Educational Foundation

Policy on Private Fundraising

The purpose of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation) is to support the college’s mission by securing funds for scholarships, faculty development and capital projects; enhancing the community’s awareness of the college; and providing prudent fiscal management of monies and properties submitted to the Foundation.

While the Foundation encourages faculty, staff and organizations to seek money, items, or services from the community that will improve the college, it is important to note that asking the public to support Virginia Western requires an orchestrated effort on all of our parts. For instance, before you approach your potential contributor you need to know if someone else at Virginia Western has already approached them for a different project. Soliciting a potential donor for two or more different efforts will immediately produce a negative donor response. By making the Foundation aware of your plans, staff members will be able to coordinate the various fund raising efforts, and help ensure your efforts are successful. Additionally, the Foundation has a different tax status than the college. This means that donors may receive a tax deduction for their donation, which is a very attractive and persuasive opportunity for the donor.

Before engaging in a fundraising effort please note and comply with the following:

  1. Please complete the following "Fund Raising Proposal" form and send it to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. before beginning a fund raising effort. Once your effort is finished, please complete and send in the bottom portion of the form.
  2. The Foundation staff will assist any faculty, staff, students and/or organizations with their fund raising efforts.
  3. Any gift received must fit within the guidelines of Virginia Western's Gift Acceptance Policy on the pages following the proposal form.
  4. All donations should be made in the name of the Foundation. Please advise donors that their gifts are tax-deductible, within the limits of the IRS regulations, and that they will receive an official gift receipt letter from the Virginia Western Educational Foundation, Inc. upon receipt of their gift. (Note: The VWCC Educational Foundation is 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and the tax identification number is 52-1200913).

Fund Raising Proposal Form

Gift Acceptance Policy

Mission

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., is an independent not-for-profit foundation dedicated to enhancing community awareness of the college; securing private and public funds for student scholarships, faculty development, and capital projects; and providing prudent fiscal management of monies and properties submitted to the foundation.

Purpose

This policy serves as a guideline for the VWCC Educational Foundation (hereafter known as the Foundation) staff, board members, volunteers, outside advisors' who assist in the gift planning and solicitation process, and prospective donors who wish to make gifts to the Foundation of unrestricted, restricted and endowment funds.  The Foundation actively solicits gifts and grants to further the mission of Virginia Western Community College (hereafter known as the College).  As gifts can encourage others to give or do the opposite, this gift acceptance policy is intended only as a guide and allows for flexibility on a case-by-case basis.

General Policies

  1. All contributions are the property of the Foundation.  Any restrictions placed on donations will be included in the standard bookkeeping for the Foundation.
  2. All gifts to the Foundation will comply with IRS requirements.
  3. Outright gifts should be reported only when assets are transferred irrevocably to the Foundation.
  4. Complicated potential gifts involving multiple donors, multiple transactions, operating businesses, unusual assets or conditions, will generally be avoided, as the time requirements often involve more expense than the potential gain.
  5. Any contributions or expenditures that would endanger the non-profit status of the Foundation will be administratively refused.
  6. All information concerning prospective donors shall be confidential.  No information shall be released to the general public without securing the prior permission of the donor.
  7. Donors shall be encouraged to secure the advice of independent legal and tax counsel in all matters pertaining to gifts to the Foundation.  The Foundation shall not pay the donor's fees for professional services retained with respect to a major gift.
  8. An ad-hoc committee of the Foundation, the Gift Review Committee, will be responsible for recommending whether or not the Foundation should accept proposed gifts.   The Executive Director or gift solicitor will refer to the Gift Review Committee, before acceptance, gifts that are given with unusual restrictions or designations have the potential of jeopardizing the tax-exempt status or violating the Foundation or the College policies, local, state or federal laws.  The Committee may consider each gift according to its intended use, restrictions, liabilities and financial impact on the Foundation or the College, now and in the future.  Only gifts, bequests, devises, endowments, trusts and similar funds that are designated for the use of the Foundation consistent with the stated goals and mission of the College will be considered for acceptance.
  9. The Foundation shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to the acceptance of gifts when appropriate.
  10. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Foundation Board of Directors

Solicitation of Gifts

Any formal solicitation of gifts to the Foundation will be made only by authorized representatives, including staff and directors of the Foundation.  All employees, representatives or friends of the Foundation or of the College are encouraged to refer any prospective donor to the Foundation.  Development personnel may accept cash and publicly traded securities subject to the terms of this policy.

