Gift Acceptance Policy
The purpose of this statement is to articulate the policies of the Cancer Support Community Los Angeles (“CSCLALA”) concerning the acceptance of charitable gifts.
II. Responsibility to Donors
A. General. CSCLA, its staff and representatives shall endeavor to assist donors in accomplishing their philanthropic objectives in providing support for CSCLA.
B. Confidentiality. Information concerning all transactions between a donor and CSCLA shall be held by CSCLA in strict confidence and, within the limits of the law, may be publicly disclosed only with the permission of the donor.
C. Anonymity. CSCLA shall respect the wishes of donors wishing to support CSCLA anonymously and will take reasonable steps to safeguard those donors’ identity.
D. Disclaimer. Prospective donors to CSCLA shall be informed that CSCLA does not provide legal, tax or financial advice, and shall be encouraged to discuss all charitable gift planning decisions with his or her legal, financial or tax advisor before entering into any commitment to make a gift to CSCLA.
E. Legal and Ethical Standards. CSCLA does not discriminate against donors on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic. We will not accept donations that are illegal, unethical, or could harm our reputation. We reserve the right to refuse donations from individuals or organizations that:
1. Are engaged in illegal or unethical activities.
2. Promote violence or hatred.
3. Have a history of financial mismanagement or fraud.
4. Are affiliated with organizations or products that do not share our values and mission.
F. Political Contributions. We will not accept donations from political organizations or individuals for political purposes. We are a non-partisan organization committed to our mission.
III. Gift Restrictions
A. Unrestricted Gifts. To provide CSCLA with maximum flexibility in the pursuit of its mission, donors shall be encouraged to make unrestricted gifts to CSCLA.
B. Restricted Gifts. CSCLA may accept a gift that is restricted as to its use if CSCLA’s approved budget for the year in which the gift is to be accepted includes proposed funding for the specific program, purpose or facility for which the restricted gift is made. CSCLA may accept a gift that is restricted as to a use if CSCLA’s budget for the year in which the gift is accepted does not include funding for the restricted use of the gift, with the prior written approval of the CEO or his/her designee. We maintain the right to decline donations that impose unreasonable financial burdens on our organization or come with unacceptable conditions.
C. Variance Power. Unless otherwise approved in advance by the CEO, CSCLA will reserve the right, in the document that restricts the use of the gift, to broaden or alter the purpose of the gift should it be determined in the future that the original purpose of the gift no longer meets the needs or serves the mission of CSCLA.
D. In-Kind Donations. We accept in-kind donations of goods or services if they are relevant to our mission and can be effectively utilized. We reserve the right to decline in-kind donations that are not in good condition or do not align with our needs.
IV. Donor Recognition
A. General. The Board may establish criteria for the recognition and honoring of a donor with certain honors or benefits based on various giving levels achieved by a donor and the type of gift. These honors or benefits may include the listing of the donor’s name on a roll or plaque of significant donors or the opportunity to receive invitations to donor recognition events.
B. Program, Buildings and Other Facilities. Except in the case of naming opportunities that appear on a schedule of naming opportunities approved by the Board in the context of a capital campaign, CSCLA shall make no commitments to a donor concerning the naming of programs, buildings or other facilities without the approval of the Board upon recommendation of the CEO.
V. Fiduciary Relationships
A. General. CSCLA shall not agree to serve as executor of a decedent’s estate or as trustee of a living trust or other trust intended to serve as a person’s primary estate planning document.
B. Trusteeship. CSCLA may not serve as trustee of trusts, including those associated with gift annuity reserve accounts and charitable remainder trusts. CSCLA will not serve as co-trustee of trusts.
VI. Commitment of Charity Assets
A. Bargain Sale. Commitment of funds of CSCLA in a bargain sale transaction to acquire assets from a donor shall require the prior approval of the Board. Such approval shall generally be restricted to situations in which the asset to be acquired is one that will be used by CSCLA in its program or that can be readily disposed of for cash within a reasonable time.
B. Gift Annuities. CSCLA encourages its supporters to work with nonprofits that are capable of issuing charitable gift annuities which ultimately benefit CSCLA.
C. Partnership and Other Liabilities. CSCLA will not accept interests in partnerships or other investment entities exposing CSCLA to liability, including the obligation to provide capital contributions or other funding for the investment, without adequate indemnity from the donor to fulfill those obligations.
D. Real Estate. While CSCLA encourages gifts of real estate, potential liability of CSCLA arising from real estate should be minimized pursuant to procedures adopted by the Board.
VII. Reporting and Valuation Standards
A. Reporting. For campaign and other reporting purposes, CSCLA might use the National Committee on Planned Giving Guidelines for Reporting and Counting Gifts (www.pppnet.org).
