Adopted 9/5/14


This policy statement is designed to ensure that all gifts made to, or for the benefit of, HopeTree Family Services (HTFS) are structured to provide maximum benefits for both the donor and HTFS. Throughout its history, HopeTree Family Services has benefited from friends, churches, corporations and foundations.
Due to the ever increasing complexity of giving plans and concepts, this policy has been developed to establish standards by which all gifts to HTFS will be evaluated and a formal process for evaluating and accepting gifts.

Overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with the requirement of this policy rests with the Executive Director of the Agency.
All gifts to HTFS shall be evaluated within the following guiding principles:

  • In accepting a gift, HTFS also accepts the responsibility to the donor to steward that gift properly. This includes using the gift for the purpose it was intended; providing the donor with timely and accurate acknowledgement of the gift; and, when appropriate, reporting to the donor about the use of the gift.
  • Typically, donations of gifts for unrestricted, general purposes are encouraged because of the flexibility they provide to the agency.
  • HTFS does not provide legal, accounting, tax, or other such advice to donors. Each donor is responsible for ensuring their proposed gift meets and furthers their charitable, financial, and estate planning goals. As such, each donor is encouraged to meet with a professional advisor before making any gift to the agency.
  • HTFS shall acknowledge all gifts and donations in a manner that respects and honors the donor.
  • HTFS reserves the right not to accept gifts, including but not limited to:
    • Those not in the best interest of the donor (i.e., ones that might be inappropriate in light of the donor’s personal or financial situation);
    • Those that might benefit the donor in certain ways that are not available to others of similar status and interest;
    • Those from which HTFS will realize little or no gain;
    • Those that are offered for purposes inconsistent with the agency’s mission; and
    • Those which might violate HTFS’s ethical standards or require any form of discrimination.
  • HTFS recognizes that it is in a position of trust with the donor and that the donor has placed trust in the organization concerning confidentiality. Therefore, all donor information, correspondence, and governing instruments are kept in a secure place.
  • It is the agency’s policy not to sell or share its constituent lists to individuals or organizations.

Terms & Definitions

Gift: A gift is not ‘consideration’ in the legal sense and, therefore, the donor receives no direct benefit and requires nothing in exchange beyond an assurance that the intent of the contribution will be honored.
Designated Gift: A designated gift is earmarked by the donor to be directed toward a specific program or field of interest. A field of interest may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Children’s Ministry
  2. Developmental Disabilities Ministry
  3. HopeTree Academy/Education
  4. Therapeutic Foster Care (regionally or as a whole)
  5. Clinical/ Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
  6. Christian Education
  7. Activities

Restricted Gift: A restricted gift is a gift of specific items on which the donor places special, out of the ordinary, restrictions as to its use. These would typically be gifts that the donor wants used to pay for or purchase a specific item.

In-Kind Gift: An in-kind gift is a gifts of goods or services. HTFS issues an “In-Kind Gift Receipt” and does not show the cash value of such gift or service. For tax purposes, in-kind gifts must be valued by the donor and costs associated with an appraisal are the responsibility of the donor. These gifts can range from personal care items to property. If items are not useable by HTFS they will be donated to a non-profit organization that can use them.

Major Gift: A major gift is currently considered to be a gift of $1,000 or more. During any type of campaign the amount considered to be a major gift may be higher.

Pledge Gift: A pledge gift is a commitment to give a specific dollar amount according to a specified time schedule.

Planned Gift: A planned gift is generally made in the present with the benefit to HTFS “deferred” until a future date. This includes, but is not limited to bequests, trusts, securities or real estate.

Endowment Gift: An endowment gift is to be invested for the purpose of producing present and future income that may be expended or reinvested with the original gift. The principal of the endowment is to be kept intact. Income is expended according to the current policy of the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services Foundation Board of Trustees and may be restricted or unrestricted according to the donor’s intent.

Matching Gift: A matching funds gift is a gift from a business to a non-profit organization based on employee participation. Matching gifts, unless the company specifies otherwise, will follow the donor’s gift type. If the original gift from the donor was restricted or designated, the matching gift will be also credited as such.

General Policies

Gift Acknowledgement
All donors are to be sent a gift receipt within a reasonable timeframe. When appropriate, donors shall be given tokens of appreciation relevant to their gift and the appropriateness of such gestures. The Chief Advancement Officer shall be responsible for oversight and compliance with the requirements regarding gift acknowledgement and receipts.
Proposed gifts of property and in-kind gifts (of significant value) must be evaluated to determine whether the costs to HTFS associated with receiving the gift can be accommodated prudently. All gifts should be screened by Development staff. The initial evaluation of usefulness and appropriateness will be determined by the Regional Director of Development. Final assessment and determination is made by the Chief Advancement Officer.

Before completing major and/or planned gift arrangements with donors, the regional Director of Development, on behalf of HTFS, and the donor will sign a memorandum of understanding which shall contain the following:

  1. The purpose of the gift,
  2. Relevant background information about the gift,
  3. How the funding will be made,
  4. HTFS’s responsibilities,
  5. Use(s) of the gift, and
  6. Public announcement of the gift (if applicable).

Legal and ethical requirements prohibit HTFS or its staff from appraising or establishing the value of any gift given to the Agency. Such appraisals are to be conducted by certified, independent appraisers not associated in any way with HTFS, and the cost shall be the donor’s responsibility.

Gift Acceptance Policies

The following policies relate to the typical types of gifts received by HTFS. It is understood that special gifts or circumstances might require a case-by-case review by the Executive Director and might not be addressed by this document.

