Gift Acceptance Policy

Policy ID

003-0001

Effective Date

Friday, June 12, 2020

Last Revised

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Division

Advancement

Office of Primary Responsibility

Advancement Division

Summary of Policy

The Trustees of Dartmouth College ("Dartmouth") appreciates and depends upon the generosity of our alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to support Dartmouth's mission. Gifts to Dartmouth can take many forms and serve different purposes.  In order to be assured that Dartmouth is a responsible steward of these gifts and that these gifts are in the best interest of Dartmouth, the following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to Dartmouth. These policies apply to all Dartmouth schools and programs.

Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define at a high-level the principles by which gifts will be accepted.  This policy shall be implemented and overseen by the Gift Acceptance Committee, as set forth in further detail below.  This policy shall be reviewed, and changes approved, by the Board of Trustees.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

Guiding Principles of Gift Acceptance
Gifts to Dartmouth will be determined to be acceptable based on the following principles:

  • Support of Mission. All gifts must be in furtherance of Dartmouth's mission to educate the most promising students and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge.
  • Reputation and Core Values. Dartmouth will not accept a gift that may damage or compromise its reputation, is not in the best interests of the Dartmouth community, or is not consistent with Dartmouth's core values.
  • Philanthropic Intent. Gifts to Dartmouth are given expressly with a philanthropic intent and should not be granted with any degree of expected benefit or influence over Dartmouth activities.  The gift is wholly owned and controlled by Dartmouth once it is received.
  • Undue Burden.  While Dartmouth appreciates all gifts, Dartmouth cannot accept a gift that imposes an unreasonable or undue financial, legal, or administrative burden on Dartmouth or its faculty, staff, students or other resources.
  • Gift Restrictions. Dartmouth seeks gifts that provide support to Dartmouth's greatest needs and priorities. Gifts should be in amounts appropriate to the specified uses.  Gifts should not be directed to purposes that are so restricted that effective use or administration will be problematic.
  • Equal Opportunity. Dartmouth does not accept gifts restricted to purposes or programs that involve discrimination based upon the College's non-discrimination policy or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  
  • Donor Advisors. While Dartmouth may work with donors to further their charitable, financial, and estate planning goals, donors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their proposed gift furthers those goals. Donors will be encouraged to seek the advice of independent legal, tax, and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts.
  • Confidentiality. Dartmouth is committed to protecting the privacy of people whose personal information is held by the college through responsible information management. Donor information will be disclosed to third parties only as required and permitted under applicable law.  


Administration of Gifts
The Advancement Division is responsible for the coordination of solicitations and the acceptance of gifts in compliance with this policy.  Advancement will work with campus partners, volunteers, and volunteer organizations to ensure compliance with this policy and with all procedures adopted by Advancement to implement this policy. Gift acceptance authority is further outlined in Dartmouth's Signature Authority Policy.

The Advancement Division, in the management and reporting of gifts to Dartmouth, shall be guided by the standards of accounting and reporting established by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). All gifts and pledges will be recorded in compliance with IRS regulations and acceptable accounting practices. 

Naming and Recognition
Honorary naming is the highest form of recognition available at Dartmouth, celebrating both the honoree and the donor who makes the gift possible (often one in the same). Naming guidelines are established and reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee and once approved, are voted on by the Board of Trustees.  The naming of schools, buildings, professorships, academic centers, and institutes shall be approved by the Board of Trustees. Donors to Dartmouth may be recognized online and in print publications unless they exercise the option to be recognized publicly as anonymous.

Dartmouth reserves the right to revoke its commitment regarding a naming should any material adverse event create a situation in which the Board of Trustees determines its association–with the donor or the honoree–damages Dartmouth's reputation, undermines public confidence in Dartmouth, or contradicts Dartmouth's principles and values (https://home.dartmouth.edu/mission-statement.)

Rare circumstances may occur in which existing gifts, including named gifts or other honors: 1) jeopardize the reputation or functioning of Dartmouth or its graduate schools; (2) generate enough controversy to substantially frustrate and defeat the gift's intention; or (3) cannot practically be implemented in a manner consistent with a gift's intention due to circumstances beyond Dartmouth's reasonable control. In such cases, Dartmouth will always attempt to work with the donor to address the circumstance in a manner that respects the donor's intent and protects the donor's interests. 

Acceptable Forms of Gifts
Dartmouth accepts many types of gifts. Some types are more easily handled than others, particularly those that can easily be converted to cash (i.e., liquid assets) such as U.S. currency, foreign currency, wire transfers, bank drafts, electronic fund transfers, checks, credit card charges, and payroll deductions.  Publicly traded securities require special handling but are also considered to be one of the preferred methods of giving.  

Other types of gifts, such as real estate, other tangible property, partnerships, royalties, and non-traditional investments, are generally accepted and in most cases welcomed by Dartmouth, however they require special handling, additional documentation, and consideration by the Gift Planning Office, often in partnership with the Investment Office, Real Estate Office, and the benefitting department.

Gift Acceptance Committee
Gifts that do not easily and readily meet the standards for acceptance as outlined elsewhere in this policy will be referred to the Gift Acceptance Committee for institutional review at the highest level.  This Committee (Senior Vice President for Advancement, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Provost) reporting to the President, may withhold approval of acceptance, pending reviews and administrative research.