LifeWise, Inc. (and its subsidiaries, including LifeWise Academy, LLC), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio, hereafter referred to as LW, encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts for purposes that will help further and fulfill its mission. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to LW or for the benefit of any of its endowment or any of its programs.
I. Purpose of Policies and Procedures
The purpose of this document is to set forth the criteria that LW uses to determine that a proposed gift is acceptable and to inform prospective donors and their advisors of the types of gifts LW accepts. While these guidelines establish best practices, they are designed to provide flexibility as directed by the LW Board of Directors.
II. Types of Gifts
The following gifts may be considered for acceptance by LW:
LW will accept gifts of checks, ACH, money orders and payments via credit or debit card.
As a general rule, and for accountability purposes, “greenback” cash donations are strongly discouraged. If cash is received, it will be documented and converted into a check or money order
As a general rule, and for security purposes, all physical checks will be sent to our lockbox for imaging.
Tangible personal property, including in-kind gifts
LW will accept tangible personal property gifts. The property must be salable and the donor must agree that the property can be sold unless LW agrees to use the property for a purpose related to the purpose of the organization. For property valued at $5,000 or greater, at least one qualified appraisal by an independent professional appraiser is required and such appraisal must be shared with LW prior to any LW decision to accept such a gift of tangible personal property. In the case where an appraisal is required, it is the sole responsibility of the prospective donor to obtain and pay for appraisal services and to share the results of such appraisal with LW.
LW will accept gifts of publicly traded securities, stocks and bonds. Marketable securities will be transferred to a brokerage account maintained at one or more brokerage firms. As a general rule, all marketable securities will be sold upon receipt unless otherwise directed by the Finance Committee of LW. In some cases marketable securities may be restricted by applicable securities laws; in such instances the final determination on the acceptance of the restricted securities may be made by the LW Board of Directors.
LW will consider gifts of real estate with a market value of $50,000 or greater. Gifts of real estate may include developed or undeveloped property. LW review of gifts of real estate shall include, but not be limited to, legality, title, encumbrances, liens, mortgages, easements, restrictions, and environmental issues. Prior to acceptance of real estate, LW requires an initial environmental review of the property to ensure that the property is free of environmental damage. In the event that the initial inspection reveals a potential problem, LW may retain a qualified inspection firm to conduct an environmental audit. The prospective donor must bear the cost of the initial environmental review and any subsequent environmental audit. Until the real estate or property is sold and proceeds are deposited into the LW account, all legal obligations related to ownership of the real estate such as taxes, insurance, utilities and security shall remain with the prospective donor.
Donors and supporters of LW will be encouraged to make bequests to LW under their wills and trusts. Such bequests will not be recorded as gifts to LW until such time as the gift is irrevocable.
Retirement plan beneficiary designations
Donors and supporters of LW will be encouraged to name LW as a beneficiary of their retirement plans. Such designations will not be recorded as gifts to LW until such time as the gift is irrevocable.
Life insurance beneficiary designations
Donors and supporters of LW will be encouraged to name LW as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies. Such designations will not be recorded as gifts to LW until such time as the gift is irrevocable.
Charitable remainder trusts
LW encourages its donors to name the organization as a remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust and will work with its donors to structure such agreements. However, LW will not serve as trustee of a charitable remainder trust and will instead encourage the donor to use a professional fiduciary.
Revocable trust agreements
LW encourages its donors to name the organization as a beneficiary of all or a portion of a revocable trust agreement. However, LW will not serve as trustee of a revocable trust agreement and will instead encourage the donor to use a professional fiduciary.
Charitable lead trusts
LW may accept a designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust. LW will not accept an appointment as Trustee of a charitable lead trust.
III. Valuation of Gifts
LW will record gifts received at their valuation on the date of gift, except that, when a gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable.
IV. Communications with Donors
LW holds all communications with donors and information concerning donors and prospective donors in strict confidence, subject to legally authorized and enforceable requests for information by government agencies and courts. All other requests for or releases of information concerning a donor or a prospective donor will be granted only if permission is first obtained from the donor.
Donor anonymity requests will be honored.
Written tax receipts will be issued for all donations. If the donor receives anything in exchange for their donation, such as a dinner or event admission, the tax receipt shall clearly state what portion of the donation is tax deductible.
At the beginning of each calendar year LW will provide each donor who has contributed over the course of the prior year, with written documentation of all tax deductible gifts received during the prior calendar year.
V. Written Acknowledgement
LW will provide acknowledgement of all gifts made to LW in compliance with the current IRS requirements for acknowledgement of such gifts. This is the responsibility of the Secretary/General Counsel of LW or his/her designee.
VI. IRS Filings upon Sale of Gifts
To the extent applicable, LW shall file IRS Form 8282 upon the sale or disposition of any non-marketable asset sold within three years of receipt by LW when the charitable deduction value of the item is more than $5,000. LW shall file this form within 125 days of the date of sale or disposition of the asset in accordance with applicable IRS rules and regulations.
VII. Use of Legal Counsel
LW may seek the advice of outside legal counsel as appropriate on matters relating to acceptance of gifts. Review by legal counsel may be sought in connection with:
Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements
Documents naming LW as Trustee
Gifts involving contracts or other documents requiring LW to assume a legal obligation
Transactions with potential conflict of interest that may invoke IRS sanctions
Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate by LW’s Board of Directors
VIII. Conflict of Interest
LW does not provide personal legal, financial or other professional advice to donors or prospective donors. Donors and prospective donors are strongly urged to seek the assistance of their own professional advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. It will be the responsibility of the donor to secure the advice of independent legal, financial or other professional advisers as needed for all gifts made to LW.
All donations are considered undesignated donations and will not be eligible for refunds. Redirection of any gift will not be considered after 30 days, unless in the event of a clerical error.
X. Donor Confidentiality
Types of Information Collected
LifeWise will collect payment information along with other information necessary to process a donation or event registration. LifeWise will use this information in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to conform to the requirements of the law and to protect against fraud.
Donors have the right to review personal information that has been collected about them. To review that information, please contact us at lifewise.org/support.
LW adheres to the highest standards in gathering, using and safeguarding information. We do not rent, sell or trade donor information to any third parties.
How Information is Protected and Third Party Use
Confidential information involving financial information given by donors is limited to authorized staff members for the purpose of processing donation or event payments. When payment information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. Moreover, credit card numbers are not retained by LifeWise once processed.
Public Recognition and Anonymous Gifts
Unless otherwise requested by the donor, the names of all individual donors may be printed in LW reports and other internal communications. LW will not publicly publish the names or the amount of a donor’s gift without the expressed permission from the donor.
When a donor requests that a gift or fund be treated as anonymous, the donor’s wishes will be honored. To request that a gift be given anonymously, please contact us at lifewise.org/support. Information needed to process the gift will still need to be retained.
XI. Changes to this Policy
This Policy has been reviewed and accepted by the LW Board of Directors, which has the sole authority and discretion to change this Policy. The VP of Advancement is responsible for reviewing this Policy at least annually or more often as needed to ensure that they remain consistent with applicable laws and the programs of LW.
This gift policy was revised 10/24/2023 with unanimous approval from the LifeWise, Inc. Board of Directors
LifeWise Academy | PO Box 1179 Hilliard, OH 43026 | Copyright 2023