Gift Acceptance Policy

The Delaware Museum of Natural History Museum (DMNH) solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that further and fulfill its mission. The Museum urges prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. Acceptance of any contribution, gift or grant is at the discretion of DMNH.

The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to DMNH for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services.

Use of Legal Counsel

DMNH will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

  1. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements
  2. Documents naming DMNH as trustee or requiring DMNH to act in any fiduciary capacity
  3. Gifts requiring DMNH to assume financial or other obligations
  4. Transactions with potential conflicts of interest
  5. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions

Restrictions on Gifts

DMNH will not accept gifts that:

  1. Would result in the Museum violating its bylaws
  2. Would jeopardize the Museum’s status as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
  3. Are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value
  4. Would result in any unacceptable consequences for the Museum
  5. Are for purposes outside our mission

Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by DMNH’s Executive Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director.

Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review

  1. Cash
  2. Marketable Securities—Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at the brokerage company used by DMNH. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt unless otherwise directed by DMNH’s Investment Committee. In some cases marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift. In such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by DMNH’s Executive Committee.
  3. Bequests and beneficiary designations under revocable trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and retirement plans.

Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review

Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review prior to acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include, but are not limited to, tangible personal property, non-liquid securities, in-kind gifts and real estate.

The Museum will provide acknowledgements to donors, meeting IRS substantiation requirements for property received by the charity as a gift. However, except for gifts of cash and publicly traded securities, no value shall be ascribed to any receipt or other form of substantiation of a gift received.

The Museum will respect the intent of the donor relating to gifts for restricted purposes and those relating to the desire to remain anonymous. With respect to anonymous gifts, the Museum will restrict information about the donor to only those staff members with a need to know.

DMNH will not compensate, whether through commissions, finders’ fees, or other means, any third party for directing a gift or a donor to the Museum.

This Gift Acceptance Policy was approved by the DMNH Board of Trustees on June 9, 2017.