Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd (“WO”), a not-for-profit organization organized under the laws of Wisconsin, encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to or for the benefit of WO for purposes that will help WO to further and fulfill its mission.
The mission of WO is to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities.
WO’s Directors have a fiduciary duty to assure that WO’s assets are used efficiently and protected from potential liabilities and diversion to purposes other than those that further WO’s goals and are consistent with federal law. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to WO or for the benefit of any of its programs.
I. Purpose of Policies and Guidelines
The Board of Directors of WO and its staff solicit current and deferred gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations to secure the future growth and mission of WO. We appreciate donors’ consideration of any gift to WO. In all matters involving current and prospective donors, the interest of the donor is important to WO. Please call WO’s Executive Director at 920-730-3986 if you have any questions or if you wish to discuss any aspect of this Policy.
These policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts by WO and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to WO. The provisions of these policies apply to all gifts to WO for any of its programs. Gifts will be accepted only if they do not interfere with further WO’s mission, purpose and procedures and are consistent with federal law.
WO shall accept only such gifts as are legal and consistent with organizational policy. While WO does not provide tax advice, every effort will be made to assist donors in complying with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service in allowing charitable tax benefits.
Key principles include safeguarding the confidentiality of the donor relationship, providing full disclosure to the donor, and ensuring that gifts are recorded, allocated and used according to the donor’s intent and designation.
II. General Policies Relevant to All Gifts
A. Use of Legal Counsel
WO shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:
Closely held stock transfers subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
Documents naming WO as Director, trustee, executor, or beneficiary.
Gifts involving contracts, such as bargain sales or other documents requiring WO to assume an obligation.
Any transaction that involves a potential conflict of interest.
Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate by the gift acceptance committee.
B. Conflict of Interest
WO will urge all prospective donors to seek the assistance of independent personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. WO and its employees and agents are prohibited from advising donors about the tax consequences of their donations. Gifts are also subject to the provisions of other WO policies, including adopted Conflict of Interest policies.
WO makes every effort to ensure accepted gifts are in the best interests of the organization and the donor. WO works to follow The Donor Bill of Rights adopted by the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and other professional organizations. WO will comply with the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner, promulgated by the National Committee on Planned Giving, shown as an appendix to this document.
C. Restrictions on Gifts
WO will accept unrestricted gifts, and gifts for specified programs and purposes, provided that such gifts are consistent with its stated mission, purposes, and priorities. WO will not accept gifts that are overly restrictive in purpose. Gifts for purposes that are not consistent with WO’s mission or consonant with its current or anticipated future programs cannot be accepted. Examples of gifts that are overly restrictive or otherwise unsuitable include those that violate the terms of the corporate charter, gifts that are too difficult to administer, or gifts that are for purposes outside the mission of WO. All final decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the gift acceptance committee of WO (or its designee).
D. The Gift Acceptance Committee
The gift acceptance committee shall consist of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing all non-cash gifts proposed to be made to WO, properly screening, accepting or rejecting those gifts, and making recommendations to the board on gift acceptance issues when appropriate.
E. Establishing the Value of Donated Property
It is the policy of WO to comply fully with the valuation rules set out in Publication 561 of the Internal Revenue Service and the relevant income, gift and estate tax laws and regulations. Copies of Publication 561 are available at www.irs.gov or at WO’s office. Property contributed to WO that has a value in excess of $5,000 must be accompanied by an appraisal unless it consists of (i) cash, (ii) marketable securities, (iii) closely held securities with a value of $10,000 or less.
The fee for the appraisal may not be based on the value of the appraised property, and the appraiser must be “qualified,” as that term is used in IRS Publication 561. A “qualified appraiser” is one who is ordinarily in the business of appraising similar property, has appropriate educational and experiential background, who performs appraisals for many different people and purposes (and not primarily either for WO or for the donor) and who is not employed by WO, the donor, any relative of the donor or any entity controlled by the donor or members of the donor’s family. Duplicate originals of each appraisal should be prepared, one for WO and one for the donor.
WO reserves the right to adjust the value of property contributed to it on the books and records of WO for accounting, tax-reporting, annual fund record-keeping or any other purpose if developments after the completion of the gift or information that comes to the attention of WO after the gift is completed are determined, in the discretion of the Committee or WO’s auditors, to merit such an adjustment.
F. Tax Compliance
WO’s policy is to comply with Internal Revenue Service reporting requirement and all other aspects of state and federal tax law.
III. Types of Gifts
The following gifts are acceptable but not intended to represent an exclusive list of appropriate gifts:
Charitable Remainder Trusts
Charitable Lead Trusts
Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations
Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations
The gift acceptance committee of WO shall make the final determination on the acceptance or rejection of gifts of all forms and inform the Board of WO of such determinations in a timely manner.
