Stratford Academy is grateful for the gifts and support of our community that further its mission and assist in the operation of the School. The following School gift policies are in place to insure that gifts are:
- appropriate to the mission and needs of the School;
- impose no undue financial burdens (to display, store, insure, clear of legal restrictions, sell, etc.) on the School and the involve no significant or additional expense for their present or future display, maintenance or administration;
- if restricted, are donated according to reasonably broad and flexible terms to maximize each restricted gift's usefulness to the School;
- are donated according to terms that permit the School to apply the gift to a related purpose in the event that the designated purpose is no longer practical, necessary, or able to be performed.
Gifts-in-kind are accepted on a case-by-case basis, the primary criterion being that the gifts further the mission of Stratford Academy. Real property, such as land, buildings, rights and easements, must have a clear record and marketable title with verification provided by the donor. The School will review and evaluate such factors as sale and holding costs, current and future market conditions, encumbrances, liabilities, title, use or other restrictions and any potential environmental issues before accepting real property gifts. The School will typically sell these gifts shortly after acceptance.
Gifts of tangible personal property (artwork, vehicles, computer equipment, books, collections, jewelry, food and service for events, library books, CDs/DVDs, furniture and rugs for classrooms, common meeting places and living areas, maintenance vehicles, trees and other plantings. etc.) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Gifts that are not used by the School for educational purposes will be disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner.
Questions or information about any of these gift types or policies should be directed to Kathleen Medlin, Director of Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-477-8073 ext. 210.
Gift Types and Policies
With regard to fundraising at Stratford Academy it shall be the School’s policy to:
1) Only accept gifts that are for the bona fide benefit of the School.
2) Never accept gifts or contributions that imply a quid pro quo of favor to the donor.
3) Coordinate all development and fundraising activities through the Institutional Advancement office to avoid repeated asks for various causes that could potentially harass our student families.
4) Count gifts to the School according to the following policies to eliminate ambiguity and the potential burden which School Administrators or campaign volunteers may encounter in the process of soliciting or accepting gifts. Any questions which arise and are not covered in this policy will be addressed by the Institutional Advancement and Finance Committees.
a) Monetary Gifts: All cash gifts are accepted, assuming there are no terms that do not meet campaign criteria. Cash donations may be made as one payment, or as a pledge for several payments throughout the duration of the campaign. In the case of pledges, a signed capital campaign pledge form must accompany the gift. Verbal promises are not to be counted in campaign totals. Pledges may be paid monthly, quarterly or annually, and may continue over a period defined in the campaign.
b) Realized Bequests: Any bequest received during the campaign period, unless otherwise restricted, will be counted toward the campaign goal according to the amount actually received.
c) Gifts of Marketable Securities: All readily marketable securities are accepted and immediately sold by the School, unless the sale would depress the price of the stock, by request of the donor or by decision of the Board Finance Committee. In these cases, the sale of the stock will be delayed until a future date. The value of the gift will be determined by the average high and low market value on the date the donor relinquished control of the asset to the School.
d) Gifts of Securities that are not readily marketable: Gifts of not readily marketable securities are reviewed, and may be accepted if the following conditions are met:
1) Gifts of closely-held stock have an audited financial report to determine “book value.”
2) The security is ultimately convertible to cash within a reasonable time.
3) Ownership of the securities will not create a liability to the School.
e) Gifts of Real and Personal Property: All gifts of property (land, houses, paintings, antiques, equipment, rare books, etc.) are to be reviewed, and acceptance of such gifts approved by the Finance Committee or a specially designated committee of the capital campaign prior to acceptance. If the value of the gift exceeds $5,000, it must have an independent and certified appraisal provided by the donor that establishes the fair market value at the time that the School receives the gift. Property valued less than $5,000 may have the value determined by the donor. Gifts of real estate must be accompanied by a satisfactory environmental impact report, provided by the donor and acceptable by the School.
f) Gifts of property must be in “usable and/or saleable condition” and not have associated liabilities, as deemed so by the School. After acceptance, the property is immediately put to use or sold by the School. When the donated property is accompanied by an appraisal, the School may, at the donor’s request, wait up to one year to receive an offer at the appraised value. By law, the School must notify the IRS within three years of the sale of property in excess of $5,000.
