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Gift Acceptance Policy

National Spine Health Foundation Gift Acceptance

The National Spine Health Foundation (NSHF) encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to propel its mission. The following policies are set forth by the Executive Committee of the NSHF concerning the acceptance of charitable gifts and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to the NSHF. 

The NSHF reserves the right to refuse gifts that are defined as conflicting with the mission and vision of the NSHF or damaging to its integrity or financial interests. The following policies seek to assure that all gifts will provide maximum benefit to the NSHF, to the donor, and to the donor’s heirs. Except where stated otherwise, this policy is intended as a guideline.

I.            General Policies and Guidelines
  1. The NSHF accepts both restricted as well as unrestricted gifts provided that donor restrictions do not significantly diminish the value of the gift. The NSHF will provide all possible staff and volunteer assistance to potential donors to discuss the NSHF funding priorities, the donor’s interests, and the various ways to give. 

However, unrestricted gifts of cash or negotiable securities are the forms of donor commitment that will have the greatest impact on the NSHF and its future plans.

  • Gifts to the NSHF should be made in the name of the NSHF and will be received, held and administered by the NSHF under the direction of the Executive Committee. All gifts to the NSHF will be accepted, acknowledged and administered in accordance with the policies of the NSHF.
  • No solicitation of cash or gifts of real property for the benefit of the NSHF shall be made by anyone without the approval of the CEO.
  • The NSHF will acknowledge and recognize all gifts appropriately according to its gift acknowledgement and recognition procedure.
    • The CEO shall have authority to sign gift agreements on behalf of the NSHF.  Any gift agreement which does not meet the requirements of the current guidelines shall require the approval of the Executive Committee.
    • All gifts and pledges will be counted and credited in accordance with the NSHF’s established guidelines
  • The NSHF reserves the right to accept (or, in cases where absolutely necessary, to decline) any commitment which is offered to them. They also reserve the right to determine how any commitment will be counted and/or how such commitments will be recognized.
  • For gifts that require qualified independent appraisals under this policy, it is the responsibility of the donor to secure and pay for the appraisal.
  • Information concerning transactions between donor and the NSHF will remain confidential and will only be disclosed if the NSHF has received permission of the donor or donor’s designee.
  • Unless approved in advance by the CEO, the NSHF will not agree to serve as executor of a decedent’s estate nor as trustee of a living trust or other trust intended to serve as a person’s primary estate planning document.
  • This document will be overseen by the Executive Committee of the Board and is subject to periodic review as outlined in Section VII of this document.
II.          Legal Considerations

The NSHF shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to the acceptance of gifts when appropriate and will comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations.

The NSHF will inform donors and perspective donors that the NSHF does not provide financial or legal advice and will encourage donors to seek professional counsel on all charitable gifts.

III. Safeguarding NSHF Independence

NSHF’s core mission is to make sure that the expansion of exceptional spinal healthcare becomes a nationwide priority and that those in need of answers and hope have access to expert-led, unbiased information empowering them on their journey to healing. To that end, NSHF seeks funding support from a variety of corporate, individual, and foundation partners to grow our education, research, and advocacy programs. We aim to maintain transparency about our partnerships and activities, while maintaining the independence and high-quality of our work.

  1. Editorial control: While the NSHF seeks input from external experts and stakeholders in the development of materials, as well as financial support, NSHF maintains full editorial control and therefore has the final word on all content. As a matter of policy, NSHF accepts gifts only from donors who do not seek to undermine or compromise the independence of our organization and the content we produce.

  1. Brand affiliations: NSHF educational content often focuses on the latest developments in spinal healthcare, including innovative new treatments, but never focuses on a single product or brand. While we may recognize financial support from industry and corporate sponsors and we encourage partners and funders to use and share our content and materials, we do not engage in exclusive brand affiliations.

  1. Expert Review: Our materials and content are developed in consultation with a review panel of experts, including but not limited to members of the NSHF Medical & Scientific Board, who are independent and objective.

  • Policy: NSHF makes all policy decisions independent of our funding partners.

  • Disclosures: For transparency, NSHF will disclose the support of donors who fund specific NSHF programs and projects and those who fund specific NSHF events.
IV.         Outright Gifts and Pledges

Outright gifts are current gifts that are usable by the NSHF (or are at the full disposal of the NSHF) when the gift is transferred.

