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Gift Acceptance Policy


A gift is a contribution of cash, real or personal property, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Annuity Trusts, Unitrusts, Lead Trusts, or Life Insurance. All gifts, regardless of value, form, or designated use should be made to Columbus Center for Human Services, dba Open Door, Tax ID #31-0996044. Questions about methods of giving, timing, assignment, or purpose of gifts shall be directed to the Director of Organizational Impact.


While Open Door welcomes gifts from all individuals, we do not accept gifts from organizations whose association would tarnish Open Door’s brand, reputation, or standing in the community. Open Door reserves the right to decline any gift or grant.


All gifts by check shall be accepted regardless of the amount. Checks shall be made payable to Open Door. In no event shall a check be made payable to an individual who represents Open Door. The date of a cash gift is determined by the date of the postmark or the date the gift is hand-delivered. It is a violation of Open Door policy to falsify a written letter of acknowledgment in any way that would violate the US General Accounting Practice or Internal Revenue Code.

Real Estate

Gifts of Real Estate, including timeshares, must be reviewed by the Open Door Board Executive Committee before acceptance.

The donor is responsible for obtaining an appraisal of the property from a qualified appraiser, which is satisfactory to the Open Door. The cost of the appraisal is borne by the donor. Open Door may require a report from a certified lead inspector. The cost of such inspection is borne by the donor.

Prior to presentation to the Open Door Board Executive Committee, a member of the board and designated staff must conduct a visual inspection of the property.

Before acceptance of any real estate, the donor must provide:

  • Real Estate Tax Bill
  • Current Plot of Survey
  • Current owner’s title policy or title commitment
  • Substantiation of zoning status and documentation of historical district considerations.
  • All known environmental hazards

Depending on the value and desirability of the gift, the donor’s connection to Open Door, and the donor’s past giving record, the donor may be asked to pay for all or a portion of the following:

  • Cost of environmental remediation
  • Maintenance costs
  • Real estate taxes
  • Insurance
  • Title insurance premiums
  • Warranty Deed
  • Survey Costs
  • Real estate broker’s commission and other costs of sale
  • Appraisal costs

In the event that Open Door accepts the real estate, for internal gift crediting and accounting purposes, the value of the gift will be the appraised value of the real estate.

Gifts In-Kind

In the case of in-kind gifts of real and personal property, the donor will be provided with a receipt from Open Door for the donation. No stated dollar value will be included in the acknowledgment receipt for any in-kind gifts of personal property.

No personal property will be accepted on an on-loan basis.

All gifts-in-kind must be new or if used, in good, clean, working condition. Open Door reserves the right to decline any in-kind gift for any reason.


Assets transferred through bequests that have immediate value to Open Door shall be encouraged. Gifts that appear to require more cost than benefit shall be discouraged or declined.

Unless otherwise specifically restricted by the donor in their instrument, the disposition of all bequest assets will be determined by the Executive Committee and the Executive Director.

Charitable Gift Annuities and Trusts

Gifts made to establish Charitable Remainder Annuities, Uni-trusts, and Gift Annuities shall be credited at their fair market value which is the full amount of the asset used to fund the gift.

Life Insurance

Open Door must be named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of a whole life insurance policy before a policy can be recorded as a gift. Open Door will report the cash surrender value of the policy when given, rather than its face value as the amount of the gift.

All life insurance policies must be appraised, and the cost borne by the donor.

If the policy is a paid-up policy, the value of the gift for Open Door crediting and accounting purposes is the policy’s replacement cost.

If the policy is partially paid up, the value of the gift for Open Door crediting and accounting purposes is the policy’s cash surrender value. (Note: For IRS purposes, the donor’s charitable income tax deduction is equal to the interpolated terminal reserve.)

If the donor pays further premiums on the policy, Open Door will include the entire amount of the premium payment in its gift totals.

If Open Door elects to pay the premiums, it will consider those payments as operating expenses and not report increases in the cash surrender value as a gift.

Regardless of whether the donor or Open Door pays the premium on the policy it owns, the difference between the cash value and the insurance company settlement at the death of the donor shall not be reported as a gift but rather a gain on the disposition of the asset.

In cases where Open Door receives the proceeds of an insurance policy in which it was named beneficiary but not owner, the full amount received will be recorded as a gift on the date delivered.

For acknowledgment purposes, Open Door may publically recognize the entire amount of a paid-up insurance policy, rather than what its cash value would be.

Administrative Details

The purpose of those acting as development officers is to motivate, cultivate, and give knowledgeable direction to prospective donors. Those acting as development officers do not act as legal counsel. All donors are advised to seek competent legal and/or financial counsel.

Gifts in the form of checks or cash must be given to a senior member of the Development or Finance department on the day they are received. In instances where there was no use specified or the specification is unclear, the gift will be considered unrestricted.

Open Door shall not act as an executor, durable power of attorney, health care surrogate, or other representation for a donor or donor’s estate, nor shall it act as a trustee for any trust, other than in an appropriate circumstance such as a charitable remainder trust when Open Door is the sole remainder beneficiary.

Gifts may be designated for unrestricted or restricted current operations; buildings; equipment; or other capital purposes including fundraising expenses. Any gifts not specifically restricted/designated by the donor, will be considered unrestricted and be utilized in the areas of greatest need as determined by the Executive Director and/or Board, in keeping with normal budget policy decisions.

Charitable intent must accompany all gifts accepted by Open Door. A donor’s primary motive for making a gift should be to further the work and mission of Open Door.

Organizations who wish to host an event benefiting Open Door must secure advance approval from the Executive Director and/or Board and complete a Fundraiser/Benefit Agreement which will outline the responsibilities of the host organization and Open Door, as well as the donor intent and designation for any gifts received as a result of the benefit.

All gifts must be recognized as promptly as possible, usually by letter within one week of receipt.

Donor records are confidential and will not be sold to or shared with anyone outside of Open Door. With their approval, donors may be recognized in print and/or digital communications.

Signed by:

Rebecca Sharp Porter
Chief Executive Director

Last updated: 12/28/23

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