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These days, donors are wanting and expecting more accountability from their philanthropy. And that's a good thing we should all be happy about.
The days of “Take my money and do with it whatever you want,” are fortunately behind us. Our charities accomplish so much more when we have true partnerships with out donors as they have so much more to offer us than only their financial support.
However, that more engaged relationship requires us to carefully spell out and document what it is the donor expects and the charity is committed to providing. Gift agreements, often referred to as Letters of Intent, are expressly for the purpose of fulfilling both objectives.
At PW, we feel that any gift that reaches the level of major gift status at your charity should require a gift agreement. Yes, even if it is a gift to the annual fund.
Since a gift agreement is intended to bind both parties, and perhaps even the estate of the donor, it requires:
- your organization's leadership to sign off on the agreement, and
- you to strongly encourage the donor to have the agreement reviewed by their own advisors.
Check out these pages for more about gift agreements:
Gift Agreements for Department Leadership
Gift Agreements for MGOs (This page is open to visitors)
Here are some sample gift agreements: These are examples only. Each gift agreement needs to be individual to meet the specifics of your situation.
Sample Gift Agreement: Capital