Gift Acceptance Policy
The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a not-for-profit institution organized under the laws of the State of Colorado, encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (hereinafter referred to as Crow Canyon) for purposes that will help Crow Canyon further and fulfill its mission. The following policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts made to Crow Canyon or for the benefit of any of its programs.
The mission of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is to advance knowledge of the human experience through archaeological research, education programs, and collaboration with American Indians.
Purpose of Policy and Guidelines
The Board of Trustees (hereinafter referred to as the Board) and staff of Crow Canyon solicit current and planned gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations to accomplish Crow Canyon's mission and secure it's financial stability. These policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts by Crow Canyon and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to Crow Canyon. The provisions of these policies shall apply to all gifts received by Crow Canyon for any of its programs or services.
Use of Legal Counsel
Crow Canyon shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to the acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by legal counsel is recommended for:
- Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements
- Documents naming Crow Canyon as Trustee
- Gifts involving contracts, such as bargain sales or other documents requiring Crow canyon to assume an obligation
- Transactions with potential conflict of interest that may invoke IRS sanctions
- Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed prudent or appropriate by the Executive Committee
Executive Committee Responsibility
The Executive Committee of the Board is charged with the responsibility of reviewing gifts made to Crow Canyon, properly screening and accepting those gifts, and making recommendations to the Board on gift acceptance issues when appropriate. It is the purpose of this instrument to provide guidelines to the Executive Committee, so that all decisions regarding these policies and the enforcement of these policies will be vested in the Executive Committee.
Ethical and Guiding Principles
Crow Canyon adheres to the principles defined in the Donor Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
All gift acceptance policies, procedures, and decisions at Crow Canyon shall be interpreted in light of three guiding principles:
- No one soliciting on behalf of Crow Canyon may knowingly seek or accept any gift or pledge which they believe is not in the donor's best interest or would benefit Crow Canyon at the expense of the donor's interest and welfare.
- A gift shall not be accepted by Crow Canyon unless there is reasonable expectation that acceptance of the gift will support Crow Canyon in its mission.
- A gift shall not be accepted if it is deemed excessively restricted in purpose or too difficult to administer. In reviewing gifts to Crow Canyon, the Executive Committee or the staff will consider the following: the charitable intent and ultimate benefit of the gift, the nature of any restrictions, the permanency of the fund, the projected costs of administering the gift asset, and the fee revenues that may accrue to Crow Canyon for administering the gift. All final decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Committee.
While Crow Canyon is actively engaged in soliciting and accepting gifts to accomplish its mission, the role of all persons acting on behalf of Crow Canyon is to inform, serve, guide, or otherwise assist donors who wish to support Crow Canyon's mission, but never under any circumstances to pressure or unduly persuade a donor to make or complete a gift.
Persons acting on behalf of Crow Canyon shall encourage the donor to discuss a proposed gift with legal and/or financial advisor(s) of the donor's choice and at the donor's expense. This is to avoid any potential conflicts of interest that might arise in the explanation of a gift to a potential donor and to ensure that the donor receives a full, accurate, and independent explanation of all aspects of the proposed charitable gift.
Types of Gifts
- The following gift types are acceptable:
- Tangible Personal Property
- Real Estate
- Remainder Interests in Property
- Charitable Gift Annuities
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Charitable Lead Trusts
- Life Insurance
- Life Insurance and Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations
- In-Kind Gifts
- Conditional Pledges
- The following criteria govern the acceptance of each gift type:
- Cash: Cash and cash-equivalent gifts are reported the date the cash is received in the gift processing area. Credit card gifts are reported on the date that the credit card charges are processed. At year end, any check received in the mail with a date of December 31 or before and a postmark of December 31 or before will be posted and receipted in that calendar year.
- Tangible Personal Property: Crow Canyon may consider gifts of personal property, including but not limited to works of art, patents, copyrights, antiques, jewelry, furniture, rare books, manuscripts, or any other items that has a determinable value. The Executive committee may approve such donations only after a review indicates that the property is either readily marketable or needed by Crow Canyon. It is the policy of Crow Canyon to sell or otherwise dispose of all gifts of personal property, unless the items can be used by Crow Canyon in a manner related to its mission. Crow Canyon's intention to either sell the property or retain and use it to further its charitable activities shall be communicated to the donor in writing at the time of the gift.
- Publicly traded securities. Securities that are: 1) listed on an exchange in which quotations are published daily; 2) regularly traded in national or over-the-counter markets for which published quotations are available; or, 3) shares of a mutual fund for which quotations are published on a daily basis in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the United States, will be accepted as outright gifts or toward pledges. The value of securities is determined on the recognized gift date, which is established when the donor relinquishes control of the securities. The average of the high and the low trading prices on the gift date determine the value of securities for reporting purposes.
- Closely held securities (non public). Crow Canyon shall examine any issue that is not publicly traded prior to its acceptance as a gift and may decline a gift of such securities if it deems them difficult to value or not easily marketable. The Executive Committee must approve gifts of non-publicly held securities prior to acceptance.
