Gift Policy

  1. A nonprofit organization need not accept a gift simply because it is offered. A gift acceptance policy defines the types of gifts the organization will allow.
  2. Not every gift is a blessing. Donors and nonprofits may not always share the same values and priorities. Gifts that do not enhance the OFMS’s mission, priorities, and reputation should not be accepted.
  3. This gift acceptance policy encourages the immediate sale of gifts of securities. This eliminates ethical concerns about affiliation with certain companies and avoids second guessing the timing of stock sales. The ultimate disposition of any gifts of securities will be determined by the Finance Committee.
  4. The board shall have the right to refuse contributions that do not enhance, promote, and ensure further the purpose of OFMS and the long-range financial viability of the school.
  5. OFMS receives gifts in the form of cash, checks, and securities. Securities are received into the appropriate investment account.
  6. Gifts of securities will be acknowledged to the donor at the value received into the account, as of the day received.
  7. Any gifts of property valued at $10,000 or more must be approved by the board of OFMS.
  8. OFMS solicits gifts and grants to further the mission of the school. There is a potential that the acceptance of certain gifts could compromise the ability of the organization to accomplish its goals or could jeopardize its tax-exempt status. The primary consideration in the pursuit of gifts is how they can benefit the organization in the most ethical and unencumbered manner. To that end, the following caveats must be considered:
    1. Core Values. Is the gift one that is consistent with the school’s standards, principles, and core values?
    2. Compatibility of Cause. Will the gift unnecessarily challenge the school’s ability to further its mission, goals, or objectives?
    3. Public Relations. Does the acceptance of the gift present the school in an unfavorable light? Does it appear that there may exist a conflict of interest between the donor and the school?
    4. Motivation. Is there clear charitable intent and a commitment to the school?
    5. Consistency. Will the acceptance of the gift be compatible and in agreement with other fundraising activities or gifts of the school?
    6. Credibility. Are the circumstances surrounding the donor and the gift believable?
    7. Organizational Stability. If controversy develops, will it be significant enough to weaken the structure of the school?
    8. Form of Gift. Will the nature of the in-kind contribution create problems, such as in advertising or sponsorship?
    9. Source of Gift. Who is the donor? Is the gift from an individual or a corporation? Does the donor represent a perceived conflict of interest, or might the donor’s objectives not fit with the mission of the school?
  9. Gifts will only be accepted where there is charitable intent on the part of the donor. OFMS 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, OFMS will not accept any gifts that
    1. Contain a condition that requires any action on the part of the school that is unacceptable to mission, vision, or philosophy
    2. Contain a condition that the proceeds will be spent by the school for the personal benefit of a named individual or individuals
    3. Require the school and its administration to employ a specified person now or at a future date
    4. Inhibit the school from seeking gifts from other donors
    5. Expose the school to adverse publicity, litigation, or other liabilities
    6. Require undue expenditures, or involve the school in unexpected responsibilities because of their source, conditions, or purpose
    7. 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.
  10. 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 OFMS can utilize the property in its operations. Generally, six months shall be considered reasonable for conversion to cash. All noncash gifts to OFMS will be sold at the discretion of OFMS, keeping in mind current market conditions and the potential use of the property in the accomplishment of the mission of OFMS.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 OFMS is not acting as a professional advisor, rendering opinions on the gift. All information concerning gift planning from OFMS is to be for illustrative purposes only and is not to be relied upon in individual circumstances. OFMS 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.
  13. All gifts of life insurance must comply with applicable state insurance regulations, including insurable interest clauses.
  14. OFMS does not accept any gifts requiring annuity payments that will be guaranteed by the organization.
  15. All gifts and gift consideration must meet all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  16. OFMS reserves the right to decline any financial commitment, gift, or bequest, as well as the right to determine how a gift will be credited and/or recognized.
  17.  Unrestricted gifts shall be encouraged unless 1) the donor indicates that he or she is only willing to make a restricted gift or 2) the option of a restricted gift will otherwise significantly increase the chances of obtaining a gift from the donor.
  18. In drafting instruments for the gift of restricted funds to OFMS, donors and their advisors shall be encouraged to use language that would permit application of the gift to a more general purpose if, in the opinion of the board, the designated purpose is no longer feasible.
  19. All receipts from unrestricted bequests, annuities, charitable remainder trusts, or charitable lead trusts shall become a part of the general endowment, unless the board of directors determines a particular unrestricted gift of the type enumerated in this paragraph should be deposited in a different account.
  20. OFMS will not pay commissions or finder’s fees as consideration for directing a gift to OFMS.
  21. Donors are responsible for obtaining their own appraisals for tax purposes of real property or tangible or intangible personal property being given to OFMS and for any fees or other expenses related to such appraisals.
  22.  OFMS retains the right to obtain its own qualified appraisals of real property or tangible or intangible personal property being offered as a gift at its own expense.
  23. OFMS will acknowledge receipt of gifts of tangible personal or real property in accordance with the federal tax law and will sign any IRS form or other documents necessary for the donor to obtain a tax deduction for such gifts, so long as such acknowledgment does not entail valuing the gift.
  24. Prospective donors shall be responsible for their own legal, accounting, appraisal, transportation, and any other related fees.
  25. Prospective donors shall be strongly encouraged in all cases to consult with their own independent legal and/or tax advisors about proposed gifts, including tax and estate planning implications of the gifts. No representative of OFMS shall provide legal or tax advice to any donor or prospective donor.
  26. Upon request, representatives of OFMS may provide to the donor sample bequest language for restricted and unrestricted gifts to ensure that a bequest is properly designated. OFMS may also provide, upon request, IRS-approved prototype trust agreements for review and consideration by the donor and his or her advisors. The sample nature of such language or agreements shall be clearly stated on all documents given to donors, and donors shall be advised that consultation with their own legal advisors is essential prior to use of such standard language or specimen agreements.
  27. All information about donors and prospective donors, including but not limited to their names, the names of their beneficiaries, the nature and amounts of their gifts, and the sizes of their estates will be kept confidential by OFMS and its representatives, unless the donor grants permission to release such information. All requests by donors for anonymity will be honored, except to the extent that OFMS is required by law to disclose the identity of donors.
  28. The board president or his or her designee is authorized to enter into planned gift agreements on behalf of OFMS and to execute any and all documents necessary or appropriate to consummate such agreements.
  29. Any exceptions to these gift acceptance policies may be made only in exceptional circumstances, on an individual basis, and shall require the approval of the board of directors.
  30. These gift acceptance policies may be amended by the board of directors.