FundSvcs Community

 View Only
Expand all | Collapse all

Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

  • 1.  Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

    Posted 11-02-2021 04:12 PM

    We just had a donor (a company) ask for an acknowledgement prior to their gift.  I've been in the non-profit world for 18 years and this is a first for me.  Do I sign it in the hopes we actually receive their donation, or do I push back?  It seems like common sense that I'm not going to give an acknowledgement prior to getting a donation, but from the looks of it they have used this form before.

    Here is the form:

    Charitable Contribution Acknowledgement Form

    To Be Completed by Recipient Organization

    The Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993 requires that charitable contributions of $250 or more must be substantiated by a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the organization receiving the donation (Internal Revenue Code Sec. 170(f)(8)). This acknowledgement includes the amount of cash and a description of any non-cash contributions donated to the organization. In addition, the organization is required to provide the donor a description and good faith estimate of the Fair Market Value (FMV) of any goods and services (round of golf, dinner, show, banners, etc.) received in return for the contribution.

    In order to comply with this regulation, completion of this form will be required prior issuance of a check. Prompt completion will expedite processing.

    Contribution Information

    Financial Donation Amount $1,000.00
    Today's Date 10/15/2021

    Is the Community Organization receiving an In-Kind donation? ☐Yes ☐No
    (If YES In Kind Donation - Please describe the property received such as computers, artwork, furniture, etc.)

    Organization Information

    Tax I.D. #
    City State Zip

    Are contributions to your organization deductible as charitable donations?

    ☐ Yes, because we are a (check one): ☐ 501(c)(3)   ☐ Government/School/Church   ☐ Other (please describe):
    ☐ No, because we are a (check one): ☐501(c)(6)   ☐501(c)(4) ☐Other (please describe):

    Additional Information

    Will Pacific Western Bank receive any goods/services in return for this contribution? ☐Yes ☐No
    If YES, please indicate the benefits received by the bank and their value.
    Choose an item. Amount

    CRA Qualified Donations

    If this donation benefits low- to moderate-income individuals or community, please report the number of 1) low- to moderate-income individuals served, 2) small businesses served, or 3) affordable housing units built as a result of this donation.

    Acknowledged By

    Please return this form to (email address):_______________________ (Payment cannot be sent until this is received).

    Am I crazy for sending this to them prior to their donation?

    Thank you,

    Shaun Field
    Director, Data Services
    CHOC Children's Foundation

  • 2.  RE: Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

    Posted 11-02-2021 04:18 PM
    Nope.  Don't do it.  The gift jas jot been legally converted and therefore you cannot issue a legal tax document.


    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard

  • 3.  RE: Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

    Posted 11-02-2021 04:32 PM
    Make that "has not" instead of jas jot.  Although that has a fun vibe ��

    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard

  • 4.  RE: Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

    Posted 11-03-2021 08:01 AM
    Shaun, this form is inartful, but it is quite clear that it is NOT a donation receipt, simply because the form lays out the facts quite clearly that a contribution has not actually been made, and that indeed, the contribution is contingent on the form being filled out. Were I the donor, I would not want to be in the position of substantiating my tax deduction with this form, which testifies against its own validity. The form can insist all it wants that it is compliant with the IRS requirements, but that does not make it so. Since it is not a real receipt or acknowledgement, I don't think it's wholly inappropriate to sign it.

    Do I love the idea of signing it? No. Would I like to massage the language some, or add some commitment language and a donor signature so I could treat it like a pledge? Yes. But I'm not allergic to signing it either.

    Thank you,
    Isaac Shalev
    Data Strategy Expert
    Sage70, Inc.
    (917) 859-0151

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:

  • 5.  RE: Acknowledgement Requested Prior to Donation

    Posted 11-04-2021 07:52 AM

    Hi Shaun,

    This does not read to me like a request for an acknowledgment. It's more of a "do you check the right boxes before we send money" type form. It probably has several purposes including: making things easier on the accounting side for the grantor by making sure no unwanted surprises are involved and helping track activity for the Community Reinvestment Act. It indicates on the form that payment won't be disbursed until the form is completed so I don't think there's an attempt to do anything nefarious here.


    In answer to your general question though, as others have already pointed out, never send out an acknowledgment for a gift you haven't received.






    John Smilde

    Director of Gifts and Records Administration

    Advancement and Alumni Relations

    George Mason University

    4400 University Drive, MSN 1A3

    Fairfax, VA 22030



    This electronic message contains confidential information which is, in whole or in part,

    subject to exclusion from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act pursuant to

    §2.2-3705.4.7. of the Code of Virginia.