West-Ark Church of Christ ("the Church") is blessed with a generous membership whose gifts of cash and property help sustain its outreach efforts. Therefore, The Church will maintain appropriate stewardship of all gifts, cash and property, and will follow a disciplined path in receiving and/or disposing of such gifts with the understanding that these gifts are to be used to glorify the Father.
Purpose and Procedure
The Church Business Management Team (BMT), under the leadership of the elders, will determine the acceptability of asset type, timing, and disposition. The BMT will maintain discipline in gift acceptance and administration. The BMT will not allow the acceptance of gifts that could result in a loss of Church reputation, time, or money.
This policy also covers gifts of all kinds both cash and non-cash. The Church will avoid a "case-by-case" approach to gift acceptance that could lead to inconsistency or poor judgment. Additionally, this policy clearly communicates the Church's intentions to a prospective donor thereby avoiding potential misunderstandings.
Use of Legal Counsel
The Church BMT may seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to gift acceptance when appropriate. Utilization of legal counsel should not be construed as gift acceptance but as a means of investigation of the appropriateness of the gift. Additionally, The Church BMT shall 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.
Restrictions on Gifts
The Church will accept unrestricted gifts, and gifts for specific programs and purposes provided that such gifts are not inconsistent with its stated mission, purposes, priorities and intent. The Church will not accept gifts that are: unduly restrictive in purpose; difficult to administer; inconsistent with the mission of the Church; or gifts subject to donor control. In addition, the Church will not accept gifts of:
- Closely held stock transfers that are subject to buy-sell agreements.
- Documents wherein the Church is named as Trustee.
- Gifts involving bargain sales or other documents wherein the Church would be required to assume an obligation.
- Options or futures contracts or any investment vehicle that would expose the Church to undue risk.
- Transactions with potential conflict of interest that may invoke IRS sanctions.
The BMT of the Church shall make all final decisions on the restrictive nature of the gift, and its acceptance or refusal.
Cash - Cash is acceptable in any form. Checks should be made payable to "West-Ark Church of Christ."
Non-Cash - All non-cash gifts shall be examined in light of the following criteria:
- Whether the gift is consistent with the mission of the Church?
- Whether the gift is marketable?
- Whether there are any undue restrictions on the gift?
- Whether there are any costs of carrying the gift?
- Whether there are restrictions that would prevent the Church from readily converting the gift to cash?
- Whether the gift is useful for the purposes of the Church?
The Church BMT shall make the final determination on the acceptance of non-cash gifts.
Liquidation of Non-Cash Gifts
The Church is not in the financial position to bear investment risk nor is it especially qualified to manage investments. It shall be the policy of the Church BMT to liquidate most non-cash gifts upon receipt. The Church BMT may, at its discretion, not immediately liquidate some non-cash gifts such as real estate in order to provide for future budget needs.
Valuation of Gifts
The values of some gifts are relatively easy to ascertain (e.g., cash, stock) while other values are more complex and burdensome to obtain. The Church BMT does not possess specific expertise in the valuation of property and, as a result, may decline to assign values to non-cash gifts. The Church BMT may, at its discretion, engage an independent appraiser to render an opinion of the value of the gift. Acknowledgement of all gifts made to the Church and compliance with current, governing IRS regulations concerning acknowledgment of such gifts shall be the responsibility of the Church BMT.
Changes to Gift Acceptance Policies
These policies and guidelines have been reviewed and accepted by the Church BMT. The Church BMT must approve any changes to or deviations from these policies.
Additional information regarding gifts can be found in the Church's "Guide to Giving."
28 November 2001
Link to IRS documents: