Now available. The United Way ALICE Project provides high-quality, research-based analysis to foster a better understanding of who is struggling in our communities. Learn more.
Gift Acceptance Policy
Purpose of Gift Acceptance Policy
The purpose of this Gift Acceptance Policy is to provide guidelines relating to the acceptance and processing of gifts that are consistent with UWNYC’s mission.
Donor’s Use of Professional Advisors
Donors and prospective donors will be urged to seek the assistance and advice of independent professional advisors, including, but not limited to, tax or legal counsel and financial advisors, where appropriate, prior to and in matters relating to making a gift.
Use of Counsel
UWNYC reserves the right to consult with and/or seek the advice of legal counsel in any and all matters relating to the acceptance of gifts.
Gift Acceptance Review Process
Determinations as to acceptance of routine gifts may be made by the Chief Executive Officer, as well as certain members of the Institutional Advancement Department, including, but not limited to, Major Gifts and Partnership Development staff, in consultation with the Finance Department, where appropriate. All non-routine gifts and any gifts designated in this Policy for review by the Gift Acceptance Committee (described below) should be directed to the Gift Acceptance Committee, which committee will be responsible for rendering the final decision as to whether a particular gift should be accepted. Non-routine gifts include gifts that are not regularly encountered in the ordinary course. They include gifts that may not align with the mission of UWNYC, unique or unusual gifts and gifts accompanied by a potential administrative, financial or other burden on UWNYC. Grants received by UWNYC in the ordinary course shall not be treated as gifts and shall not be subject to this Policy.
Gift Acceptance Committee
The Gift Acceptance Committee possesses the authority to accept or reject gifts offered to UWNYC.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall consist of UWNYC’s (i) Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement, (ii) Chief Financial Officer, (iii) General Counsel and (iv) if appropriate as determined by the General Counsel on a case-by-case basis, one UWNYC staff member from the Community Investment Department; provided, that if the gift in question has an impact on the Community Investment department’s work or requires the Community Investment department to take some action, that department shall participate in the Gift Acceptance Committee’s decision on the gift. The standing members of the Gift Acceptance Committee shall be limited to UWNYC’s Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel. The Chief Executive Officer of UWNYC or his or her designee may participate in the Gift Acceptance Committee as a voting member at any time (i) at his/her sole discretion or (ii) when deemed appropriate by at least one standing member of the Gift Acceptance Committee. Furthermore, if determined on an ad hoc basis by at least two standing members of the Gift Acceptance Committee (i) additional individuals may participate in the Gift Acceptance Committee (including attending meetings or participating in discussions) and (ii) such additional participating individuals may be given voting rights, where appropriate. Examples of additional participating individuals include, but shall not be limited to, outside legal counsel, brokers, financial advisors and Board members.
In rendering final decisions as to whether particular gifts should be accepted by UWNYC, the Gift Acceptance Committee is charged with making determinations including whether gifts are in line with UWNYC’s mission and whether gifts are cost-prohibitive or burdensome for UWNYC to process.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall have the ability to authorize payment of gift administration fees, such as professional fees, where appropriate.
The Gift Acceptance Committee, in coordination with the Office of the President, may consult with UWNYC’s Executive Committee or Board of Directors regarding the acceptance of gifts and may request approval of its recommendations from UWNYC’s Executive Committee or Board of Directors where it deems gifts to be unique or carry significant risk.
Overly Restrictive Gifts
UWNYC will not accept gifts deemed by its Gift Acceptance Committee to be overly restrictive. Overly restrictive gifts include, but are not limited to, gifts that are inconsistent with UWNYC’s mission, gifts that place undue burdens on UWNYC as well as gifts that violate the terms of any of UWNYC’s formation or governance documents.
UWNYC’s policy is to encourage donors to give unrestricted gifts, the proceeds of which benefit UWNYC and its programs, rather than to designate gifts to benefit other charities. Where the receipt and/or administration of a designated gift is burdensome, the Gift Acceptance Committee will determine, in accordance with this Policy, whether UWNYC will accept the gift.
Types of Gifts
The Gift Acceptance Committee reserves the right to consider any and all gifts to UWNYC.
Gifts to UWNYC may be made via cash, check, credit card or other cash equivalents.
Gifts of cash (i.e., currency) gifts in excess of $10,000 must be referred to the Gift Acceptance Committee for a final determination regarding acceptance of the gifts.
Checks shall be made payable to United Way of New York City. Checks shall not be made payable to individuals who represent UWNYC.