Standards of Accepting Certain Types of Gifts

As of January 1, 2004, an administrative fee will be assessed on all restricted contributions.  The proceeds from this fee will be credited to the Foundation's General Unrestricted Fund. 

Endowed donations: the administrative fee will be calculated as 1.5% of a three-year moving average of the market value of the endowed assets on December 31, with a lag year in between.

Non-endowed donations: a 5% administrative fee will be assessed on all non-endowed funds at the end of each quarter in which the donation is received.  Donors who have made multi-year non-endowed pledges prior to January 1, 2004, will have the option to exempt their gifts from the 5% fee.  The Executive Committee will have the authority to address any future exemption requests. 

Investment earnings generated from non-endowed funds will be credited to the Foundation's General Unrestricted Fund.  Earnings generated from endowed funds will be credited proportionately to those endowed funds.

Definition of Outright Gifts

Cash

  • The Foundation, regardless of amount, shall accept all gifts by cash, credit card, or check.
  • Checks shall be made payable to Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, unless otherwise specified.   In no event shall a check be made payable to an individual who represents the Foundation.

Publicly Traded Securities

  • The Foundation can accept readily marketable securities, such as those traded on a stock exchange.
  • Gift securities are likely to be sold immediately by the Foundation.
  • For the Foundation's 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.

Closely Held Securities

  • Acceptance of non-publicly traded securities may be approved by the Foundation Board upon recommendation of the Finance Committee.
  • Gifts of closely held corporate stock would be carried on the Foundation's books at $1 in the absence of financial information that would enable determination of book value.
  • Such securities will be carried at book value until audited financial statements are provided to the Foundation so that book value can be substantiated, or the donor provides a qualified appraisal in compliance with IRS regulations.
  • An appraisal of securities may be conducted under the direction of the Foundation to determine both value and potential for sale.
  • Gifts of securities that require a holding period will be accepted and sold when the holding period has expired.
  • Gifts of securities that will not be accepted include: securities that are assessable or in any way could create a liability to the Foundation; securities that, by their nature, may not be assigned (such as "S" corporation stock); securities that on investigation have no apparent value.

Real Estate

  • It is the policy of the Foundation to accept gifts of real property to the organization on a case-by-case basis.
  • Gifts of real property shall be accepted only after prior approval of the Foundation Board of Directors. 
  • Some guiding principles to consider when considering gifts of real estate are as follows:

    1. The donor is responsible for obtaining an appraisal of the property, unless otherwise determined by the Board of Directors.
    2. An environmental survey including Title V status for possible contamination, (i.e., leaking underground storage tanks) or
      other restrictions (i.e., wetlands) should be completed at the discretion of the Board of Directors before accepting a land/property donation.  Generally the donor will pay survey costs, but each case will be decided individually.
    3. A member of the Foundation must conduct a visual inspection of the property.  If the property is located in a geographically distant area, a local real estate broker may substitute for a member of the Foundation in conducting the visual inspection.  Land/property donations in a location not readily available for inspection and maintenance (e.g., a distant state) may be declined.
    4. Prior to presentation to the Foundation Board, the donor must provide the following documents: real estate deed; real estate tax bill; plot plan; substantiation of zoning status; environmental site assessment.
    5. For the Foundation's gift crediting and accounting purposes, the value of the gift is the appraised value of the real estate, excluding any costs to the Foundation for insurance, real estate taxes, broker's commission, or other expenses of the sale.
    6. Properties with mortgages will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Consideration may include an independent appraisal and the mortgage percentage of property value.  Mortgaged property is not acceptable for charitable remainder trusts.

