Brenda JacobsGeneral Articles

Gift Acceptance Policy and Not-for-Profits

By June 7, 2016 January 21st, 2020 No Comments

As a not-for-profit organization, do you accept any gift that is donated?  Sometimes there may be donations that go against your mission, or are more of a hassle than a good thing. Because of this, it is important for not-for-profits to have a gift acceptancy policy. A gift acceptance policy states the types of gifts that a not-for-profit will and will not accept.  Author Ken Tysiac, in a recent article published in the Journal of Accountancy, states four key elements that a gift acceptancy policy should entail:

  1. Explanation of the type of gifts that the organization will accept, conditions for the acceptance of gifts, and what kind of review needs to take place before a gift is accepted.
  2. Descriptions of gifts that the organization will not accept, such as gifts that are too challenging to administer, would jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status, do not further the organization’s objectives, or could damage the organization’s reputation.
  3. Description of criteria for acknowledgement and donor recognition and details of how such recognition shall be carried out.
  4. A clause explaining when legal counsel should be sought in matters relating to acceptance of gifts.

Having a clear gift acceptancy policy can help avoid trouble in the future. There are many examples of gift acceptancy policies online.  It may also be beneficial to seek legal advice in constructing such a policy. For more information on this topic, please contact Brenda Jacobs at

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