- Real Estate: Gifts of real estate may include improved or unimproved land, personal residences, farmland, commercial property, rental property, or mineral interests. The real estate being gifts must be titled to the donor(s). Prior to acceptance of real estate, the donor is requested to advise Crow Canyon of any environmental issues that may be readily identified. Crow Canyon may require an initial environmental review of the property to ensure that the property has no environmental damage. In the event that the initial inspection reveals a potential problem, Crow Canyon shall retain a qualified environmental inspection firm to conduct an environmental audit. The cost of the environmental audit shall generally be at the expense of the donor, although Crow Canyon will consider such expense at the advice of the Executive Committee. Prior to acceptance of the real property, the gift shall be approved by the Executive Committee and by Crow Canyon's legal counsel. The Board of Trustees, at its discretion, may refuse any gift of real estate. Criteria for acceptance shall include consideration of the following questions:
- Is the property useful for the purposes of Crow Canyon?
- Is the property marketable?
- Are there any restrictions, reservations, easements, or other limitations associated with the property?
- Are there any carrying costs, which may include insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, etc. associated with the property?
- Does the environmental audit, if required, reflect that the property is not damaged?
- Remainder Interests in Property: Crow Canyon will accept a remainder interest in a personal residence, farm, or vacation property subject tot the above provisions. The donor or other occupants may continue to occupy the real property for the duration of the stated life. At the death of the donor, Crow Canyon may use the property or reduce it to cash. Where Crow Canyon receives a gift of a remainder interest, expenses for maintenance, real estate taxes, any property indebtedness are to be paid by the donor or primary beneficiary.
- Charitable Gift Annuities: Charitable gift annuities are a contract between Crow Canyon and the donor, as opposed to a trust agreement, whereby the donor makes an initial payment of cash or marketable securities to Crow Canyon, and Crow Canyon agrees to pay the donor an annuity for his/her lifetime.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts: A charitable remainder trust is established when a donor irrevocably transfers money or securities to a trustee who invests the assets to pay annual lifetime income to the donor or others chosen by the donor. At the end of the beneficiaries' lives, the remaining trust assets are distributed to Crow Canyon. Crow Canyon may accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust at any time without the approval of the Executive Committee. Crow Canyon will accept appointment as trustee of a charitable remainder trust only under the following conditions:
- That Crow Canyon has at least a 75% beneficial interest as the remainderman of these trusts, with the trust having a minimum value of $200,000.
- That Crow Canyon does not generally accept real estate or interests in limited partnerships as assets for the creation of these trusts, although exceptions can be made depending on the nature of the gift/trust.
- That the Executive Committee accepts the trust only after thorough review of the proposed trust by legal counsel.
- If such a trusteeship is accepted, Crow Canyon may serve directly as trustee or appoint a trustee. For example, Crow Canyon may contract with a trust company as its agent, paying the same fees as it may normally receive as a trustee.
- Charitable Lead Trusts: This type of gift provides an income stream for a specified time to Crow Canyon. Crow Canyon may accept designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust at any time. Crow Canyon receives income from the trust and applies it to the specific project. The Board of Trustees will not accept an appointment as trustee of a charitable lead trust.
- Life Insurance: Gift of life insurance may name Crow Canyon as beneficiary of the policy, contingent beneficiary, or as beneficiary and owner. Such designations shall not be recorded as gifts to Crow Canyon until such time as the gift is irrevocable and Crow Canyon has knowledge of such designation. Where the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
- Bequests:Donors and supporters of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center will be encouraged to make bequests under their wills and trusts. Such bequests will not be recorded as gifts to Crow Canyon until such time as the gift is irrevocable. When the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
- Life Insurance and Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations: Donors and supporters of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center will be encouraged to name Crow Canyon as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies and qualified retirement plans. Such designations shall not be recorded as gifts to Crow Canyon until such time as the gift is irrevocable. Where the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of the gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
- Gifts-in-Kind: Gifts-in-kind for which donors are eligible for a charitable gift deduction in accordance with current IRS regulations should be reported at the fair market value placed on them by an independent, expert appraiser. Only those gifts-in-kind that can be converted to cash, or items such as equipment, books, artworks, etc. that can be used in support of Crow Canyon's mission should be reported.
- Pledges: Pledges are commitments to give a specific dollar amount according to a fixed time schedule. A pledge can only be made by the entity exercising legal control over the assets to be given. The following minimum information must exist in writing from the donor to Crow Canyon:
- The amount of the pledge
- A clearly defined payment schedule
- The donor may not prescribe contingencies or conditions
- The donor must be considered to be financially capable of making the gift
- Changes to original pledges must be documented in writing
- Conditional Pledges: Conditional pledges are those that place requirements on the organization to perform some task or take some action that it might not otherwise initiate. A conditional pledge may also depend on some future or uncertain event over which the organization or the donor has no control. Examples of conditional pledges are: a challenge gift requiring Crow Canyon to match the pledge dollars before the actual contribution is received from the donor, or gifts for capital projects that are contingent on either raising other funds or moving forward with the plans to build or renovate.
Classification of Donations
Based on the donor's stated intentions, all gifts to Crow Canyon will be assigned to one of the following classes:
- Unrestricted gifts. These funds give Crow Canyon broad discretion in using the funds to meet operating and program needs as determined by President and CEO and other members of the Executive Team.
- Temporarily-Restricted Gifts. These funds have a donor-defined restriction as to the purpose and use of the funds.
- Permanently Restricted Gifts. These funds are designated by the donor to be permanently invested in Crow Canyon's endowment for the purpose of producing present and future income and gains that may be expended or reinvested with the original gift.
Changes to the Gift Acceptance Policy
These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the Board, and any changes to or deviations from these policies must be approved by the Executive Committee of the Board.
Approved on the 18th day of October, 2008
Revised with the approval of the Board of Trustees on the 30th day of April, 2011