Charitable Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines

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Charitable Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts for purposes that will help HLAA achieve its mission. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts to HLAA for the benefit of its operations and programs.

Our Mission

The Mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy.

I. Purpose of Policies and Guidelines

The Hearing Loss Association of America solicits current and deferred gifts to support the growth and mission of HLAA. The purpose of these policies is to set forth guidelines for the acceptance of gifts in order to ensure that achieving the mission of HLAA is not compromised as a result of such gifts, to provide the underlying principles for soliciting gifts, and to identify situations for which board approval or further legal counsel is required prior to acceptance of a gift (see sections: IV. Acceptance of Gifts, and XIII. Endowment Fund Policies for prior board approval policies).

These policies (and guidelines) govern the acceptance of gifts by HLAA and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to HLAA. The provisions of these policies shall apply to all gifts received by HLAA for all of its programs.

II. Funding Sources

HLAA actively pursues funding in the form of gifts, grants, and sponsorships that advance its purposes and overall mission from the following sources: individuals, public charities, foundations, corporations, private businesses, and government entities.

III. Policy Implementation

These charitable gift acceptance policies and guidelines will be used to inform the fundraising activities of HLAA from individuals, public charities, foundations, corporations, private businesses, and government entities. HLAA board members, board officers, staff, consultants, and volunteers are expected to comply with these policies and guidelines.

IV. Conflict of Interest

To avoid potential conflicts of interest, board members who own, directly or indirectly, e.g., through family members, trusts or otherwise, a controlling interest in a business or corporation shall recuse themselves (if required) from the vote to accept a gift from that business or corporation. Ownership stock through a diversified mutual fund will not require recusal.

V. Use of Legal Counsel

HLAA shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

  1. Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
  2. Documents naming HLAA as Trustee.
  3. Gifts involving contracts that require HLAA to assume an obligation.
  4. Transactions with potential conflict of interest.
  5. Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate.

VI. Acceptance of Gifts

HLAA’s management is authorized to accept monetary or in-kind gifts under the following circumstances:

  1. The gift is wholly consistent, in fact and appearance, with the activities, policies, mission, goals, and /or programs of HLAA.
  2. The gift is not linked to a requirement that HLAA endorse or purchase particular products, policies, or services identified by the donor or to HLAA taking any specific action to benefit a person, corporation, or business.

Gifts that do not meet these requirements will require board approval prior to acceptance.

VII. Types of Gifts

The following criteria govern the acceptance of each gift form:

  1. Cash – Cash gifts are acceptable in any form including cash, credit cards, money orders, and checks. Checks should be made payable to: Hearing Loss Association of America and sent to HLAA’s office. Gifts can also be made online at HLAA’s secure website, www.hearingloss.org.
  2. Securities – HLAA will accept publically traded securities which will be sold upon acceptance. For gift crediting and accounting purposes, the value of the securities is the average of the high and low on the date of the gift, in accordance with IRS regulations.
  3. Planned Gifts – HLAA will accept planned gifts including: bequests, retirement plan beneficiary designations, life insurance plan beneficiary designations, life insurance, beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust, income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust, and other planned gifts.

VIII. Planned Giving Policies

HLAA will accept planned gifts, in the forms listed in Section VII, #3, through HLAA’s Planned Giving Program. A planned gift is one which is legally provided for during the donor’s lifetime but whose principal benefits do not accrue to HLAA until some future date. Prospective planned giving donors are encouraged to seek legal and financial counsel to review the gift to be donated and the advisability of the gift in light of the donor’s overall estate planning. HLAA staff, consultants, and volunteers do not provide legal or tax advice to prospective donors.

Planned gifts to HLAA will be placed in a reserve account and it will require approval by the board of trustees to transfer funds to other fund accounts, as needed, to support the financial health, or program development of HLAA.

IX. Corporate Gifts / Sponsorship Policies

HLAA’s policy on corporate gifts and sponsorships is to accept gifts and sponsorships from corporations and businesses within a strict set of ethical guidelines. HLAA does not accept funds from companies that would compromise HLAA’s independence, mission or program work. HLAA will not accept funds from companies that would place HLAA’s public image or professional reputation at risk.

HLAA will accept monetary and in-kind gifts from corporations and businesses provided that the gift comes without conditions or requirements that would negatively affect the integrity or reputation of the activities, policies, mission, goals, and/or programs of HLAA.

HLAA will accept sponsorships that acknowledge the donor but do not promote the donor’s business or products in ways that would expose the sponsorship payments to taxation.

X. Endowment Fund Policies

Terms and conditions must be agreed upon before an endowment is established. A minimum contribution is required to establish a named endowment. If the donor fails to fulfill the pledge obligation, or the purpose for which the fund is established becomes illegal, impractical, or no longer meets the needs of HLAA, HLAA may designate an alternative use in the spirit of the donor’s original intent for the gift to further the objectives of HLAA. The board of trustees will approve endowment gifts and establish endowment funding requirements.

XI. Restrictions on Gifts

HLAA will accept unrestricted gifts, and gifts for specific programs and purposes, provided that such gifts are consistent with its stated mission, purposes, and priorities.

HLAA will not accept gifts that violate the terms of HLAA’s corporate charter or trust document, gifts that are too difficult to administer, or gifts that are for purposes outside the mission of HLAA.

HLAA will not accept gifts that have potential financial or legal liability. If the intended goal of a restricted gift no longer exits and if no authority was given by the donor to use the gift for an unrestricted purpose, HLAA will follow applicable laws and statutes to release the restrictions.

HLAA reserves the right to decline to accept gifts from donors whose conduct, operations or advocacy are inconsistent with HLAA’s charter and mission.

XII. Revocation of Naming Opportunities

HLAA reserves the right to revoke naming commitments if the donor fails to fulfill a pledge or if the donor’s behavior, reputation or actions would reflect negatively on HLAA.

XIII. Gift Acknowledgement

HLAA will provide recognition to donors in a mutually agreeable format in conformity with legal requirements. HLAA will acknowledge all gifts and will comply with current IRS requirements in acknowledgement of gifts.

XIV. Disclosure

HLAA will provide a copy of its Charitable Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines to any individual, foundation, corporation, business, government entity or organization requesting it.

HLAA will post its Charitable Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines on HLAA’s website, www.hearingloss.org.

XV. Donor Privacy Policy

Donors who supply HLAA with contact information may be contacted for solicitation purposes and / or for program or event information. All donor requests to remain anonymous will be honored. Donors may request to be removed from HLAA’s mailing list by contacting HLAA via telephone, email, or mail. HLAA will not sell or share donor lists or information but will provide such information as required to relevant government agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, as required by law.

Donor information related to planned giving, or the nature and value of assets shall be kept strictly confidential by HLAA unless otherwise authorized by the donor for selected informational purposes of referral, example or testimonial.

XVI. Miscellaneous Provisions

  1. Securing appraisals and legal fees for gifts to HLAA: It is the responsibility of the donor to secure an appraisal (where required) and independent legal counsel for all gifts made to HLAA.
  2. Valuation of gifts: HLAA will record a gift received by HLAA at its valuation for gift purposes on the date of the gift.
  3. Pledges: Pledges, excluding planned gifts, shall generally not exceed 5 years.

XVII. Changes to Charitable Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines

These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the Hearing Loss Association of America Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees must approve any changes to or deviation from these policies. Recommendations for amendments may be made as needed. The policies and guidelines will be reviewed by the board of trustees no less frequently than every three years.

XVIII. Disclaimer

HLAA will encourage all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. HLAA does not provide legal or tax advice.