Acceptance of Gifts Policy

Purpose and Application of the Policies

  1. The following definitions, authorizations, and Institutional Advancement policies and practices have been established for the purpose of:
    • Providing guidance and standards for all entities involved in fund raising activities for Wentworth Institute of Technology (“Wentworth”).
    • Ensuring compliance with Wentworth’s policies, federal and state law, and best business practices.
  2. These policies are approved by the Board of Trustees and apply to all parts of Wentworth, including all entities under Wentworth’s 501(c)(3) designation such as schools, departments, interdisciplinary programs, centers, student clubs, staff, faculty, etc.
  3. All entities engaging in fund raising or related activities and programs for Wentworth may do so only with the approval and under the guidance of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement to ensure adherence to these policies.
  4. These policies will be reviewed annually, and updated as appropriate, to ensure that they are reflective of changes in Wentworth policies, federal and state law, accounting standards, and any other changes in the industry. 
  5. These policies establish the Gift Acceptance Committee (GAC) which shall consist of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, the Associate Vice President for Finance, and the Director of Major and Planned Giving or their designee(s) as well as any other Wentworth representatives, as needed. The GAC shall be responsible for implementing these policies.

Standards and Ethics

Legal Considerations

  1. Compliance: The Institutional Advancement Office will oversee and monitor all fundraising activities to ensure that such activities are in compliance with local, state, and federal laws, as well as Wentworth policies.
  2. Endorsement of Providers: Wentworth shall not recommend nor endorse legal, tax or financial advisors to prospective donors.
  3. Preparation of Legal Documents: Wentworth shall not prepare legal documents for execution by donors. Wentworth may prepare forms to create charitable gift annuities and gift/pledge agreements. Wentworth may provide model language, such as sample bequest language or charitable remainder trusts, but shall make donors aware of legal implications and strongly encourage prospective donors to have this language reviewed by their own counsel or other advisors.
  4. Payment of Fees: The donor is responsible to secure an appraisal (where required) and to pay for the advice of independent legal, financial or other professional advisors, as needed.
  5. Service as Executor or Trustee of a Living Trust: Wentworth will not agree to serve as executor of a decedent's estate or as trustee of a living trust or other trust intended to serve as a person's primary estate planning document, unless approved in advance by the Vice President of Finance.
  6. Trusteeship: Wentworth may serve as trustee or co-trustee of trusts to maintain its gift annuity reserve accounts, as required by relevant state insurance laws, in connection with Wentworth’s gift annuity program. Wentworth may serve as trustee or co-trustee of charitable remainder trusts or charitable lead trusts only upon the approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Gift Acceptance Committee. If investment authority is restricted in any way, the Vice President of Finance’s approval is required.
  7. Use of Counsel: Wentworth shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to the acceptance of gifts, when necessary.

Conflict of Interest

Prohibition against personal benefit: Individuals who engage in the solicitation of gifts or grants on behalf of Wentworth shall not personally benefit by way of commission, contract fees, salary, or other benefits from any donor or prospect in the performance of their duties on behalf of Wentworth. Additionally, it is the policy of Wentworth that all officers and employees avoid any conflict or appearance of conflict between their personal interest and the interest of Wentworth in dealing with an organization or individual having or seeking to have any business relationship with Wentworth

Responsibility to Donors

  1. Commitment to a Donor-Centered, Philanthropic Approach: Wentworth and its staff and volunteer representatives shall endeavor to assist donors in accomplishing their philanthropic objectives in a donor-centered way. In many circumstances, this may involve the donor's professional advisors, as charitable support is often integrated with a donor's overall tax, estate and financial planning.
  2. Confidentiality: Information concerning all communication between a donor and Wentworth shall be held by Wentworth in confidence. Such information may be disclosed only with the permission of the donor or the donor's designee or as may be required by law.
  3. Anonymity: Wentworth shall respect the wishes of any donor offering anonymous support and will implement reasonable procedures to safeguard such donor's identity.

Ethical Guidelines for Philanthropic Solicitations, Activities, and Events:

All philanthropic solicitations, activities, and events will follow the current guidelines promoted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), as well as any future amendments. Wentworth will not participate in gift discussions if there is a question as to the title/ownership of the asset or the donor's competency to transfer an asset. See Appendix 1.

Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies

The purpose of these policies is to ensure that gifts are determined to be acceptable to Wentworth, based on the following criteria:

  1. They are appropriate to the mission and needs of Wentworth.
  2. They impose no undue financial, legal, or other risks or burdens on Wentworth.
  3. If restrictions exist, they are written in reasonably broad and flexible terms to maximize the gift’s usefulness to Wentworth, and the gift agreement includes language that permits Wentworth to apply the gift to a related purpose in the event that the designated purpose is no longer practical, necessary, nor able to be performed by Wentworth.

Authorizations

  1. The President of Wentworth is ultimately responsible for the acceptance of all gifts to Wentworth.
  2. Any known transfer of assets intended as a charitable gift to Wentworth, if accepted, are to be processed, accounted for, receipted and acknowledged by Institutional Advancement.
  3. In some situations, additional review will be necessary to determine whether a gift is acceptable. In such instances, the proposed gift shall be referred to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Vice President of Finance or to the Gift Acceptance Committee.
  4. No fundraising efforts can be undertaken by any college, department, individual, student group, faculty, staff, alumni association or other entity without the approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee.
  5. Wentworth reserves the right to decline gifts that are too restrictive in purpose, create undue risk, are too difficult to administer, or are for purposes outside of its mission.
  6. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement is responsible for the development of Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies. Recommended policies are to be approved by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and referred to the President, the Trustee Development Committee, and the Board of Trustees for final approval.
  7. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement is responsible for implementation of the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
  8. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Vice President of Finance must approve the hiring of all fundraising consultants, firms, or agents prior to working on behalf of any college, department, center, program, or other Wentworth fundraising entity.
  9. Gift records at Wentworth are confidential except as required by law. Information regarding donor gift histories, lists of donors, and related materials may not be revealed to any unauthorized parties within Wentworth or any parties outside of Wentworth without the approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or her/his designee.
  10. The Office of Institutional Advancement is responsible for:
    1. Implementation and enforcement of the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies approved by the Board of Trustees.
    2. Management of the solicitation process undertaken by staff, volunteers, faculty, students, or any authorized agent of Wentworth.
    3. Managing the receipt of all charitable gifts to Wentworth.
    4. Transmitting all gifts and gift documentation to the Advancement Operations Office for transmittal to the Finance Office in a timely fashion.
    5. Donor Stewardship, i.e., donor fund reporting and donor recognition activities.
    6. Documentation of all gifts and pledges in accordance with the following:
      1. All non-annual gifts, pledges, and planned gifts require written documentation prior to counting toward Wentworth’s fundraising goals.
      2. Required documentation may include:
        • Signed and dated Gift Agreements or Statements of Intent, including payment schedules for multi-year pledges of $25,000 or more;
        • Deeds, contracts, or other forms of conveyance or assignment;
        • Insurance policies with conveyance or assignment;
        • Wills and trust agreements in which Wentworth is a named beneficiary;
        • Stock transfer documentation (e.g., stock power);
        • Third party appraisals; or
        • Other documents, as needed
      3. Gift Agreements: All Gift Agreements shall include the donor's commitment and timeframe for payments, Wentworth’s commitment (including restrictions), how the completed gift will be managed, and alternative use and opt-out language. In keeping with IRS rules, matching gifts may not be pledged or used to fulfill a pledge.
        • Commitments within a Fiscal Year: Wentworth does not require Gift Agreements for commitments to be paid within the current fiscal year, unless they require the establishment of a new fund.
        • Unrestricted Commitments Covering More Than One Fiscal Year: If an unrestricted commitment shall cover more than one fiscal year, a letter or email from the donor documenting the gift amount and payment schedule may be substituted for a formal Gift Agreement.
        • Commitments Subject to Restrictions: Wentworth requires an executed Gift Agreement for all commitments subject to restrictions that will cover more than one fiscal year or that are equal to or greater than $25,000.
        • Restricted Commitments from Corporations or Foundations: Wentworth requires executed written documentation for all restricted commitments from corporations or foundations, unless they are considered to be sponsorships or dues.
      4. Recording and processing gifts must be done in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Office of Institutional Advancement and as stated in the Gift Processing Manual and CASE Guidelines. The following will apply to all gifts, pledges, sponsorships, and grants made by corporations or foundations received at any Wentworth office, or by any program or entity raising funds for Wentworth:
        • All gifts and pledges will be recorded in compliance with IRS regulations and acceptable accounting practices.
        • All donors to Wentworth will be acknowledged and sent an appropriate receipt in compliance with IRS regulations.
      5. Establishing and managing a Holding Account in Wentworth’s fundraising database system as follows:
        • Every effort will be made to determine a designation for a gift at the time it closes. In the event the donor is unable to make a designation, the gift will be placed in a holding account.
        • The Associate Vice President for Finance or his/her designee will make quarterly review of all funds in all holding accounts, for appropriate action.
        • Within the fiscal year, or up to twelve months from the date of the gift, Wentworth will contact the donor for authorization to release the funds for Wentworth directed purposes or for a specific purpose suggested by the donor. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee may extend the pending status for the gift for undecided donors.
        • After reasonable effort has been made to reach the donor, and in the event that a donor cannot be reached (or is deceased), the gift will be placed in the current operations fund or into another fund at the discretion of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee.

