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HSU Policies

EM:P14-01 Charitable Contribution Acceptance Policy

Applies To:
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Month/Year Posted: 
02-2014
Policy Number: 
EM:P14-01

This Executive Memorandum addresses the process of accepting and managing charitable contributions on behalf of Humboldt State University.

Background
The Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation (Foundation) supports and advances the mission of Humboldt State University by securing private contributions, overseeing philanthropic activities, and managing endowed and other assets to benefit the University.
Policy
Acceptance of charitable contributions is at the discretion of the University President.  The authority to accept charitable contributions is delegated to the Vice President for University Advancement who will create guidelines to facilitate the acceptance of contributions that are beneficial to the University, in furtherance of its mission, and in keeping with these policies.
No contribution will be accepted unless it can be used or expended consistent with the mission and purposes of Humboldt State University.
All charitable contributions intended to benefit any unit, program, scholarship or auxiliary of Humboldt State University shall be accepted by the Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation.
All charitable contributions must be complete and irrevocable and cannot be refunded or returned with the exception of certain planned gifts which may provide for amendment during the donor’s lifetime.
Humboldt State University shall accept contributions of cash or publicly traded securities.  Other contributions including real property, personal property, non-liquid securities, and contributions whose sources are not transparent or whose use is restricted in some manner, must be reviewed prior to acceptance due to the special obligations raised or liabilities they may pose for the University or its auxiliaries.  Contributions of services and gifts-in-kind will be accepted at the discretion of the University provided that they meet a programmatic need of the University.
A written acknowledgement that meets IRS substantiation requirements will be provided to the donor.  Except for gifts of cash and publicly traded securities, no specific dollar value will be ascribed to any receipt or acknowledgement by either the University or any of its auxiliaries.
Humboldt State University and its auxiliaries will respect the intent of the donor relating to gifts for restricted purposes and those relating to the desire to remain anonymous.  With respect to anonymous gifts, the University will restrict information about the donor to only those staff members with a need to know.
No gift, whether outright or life-income in character, will be accepted if under any reasonable set of circumstances the gift would jeopardize the donor’s financial security.  Except for marketing and illustrative information, Humboldt State University and its employees and auxiliaries shall refrain from providing specific advice about the tax or other financial impact of contributions and will always encourage potential donors to seek guidance from their own professional advisors in regard to the outcome of a contribution.
Neither Humboldt State University nor any of its auxiliaries will compensate, whether through commissions, finders’ fees, or other means, any third party for directing a charitable contribution or a prospective donor to the University or any of its auxiliaries.
Endowed funds are owned and invested by the Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation.  Each year, a portion of the endowed fund may be distributed, in accordance with Foundation policy and the intent of the donor as documented in a written gift instrument.
Contributions are received and deposited by the Gift Processing Center (GPC), which is within the Division of Administrative Affairs.  The GPC works in conjunction with the Division of University Advancement to ensure appropriate distribution of the funds as well as accurate reporting of such funds.  The specific distribution and use of contributions is determined by the intent of the donor.  University Advancement is responsible for reporting and acknowledging all contributions, as well as for notifying the relevant campus program.
Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the University President.

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