  1. Cash:  will be acceptable in any negotiable form, including currency, check, credit card gifts, electronic funds transfer, and wire transfer.
  2. Pledges: should be made in writing and should commit to a specific dollar amount that will be paid according to a fixed time schedule. Pledges require a signed pledge agreement. The recommended maximum recommended pledge period is five years.  Written pledges with a longer payment schedule will not be accepted without approval of the Executive Committee.
  3. Securities:
  4. Publicly Traded Securities: Stocks, bonds and mutual funds traded on an exchange or other publicly reported market are acceptable.
  5. Closely Held Securities and Business Interest: Debt and equity positions in non-publicly traded businesses, hedge funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, interests in limited liability companies and partnerships will be accepted at the discretion of the NSHF on a case-by-case evaluation of the conditions affecting the eventual sale of the securities by the NSHF. If restrictions are placed on the securities by the donor or by the terms of the securities themselves, acceptance of the gift shall be subject to the prior approval of the Executive Committee.
  6. Options and Other Rights in Securities: Warrants, stock options and stock appreciation rights are subject to the same evaluation process outlined in section C. ii. and may require prior written approval by the Executive Committee.
  7. Real Property:  Personal and commercial real property, real estate interests/derivatives and remainder interests in property may only be accepted upon written approval by the Executive Committee. The NSHF will accept a gift of the donor’s entire interest in the property. The NSHF will accept a gift of real estate with retained life interest if the life tenancy contract stipulates that the tenant-donor is financially obligated to maintain the property, pay all taxes, maintain an insurance policy, and does not further encumber the property with debt of any kind.
  1. SponsorshipsTo be accepted, sponsorship gifts must comply with the IRS rules on qualified sponsorship payments[1].
  2. Bargain Sales: Transactions where the NSHF 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 Executive Committee.
  3. Tangible Personal Property and Gifts-in-Kind:  will be accepted for the purpose of sale or use consistent with the NSHF’s mission and objectives. The NSHF reserves the right to determine potential salability of a proposed in-kind gift before acceptance.  It is the sole responsibility of the donor to determine the value of the gift for their tax purposes and gifts valued over $5,000 must be evaluated by a qualified independent appraiser in accordance with IRS guidelines. In-kind gifts are subject to the approval of the CEO and may be accepted under the following general guidelines or considerations:
  1. Generally, the NSHF’s acceptance of such gifts cannot involve significant additional expense for their present or future use, display, maintenance, or administration.
  2. Generally, no burdensome financial or other obligations can be incurred, directly or indirectly, by the NSHF as a result of its acceptance of such gifts.
  3. The NSHF will not accept gifts of tangible personal property if such gifts are to be made on the condition, understanding, or expectation that the gifted items will be loaned to the donor or to persons designated by the donor for life or for an extended period of time as determined by the donor.
  4. The NSHF maintains the right to sell any in-kind gift at a future date.
  1. Charitable Lead Trusts:  will be accepted if the NSHF is listed as an income beneficiary. The NSHF will not serve as trustee of a charitable lead trust.
  2. Matching Gifts:  Matching gifts will be accepted by the NSHF subject to the terms and conditions of these policies. A matching gift cannot be used to fulfill a pledge commitment as the donor has no control over whether that match will be made nor can they legally obligate the company or entity to honor that pledge.
  3. IRA Charitable Rollover: The NSHF may accept all gifts directly transferred from an IRA, as permitted under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and subsequent extensions.
  • Irrevocable Deferred Gifts
  1. Retained Life Estate:
  2. The gift of a primary residence, a vacation home, or a farm with retained life interest on the part of the donor can be accepted and shall be arranged with a trust agreement provided that the donor deeds the property to the NSHF immediately.

Calculation of the remainder interest, which is allowed for federal income tax deduction credit is based on an IRS formula.

  1. Life Insurance Policies:  The NSHF will accept a gift of life insurance provided that the policy has a positive cash surrender value and the NSHF has been named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy.
VI.        Revocable Deferred Gifts
  1. Gifts by Will and Living Trust: Donors and supporters of the NSHF will be encouraged to designate the NSHF as a beneficiary of their wills or living trusts.
  • Retirement Plan, Life Insurance and Other Beneficiary Designations: Supporters of the NSHF will be encouraged to designate the NSHF as beneficiary of their retirement plans, life insurance policies, and other accounts on which they can name a beneficiary.      

VI     I. Periodic Review

The Executive Committee shall review these policies to ensure they continue to describe the policies of the NSHF with respect to the acceptance of charitable gifts and shall propose to the full Board for ratification those revisions that they deem appropriate.