DONOR BILL OF RIGHTS
- To be informed of Solve M.E.’s mission, of the way Solve M.E. intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purpose.
- 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 feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
This Donor Bill of Rights is based on a similar document developed by AFP, AHP, CASE and Giving Institute.
GIFT ACCEPTANCE POLICY
Approved by the Board of Directors
April 14, 2018
Solve ME/CFS Initiative (Solve M.E.) solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that will help the organization fulfill its mission of making myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), understood, diagnosable, and treatable. Solve M.E. urges all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to Solve M.E. for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services.
Use of legal Counsel – Solve M.E. will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:
- Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
- Documents naming Solve M.E. as trustee or requiring Solve M.E. to act in any fiduciary capacity.
- Gifts requiring Solve M.E. to assume financial or other obligations.
- Transactions with potential conflicts of interest.
- Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions.
Restriction on Gifts –Solve M.E. will not accept gifts that a.) would result in Solve M.E. violating its bylaws, b.) would result in Solve M.E. losing its status as an IRS 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, c.) are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value, d.) would result in any unacceptable consequences for Solve M.E., e.) are for purposes outside Solve M.E.’s mission, or f.) carry a requirement to increase our approved operating or program budget. Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the President / Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Executive Committee, as needed.
Organizational Expense Assessment to Restricted Gifts: To ensure that administrative expenses related to the management of restricted gifts are covered, Solve M.E. will apply an organizational expense assessment to all restricted gifts. For donations of:$1 – $49,999 – 9% of total donation will be applied. For contributions of $50,000 and above, the organizational expense assessment will total 5% of the total donation.
Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review
Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, or online. Donors wishing to make a gift by credit card must provide the card type (i.e., VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), card number, expiration date, and name of the card holder as it appears on the credit card.
Marketable Securities. Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s endorsement or signed stock power (with appropriate signature guarantees) attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt, unless otherwise directed by Solve M.E.’s President / Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Executive Committee if needed. In some cases, marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift; in such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by the Executive Committee.
Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to Solve M.E. under their wills, and to name Solve M.E. as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.
Charitable Remainder Trusts. Solve M.E. will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.
Charitable Lead Trusts. Solve M.E. will accept designation as an income beneficiary of charitable lead trusts.
Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review
Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review prior to acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include, but are not limited to:
Tangible Personal Property. the President / Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Executive Committee if needed, shall review and determine whether to accept gifts of tangible personal property with the following considerations: Does the property further the organization’s mission? Is the property marketable? Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the property? Are there any carrying costs for the property for which the organization may be responsible? Is the title/provenance of the property clear?
Life Insurance. Solve M.E. will accept gifts of life insurance where Solve M.E. is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy. The donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owed on the policy.
Real Estate. All gifts of real estate are subject to review by the President / Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Executive Committee, if needed. Prior to acceptance of any gift of real estate other than a personal residence, Solve M.E. shall require an initial environmental review by a qualified environmental firm. If the initial review reveals a potential problem, the organization may retain a qualified environmental firm to conduct an environmental audit. Criteria for acceptance of gifts of real estate include: Is the property useful for the organization’s purposes? Is the property readily marketable? Are there covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, encumbrances or other limitations associated with the property? Are there carrying costs (including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, or the like) or maintenance expenses associated with the property? Does the environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?