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Fundraising Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
85.01 President Executive Director, NSCC Foundation Board of Governors June 16, 2016 June 2020 June 2020 June 2025
  1. Purpose
    1. Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), has established an incorporated a not-for-profit organization, Nova Scotia Community College Foundation (the “Foundation”) to advance NSCC’s vision and mission. The Foundation is a registered charitable organization and is considered the fundraising arm of NSCC.
    2. This Policy provides the framework which supports and governs all NSCC fundraising initiatives, campaigns, programs and events carried out in support of NSCC; outlines roles and responsibilities; and references procedures that guide all fundraising campaigns, programs and events.
  1. Scope
    1. This This Policy applies to all fundraising initiatives, campaigns, programs and events carried out in support of NSCC.
    2. All fundraising initiatives, campaigns, programs and events carried out in support of NSCC are the responsibility of the Foundation and are to be coordinated through the Foundation.
    3. This Policy does not apply to fundraising activities held by student associations, clubs and organizations that exclusively focus internally on faculty, staff and students such as on-campus bake sales, raffles and silent auctions.
    4. This Policy does not apply to fundraising activities that take place on NSCC campuses where the intended beneficiary is not NSCC. All such activities taking place at NSCC campuses must be first approved by the applicable campus Principal (following consultation with the Foundation).
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Designated Gifts Gifts, given to NSCC, where the donor has indicated a specific purpose for their support. Gifts may be “designated”, for instance, to a particular faculty or program. All gifts designated to the Endowment are invested according to
the Foundation’s Investment Policy.
Endowment A fund used to hold a donation made on the understanding that the “capital” or “principal” amount of the donation (the “contribution”) will be invested in perpetuity. The investment earnings are used, according to a Gift Agreement
and the Foundation’s Endowment Management and Spending Policy, to advance purposes specified by the donor.
Gift/Donation Often referred to as a donation, a gift is a voluntary, irrevocable transfer of property owned by a donor to anyone, in return for which no benefit or advantage flows to the donor. Gifts may be monetary (cash, cheques) or non-monetary (e.g. securities, real property, or personal property).
Gifts-in-Kind Donated tangible and intangible assets and property such as real estate, notes, mortgages, limited partnerships, royalty or copyright interests, art, books, equipment, automobiles, personal properties, securities and other
physical assets or materials, which represent value to NSCC.
Official Donation Receipting The official charitable donation receipt is a statement issued by the Foundation to donors which includes all elements stipulated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) including donor’s name, date of donation, fair market value of the gift and the charity’s official charitable registration number.
Restricted Gifts Gifts, given to NSCC, where the donor has specified that the gift is intended to be used to support a particular purpose.
Sponsorship A marketing-oriented, contracted financial alliance between NSCC and a corporation, foundation or individual. Sponsorships can be beneficial alliances in which NSCC receives a fee or other consideration and the sponsor benefits
from market exposure and/or favoured product or corporate profile. Funds provided to NSCC through sponsorships are not eligible for charitable income tax receipts in accordance with CRA guidelines. A sponsorship is not a
donation or a private grant.
Marketable Securities A donation in the form of a transfer of ownership of shares which occurs on the date the physical share certificate is issued or the date the shares are received electronically. Shares are redeemed to cash as per the Foundation’s
Gift Acceptance Procedures.
Undesignated Gifts Gifts, given to NSCC, where the donor has not specified a purpose for the gift.
Unrestricted Gifts Gifts, given to NSCC, where the donor has not specified a purpose for the gift.
  1. Policy
    1. Fundraising Priorities
      1. All sponsorships, cash or gifts-in-kind offered to NSCC require authorization from the relevant Campus Principal or Manager of Administrative Services as well as the Foundation. Please refer to the Gift-in-Kind procedures for specific requirements.
    2. Prospect Clearance
      1. Fundraising activities at NSCC will be conducted in a coordinated manner. The Foundation has primary accountability for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, gift acceptance, fund disbursement and stewardship. Prior to any solicitation of an individual, organization, foundation, or association by NSCC staff, students, governors, directors or volunteers, the name of the prospective donor must first be reviewed and cleared by Foundation staff. This is intended to ensure alignment of solicitors, NSCC’s priority needs and potential donors to optimize the impact of each donor’s gift to NSCC.