Tangible Personal Property

  • Gifts of tangible personal property to the Foundation should have a use related to the Foundation's exempt purpose.
  • Gifts of jewelry, artwork, collections, equipment, and software shall be accepted with approval by the Foundation on a case-by-case basis.  The Foundation will consider gifts of tangible personal property after it has made two determinations:  the asset's marketability and its intended use by the Foundation. Careful consideration will be given where the Foundation is obligated to maintain ownership of the property in perpetuity.  Other matters that will be taken into consideration by the Foundation before deciding on acceptable gifts of personal property include:  transportation cost; storage cost; cost of selling; cost of maintenance and repairs; location of property; cost of insurance.
  • Such gifts of tangible personal property defined above shall be used by or sold for the benefit of the Foundation or the College.
  • Depending upon the anticipated value of the gift, the Foundation shall have a qualified outside appraiser value the gift before accepting it.
  • The Foundation adheres to all IRS requirements for disposing gifts of tangible personal property and filing appropriate forms.

Bequests

  • Gifts through wills shall be actively encouraged by the Foundation.
  • Where persons indicate their intention to bequeath property other than cash or equivalents to the Foundation, the provisions of the preceding paragraphs of this policy statement shall be communicated to such persons where feasible and deemed appropriate. 
  • Gifts from the estates of deceased donors shall be accepted subject to the terms of this policy statement.

Life Insurance

  • The Foundation will accept gifts of life insurance policies only when the Foundation is named as the owner and beneficiary of 100% of the policy.
  • If the policy is paid-up, the value of the gift for the Foundation's gift crediting and accounting purposes is the policy's replacement costs.
  • If the policy is partially paid up, the value of the gift for the Foundation's gift crediting and accounting purposes is the policy's cash surrender value.
  • If the policy is a new policy and the Foundation is named as the owner and beneficiary to be recognized for this gift the donor will be asked to contribute the equivalent of the annual premium payment to the Foundation.  This premium contribution is tax deductible and the Foundation will pay the insurance premium.

Charitable Trusts and Lead Trusts

  • The Foundation encourages those interested in doing so to establish charitable remainder or lead trusts for the benefit of the organization.  It is understood that charitable remainder or lead trusts and other deferred gifts shall be encouraged as vehicles, the primary purpose of which are to make gifts to the Foundation.  Such trusts shall not be marketed as tax avoidance devices or as investment vehicles, as it is understood such activity may violate federal and/or state securities regulations.
  • The Foundation will not serve as trustee of a charitable remainder or lead trust of which it is also the beneficiary.  The Foundation may, if necessary, assist in the selection of an appropriate and independent trustee.
  • The fees for management of a charitable remainder or lead trust will only be paid by the Foundation upon prior approval of the Board of Directors.
  • The Foundation will make no representations as to performance of trust assets or the manner in which charitable remainder or lead trust assets will be managed or invested by any corporate fiduciary that may be recommended by the Foundation, its employees or directors.

Administrative Issues

  1. The Foundation and its staff shall not act as an executor (personal representative) for a donor's estate.
  2. In no event will a commission or finder's fee of any type be paid to any party in connection with the completion of a gift to the Foundation.
  3. Terms and conditions must be agreed upon before an endowment is established; therefore, contact with the Foundation's Executive Director for appropriate documentation is required. 
  4. In accordance with the Campus Facility Naming Policy and Procedure System, a minimum contribution is required to establish a named endowment or to name a building, site or common area.
  5. For restricted and endowed funds, if future circumstances change, or the donor fails to fulfill his pledge obligation, or the purpose for which the fund is established becomes illegal, impractical, or no longer meets the needs of the College, the Foundation may designate an alternative use in the spirit of the donor's original intent for the gift to further the objectives of the College.
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