Acceptable Forms of Gifts

I. Types of Property

These assets may be considered for acceptance by Wentworth, subject to the following criteria:

  1. Cash: Acceptable in any negotiable form, including currency, check and credit card gifts.
  2. Securities:
    • Publicly Traded Securities: Stocks, bonds and mutual funds traded on an exchange or other publicly reported market are acceptable.
    • Closely Held Securities and Business Interests: Debt and equity positions in non-publicly traded businesses, hedge funds, REITs, interests in limited liability companies and partnerships may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee after review in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
    • Options and Other Rights in Securities: Warrants, stock options and stock appreciation rights may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee after review in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
  3. Life Insurance: Wentworth will accept a gift of life insurance provided that the policy has a positive cash surrender value and Wentworth has been named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy.
  4. Real Property: Personal and commercial real property, real estate interests/derivatives, and remainder interests in property (gifts subject to a retained life estate) may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee after review in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies, including appropriate environmental screenings. Wentworth does not accept debt-encumbered real property, real property subject to a mortgage or lien or time share interests, or other encumbrances such as but not limited to, pending litigation or restrictions on conveyance. For gifts subject to a retained life estate, the donor or primary life beneficiary shall be responsible for all expenses incurred during the life tenancy, including but not limited to maintenance, real estate taxes, assessments and insurance.
  5. Tangible Personal Property: Jewelry, books, works of art, collections, equipment and other tangible personal property, may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee after review in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
  6. Commercial Property: Any property manufactured for commercial use, services provided by companies, or used furniture, equipment, or materials sought to be donated by companies at their full value or at a discounted rate, may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
  7. Other Property: Property not otherwise described in this section, whether real or personal, of any description (including but not limited to mortgages, notes, contract rights, copyrights, patents, trademarks, mineral, water and air rights, oil and gas interests and royalties) may be only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.
  8. Discounted Gifts: Transactions wherein Wentworth pays less than full value for an asset and issues a gift receipt for the difference may only be accepted upon prior written approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.

II. Structured Current Gifts

  1. Charitable Lead Trusts: Wentworth may accept a designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust.
  2. IRA Charitable Rollover: Wentworth may accept all gifts directly transferred from an IRA, as permitted under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and subsequent extensions.
  3. Matching Gifts: Wentworth will accept all matching gifts, subject to the terms and conditions of Section I.
  4. Other Structured Current Gifts: Wentworth may only accept other structured current gifts with prior written approval of the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee in accordance with the Gift Acceptance and Solicitation Policies.

