The gift acceptance policy included herein is designed to provide consistency in treatment of gifts and to protect the interests of donors, the Foundation and the Library.
Donations will generally be accepted from individuals, partnerships, corporations, organizations, government agencies or other entities without limitations, unless acceptance of gifts conflicts with the values, needs or mission of the Foundation and Library.
The Library Foundation accepts the following types of gifts:
- Publicly traded stock and securities
- Life Insurance
- Gift in kind
The Foundation’s CEO, Board members, staff and, in certain circumstances, designated volunteers, shall have the authority to solicit and accept gifts on behalf of the Foundation in compliance with this Policy.
- All donations must be in the best interest of the Library and be consistent with the Foundation’s Mission, Vision and Values.
- Beyond meeting all legal requirements, gifts may need to be assessed to ensure that their acceptance does not bring any risk of harm to the Library or Foundation, including jeopardizing the Foundation’s status as a registered charity under the Income Tax Act.
- Donors may not have unjustified influence on the Library or Foundation, regardless of the size or type of gift.
- While embracing the need to accommodate donor wishes, the donor recognizes that gift restrictions often limit the ability of the Library to serve the changing needs of the community.
- Funds raised in excess of what is required for a given project will be directed to the area of greatest need at the Library.
- Staff will encourage the donor to discuss the proposed gift with their families and independent legal and/or tax advisors to ensure that the donor has a full and accurate understanding of all aspects of the proposed charitable gift. The Foundation does not stand as an advisor on any legal, tax, estate, or other financial planning matters.
- The Foundation commits to the highest ethical standards in its engagement with donors.
- The Foundation shall honour requests of anonymity concerning a donation.
The Foundation may decline a gift if it violates any of the provisions of this Policy. The Foundation shall advise the donor as soon as is practically possible of its decision to decline a gift.
Gifts of cash make up the bulk of donations made to the Library Foundation.
- The Foundation welcomes donors to make charitable contributions in the form of a cash or cash equivalent gift (including cash, credit card, cheque, or pledges).
- Cheques shall be made payable to the Foundation and not to any individual representing the Foundation.
- Donor information is required for the preparation of a tax receipt.
- Tax receipts will be issued in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency regulations.
All donated securities are sold upon receipt and the donor will receive a tax receipt for the value of the securities donated based on the closing price on the day of receipt by our custodial agent.
Acceptance of shares requires both the appropriate documentation to be received from the donor and delivery of the shares. The date of the donation is the date the shares are deposited into the Foundation’s RBC Direct Investing Account. If a real time value cannot be assessed, the value shall be based on the stock price at close on the day they are received. Stock will be sold immediately.
A gift in will (bequest) refers to a disposition in a Will to the Foundation of cash, securities, assets, and the donation of all or a percentage of the residual estate. Bequests are revocable gift commitments and most often will be credited and recognized when the funds are received.
Donors are encouraged to provide information about their bequest and, if they are willing, provide a copy of that section of their Will to the Foundation.
While a donor may direct their bequest, the Foundation encourages donors to direct all bequests to the Library’s highest priorities, as programs and areas of need may change over time. Any non-cash bequests will be reviewed and subject to guidelines set out in the Foundation policies.
Donations can be made by naming the Foundation as beneficiary on an RRSP or RRIF and qualifying the bequest as a charitable donation. The assets are paid directly to the charity upon the death of the annuitant and the Foundation will issue a tax receipt at that time. Donors are advised to contact their financial institution when deciding on this method of donating.
Life insurance policies can be donated by way of irrevocable transfer of ownership during the life of the donor, or by making the Library Foundation a beneficiary on the death of the donor. In most conditions, the Calgary Public Library Foundation will accept a Life Insurance policy under the following conditions:
- It is a whole life insurance policy
- The insurance policy has limited pay
- The Library Foundation owns the policy or is named as irrevocable beneficiary
- The life insurance policy is guaranteed with an annuity
- The donor shall provide fair market value of the life insurance policy at the time of the donation.
For Whole Life Insurance policies where ownership is irrevocably transferred at the time of gift, a tax receipt will be provided for the fair market value of the policy at that time. Premiums paid by the donor after the transfer date are also eligible for a tax receipt in the amount of the premium issued for the year of payment.
For life insurance policies where ownership is not irrevocably transferred, and the Library Foundation is designated as the beneficiary on death, the tax receipt will be issued only upon the Library Foundation receiving payment of benefits under the policy following death, provided the policy is not held in connection with certain tax plans or arrangements (such as a registered pension plan), and the value for tax receipting purposes is the value received by the Library Foundation at such time.
A gift in kind is a broad gift category including tangibles (ex. artworks, books, computers, equipment) and intangibles (ex. services, tickets to events) that a donor voluntarily transfers to the Foundation without expense or consideration. The Library Foundation will accept gifts in kind that support its mission, are consistent with its policies, and are properly accounted for and acknowledged.
- All gifts-in-kind must be supported with appropriate evidence of fair market value. The CEO or a member of the Finance & Audit Committee will determine the acceptability of the fair market value where there is any question around the validity. The donor is responsible for all costs associated with determining the fair market value of the gift in kind and donors are encouraged to contact a professional appraiser or valuator.
- Once accepted, the donated item(s) becomes the property of the Foundation, which retains the right to dispose of gifts in kind as it sees fit, at any time.
- The Foundation will consider any potential liability or issue that may arise from the acceptance of a particular gift-in-kind. The Foundation will consider such things as appraisal, storage, environmental liabilities, title, carrying costs, legal ramifications and disposal costs.
Gifts of services are not permitted under Canadian tax law, as services are not defined as “property.” Canada Revenue Agency does, however, accept the practice of cheque swapping. This entails the person billing the Foundation for the service and then donating back the amount billed, once paid by the Foundation.
Tax and Legal Advice
Legal counsel shall be engaged by the Foundation where appropriate when determining the acceptability of a gift. Legal review is recommended for gifts of securities, gifts involving contracts or other legal documents requiring the Foundation to assume an obligation, gifts naming the Foundation as a trustee or imposing a fiduciary obligation, gifts with potential conflicts of interest or potential tax ramifications, gifts of real estate, or such other circumstances where the CEO or Board determines appropriate.
The Foundation will not provide advice about the tax or other treatment of gifts and will encourage all prospective donors to seek guidance from their own legal and financial advisors relating to their gifts.
The Foundation will not compensate, whether through commissions, finders’ fees or other means, any third party for directing a gift or donor to it.
Donor Code of Conduct
We are committed to making the Library Foundation a safe space for everyone, and individuals working for the Library Foundation are entitled to the same protection in the field as they are in the office.
If a donor harasses, intimidates, or assaults a fundraiser or another member of our organization, that individual is encouraged to:
- Tell the donor to stop
- Immediately remove themselves from the situation
- Ask a friend or colleague nearby for help
- Report the incident to the Library Foundation
Any donor who is found to have harassed a staff member within our organization will indefinitely forfeit their right to:
- Provide financial support to the Library Foundation
- Attend the Library Foundation’s events
- Serve as a Board Director, volunteer, contractor, or any role that would constitute a continued relationship with the Library Foundation