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Communities In Schools, Inc.
Gift Acceptance Policy

Communities In Schools, Inc. solicits and accepts gifts to help the organization further and fulfill its mission. Communities In Schools, Inc. 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. Communities In Schools, Inc. does not provide financial or legal advice to donors or prospective donors. 

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

Use of Legal Counsel—Communities In Schools, Inc. will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to the acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel may occur for: 

  1. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements. 
  2. Documents naming Communities In Schools, Inc. as trustee or requiring Communities In Schools, Inc. to act in any fiduciary capacity. 
  3. Gifts requiring Communities In Schools, Inc. to assume financial or other obligations.
  4. Transactions with potential conflicts of interest. 
  5. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions.
  6. Other gifts that the Executive Leadership Team believes may implicate special legal considerations. 

Restrictions on Gifts—Communities In Schools, Inc. will not accept gifts that (a) would result in Communities In Schools, Inc. violating its corporate charter, (b) would result in Communities In Schools, Inc. losing its status as an IRC § 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, (c) are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value, (d) would result in any unacceptable consequences for Communities In Schools, Inc. (including encumbering CIS staff with excessive additional responsibilities), or (e) are for purposes outside Communities In Schools, Inc.’s mission. Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review (subject to the Additional Considerations below), If Unrestricted—

  1. Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, or online. Donors wishing to make a gift with a credit card must provide the card type (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, American Express), card number, expiration date and the cardholder's name as it appears on the credit card.   
  2. 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. 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 Executive Leadership Team shall decide whether to accept the restricted securities.  
  3. Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to Communities In Schools, Inc. under their wills and to name Communities In Schools, Inc. as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.  
  4. Charitable Remainder Trusts. Communities In Schools, Inc. will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.  
  5. Charitable Lead Trusts. Communities In Schools, Inc. will accept the 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 before acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include, but are not limited to:  

  1. Tangible Personal Property. The Executive Leadership Team shall review and determine whether to accept any gifts of tangible personal property in light of the following considerations: Does the property further the organization’s mission? Is the property marketable? Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the property? Are there any carrying costs for the property for which the organization may be responsible? Is the title/provenance of the property clear?  
  2. Life Insurance. Communities In Schools, Inc. will accept gifts of life insurance where Communities In Schools, Inc. is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy under the following conditions: 
    1. the policy must have a cash value; 
    2. the policy must comply with applicable state insurance regulations, including insurable interest clauses;
    3. the donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owing on the policy.   
  3. Real Estate. All real estate gifts are subject to review by the Executive Leadership Team. A member of the staff or local real estate broker must conduct a visual inspection of the property. Prior to acceptance of real estate, the donor must provide the following documents: survey, preliminary title report, and, for condominium and planned unit development properties, a copy of any covenants, conditions and restrictions. Before acceptance of any gift of real estate other than a personal residence with no known environmental hazards, Communities In Schools, Inc. shall require (at the donor’s cost) an initial environmental review by a qualified environmental firm. If the initial review reveals a potential problem, the organization may retain a qualified environmental firm to conduct an environmental audit. Gifts of real estate are ordinarily acceptable only after it has been determined that no reasonable possibility exists that the property could be contaminated by toxic waste. Except in unusual cases, all gifts of real property shall be deeded by warranty deed. Legal counsel shall, as required, review legal documents, contracts, and all donor agreements relative to real estate transactions.

Criteria for acceptance of gifts of real estate include: Is the property useful for the organization’s purposes? Is the property readily marketable? Are there covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, encumbrances or other limitations associated with the property? Are there carrying costs (including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, or the like) or maintenance expenses related to the property?  Does the environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?

Additional Considerations—When considering whether to solicit or accept gifts, the organization will consider the following factors: 

  1. Values—Whether accepting the gift compromises any of the core values of Communities In Schools, Inc.  
  2. Compatibility—Whether there is compatibility between the intent of the donor and the organization’s use of the gift  
  3. Public Relationships—Whether acceptance of the gift may expose CIS to adverse publicity or litigation or otherwise damage the reputation of Communities In Schools, Inc.  
  4. Primary Benefit—Whether the primary benefit is to Communities In Schools, Inc., versus the donor  
  5. Consistency—Is acceptance of the gift consistent with prior practice?  
  6. Form of Gift—Is the gift offered in a form that Communities In Schools, Inc. can use without incurring substantial expense or difficulty?  
  7. Effect on Future Giving—Will the gift encourage or discourage future gifts?
  8. Donor Competency—Is the donor’s mental competency in question to Communities In Schools, Inc.’s knowledge?

The Executive Leadership Team will make all decisions to solicit and/or accept potentially controversial gifts. The primary consideration will be the impact of the gift on the organization.

Donor Confidentiality—In general, personal information concerning donors or prospective donors shall be kept confidential by Communities In Schools, Inc. and its authorized personnel. All donor requests for anonymity will be honored.

Educational Information—Staff members, development staff members, or their designated representatives may provide donors and their advisors with information that outlines their options on various planned gift arrangements.  All such information provided will be for educational purposes only.  All persons representing Communities In Schools, Inc. will studiously avoid giving any advice that could be considered legal or financial advice.