Gift Acceptance Policy

This policy represents the policy of The National Communication Association (NCA) governing the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by NCA.  The provisions in this policy shall apply to all gifts received by NCA. NCA’s Executive Committee reserves the right to revise or revoke this Policy at any time and to make exceptions to the Policy.

The purposes of the policy are to provide guidance for the Executive Committee, staff, and members with respect to their responsibilities concerning gifts to NCA and guidance to prospective donors and their professional advisors when making gifts to NCA. 

1. Overarching Provisions 

NCA may seek and accept charitable donations.  Donations will be acknowledged in compliance with IRS guidelines/regulations.

NCA may actively engage in development activities in accordance with its strategic plan.  The purpose of all fundraising shall be to further the mission of NCA, which is:

The National Communication Association advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry.  NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching.  Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

NCA shall not accept gifts that:

  1. Violate the terms of the NCA’s Gift Acceptance Policy;
  2. Jeopardize the NCA’s status as a tax-exempt organization under federal or state law;
  3. Are too difficult or expensive to administer;
  4. Are for purposes that do not further the NCA’s objectives; or
  5. Could damage the reputation of the NCA.

2. Considerations for Specific Forms of Gifts 

Cash, Checks, and Credit Cards 

NCA will accept gifts paid by cash, check (made payable to NCA), and credit card (including on-line giving).

Marketable Securities 

NCA will accept gifts of publicly-traded securities.  Publicly-traded securities may be transferred to an account maintained by NCA at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s signature or stock power attached.  Publicly-traded securities shall normally be sold as soon as practical following receipt. 


Donors may make bequests to NCA under their wills and trusts.  A bequest will not be recorded as a gift until the gift is irrevocable.  When the gift is irrevocable, it will be recorded in accordance with GAAP. 

 Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations 

NCA may accept designations as beneficiary of donors’ retirement plans.  A designation will not be recorded as a gift until the gift is irrevocable.  When the gift is irrevocable, the gift will be recorded in accordance with GAAP.

 Life Insurance 

NCA may accept designations as owner of a life insurance policy.  The life insurance policy will be recorded as a gift once the NCA is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of a life insurance policy.  The gift shall be valued in accordance with GAAP rules.  If the donor contributes future premium payments, the NCA will include the entire amount of the additional premium payment as a gift in the year that it is made.  If the donor does not elect to continue to make gifts to cover premium payments on the life insurance policy, the NCA will surrender the policy for its current cash value.

 Donors may name the NCA as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies.  A designation will not be recorded as a gift until the gift is irrevocable.  When the gift is irrevocable, the gift shall be recorded in accordance with GAAP.

Real Estate 

Gifts of real estate may include developed property, undeveloped property, or gifts subject to a prior life interest.  A title binder shall be obtained by NCA prior to the acceptance of the real property gift when appropriate.  The cost of this title binder will be at the expense of the donor.  General policy on real property is to liquidate in a reasonable period of time to avoid liability on NCA assets.  Decisions about whether to accept gifts of real estate shall be based in part on the following factors:

  1. Any concerns which an environmental audit reveals—prior to acceptance of real estate, NCA shall require a Phase I environmental review of the property to ensure that the property has no environmental problem.  If the initial inspection reveals a potential problem, NCA shall retain a qualified inspection firm to conduct an environmental audit.  The cost of the audit shall be at the expense of the donor.
  2. Whether the property is useful for the purposes of NCA and promotion of the Strategic Plan
  3. The marketability of the property
  4. Any encumbrances, leases, restrictions, reservations, easements, or other limitations associated with the property
  5. Any carrying costs associated with the property, including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes or other costs
  6. Restriction by the donor to keep and maintain the property, putting undue cost on NCA—NCA will accept a remainder interest in a personal residence, farm, or vacation property subject to the provisions above, allowing the donor or other occupants to continue to occupy the real property for the duration of the stated life.  At the death of the life tenant(s), NCA may use the property or reduce it to cash.  Expenses for maintenance, real estate taxes, and any property indebtedness shall be paid by the donor or primary beneficiary.

 Tangible Personal Property 

Decisions about whether to accept gifts of tangible personal property shall be based in part on the following factors:

  1. Whether the property furthers the mission of NCA
  2. The marketability of the property
  3. The restrictions on the use, display, or sale of the property
  4. Carrying costs and possible liability for the property

 Closely-Held Securities 

Securities that are not publicly-traded shall be sold as quickly as possible.  Decisions about whether to accept closely-held securities, including debt and equity positions in non-publicly traded companies, interests in LLPs and LLCs, or other ownership forms, shall be based in part on the following factors: 

  1. Restrictions on the security that would prevent NCA from ultimately converting the securities to cash
  2. The marketability of the securities
  3. Any undesirable consequences for NCA from accepting the securities

 Charitable Remainder Trusts 

NCA may accept designations as remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust.  NCA may accept appointment as trustee of a charitable remainder trust

 Charitable Lead Trusts 

NCA may accept designations as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust.  NCA may accept an appointment as trustee of a charitable lead trust.

