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Gift Acceptance Policies

Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  • To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.

  • To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.

  • To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.

  • To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.

  • To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

  • To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.

  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.

  • To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.

  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

I. INTRODUCTION

The Farmingdale College Foundation (FCF) solicits and receives charitable gifts and grants from individuals, foundations, corporations and other sources to support the mission and strategic goals of Farmingdale State College.

The FCF has the sole authority to receive and administer private charitable contributions to the college. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the FCF is the only campus related organization that can issue receipts for charitable contributions for IRS tax and legal purposes.

These FCF policies ensure the integrity of institutional fundraising efforts; protect the privacy of donors, alumni and friends; and coordinate campus-wide fundraising efforts among all of the College’s constituencies. Please call the Office for Development and Alumni Engagement at 631-420-2142, with any questions.

Charitable gifts to The Farmingdale College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible and are not refundable. The FCF does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice to donors and strongly recommends that donors seek advice from independent professional financial advisors or attorneys when considering the tax implications and benefits of charitable giving.

The policies are intended to be both flexible and practical to accommodate a variety of charitable giving situations and donor expectations. All gifts are accepted with a reasonable expectation that they will support the mission of Farmingdale State College and will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability. These guidelines supersede all existing gift policies and are subject to change without prior notice.

II. AUTHORIZATION

The FCF Board of Directors has full and final authority over policies and procedures for the solicitation and acceptance of all gifts. Operationally, the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement has the authority to implement policy and make day-to-day decisions.

  • All fundraising campaigns, appeals and events must be approved by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement and/or the Board of Directors as appropriate.

  • Solicitation from individuals, foundations or corporations must be approved by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement.

  • Endowment agreements must be reviewed by senior management (President, Vice President of Development and Alumni Engagement and/or the Provost and CFO) prior to presentation to the prospective donor.

  • The FCF reserves the right to decline gifts that are not consistent with the mission, programs or strategic goals of Farmingdale State College.

The Office of Development and Alumni Engagement’s responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and manage the solicitation, receipt, acknowledgment, documentation and stewardship of all gifts;

  • Manage the process of solicitations by faculty, staff, and volunteers in accordance with approved gift policies;

  • Record all pledges and gifts into the FCF fundraising database and then tracking, monitoring, and collecting pledge payments.

III. GIFT TYPES AND VALUATIONS

1. A Gift

A gift is a voluntary, irrevocable transfer of assets from an individual to the FCF. The donor receives no direct benefit and requires nothing in exchange beyond an assurance that the gift intent will be honored.

2. Conditional Gifts

Conditional gifts may commit the FCF to an act within a specified time before the contribution is made. Conditional gifts will be reviewed by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement who will make a recommendation to the President to either accept, modify the gift terms or reject the gift.

3. Unrestricted Gifts

Unrestricted gifts are given by donors with no limitation, prohibition or constraint on the specific purpose or use of the funds. The Farmingdale College Foundation accepts unrestricted annual gifts on behalf of Farmingdale State College. These funds may be used by the Foundation without restriction, to pay for operating expenses and other purposes.

4. Temporarily Restricted Gifts

Temporarily restricted gifts have a donor-directed purpose that has yet to be fulfilled or have restrictions that will expire upon a certain event. For example: Faculty and colleagues make contributions to create a fund in memory of a friend or professor. A minimum of $2,500 is required to establish a temporarily restricted account. Temporarily restricted account will be expended within one to three years.

5. Faculty and Staff Current Use Restricted Funds

Current use restricted funds are fully expendable at all times and are established to receive charitable donations.  A minimum of $5,000 is required to establish a current use restricted account. These accounts are restricted by the donor for use by the department or academic program for a specific use or for general support of activities.  There is a 4% overhead fee on these accounts, assessed quarterly based on deposits to the account. The fees do not apply to deposits for direct student aid. All accounts must have a custodian and at least one additional authorized signer.  

6. Permanently Restricted Gifts/Endowments

Permanently restricted endowments require a minimum gift of $25,000 and a signed agreement between the donor and the FCF. Permanently restricted gifts must be maintained at their original value in perpetuity and are subject to the revisions of the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“NYPMIFA”). They may be limited by donor directed conditions that neither expire over time nor can be removed by the FCF, except as provided by law or as agreed to by the donor or otherwise prescribed by law. The distribution of income from endowments will be in accordance with the spending policy as approved by the Board of Directors.