B. Valuation of Planned Gifts. To evaluate CSCLA’s planned giving program and to compare the relative value of various planned gift approaches, CSCLA might utilize the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Valuation Standards for Charitable Planned Gifts.
VIII. Ethical Standards
CSCLA is committed to the highest ethical standards. Development staff at all levels of the organization shall adhere to the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner adopted by the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning) and the American Council on Gift Annuities.
A. Staff. Implementation of these policies is delegated to the CEO, who shall be responsible for oversight of the acceptance of all gifts by CSCLA.
B. Executive Committee. The Board shall delegate to its Executive Committee the responsibility of approving Gift Planning and Acceptance Procedures to implement these policies. The CEO may from time to time propose to the committee revisions to the procedures.
X. Approval of Exceptions
Acceptance of gifts to CSCLA in a manner that is in any way inconsistent with this statement of policy must be approved in writing by the CEO or his/her designee, who shall report such exceptions to the Board at its next regular meeting.
XI. Periodic Review
A. General. The Executive Committee of the Board shall periodically review these policies to ensure that they continue to accurately describe the policies of CSCLA with respect to acceptance of charitable gifts, and shall propose to the full Board for adoption those revisions that the Committee shall determine to be necessary or appropriate in order for the Statement of Policy to accurately reflect the policies of CSCLA.
B. Specified Review. These policies shall be reviewed and ratified by the Board each time the Board determines that CSCLA will embark on a capital or other fundraising campaign. These policies shall also be reviewed upon the enactment or promulgation of legislation or regulatory rules affecting fundraising and gift acceptance by CSCLA, to assure continued compliance by CSCLA with relevant legislation and rules.
It is understood that this Gift Acceptance Policy is to be reviewed periodically by the Board to determine if any revisions are warranted by changing circumstance. Should the Board approve a deviation from this policy or implement a change in policy, the circumstances and rationale for the change shall be documented and attached to this policy.
Information Collected: The following types of donor information are collected and maintained by CSCLA:
- Contact Information: name, spouse name, business name, complete address (business and home), phone number, email address;
- Payment Information: check or credit card number and expiration date, and billing information such as address, name on credit card, and signature are stored via had copy files and, in some portion, via our database system, eg addresses and names; however, credit card info is not stored in our main database, only in certain systems that are used expressly for the purpose of special events;
- Information concerning how donors heard about CSCLA;
- Information donors wish to share: questions, comments, suggestions;
- Donors’ preferences on receiving periodic updates: e.g., to individuals who request it, we will send periodic mailings related to specific fund-raising appeals, annual reports, newsletters, and e-newsletters.
How Information is Used:
CSCLA uses donor information to understand donor needs and provide donors with better service. Specifically, CSCLA uses donor information to complete a transaction, send a thank you letter and tax receipt, and update donors on CSCLA happenings. Credit card numbers and checks are used only for donation or payment processing. All contributions are stored in locked cabinets with access limited to the personnel necessary for processing gifts before sending to the bank, in the case of checks. We use the comments donors offer to provide donors with
information requested, and we take seriously each recommendation as to how we might improve communication. With each contribution, donors are given the option to remain anonymous. Donors who indicate an anonymous preference will be listed as “Anonymous” in the newsletter lists of contributors.
Sharing of Personal Information: CSCLA will not sell, rent, or lease donor personal information to other organizations. We assure our contributors that the identity of all our donors will be kept confidential. Use of donor information will be limited to the internal purposes of CSCLA and only to further the activities and purposes of CSCLA.
- Tributes: Gifts Given in Honor or in Memory of an Individual:
CSCLA will send an acknowledgement letter if instructed to do so by the donor when a gift is made in honor or in memory of an individual. This acknowledgement letter provides the name and address of the donor who has made the gift but under no circumstances is the amount of the gift released in the acknowledgement letter.
- Fundraising Events:
CSCLA recognizes the contributions of outstanding individuals each year by honoring these respected members of our community at our annual fundraising dinner and luncheon. The names and addresses of donors who give gifts in honor of these individuals are shared with the honoree leading up to and after the event.
Often, event or other sponsors are recognized in our newsletters, e-newsletters, on our website, and at specific events as a way to thank them for their contribution. Sponsors are made aware of this recognition prior to receipt of their sponsorship dollars.
Selected photographs of donors who participate in our fundraising events are published in our semiannual newsletters and on our website. Donors who prefer not to have their photograph printed in our newsletter or published online should inform CSCLA of their preference.
Removing Names From Our Mailing List. It is our desire to not send unwanted mail or email to our donors. Donors should contact us to be removed from our mailing lists at 310-314-2555