 Charitable Gift Annuities 

NCA does not have the option of Charitable Gift Annuities.


3.  Tax Deductions 

  1. The donor is responsible for substantiating the amount claimed as a deduction for federal and state income, gift, and estate tax purposes.  This includes, when necessary, timely obtaining a “qualified appraisal.” See IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.
  2. NCA will assist the donor by providing reasonable assistance and information, and when required, signing an appropriately completed IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions.
  3. NCA will provide each donor with a written receipt or other acknowledgement of the donor’s gift that, to the extent possible, complies with the then-existing requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations regarding substantiation of charitable contributions.
  4. In acknowledging the receipt of any noncash gift, NCA will accurately describe any restrictions to which the property is subject, and will not indicate any monetary value attributable to the gift.
  5. When required, NCA will timely file IRS Form 8282, Donee Information Return, to report the sale or other disposition of certain property within three years after its receipt.

4. Additional Provisions 

  1. Gift Agreements—Any gift of $5,000 or more with restrictions shall require a written gift agreement with the donor that specifies the terms of the gift, which may include provisions regarding donor recognition.
  2. Pledge Agreements—Acceptance by NCA of pledges by donors for future support shall be contingent upon the execution and fulfillment of a written charitable pledge agreement specifying the terms of the pledge which may include provisions regarding donor recognition.
  3. Fees—NCA will not accept a gift unless the donor is responsible for (1) the fees of independent legal counsel retained by donor for completing the gift; (2) appraisal fees; (3) environmental audits and title binders; and (4) all other third-party fees associated with the transfer of the gift to NCA.
  4. Valuation of Gifts—NCA shall record gifts received at their valuation on the date of gift.  When a gift is irrevocable but is not due until a future date, the gift will be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable in accordance with GAAP.
  5. Restrictions on Sale—NCA will not normally accept gifts of noncash property that expressly or practically prevent NCA from selling or otherwise disposing of the property less than three (3) years after its receipt by NCA.
  6. Restricted Donations—Restricted gifts for activities that are already underway will generally be accepted.  Restricted donations for new activities of less than $5,000 may be accepted provided that the activity aligns with the mission of the association and does not require additional resources in order to achieve the intended outcome.
  7. Named Endowed Funds—A donor may contribute and name a fund and restrict the use of the income or principal of the fund.  Named funds require a minimum contribution of $25,000.  Distributions from the fund will begin between twelve and twenty three months after the gift is made in full, depending on the month of the fiscal year at the time the gift is madeThe trustee for an open endowed fund will be the Awards Trustee Committee of NCA. 
  8. Written Acknowledgement—NCA shall provide written acknowledgement of all gifts made to NCA and comply with the current IRS requirements in acknowledgement of the gifts.

5.   Fundraising Authority 

To ensure that all fundraising efforts on behalf of NCA conform with legal, financial, and other external requirements as well as the priorities of NCA’s strategic plan: 

No interest group, other subgroup of NCA, or individual member may engage in any development activities without prior approval. 

The Executive Director may grant approval to solicit funds of $5,000 or less from a company or organization.  For solicitations of more than $5,000 from a company or organization, approval must be granted by the Executive Committee. 

The Executive Director may grant approval to solicit funds from individuals for an event or project requiring a campaign of $2,500 or less.  For events or projects requiring more than $2,500 of combined individual contributions, approval must be granted by the Executive Committee. 

If an interest group, other subgroup of NCA, or individual member is given approval to engage in a development activity, a standard set of requirements for implementation will be followed. 

If an interest group, other subgroup of NCA, or individual member is offered funds for an NCA-related activity by an individual or an organization without any solicitations, the Executive Director must give approval before the funds can be received.  Approval will be based on adherence to the NCA Gift Acceptance Policy.

6.   Implementation of this policy 

The Executive Director is responsible for implementing this policy.  The Executive Director will bring the following decisions to the Executive Committee for review:

  1. Acceptance of gifts of real estate;
  2. Acceptance of gifts of tangible personal property of over $5,000;
  3. Acceptance of restricted gifts of over $5,000 for new activities;
  4. Acceptance of gifts of over $5,000 that are ambiguous with respect to conformity with this policy;
  5. Acceptance of gifts of over $5,000 that are exceptions to this policy;
  6. Anything else at the Executive Director’s discretion.

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

  1. Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements;
  2. Documents naming NCA as trustee;
  3. Gifts involving contracts such as bargain sales, partnership agreements, or other documents requiring the NCA to assume an obligation;
  4. Transactions with a potential conflict of interest;
  5. Gifts of real estate;
  6. Pledge agreements with special requests for recognition or fulfillment; and
  7. Charitable lead and remainder trusts.

In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, for non-standard gifts NCA should encourage prospective donors to seek the assistance of their own legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts and the resulting tax and estate planning consequences.



Approved by the Executive Committee February 2013; Revised September 2013; Revised February 2015