Gift Acceptance Policy
The Trustees of Dartmouth College (“Dartmouth”) appreciates and depends upon the generosity of our alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to support Dartmouth’s mission. Gifts to Dartmouth can take many forms and serve different purposes. In order to be assured that Dartmouth is a responsible steward of these gifts and that these gifts are in the best interest of Dartmouth, the following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to Dartmouth. These policies apply to all Dartmouth schools and programs.
June 12, 2020
The purpose of this policy is to define at a high-level the principles by which gifts will be accepted. This policy shall be implemented and overseen by the Gift Acceptance Committee, as set forth in further detail below. This policy shall be reviewed, and changes approved, by the Board of Trustees.
Guiding Principles of Gift Acceptance
Gifts to Dartmouth will be determined to be acceptable based on the following principles:
- Support of Mission. All gifts must be in furtherance of Dartmouth’s mission to educate the most promising students and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge.
- Reputation and Core Values. Dartmouth will not accept a gift which may damage or compromise its reputation, is not in the best interests of the Dartmouth community, or is not consistent with Dartmouth’s core values.
- Philanthropic Intent. Gifts to Dartmouth are given expressly with a philanthropic intent and should not be granted with any degree of expected benefit or influence over Dartmouth activities in return for the gift. The gift is wholly owned and controlled by Dartmouth once it is received.
- Undue Burden. While Dartmouth appreciates all gifts, we cannot accept a gift that imposes an unreasonable or undue financial, legal, or administrative burden on Dartmouth or its faculty, staff, students or other resources.
- Gift Restrictions. Dartmouth seeks gifts that provide support to our greatest needs and priorities. Gifts should be in amounts appropriate to the specified uses. Gifts should not be directed to purposes that are so restricted that effective use or administration will be problematic.
- Equal Opportunity. Dartmouth does not accept gifts restricted to purposes or programs which involve discrimination based upon the College’s non-discrimination policy or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
- Donor Advisors. While Dartmouth may work with donors to further their charitable, financial, and estate planning goals, donors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their proposed gift furthers those goals. Donors will be encouraged to seek the advice of independent legal, tax, and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts.
- Confidentiality. Dartmouth is committed to protecting the privacy of people whose personal information is held by the college through responsible information management. When required, donor information will be disclosed to regulatory agencies.
Administration of Gifts
The Advancement Division is responsible for the coordination of solicitations and the acceptance of gifts in compliance with this policy. Advancement will work with campus partners, volunteers, and volunteer organizations to ensure compliance with this policy and with all procedures adopted by Advancement to implement this policy. Gift acceptance authority is further outlined in Dartmouth’s Signature Authority Policy.
The Advancement Division, in the management and reporting of gifts to Dartmouth, shall be guided by the standards of accounting and reporting established by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). All gifts and pledges will be recorded in compliance with IRS regulations and acceptable accounting practices.
Naming and Recognition
The naming of a scholarship, professorship or other position, building, program or space in honor of a donor, or for another person as requested by the donor, is the highest form of donor recognition available at Dartmouth, and celebrates the generosity of donors whose support is invaluable to Dartmouth’s mission. Dartmouth naming guidelines are established and reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee.
Dartmouth reserves the right to revoke its commitment regarding a naming should any material adverse event create a situation in which the Board of Trustees determines the naming is detrimental to Dartmouth’s reputation. This determination will be guided by Dartmouth’s mission and core values. Dartmouth will make all reasonable efforts to inform, in advance, the original donors when a naming is being reviewed for revocation.
Donors to Dartmouth may be recognized online and in print publications unless they exercise the option to be recognized publicly as anonymous.
Acceptable Forms of Gifts
Dartmouth accepts many types of gifts. Some types are more easily handled than others, particularly those that can easily be converted to cash (i.e. liquid assets) such as U.S. currency, foreign currency, wire transfers, bank drafts, electronic fund transfers, checks, credit card charges, and payroll deductions. Publicly traded securities require special handling but are also considered to be one of the preferred methods of giving.
Other types of gifts, such as real estate, other tangible property, partnerships, royalties, and non-traditional investments, are generally accepted and in most cases welcomed by Dartmouth, however they require special handling, additional documentation, and consideration by the Gift Planning Office, often in partnership with the Investment Office, Real Estate Office, and the benefitting department.
Gift Acceptance Committee
Gifts that do not easily and readily meet the standards for acceptance as outlined elsewhere in this policy should be referred to the Gift Acceptance Committee for institutional review at the highest level. This Committee (Senior Vice President for Advancement, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Provost) reporting to the President, may withhold approval of acceptance, pending reviews and administrative research.