1.1 General Statement
A strong planned gifts program is an important element in fulfilling the long-term goals of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of The Holy Trinity (Holy Trinity) through the Restricted Endowment Fund and the Unrestricted Endowment Fund. Approved policies contribute to forming the best possible relationships with those who give. This statement specifies guidelines for general policies and specific practices by which the program operates. The degree of detail specified helps assure efficient functioning and quality control.
The Congregational Council (Council) will oversee the gift acceptance process for the congregation of Holy Trinity and will review proposed gifts.
1.2 General Gift Acceptance Guidelines
All gift and bequest arrangements, other than cash or publicly traded stock/mutual funds, must be reviewed for acceptance by the Council. In addition, any constraints or restrictions on the use of the funds must be acceptable.
When a restricted endowment is established, the Council must determine that a proposed restriction does not violate any policy of the Restricted Endowment Fund Resolutions or Holy Trinity and/or require a program or service which Holy Trinity cannot or does not wish to provide (when in question, these would be forwarded to Council for confirmation).
$ for creation of a food bank: Conflicts with our support of Derry Township Food Bank and Community Outreach.
$ for painting the exterior of the church orange: Too restrictive
Donations of items considered Holy may be donated but shall not bear the donor’s name, in memory of, or similar bequest.
Further, the Council Secretary must communicate clearly and receive a written acknowledgement from the donor that should the time come when Holy Trinity can no longer provide the specific service for which the endowment was established, the restricted funds will be used for a similar service provided by Holy Trinity; if no such program or service exists, the restricted funds may become unrestricted.
1.3 Substantiation of Gifts
The Council shall see that donors are informed and have appropriate information and receipts/acknowledgments for the substantiation of the value of their gift.
The Council will not establish the value of a gift. It is understood that acceptance does not represent concurrence in the value placed on the contributed property by the donor. Acceptance simply represents acknowledgment that the property described has been received on a specific date. The donor or donor’s appraiser, and not the Council, is responsible for establishing the value of property gifts.
The donor will be referred to the appropriate IRS Publication(s). Where the donor is required to file any tax forms, the Council shall see that the donor receives the required signature. The Council (if aware) may inform the donor when there is a possibility that additional tax forms may need to be filed. However, all tax liabilities of a gift are the responsibility of the donor.
1.4 Policies and Procedures for Specific Forms of Gifts.
1.4.1 Undesignated Gifts
Holy Trinity will attempt to reconcile gifts that are undesignated by a donor. In the event the donor’s intent for the gift cannot be acquired, undesignated gifts under $2,000 in value will be placed in the general operating account; undesignated gifts over $2,000 will be designated by Council based upon need.
Gifts in the form of cash or checks with no restrictions will be accepted regardless of amount. All checks must be made payable to “Holy Trinity.”
All appropriate property given will be accepted. Property deemed without value, use, and/or is considered improper, which is offered by a bequest shall be disclaimed through a formal disclaimer presented to the estate representative in a timely fashion.
1.4.4 Publicly Traded Security
Securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) which are traded on public exchanges, will be accepted by the Council. Publicly traded securities will be deposited into the holdings with the other Fund investments and evaluated for holding or liquidation by the professional managers of the Funds.
1.4.5 Closely Held Securities
The Council will examine closely held securities for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.
1.4.6 Real Property
The Council will research all offered real property gifts. Such research will include the following:
220.127.116.11 Completion of a Real Estate Environmental Questionnaire and Disclosure Statement signed by the donor. Inform the donor that if there are any environmental concerns, he/she may be responsible for an EPA Phase I environmental audit.
18.104.22.168 Donor must provide a title. Use outside counsel to examine the title for clear ownership and acceptability of any liens and encumbrances. Evaluate the purchase of title insurance as part of the settlement for acceptance of the property.
22.214.171.124 Inform the donor that they are responsible for a Qualified Appraisal.
126.96.36.199 For commercial property, require owners of commercial property to provide an EPA Phase I environmental audit. The Council may require from the donor an Agreement to Indemnify stating that the donor will indemnify Holy Trinity if the property requires environmental remediation after Holy Trinity takes ownership.
188.8.131.52 Gifts of real property, unless usable for the mission and program of Holy Trinity, will be offered for immediate resale. Exceptions to this rule will be presented by the Extended Ministries Committee to the Church Council for approval.
1.4.7 Personal Property
184.108.40.206 Tangible Personal Property will be received after satisfactory review by the Council. Perishable property or property that requires special facilities or security will generally not be accepted.
220.127.116.11 Intangible Personal and Other Property of any description, including but not limited to notes, copyrights, royalties, easements, trademarks, and patents may be accepted but only upon a satisfactory review by the Council.
18.104.22.168 Life Insurance Policies and other assets evidenced by contract will be received provided ownership arrangements or beneficiary designations in the name of Holy Trinity Endowment Fund (either restricted or unrestricted) can be established in compliance with procedures of the issuing company.