The FCF will maintain all pledge documentation and copies of all endowment gift agreements. The donor receives a signed original of the endowment gift agreement and one original is maintained in the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement.

7. Cash and Cash Equivalents

Cash is the easiest and the most frequently received gift. Cash or cash equivalent gifts can take the form of currency, check, or credit card contribution using the FCF online giving page. Cash may be delivered in person, by mail, by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or by wire transfer. Cash gifts are reported the date the cash is received in the Development Office. If gifts are transferred by EFT or wire, the date of the gift is the date that the money is transferred into the FCF’s bank account. Credit card gifts are reported on the date that the credit card charges are processed. The FCF accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA credit cards.

8. Securities

All marketable securities will be valued at the mean of their high and low market values on the date of transfer. The date of transfer is the date that:

  • The electronically transferred securities are deposited in the FCF brokerage account.

  • Hand-delivered stock certificates registered in the donor’s name must be accompanied by a signed stock power with a medallion signature guarantee. The gift date is the date on the stock power certificate.

  • The mailed stock certificate and a properly endorsed stock power should be mailed separately. If the dates on the documents differ, the date of the stock power certificate will determine the gift date.

  • Gifts of otherwise publicly traded securities that are subject to tender offers or securities law restrictions may present particular tax or administrative issues for the donor and/or for FCF that may be referred to the appropriate Board committee(s) prior to acceptance of the gift.

  • Any restrictions by the donor on the management or investment of a gifted security will be referred to the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement for review, and referred to the President when appropriate, prior to acceptance of the gift.

  • Publicly-Traded Securities Securities listed on an exchange in which quotations are published daily; regularly traded in national or regional over-the-counter markets for which published quotations are available; or that are shares of a mutual fund for which quotations are published on a daily basis, will be accepted as outright gifts or toward pledges.

  • Closely Held Securities (non-public) FCF shall examine closely held securities that are not publicly traded prior to their acceptance and may decline the gift if it deems the securities difficult to value or not easily marketable. An independent appraisal provided by the donor is required prior to acceptance of the gift. The FCF Executive Committee must approve gifts of non-publicly held securities prior to acceptance.

  • Securities inconsistent with FCF guidelines will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement in consultation with the prospective donor.

9. Pledges

  • Pledges are the promise of a future gift. The following information is required to substantiate a pledge:

  • The amount of the pledge must be clearly specified. The pledge must be documented in writing, signed by the donor and received by the FCF.

  • A clearly defined payment schedule not to exceed five years.

  • Cannot contain contingencies or conditions that require an undue burden of financial resources by the FCF.

  • An endowment gift agreement signed by the donor and the FCF designee. Such an agreement will be framed in preferential language which would allow the FCF, in the event that the original restrictions cannot be followed, to use the funds for a compatible, related purpose.

  • Changes to the original pledge must be documented in writing (letter or email) by the donor and accepted by the FCF.

10. Pledge Recording

  • Anticipated matching gifts will not be included in donor’s pledge amount. The matching gift, when received, will be booked with legal or hard credit to the matching entity. A “soft” credit will be recorded to the original donor for recognition of the matching gift.

  • Pledges and expected matching gifts paid in full will qualify for donor recognition in appropriate giving level groups.

  • If a final pledge payment exceeds the pledge balance, a gift will be recorded for the amount of the overpayment. Underpaid pledges (as a result of rounding, gift valuation, or incremental giving) may be recorded as paid in full when donors’ intents are clearly to pay commitments in full. Each situation will be evaluated for the underpaid amount and other circumstances concerning the donor.

  • Before defaulted pledges are written off, pledges over $1,000 must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement and the Audit Committee of the FCF.

  • Pledge balances will be written off when the FCF is notified of a donor’s death only after unsuccessful attempts to secure the balances either through a provision in the donor’s will identifying FCF as a beneficiary or if the donor’s family fails to demonstrate an intent to complete the pledge.

  • Annual Fund pledges are unrestricted gifts and are payable within the fiscal year. Annual Fund pledges that are not fulfilled will be removed from pledge records within three months after the end of the fiscal year.

11. Corporate Matching Gifts

Matching gifts will be credited to the purpose for which the donor's gift was made, as long as it is consistent with the company's policy. The matching gift is credited to the corporate donor's record; the individual donor whose gift is matched will receive associated acknowledgement by memo (“soft”) credit. The memo (“soft”) recognition credit for the matching amount will be included in donor records for the College's appropriate giving recognition.