III. Future Gifts

  1. Future Gifts Subject to a Payment Interest: Each future gift will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Associate Vice President for Finance or their designee(s).
    1. Charitable Gift Annuities: Wentworth offers immediate payment, deferred payment, commuted payment and flexible payment charitable gift annuities, provided:
      • Minimum funding amount: $10,000
      • Maximum funding amount: None
      • Minimum age(s): 60. All proposals for donors with an average age under 60 will be reviewed by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Vice President of Finance or the Gift Acceptance Committee.
      • Maximum number of lives: Two
      • Ultimate beneficiary: Wentworth for 100%, irrevocably
      • Payout rate: Wentworth will follow the American Council on Gift Annuities recommended rates
      • Payment schedule: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual, as mutually agreed between Wentworth and the donor
      • Funding assets: Prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee is required for assets other than cash or publicly traded securities.
    2. Charitable Remainder Trusts When Wentworth Serves as Trustee: Wentworth will serve as trustee of charitable remainder trusts, provided:
      • Minimum funding amount: $100,000
      • Maximum funding amount: None
      • Minimum age(s) : 60
      • Maximum number of lives: Not intended to exceed the rule against perpetuities
      • Ultimate beneficiary: Wentworth for 51% irrevocably
      • Payout rate: At least 5%
      • Minimum charitable remainder: 25% of the funding amount (using the income tax charitable deduction methodology)
      • Payment schedule: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual, as mutually agreed between Wentworth and the donor
      • Funding assets: Prior written approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee is required for assets other than cash or publicly traded securities, although a broader array of assets will be approved for a charitable remainder trust than a charitable gift annuity
      • Costs charged to the trust: Investment management, administration, legal counsel and tax return preparation.
    3. Charitable Remainder Trusts When Wentworth Does Not Serve as Trustee: Wentworth will accept designation as charitable beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts that do not name Wentworth as trustee. Donors who create externally managed and trusteed trusts will be asked to provide Wentworth with a copy of the trust document and annual investment reports for record-keeping purposes.
  2. Future Gifts Not Subject to a Payment Interest
    • Gifts by Will or Living Trust: Donors will be encouraged to designate Wentworth as a beneficiary of their wills or living trusts. A letter of intent is suggested as a means to document this future commitment.
    • Retirement Plan, Life Insurance and Other Beneficiary Designations: Donors will be encouraged to designate Wentworth as a beneficiary or a contingent beneficiary of their retirement plans, life insurance policies and other accounts on which they can name a beneficiary.

Practices for the Valuation and Acceptance of Gifts by Institutional Advancement

  1. Gift Reporting and Counting: For outright gifts, Wentworth shall follow the Council for Advancement and Support of Education ("CASE") Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, Fourth Edition, 2009. For future gifts, Wentworth shall follow the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (“PPP”) PPP Guidelines for Reporting and Counting Charitable Gifts, Second Edition, 2009. All exceptions to these standards shall be made by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee.
  2. Planned Gift Valuation: Wentworth shall follow the PPP Valuation Standards for Charitable Planned Gifts, First Edition, 2011. All exceptions to these standards shall be made by the Vice President of Institutional Advancement or his/her designee.

Appendix 1: Principles of Practice for Fundraising Professionals at Educational Institutions from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE):

  1. Personal Integrity - Individuals will:
    • be fair and honest and conduct themselves with integrity;
    • not maintain any vested interest in a professionally related activity that could result in personal gain, or be perceived as a potential conflict of interest, without prior full disclosure and institutional approval;
    • respect that their relationships with prospective donors, donors, volunteers, and employees are professional relationships and may not be exploited.
  2. Confidentiality - Individuals will:
    • safeguard and respect donor and prospective donor information;
    • honor the wishes of an individual and/or organizational constituent with regard to how directory information and/or giving history is used or shared;
    • record and keep only information relevant to cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship;
    • identify the source of retained information;
    • safeguard prospective donor, donor, and other constituent lists compiled by the institution as the property of the institution; these lists may not be distributed or used for unauthorized purposes or for personal gain;
    • make every effort to ensure that volunteers, vendors, and external entities with access to constituent information understand and agree to comply with the organization's confidentiality and public disclosure policies.
  3. Public Trust - Individuals will:
    • ensure donated funds are used in accordance with donors' directions and intentions;
    • obtain specific instructions from a donor before altering conditions of a restricted gift (consistent with applicable laws including UPMIFA);
    • provide prompt, responsive and truthful replies to donor and public inquiry in accordance with the organization's stated policies;
    • place the mission and interest of the institution and its donors above personal gain;
    • pursue only gifts that fall within, or advance, the institution's mission and/or approved priorities.
  4. Disclosure - Individuals will:
    • be truthful about the institution's mission, intended use of funds, and capacity of the institution to use donations effectively for the intended purpose;
    • be proactive in sharing information regarding any institutional gift assessment or management fee structure related to the donor’s contribution;
    • be truthful and specific about the identification of the organization they represent and their employment or volunteer status;
    • understand and disclose their areas of expertise and will give appropriate advice regarding the involvement of the donors' legal, accounting, financial and tax advisors; not offer legal, accounting, financial and/or tax advice;
    • help ensure appropriate and consistent accounting, budgeting, and reporting methodologies in accordance with nationally adopted standards and guidelines.
  5. Compensation - Individuals will:
    • not accept commission-based compensation or compensation based on a percentage of funds raised;
    • not accept external compensation for the receipt of a gift or information leading to a gift;
    • agree not to pay compensation to individuals in respect of a gift or information leading to a gift.