Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. All prospective donors are encouraged to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to ACE for the benefit of any of its operations, programs, or services.
Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review
- Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, or online.
- Marketable Securities. Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s endorsement or signed stock power (with appropriate signature guarantees) attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt, unless otherwise directed by Animal Charity Evaluators’ Executive Director to be kept for strategic program purposes.
- Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to ACE under their wills, and to name ACE as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities, and retirement plans.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts. ACE will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.
- Charitable Lead Trusts. ACE will accept designation as an income beneficiary of charitable lead trusts.
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 or Intellectual Property. The Executive Director shall review and determine whether to accept any gifts of tangible personal property in light of the following considerations: Does the property further the organization’s mission? Is the property marketable? Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the property? Are there any carrying costs for the property for which the organization may be responsible? Is the title/provenance of the property clear?
- Life Insurance. ACE will accept gifts of life insurance where ACE is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy. The donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owing on the policy.
- Real Estate. All gifts of real estate are subject to review by the Executive Director. Criteria for acceptance of gifts of real estate include: Is the property useful for the organization’s purposes? Is the property readily marketable? Are there covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, encumbrances or other limitations associated with the property? Are there carrying costs (including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, or the like) or maintenance expenses associated with the property? Does an environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?
Restrictions on Gifts
Animal Charity Evaluators will not accept gifts that:
- would result in a violation of its corporate charter,
- would result in ACE losing its status as an IRC § 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization,
- are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value,
- would result in any unacceptable consequences,
- are for purposes outside our mission,
- are from a researcher who previously received an Animal Advocacy Research Fund (AARF) grant (unless they surrender their potential to receive another grant from ACE for the next three years) or a researcher who is currently applying for an AARF grant, or
- are from a current ACE-recommended charity, a charity ACE is currently evaluating for recommendation, a past Movement Grant recipient, a current Movement Grant applicant, a charity ACE recommended in the last three years, or an individual leader of any such organization listed here. These individuals would include, but are not limited to, the charity’s Executive Director and Board Chair. Gift restrictions in category (g) only apply when the total value of gifts we received from said individuals or organizations exceeds 100 USD per calendar year and when the organization has not surrendered for the next three years its potential to be evaluated for recommendation or to be awarded a grant from ACE.
Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Director, optionally in consultation with the Board of Directors.