12. Grants and Contracts

The term "grant" is used by many corporations and foundations to indicate philanthropic awards and does not necessarily denote a sponsored research grant or contract. The determination of whether funding awarded to the College is a gift or a grant will be made based on specific circumstances of the award. A grant is a voluntary transfer of assets or awards for specific or general purposes from a corporation, private foundation or other organization. The grantor receives no deliverable that may result in direct economic or other tangible benefit as a result of the gift. The grantor receives no rights to intellectual property derived from the research or exclusive rights to the data or information that results from the research. Contracts are not counted as gifts since a contract carries an explicit quid pro quo relationship between the contractor and FCF. There is an expectation that FCF is providing economic benefit(s) to the contractor such as exclusive rights to research results, intellectual or tangible property or services to the contractor. Government grants are not counted as philanthropic gifts.

13. Gifts-in-Kind

Gifts-in-Kind are generally defined as non-cash gifts of materials or long lived assets, other than real and personal property. Examples of gifts-in-kind may include equipment, printed materials, food or software. Gifts-in-kind usually come from companies or corporations as opposed to individuals who usually give personal property. The IRS requires the donor acquire an independent appraisal for any gifts valued over $5,000 and must file IRS Form 8283. It is the donor’s responsibility to obtain an independent appraisal for tax purposes. Regardless of what estimated value a company may place on a gift-in-kind, the FCF must report the value it would have had to pay if it purchased the item outright, net of any educational discount.

14. Personal Property

Personal property includes but is not limited to works of art, patents, copyrights, antiques, stamp and coin collections, jewelry, furniture, rare books, manuscripts, or any other item that has a determinable value. FCF staff or board members cannot provide appraisal information to a donor for tax purposes. The IRS requires the donor acquires a qualified independent appraisal for any gifts valued over $5,000 and file IRS Form 8283. An authorized FCF official must sign the form to indicate that the FCF is eligible as a tax-exempt entity to receive the charitable donation. The FCF is not certifying the valuation of the gift by signing the form.

FCF may approve such donations only after a review indicates that the property is either readily marketable or that supports the mission of the College. The FCF will sell or otherwise dispose of all gifts of personal property immediately or as soon as practical. The intention to either sell the property or to retain and use it shall be communicated to the donor in writing at the time of the gift. The FCF must file IRS Form 8282 for gifts of tangible property valued over $5,000 if the item is sold within three years of the date of the gift.

15. Intellectual Property and Unexpired Patents

Intellectual Property and Unexpired Patents (i.e. patents, copyrights, etc.) may be considered and shall require the review and approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee and, at their discretion, review by qualified experts in the industry.

16. Volunteered Services

The value of a person's or organization's time or service is considered a volunteer activity and is not a charitable contribution as defined by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

17. Bequests

A bequest is a gift of personal property, such as cash, securities, personal or real property or other assets, that is owned by a decedent at the time of death and which is directed by the provisions of the decedent’s will. Notification of the inclusion of The FCF in a donor’s will shall be in the form of a written Estate Intention form.

Estate Intention

An Estate Intention is the written notification by a donor that the FCF is a beneficiary of the donor's estate. An Estate Intention is revocable and therefore is separately disclosed in fundraising activity reporting. It is not reported as a gift in the audited financial statements. An Estate Intention shall be recorded as a pledge when the following conditions are met:

  • The signed Estate Intention form indicates a specified or estimated dollar amount of the estate based on a credible estimate of the future value of the estate at the time the commitment is made.

  • A beneficiary designation from a 401(k), IRA or life insurance will be treated, documented, valued and recorded in the same manner as an Estate Intention. The donor must submit a copy of the beneficiary designation to book the Estate Intention.

  • The donor has reached the age of seventy-two (72). Estate Intentions for those who will turn 72 during a campaign may be recorded at present value with the approval of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement.

  • The donor is age 65 - 71 and the FCF has verification of the commitment in a letter from the donor/attorney/legal representative or the signed Estate Intention form and approval by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement.

  • The donor is age 50 – 64 and the FCF has a copy of the donor’s last will and testament (or relevant portion thereof) as well as a signed Estate Intention form and approval by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement.