Tangible Personal Property
Gifts of tangible personal property shall be subject to the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee unless received in connection with an auction or raffle organized and conducted by UWNYC. Such gifts may be sold upon receipt by UWNYC.
The Gift Acceptance Committee may consider other factors in rendering a determination as to whether the gift should be accepted, including, but not limited to, another party’s possession of any type of lien or interest in the property, the marketability of the property, any carrying costs for the property and the presence of any restrictions on the use, display or sale of the property.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall have the discretion to seek an appraisal of the property from a qualified, independent appraiser. The donor shall be responsible for the costs of such an appraisal.
Publicly Traded Securities
Publicly traded and marketable securities, including those traded on any recognized stock exchange, can be accepted by UWNYC. Such marketable securities may be transferred to an account maintained at a brokerage firm or physically delivered with the signature of the transferor or stock power attached.
Marketable securities that are not Restricted Stock (as defined in the following paragraph) must be sold upon receipt by UWNYC or its authorized broker.
Gifts to UWNYC of publicly traded securities that are restricted by applicable securities laws, which typically bear a legend on the certificate (“Restricted Stock”), shall be referred to the Gift Acceptance Committee to determine whether the gifts should be accepted. UWNYC will not accept gifts of Restricted Stock where the beneficiary is not UWNYC. These gifts include gifts that are processed by UWNYC but designated for receipt by another charity by the donor.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall render a decision as to whether gifts of Restricted Stock where the beneficiary is UWNYC should be accepted. The Gift Acceptance Committee shall review with a higher degree of scrutiny any such gift of Restricted Stock of a fair market value that is less than $5,000.
With respect to gifts of Restricted Stock in general, the donor shall be asked to pay for all of the expenses of lifting the restriction and any other expenses associated with the administration of the gift except when the Gift Acceptance Committee makes an exception. Exceptions may be made based on a variety of factors, including the value and desirability of the gift, ease of administration of the gift, the donor’s connection with UWNYC, the donor’s past giving record and the donor’s contributions to the organization.
Closely Held Securities
For purposes of this Policy, closely held securities shall mean securities that are not publicly traded and shall include, but shall not be limited to, debt and equity interests in non-publicly traded or closely held entities, as well as interests in LLPs and LLCs. Interests in other forms of ownership may be deemed closely held securities.
Closely held securities may be accepted only (i) if the beneficiary is UWNYC and (ii) if approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee.
The Gift Acceptance Committee is charged with considering the following factors as part of its review of the gift: whether the securities possess any restrictions that would hinder their liquidation to cash, marketability of the securities, an estimate of the fair market value of the securities and the presence of any detrimental tax consequences for UWNYC.
The Gift Acceptance Committee may deem it appropriate to consult with an independent professional advisor as part of the review process.
It is UWNYC’s policy that closely held securities be sold upon acceptance by the Gift Acceptance Committee, if possible. If the sale of such securities are restricted by agreement or by applicable law and depending on the facts and circumstances of the gift, the Gift Acceptance Committee may make an exception to the foregoing policy.
All gifts of real estate shall be subject to the review and approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee.
Prior to consideration by the Gift Acceptance Committee, a member of UWNYC’s staff or a qualified real estate broker must conduct a visual inspection of the property. Any expenses associated with such an inspection shall be borne by the donor.
The donor may be asked to provide any or all of the following items to UWNYC: a property deed, a property tax bill, a property title report, a property ALTA survey, site plans or development surveys relating to the property, a plot plan, any existing leases or agreements encumbering the property, substantiation of zoning status and verification of title insurance.
Prior to acceptance of real estate gifts, the Gift Acceptance Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that an environmental review of the property is completed and may use environmental inspection forms where appropriate. If the environmental inspection reveals what the Gift Acceptance Committee deems to be a potential problem, the Gift Acceptance Committee shall arrange for the retention of a qualified environmental inspection firm to conduct an environmental audit of the property, at the sole expense of the donor.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall arrange for an appraisal of the property and will obtain a title binder for the property where it deems it to be appropriate. Expenses for the appraisal and title binder shall be paid by the donor.
The Gift Acceptance Committee is charged with considering the following factors as part of its review of the gift: the fair market value of the property, the projected financial benefit to UWNYC, whether the property is useful for UWNYC’s purposes and mission, the marketability of the property, the presence of any restrictions, obligations or limitations associated with the property, any carrying costs, administrative costs and/or professional expenses associated with acquiring and selling or maintaining the property and the results of the environmental review and any environmental audits.
