accepted:  At no time shall the organization accept a gift from a group named as an “Extremist Group” by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Additional note on the privacy of donors: The Organization will not sell or trade our list of donors to any other organization for fundraising purposes.