Does My Nonprofit Need a Gift Acceptance Policy?

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When it comes to receiving gifts from potential donors at your nonprofit, there may be some instances where it is actually in the organization’s best interest to decline what’s being offered. Although it sounds like it should be the other way around, some gifts may actually cost the nonprofit more than they are worth.

For example, an organization accepts the donation of a used car without investigating its condition first. It’s in horrible shape and by the time the vehicle is liquidated, it may have cost the nonprofit more to deal with than they actually ended up receiving. Although this is a fairly straightforward example, there are many other offerings that can be even more complicated and costly.

A gift acceptance policy clearly defines the types of gifts your nonprofit is allowed to accept. Not only does this enable your staff to make smart decisions quickly when a donor offers a gift, it also ensures the responsibility for the gifts accepted is with the board of directors since they would be instrumental in developing the policy. An important consideration when developing your gift acceptance policy is to review the types of gifts currently accepted by your organization, the types of gifts that have been offered but not accepted, and the type of gifts you may be offered and/or accept in the future. This will help form the basis of your acceptance policy.

Once your policy has been implemented it becomes an integral tool for your fundraising and marketing efforts. Having this “blueprint” of what types of gifts your nonprofit accepts allows you to target specific donors for the various offerings you are seeking. Regularly reviewing the policy with everyone involved with fundraising efforts will help to make sure new staff members are aware of the acceptance policy, and also help generate new ideas for targeting potential donors to maximize your efforts.

Having a gift acceptance policy in place can help protect your nonprofit from costly damages, but as with all strategies, risks still exist and need to be assessed and managed. Lamb Financial Group offers nonprofit risk management services to help ensure your organization can protect itself from potentially crippling losses. Call us at 866-481-5262, or contact us to learn how we can help protect your organization.

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