Gift Acceptance Policy

MWDTSA Mission Statement: Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Inc. (MWDTSA) is a 501 (c) (3) organization whose missions are to support:

  • Currently deployed Military Working Dog Teams
  • Veteran Dog Handler events/causes
  • Retired Military Dogs
  • War Dog Memorials

Educational opportunities regarding the use and history of Military Working Dogs, also known as "War Dogs".

I. Conflict of Interest

MWDTSA will urge all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. The Charity will comply with the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner promulgated by the National Committee on Planned Giving.

II. Purpose of Policy and Guidelines

The board of directors of MWDTSA and its volunteer staff solicit current and deferred gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations to secure the future growth and missions of our organization. These policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to MWDTSA. The provisions of these policies shall apply to all gifts received by MWDTSA for any of its programs or services.

III. Use of Legal Counsel

MWDTSA will seek the advice of legal counsel when appropriate. Some examples could include:

  • The review of certain gifts, such as closely held stock, or closely held stock subject to buy-sell agreements or other restrictions.
  • The review of all transactions governed by contracts or legal documents. This would include bargain sales, trusts naming the nonprofit as trustee, or any document obligating the trustee to take action.
  • The review of all transactions with potential conflicts of interest. This may include use of board members as sales agents in transactions, leases of gift property to staff or board, etc.
  • Other circumstances in which committee or board members believe that use of counsel are appropriate.

Counsel should serve as an independent observer and advisor. Use of counsel, when appropriate, is part of the fiduciary role exercised by the board members.

IV. Gift Restrictions

MWDTSA will accept unrestricted gifts, and gifts for specific programs and purposes, provided that such gifts are not inconsistent with our stated mission, purposes, and priorities. MWDTSA will not accept gifts that are too restrictive in purpose. Gifts that are too restrictive are those that violate the terms of the corporate charter, or gifts that are too difficult to administer, or gifts that are for purposes outside our mission. All final decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the gift acceptance committee, composed of the Board.

The following criteria govern the acceptance of each gift form:

1) Cash. Cash is acceptable in any form. Checks shall be made payable to Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Inc. or MWDTSA and shall be delivered to Dixie Whitman or the SunTrust banking account as MWDTSA may accept outright cash gifts in any amount.

2) Product-in-Kind. MWDTSA may accept product-in-kind donations that meet the criteria set forth on the Wish List. This currently includes gifts of specific dog toys and grooming supplies for large, active dogs, unopened high quality treats that have not met their expiration date. (Treats being shipped must have an expiration date of at least one month.)

3) Tangible Personal Property. All other gifts of tangible personal property shall be examined in light of the following criteria:

  • Does the property fulfill the mission of the Charity?
  • Is the property marketable?
  • Are there any undue restrictions on the use, display, or sale of the property?
  • Are there any carrying costs for the property?

The gift acceptance committee of MWDTSA shall make the final determination on the acceptance of other tangible property gifts.

4) Real Estate. Gifts of real estate may include developed property, undeveloped property, or gifts subject to a prior life interest. Prior to acceptance of real estate, the Charity shall require an initial environmental review of the property to ensure that the property has no environmental damage. Environmental inspection forms are attached as an appendix to this document. In the event that the initial inspection reveals a potential problem, the Charity shall retain a qualified inspection firm to conduct an environmental audit. The cost of the environmental audit shall generally be an expense of the donor.

When appropriate, a title binder shall be obtained by the Charity prior to the acceptance of the real property gift. The cost of this title binder shall generally be an expense of the donor. Prior to acceptance of the real property, the gift shall by approved by the gift acceptance committee and by legal counsel. Criteria for acceptance of the property shall include:

  • Is the property useful for the purposes of the Charity?
  • Is the property marketable?
  • Are there any restrictions, reservations, easements, or other limitations associated with the property?
  • Are there carrying costs, which may include insurance, property taxes, mortgages, or notes, etc., associated with the property?
  • Does the environmental audit reflect that the property is not damaged?

5) Remainder Interests in Property. The Charity will accept a remainder interest in a personal residence, farm, or vacation property subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 above. The donor or other occupants may continue to occupy the real property for the duration of the stated life. At the death of the donor, MWDTSA may use the property or reduce it to cash. Where MWDTSA receives a gift of a remainder interest, expenses for maintenance, real estate taxes, and any property indebtedness are to be paid by the donor or primary beneficiary.

6) Life Insurance. MWDTSA must be named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of an insurance policy before a life insurance policy can be recorded as a gift. The gift is valued at its interpolated terminal reserve value, or cash surrender value, upon receipt. If the donor contributes future premium payments, the Charity will include the entire amount of the additional premium payment as a gift in the year that it is made.

If the donor does not elect to continue to make gifts to cover premium payments on the life insurance policy, MWDTSA may:

  • continue to pay the premiums;
  • convert the policy to paid up insurance; or
  • surrender the policy for its current cash value.

7) Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations. Donors and supporters of MWDTSA will be encouraged to name MWDTSA as beneficiary of their retirement plans. Such designations will not be recorded as gifts until such time as the gift is irrevocable. When the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.

8) Bequests. Donors and supporters of MWDTSA are encouraged to make bequests to MWDTSA under their wills and trusts. Such bequests will not be recorded as gifts to MWDTSA until such time as the gift is irrevocable. When the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.

9) Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations. Donors and supporters of MWDTSA are encouraged to name the Charity as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies. Such designations shall not be recorded as gifts to the Charity until such time as the gift is irrevocable. Where the gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.

VII. Miscellaneous Provisions

Securing appraisals and legal fees for gifts to MWDTSA. It will be the responsibility of the donor to secure an appraisal (where required) and independent legal counsel for all gifts made to MWDTSA.

Valuation of gifts for development purposes. MWDTSA will record a gift received at its valuation for gift purposes on the date of gift.

Responsibility for IRS Filings upon sale of gift items. The gift acceptance committee of MWDTSA is responsible for filing IRS Form 8282 upon the sale or disposition of any asset sold within two years of receipt when the charitable deduction value of the item is more
than $5,000. The Charity must file this form within 125 days of the date of sale or disposition of the asset. Form 8282 with Filing Instructions is attached as an appendix to these policies. Acknowledgement of all gifts made to MWDTSA and compliance with the current IRS requirements in acknowledgement of such gifts shall be the responsibility of the board of the MWDTSA.

VIII. Changes to Gift Acceptance Policies

These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the gift acceptance committee of MWDTSA The gift acceptance committee of the MWDTSA must approve any changes to, or deviations from, these policies.

Approved on the 18th day of July, 2011.
President, Board of Directors, MWDTSA