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Gifts of Food

  • 1.  Gifts of Food

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi folks! We have several old pledges documented as gifts in kind with an organization that wants to cover the food for all of our white coat ceremonies for our Health Sciences programs. From the looks of the documentation, they pay for the food through their choice of caterer and we receive the food. The donor then provides us with the invoice for the food that they paid for so we know how much they actually paid. (For reference, they have actually been doing it but I say "old pledges" because we didn't realize they did and are just now trying to reconcile all of the purchases!)

    Yes, this has been as messy as it sounds! To avoid this in the future (and hopefully clean up the current situation), how would you go about documenting in the first place? It seems like they are trying to do good by us to commit to several years of this for each program, hence the pledges, but I don't know how to reflect that accurately in the database. 

    Thank you for your guidance!

    Becca Paylor
    Assistant Vice President, Advancement Services
    Wingate University

  • 2.  RE: Gifts of Food

    Posted 13 days ago
    If there is any way to get them to stop doing this - at least this way?  That would be best!

    It is worrisome that these individuals insist on selecting the caterer.  And wouldn't Wingate want to have some say in that decision process?  Regardless, I worry that without you selecting the firm, the donor might have a relationship with the vendor and is making the selection because they have a vested interest.

    The ideal scenario is that Wingate selects the vendor,  Wingate pays the bill.  And the donor underwrites the event by writing you a check as an outright gift.

    If this process won't fly, then first off there is no recordable pledge unless the donor agrees to commit to a minimum GIK amount they will cover.  That amount can then be entered as a pledge.  They certainly can "overpay" that amount.

    Then, you will need a copy of the invoice after the event.  It would be a good idea for a Wingate employee who attended the event to review the invoice and agree that the costs and consummation amounts appear reasonable.

    Then, to record the GIK you will need proof of payment.  Either the credit card receipt or canceled check.  You not only want to ensure that what was invoiced was paid, but you also must verify the legal donor.  That's not necessarily going to be the individual the invoice was issued to.

    And don't forget that the receipt to the donor will not reflect an amount - only a statement indicated that they paid for the catering costs.

    Does this help?


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 3.  RE: Gifts of Food

    Posted 12 days ago
    Tremendously! Thank you so much for the details on how to navigate.

    Becca Paylor
    Assistant Vice President, Advancement Services
    Wingate University

  • 4.  RE: Gifts of Food

    Posted 12 days ago
    To tag on to the issue of vested interest in selection, I've dealt with a lot of this in my past work with on-campus organizations. A donor will pay for all the catering "if you use my friend/my son's company/etc." Even when the donor is not officially able to choose the caterer, it is often the case that the donor's preferred vendor gets selected anyway. That's why I suggest, in addition to what John recommends regarding reviewing invoices and making sure you're getting what you pay for, that you have the donor declare that they are not receiving (improper) benefits from the vendor they select, and that for large enough events, they're getting multiple bids. 

    It is my experience that financial folks do not like to record GIK pledges in most circumstances. However, you may find it useful to track these pledges in your fundraising system anyway, for stewardship and management purposes.

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

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