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Planned Gift Documentation And Valuation

  • 1.  Planned Gift Documentation And Valuation

    Posted 15 days ago

    We are reaching the end of our campaign at St. John's College and we hope to close our books by Dec 31st.

    Questions have been brought forward concerning a few planned gifts/bequests that were booked at the nominal value of $1 as no supporting documentation was included when the bequest was booked.  Some background:

    1) We do have a GAP which was approved in 2018, however, the GAP does not include specifics on the type of documentation needed when booking a bequest.
    2) We do have an SOP that does ask for supporting financial documentation for any bequest to be booked and valued with an NPV, otherwise the bequest will be valued at $1.
    3) The Gift form also highlights the issue of supporting documentation, and when documentation is not supplied, informs the donor the gift will be booked at the nominal value of $1.
    4) Several gift officers have highlighted the lack of clarity and confusing standards between our originally approved GAP language and the language and documentation requirements in our SOP and Legacy Form for planned gifts.
    5) Because of the confusion in language in or GAP and SOP, our officers wish to revisit all bequests valued at $1 and insist that the Legacy Form itself is proof enough for the bequest to be valued at the NPV and not the nominal $1 value.

    My question is:  Are there generally accepted policies/standards/rules regarding the documentation of bequests to be valued at an NPV?  Or is this an institutional set of standards.  One example that worries me are bequests from spouses - the contingency of a two life bequest without some documentation from both spouses - seems less secure to book with an NPV.

    I want to be flexible with our gift officers - but I also want to be a good steward and to report planned gifts with an NPV that we are fairly certain will be realized in the future.  Your guidance - or referring me to any planned gift standards regarding documentation would be appreciated.

    Richard (Rick) West
    St. John's College

    Richard West
    Director of Advancement Services
    SJC Business Card

  • 2.  RE: Planned Gift Documentation And Valuation

    Posted 15 days ago
    Pages 36-37 of the new CASE Standards offer some guidance.  Here is the specific language regarding documentation:

    "Proper documentation in the form of a will, trust, legal document, letter of intent or gift agreement is necessary to ensure proper stewardship of the commitment. Successful institutions steward these commitments to engage donors for the longer term."

    In addition to your GAP, institutions should state their internal requirements, which do not have to follow CASE - as long as they are stated in writing - in their  Campaign counting policies for counting and recognition purposes.


    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