18. Life Insurance

  • FCF must be assigned as both an irrevocable beneficiary and owner of an insurance policy before a policy can be recorded as a gift. Such gifts must be fully paid and in the form of a whole life policy. Paid up policies may be recorded as gifts at the recommendation of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement. Every gift of insurance must be subject to a written gift agreement. The FCF will not accept any policy with an outstanding loan(s).

  • The current cash surrender value of the policy will be credited toward fundraising goals. Increases in the cash surrender value of the policy are not recorded as gifts.

  • The difference between the cash value and the insurance company's settlement at the donor's death will not be reported as a gift, but as a gain on the disposition of assets.

  • In cases where the FCF receives the proceeds of an insurance policy as the named beneficiary but not the owner, the full amount received will be reported as an estate gift on the date the proceeds are delivered.

19. Gifts with Special Risks

Gifts of the following types of property must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement and the FCF Executive Committee.

  • Real estate;

  • Closely held stock;

  • Oil and gas interests;

  • Partnership interests;

  • Any other property interest which is not readily marketable;

  • Gifts that require the expenditure of significant FCF funds; and

  • Gifts-in-kind. Before acceptance, relevant information about the property shall be ascertained, including a copy of any appraisal secured by the donor. The FCF reserves the right to secure its own appraisal if necessary.

The FCF reserves the right to decline non-cash gifts or illiquid assets accompanied by a liability. No gift of real or personal property will be accepted if it causes the FCF to incur a financial or other obligation which the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement deems to be burdensome. In the event the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement should decide to accept a financial or other obligation, he/she shall so recommend it to the Board of Directors for its review and approval. The FCF reserves the right to sell personal property at any time unless otherwise agreed to with the donor.

IV. GIFT ASSIGNMENT AND REPORTING

1. General Gift Assignment

All gifts will be recorded by the FCF and will be recorded by donor, by date, by gift type, by purpose, and by fundraising program.

In addition to recording all gifts, all documents related to a gift (e.g., wills, trusts, deeds, annuity agreements, contracts, correspondence establishing gift conditions, etc.) will be retained by the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement.

2. Consideration in the Assignment of Restricted Gifts

Gift restrictions must be approved by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement or his or her designee. Gift restrictions must support the mission of the FCF.

Should ambiguities regarding a donor's intention exist, they will be resolved by the Development Office, in consultation with the donor and legal counsel “where necessary.

All restricted gifts will be recorded according to the assigned restriction. The donor's written instructions shall be made part of the donor’s permanent record.

If a restricted gift commitment is not fulfilled within five years or according to the terms of the gift agreement, the gift will be used for a purpose similar to the intent of the original commitment or treated as unrestricted.

3. Assignment of Unrestricted Gifts:

Special Cases The Board of Directors may internally designate unrestricted gifts to specific purposes. The Development Office will record these gifts in accordance with the purpose assigned, using the following guidelines:

Annual Fund gifts with no donor-imposed designations will be credited to the unrestricted gift income account and credited toward Annual Fund program goals.

Special or campaign gifts with no donor-imposed designations will be credited towards campaign goals and will be recorded accordingly.

Undesignated bequests will be assigned based on the amount of the bequest. Bequests of less than $10,000 will be credited to the Annual Fund. Bequest of $10,000 or more will be reviewed by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement and credited to a designated account pending the results of the review.

V. NAMING OPPORTUNITIES

Scholarship Endowments Scholarship endowments make it possible for Farmingdale State College to attract and retain the best undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their financial circumstances.

For more information about establishing an endowment at Farmingdale State College, please contact the Office for Development and Alumni Engagement at 631-420-2142.

Program Endowments Endowments support programs and special initiatives at Farmingdale State College which give the College a competitive edge. Endowments provide important funding for research, equipment, cultural enrichment for students and a variety of other programs that enrich the student experience at Farmingdale State College. Centers and Institutes Centers and institutes may be named in recognition of an endowed gift or a gift of substantial size. The minimum amount for a particular center or institute is determined on a case by case basis and is dependent on the size and scope of the program’s number of faculty, students and budget. Buildings and Rooms Buildings may be named in recognition of an endowed gift. The minimum amount for a particular building is determined on a case by case basis dependent on the size and purpose of the building.

Approved by Farmingdale College Foundation - September 2017

Farmingdale State College Alumni and Foundation

Farmingdale State College Alumni and Foundation comprises the Alumni Association which links 96,000 alumni to the College and to each other, and the College Foundation, the official fundraising organization which solicits private donations.

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