Depending on a variety of factors, including the value and desirability of the gift, ease of administration of the gift, the donor’s connection with UWNYC, the donor’s past giving record and the donor’s contributions to the organization, the donor may be asked to pay for all or a portion of the following additional expenses: maintenance expenses, real estate taxes, insurance expenses, the real estate broker’s and/or auctioneer’s commission, any other costs of the sale of the property and any additional legal and/or other expenses relating to the administration of the gift or the sale of the property.
Remainder Interests and Retained Life Interests in Property
Remainder interests in property may be accepted by UWNYC subject to the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee and subject to the provisions enumerated in the foregoing “Real Estate” section.
Gifts of life insurance policies shall be subject to the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee.
UWNYC shall encourage donors to name UWNYC as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of any gifted life insurance policies. Gifted life insurance policies must possess a minimum face value of $5,000.
UWNYC shall encourage gifts of paid up life insurance policies. If the policy is not paid up, UWNYC shall request that the donor contribute all future premium payments to UWNYC. If the donor does not elect to continue making gifts to cover premium payments on the life insurance policy, UWNYC may: 1) continue to pay the premiums; 2) convert the policy to paid up insurance; and/or 3) surrender the policy for its current cash value.
The Gift Acceptance Committee may consult with professional financial and legal advisors regarding the valuation of any gifts of life insurance policies. Gifts will be recorded at such time as they are irrevocable.
Donors may name UWNYC as a beneficiary of their retirement plans. Gifts will be recorded at such time as they are irrevocable.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall consider the acceptance of all deferred gifts. UWNYC will not accept deferred gifts where UWNYC is not the beneficiary, provided that the Gift Acceptance Committee may consider on a case-by-case basis acceptance of gifts where UWNYC is a contingent beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries of the gift.
The Gift Acceptance Committee is charged with considering the following factors as part of its review of the gift: the fair market value of the gift, the projected financial benefit to UWNYC, whether the gift is useful for UWNYC’s purposes and mission, the presence of any restrictions, obligations or limitations associated with the gift, as well as any carrying costs, administrative costs and/or professional expenses associated with the gift.
Deferred gifts may include charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, bequests, charitable gift annuities, deferred gift annuities, pooled income funds and retained life estates.
UWNYC may accept a designation as the remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust subject to the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee. UWNYC shall not serve or accept an appointment as the trustee of such a charitable remainder trust.
UWNYC may accept a designation as the income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust subject to the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee. UWNYC shall not serve or accept an appointment as the trustee of such a charitable lead trust.
Donors may make bequests to UWNYC through their wills and trusts. Bequests will be recorded at such time as they are irrevocable. Donors who indicate that they have made a bequest to UWNYC may be asked to disclose the relevant clause or documentation that evidences such a bequest.
UWNYC may utilize the United Way Worldwide (“UWW”) National Charitable Gift Annuity Program and/or the UWW National Pooled Income Fund.
Donor-Advised Funds and Supporting Organizations
The Gift Acceptance Committee may discuss with donors whether donor-advised funds and supporting organizations can be helpful in fulfilling the mission of UWNYC. The Gift Acceptance Committee must approve the acceptance of gifts in this category.
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall consider the acceptance of other gifts not mentioned above, including, but not limited, to memorials, honorariums and intangible property.
Ethical Standards and Compliance
UWNYC shall administer gifts properly, shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those governing reporting and retention, and shall provide formal acknowledgments for gifts. UWNYC shall not furnish property appraisals or gift valuations to donors for tax purposes. UWNYC acknowledgment letters may acknowledge the value of a gift in the case of a cash, check or other monetary donation or if required by applicable law. Otherwise, the donor is solely responsible for determining gift valuations for his or her own tax purposes. UWNYC shall consult with independent advisors where it deems such action to be appropriate. UWNYC shall strive to consider the interests of the donor and disclose to the donor all essential information, including any fees, prior to acceptance of the donor’s gift. Donors may be advised to consult with legal or tax counsel or other appropriate advisors.
Review of Policy
UWNYC’s Gift Acceptance Committee and Governance and Executive Committees of its Board of Directors have reviewed and accepted the foregoing Gift Acceptance Policy. The Gift Acceptance Committee shall conduct periodic reviews of this policy and shall approve any future changes.
This Gift Acceptance Policy was approved by the United Way of New York City Governance Committee on November 17, 2010 and Executive Committee on December 1, 2010.