g) Tangible In-Kind Gifts: All in-kind gifts are reviewed by the Head of School prior to acceptance. In-kind gifts must be eligible for a charitable gift deduction in accordance with current IRS standards, and reported at the fair market value placed on them by an independent, expert appraiser. Only items such as equipment, artworks, and the like, that would have been purchased by the School in absence of the gift during the period of the campaign, may be accepted and counted toward the campaign. Gifts not used may be accepted as personal property above and are to be sold immediately.
h) Intangible In-Kind Gifts: All in-kind gifts of labor shall be reviewed by the Head of School prior to acceptance. Such in-kind gifts must be eligible for a charitable gift deduction in accordance with current IRS standards. It shall be the preference of the School to have the donor invoice the School for the rendered services, the School pays the invoice, and then the donor makes a cash contribution of equal value to the School. Only services that would have been purchased by the School in absence of the gift during the period of the campaign may be accepted and counted toward the campaign.
i) Charitable Remainder Trusts and Gifts Annuities: Gifts made to establish charitable remainder trusts and gifts annuities are counted as endowment gifts at fair market value of the assets given, discounted to present value on an actuarial basis. All trusts and annuities are reviewed by the Finance Committee or a specially designated committee of the capital campaign. When accepted, the gift must be irrevocable.
j) Charitable Lead Trust: All trusts are reviewed by the Finance Committee, or a specially designated committee of the capital campaign. If accepted, the income received from the charitable lead trust during the campaign period, or during the pledge period is recognized as a gift to the campaign.
k) Trusts Administered by Others: Only the fair market value of assets placed in trust during the period of the campaign, to which the School has an irrevocable right to all or predetermined portion of the trust’s income, is reported and recognized in campaign totals.
l) Testamentary Pledge Commitments: After review by the Finance Committee, or a specially designated committee of the capital campaign, the testamentary pledge is accepted if it meets the following guidelines:
1) The donor is 65 years of age, or older, when the commitment is made;
2) The commitment is for a single of life or, if a double life, the second donor also conforms to the age 65 limitations;
3) There is a specific amount of percentage of the estate stated in the will based on a credible estimate of the future value at the time the commitment is made;
4) The commitment is accompanied by an irrevocable note or contract;
5) The amount of the gift of appreciable value (i.e.: property, securities, trusts) will be recorded at the current market value;
6) The gift of a stated amount of cash will be valued at present value, in accordance with accounting procedures.
m) Life Insurance: If a gift of life insurance is received, with no specific instructions from the donor, the Finance Committee will determine whether to surrender the policy for its cash value or maintain it in force. If the policy is surrendered for cash, proceeds will be credited to the capital campaign. If the policy is maintained in force, the face value of the policy will be counted in a deferred gift category of the capital campaign.
1) If the donor requests that the policy not be cashed, then the face value of the policy will be counted in a deferred gift category of the capital campaign.
2) A gift of non-paid-up life insurance will be treated the same as above, however, there must be adequate financial guarantees from the donor to assure future policy premiums will be paid until such time as the policy becomes a paid-up policy.
5) Establish and maintain a Memorial and Honorarium Fund to allow donors to make an unrestricted gift to the School in memory or in honor of an individual. Memorial and Honorarium gifts received by Stratford which are not designated for a specific department of the School will be placed in the Stratford Endowment Fund. The transfer for Memorial and Honorarium Funds to the Stratford Endowment Fund will occur at the close of each fiscal year. Donors will be recognized in the Annual Fund Report published by the School.
6) Encourage and allow the Establishment of Scholarship and/or Named Funds according to the following guidelines:
a) The named fund is greater than $25,000.
b) Any designated purpose is in keeping with the School’s Core Purpose and Core Values.
c) The donor does not set onerous restrictions on the fund’s use.
d) There are no restrictions placed on the fund’s investment criteria.
7) Not permit any outside organization to solicit Stratford students, parents, faculty, or administrators in the name of Stratford Academy.