The following criteria govern the acceptance of each gift form:
1) Cash. Cash refers to cash equivalents, including checks, money orders, currency/coin, and credit card payments. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to “Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd”, shall appropriately identify the donor or donors and shall be delivered to WO’s administrative offices. Wire and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) can usually be arranged with the WO staff. If a matching gift company or workplace giving company wants to send an ACH/EFT every week instead of a check, these must be authorized by the cash receipting manager at WO before the enrollment form is sent back to the constituent.
2) Securities. WO can accept both publicly traded securities and closely held securities.
Publicly Traded Securities. Marketable securities may be transferred to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s signature or stock power attached. As a general rule, all marketable securities shall be sold upon receipt unless otherwise directed by the investment committee. In some cases, marketable securities may be restricted by applicable securities laws; in such instance the final determination on the acceptance of the restricted securities shall be made by the gift acceptance committee of WO.
Closely Held Securities. Closely held securities, which include not only debt and equity positions in non-publicly traded companies but also interests in limited partnerships and limited liability companies, or other ownership forms, can be accepted. Such gifts, however, must be reviewed prior to acceptance to determine that:
there are no restrictions on the security that would prevent WO from ultimately converting it to cash;
the security is marketable; and
the security will not generate any undesirable tax consequences for WO.
If potential problems arise on initial review of the security, further review and recommendation by an outside professional may be sought before making a final decision on acceptance of the gift. The gift acceptance committee of WO with the advice of legal counsel shall make the final determination on the acceptance of closely held securities when necessary. Every effort will be made to sell non-marketable securities as quickly as possible.
Here are the details you can provide to your broker to make transfers:
Account Name: Wild Ones Natural Landscapers
Brokerage Firm: The Vanguard Group
DTC Number: 0062
Account Number: 65836659
3) Life Insurance. WO will generally accept gifts of life insurance policies but only if WO is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy. The gift is valued at its interpolated terminal reserve value, or cash surrender value, upon receipt. Whether any policy is accepted will depend on the economics of the transfer. If the donor contributes future premium payments, WO will include the 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, WO may:
continue to pay the premiums;
convert the policy to paid up insurance; or
surrender the policy for its current cash value.
4) Charitable Remainder Trusts. WO may accept designation as remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust with the approval of the gift acceptance committee. WO will not accept appointment as Director or trustee of a charitable remainder trust.
5) Charitable Lead Trusts. WO may accept a designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust. WO will not accept an appointment as Director or trustee of a charitable lead trust.
6) Deferred Compensation/Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations. WO generally will accept gifts designating WO as a beneficiary of the donor’s retirement plans including, but not limited to, IRAs, 401(k)s 403(b)s and other plans. Such designation will not be recorded as a gift to WO until such time as the gift is irrevocable. When the gift is irrevocable but is not payable until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
7) Bequests. Donors and supporters of WO are encouraged to make bequests to WO under their wills and trusts. Such bequests will not be recorded as gifts to WO until such time as the gift is irrevocable. When the gift is irrevocable but is not payable until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable. The criteria for the acceptance of the gift or bequest will be the same as otherwise provided herein.
8) Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations. Donors and supporters of WO are encouraged to name WO as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies. Such designations shall not be recorded as gifts to WO until such time as the gift is irrevocable. Where the gift is irrevocable but is not payable until a future date, the present value of that gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
9) In-Kind Donations. In-kind contributions include gifts of supplies, equipment, services and the like which are beneficial to WO. Costs incurred as a result of accepting the gift, such as transportation and storage, must be approved by the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall report all in-kind gifts to the Board.
IV. Miscellaneous Provisions
A. Securing appraisals, environmental review, assessment or remediation costs and legal fees for gifts to WO. The cost to secure an appraisal, environmental review, assessment or remediation (where required) and independent legal counsel for any gifts proposed to be made to or for the benefit of WO are generally the Donor’s responsibility.
B. Fees and Commissions
WO generally does not pay “finder’s fees” or commissions to third parties in connection with any kind of gift to WO. No officer, employee or agent of WO is or will be compensated in a manner that is dependent on the size or nature of gifts made to WO by any person. If WO engages legal counsel, accounting professionals, appraisers or environmental consultants, their fees and expenses will be determined by the time they spend engaged in WO’s work and not by reference to any particular gift in connection with which they are retained.
C. Trips and Special Events
When trips or special events involve a charitable contribution, the fair market value and the charitable contribution amount for each participant will be stated specifically in the promotional literature and donor acknowledgment letter. Donations given to offset the costs of a special event must be recorded as gift income, rather than as a credit to an expense account.
V. Changes to Gift Acceptance Policies
These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and recommended to the Board by the gift acceptance committee of WO. The Board of WO must approve any changes to these policies. The policies will be regularly reviewed.
NOTE: Gifts We Will Not Accept:
Charitable Gift Annuities
Pooled Income Funds