Standard Gifts

  • Cash is the most commonly received type of gift. These gifts can take the form of currency, check or credit card contributions. Cash may be delivered in person, by mail, by Electronic Funds transfer, or by wire transfer.
  • Cash (currency and checks) gifts are recorded the day they are received by the agency.
  • EFT or wire transfer gifts are recorded the date the gift transferred into the HTFS bank account.
  • Credit card gifts are recorded on the day the credit card gift notification is received by the Advancement Department.

Gifts of Insurance
HTFS will accept life insurance policies as gifts only when HopeTree Family Services is named as the irrevocable owner and sole beneficiary of the policy.

HTFS prefers life insurance policies that are fully paid. Those gifts will be valued at the replacement cost of the policy. All partial paid policies must have written explanation of how further premiums are to be paid. Said proposed gifts must be presented to and approved by the Executive Director prior to gifting. Said gifts will be valued at the surrender value of the policy the day the gift transaction is completed.

Personal Property
Gifts of personal property and in-kind gifts include, but are not limited to, such items as precious metals, jewelry, artwork, furniture, and collections. Gifts of personal property shall be used for the benefit of HopeTree Family Services or shall be sold at the sole discretion of the Executive Director.
The Business Office, with direction from the Advancement Department and/or Chief Advancement Officer, is responsible for issuing any tax forms and for issuing paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service. Donors will also be informed at the time of gift acceptance that HTFS will, as a matter of policy, cooperate fully in any and all matters related to IRS investigations of non-cash, personal property charitable gifts.

Real Estate
No gift of residential, rental, commercial, mineral, industrial, or agricultural real estate shall be accepted without a visit by the Chief Advancement Officer.
Prior to acceptance, an independent appraisal is required for all properties. The donor will assume all costs related to the appraisal. If the Chief Advancement Officer feels a second appraisal is warranted, it will be obtained with HTFS bearing the responsibility for all associated costs. The average of the two appraisals will be considered to constitute the “fair market value” of the real estate and thus the value of the gift.
No gift of real estate encumbered by a mortgage or lien shall be accepted.
These transactions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Securities or mutual funds that are traded on any recognized stock exchange, or that have prices quoted daily and are readily marketable, will be accepted as outright gifts or pledge payments.
The value of said securities is determined by averaging the high and low trading price on the day the securities are received by the agency in accordance with established IRS policy.
Regarding closely held securities, all such gifts must be examined prior to the acceptance for valuation and marketability. The Chief Financial Officer will do the original research with the Executive Director giving final approval of all such proposed gifts prior to acceptance.

Pledges must have written documentation in Raiser’s Edge that contains the following:

  • The specific amount of the pledge,
  • A clearly defined payment schedule,
  • There should be no contingencies or conditions,
  • The donor must be considered to be financially capable of making a gift, and
  • The acknowledgement and any naming opportunities associated with the pledge shall be removed if for any reason the pledge is not completed within the agreed upon payment schedule

Pledge Recording Policies

  • Anticipated matching gifts will not be included in pledge amounts.
  • For gift recognition purposes, donors will not be recognized publicly until the pledge is paid in full.
  • In the event of death, pledge balances will be written off when the agency is notified, unless the donor’s will or the family has indicated there is an intent to complete the pledge.
  • In the event of a death, the donor will be recognized at the level of the final payment.
  • All requests to deactivate a pledge must be presented to, and approved by, the Chief Advancement Officer.

Planned Gifts
HTFS encourages donors to disclose their planned giving intentions to the Advancement Department in writing to ensure the agency is able to carry out their wishes and that the gifts conform to the principles stated in this Gift Acceptance Policy.

Reporting Policy

All irrevocable planned gifts will be reported at full fair market value.

Charitable Bequests
Bequests, preferred language
(Will) “I give to Virginia Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services DBA HopeTree Family Services, a nonprofit corporation, outright, the following:

  • (Cash Bequest) ________________ dollars ($ ________) to be used for general purposes
    as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Stock Gift) ________ shares of common stock of _____________ Corporation, to be used for general purposes as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Percentage of Estate) ________ percent ( ___%) of the residue of my estate, to be used for general purposes as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Designated) [include above type of gift] to be used for _________________________ (list program area).”
  • (Restricted) [include above type of gift] to be used for ___________________________(list specific purpose).”

(Trust) The Trustee shall distribute the following outright to Virginia Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services DBA HopeTree Family Services, a nonprofit corporation:

  • (Cash Bequest) ________________ dollars ($ ________) to be used for general purposes as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Stock Gift) ________ shares of common stock of _____________ Corporation, to be used for general purposes as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Percentage of Estate) ________ percent ( ___%) of the residue of my estate, to be used for general purposes as the governing body of the organization may direct.”
  • (Designated) [include above type of gift] to be used for __________________________(list program area).”
  • (Restricted) [include above type of gift] to be used for ____________________________(list specific purpose).”

HTFS welcomes Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRAT), Charitable Remainder Unitrusts, and Charitable Lead Trusts. HTFS does not actively manage such trusts. It does refer donors to appropriate professionals who can assist them.

Bequest gifts can be used to create endowments at HTFS. The agency would prefer the donor contact the Development staff as part of the donor’s estate planning so the agency would have a record of the donor’s intent. If it is believed the instructions are not complete or too restrictive, an attempt will be made to reach an acceptable agreement with the legal representative of the deceased.

Gifts of Life Insurance
Gifts of life insurance as part of planned giving should name the agency beneficiary of the policy upon death or as beneficiary and owner. All previously mentioned conditions also apply to planned gifts of insurance.

Disposition of Gifts

HTFS retains the right to sell any in-kind gift received it so desires unless prohibited in writing and agreed to by HTFS.
HTFS retains the right to dispose of any gift in any way that best benefits HTFS unless otherwise instructed in writing.
HTFS may sell any gift of securities at the first opportunity after receipt of the gift.


If you have any questions about our policies, or if you’d like to discuss making a gift, please contact us at 540-389-2112.