      2. This is inclusive of student-led fundraisers that involve the solicitation of donors external to NSCC, including approaches to board members, alumni, parents, friends and businesses. Student Associations, clubs and organizations holding fundraisers that involve the solicitation of donors external to NSCC must seek approval from their respective campus Principal and then from the Foundation.
    3. Accountability
      1. The Foundation strongly believes in preserving and protecting donor rights and privacy through high ethical standards, transparency and accountability in our fundraising and financial practices. All philanthropic activities adhere to the Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights, Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guidelines and NSCC policy.
      2. The Foundation is committed to accountable and transparent administration of gifts (as per the criteria outlined in Gift Acceptance Procedures). This includes ensuring that restricted or designated gifts are used for the purpose for which they were given and appropriate donor acknowledgement including official donation receipting, recognition and stewardship.
      3. The Foundation is committed to the disclosure of externally audited financial information for fundraising activities in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and legal requirements of regulatory agencies.
    4. Solicitation of Support
      1. The solicitation of a gift or donation intended for NSCC must be approved in advance by the Foundation office. Only those who have been authorized by the Foundation to seek and accept gifts on behalf of NSCC may do so.
      2. Fundraising solicitation on behalf of the Foundation must accurately describe the intended use of the funds.
      3. Anyone soliciting on behalf of the Foundation shall adhere to this Fundraising Policy and act with fairness, integrity and in accordance with all regulatory agencies and NSCC policies. Under no circumstances shall the Foundation pressure or unduly pursue potential donors.
      4. All sponsorships, cash or gifts in-kind, offered to NSCC require authorization from the relevant Campus Principal or Manager of Administrative Services as well as the Foundation. Please refer to the Gift-in-Kind procedures for specific requirements.
    5. Gift Acceptance
      1. General Principles
        1. NSCC will protect its integrity, autonomy, values and academic freedom when accepting gifts. Gifts will not be accepted by the Foundation when a condition of such acceptance would compromise these fundamental principles.
        2. The acceptance of gifts and proceeds from sponsorships is informed by, and consistent with NSCC’s strategic and operational plans and in alignment with academic priorities as approved by NSCC.
        3. The Foundation is responsible for receiving, recording, receipting and recognizing all gifts made to NSCC. All donations of cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, gifts-in kind, sponsorships or offers of unsolicited gifts
          are communicated to the Foundation Office prior to gift acceptance.
        4. The Foundation encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts and sponsorships that will help further and fulfill the mission and vision of NSCC. The Foundation will accept unrestricted gifts and support for specific programs and purposes.
        5. The Foundation will ensure that efficient administrative, legal and accounting practices are followed in the acceptance of all gifts; that those gifts are receipted in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulations, the Code of Ethics and the Donors’ Bill of Rights, and that all gifts are handled and recognized in a consistent manner.
      2. Guidelines
        The Foundation’s decisions will be guided by the following criteria:
        1. Legality – ensuring that all decisions conform to legal requirements of charities including CRA Guidelines;
        2. Consistency – ensuring that all decisions advance the vision, mission and core values of the Foundation; and
        3. Reputation – ensuring that no decision will, or will have the potential to, bring harm to the reputation of the Foundation or NSCC.
      3. Authorization
        1. The Foundation is authorized to encourage donors to make both outright and deferred gifts. These include bequests, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, life insurance policies and such other gift arrangements as the Board of Directors may approve from time to time.
      4. Gift Minimums
        1. Gifts intended for endowment amounting to less than $25,000 will be added to existing or emerging endowments as per the Endowment Management Spend Policy and the Investment Policy or accepted for non-endowed or externally restricted spend down projects that align with the original intent of the gift.
        2. Any newly established student scholarships, bursaries or awards must meet a minimum annual award value of $1,000/award.
      5. Designated and undesignated gifts
        1. Undesignated gifts will be directed to NSCC’s area of greatest need as determined by the Foundation and its’ Board of Directors with consideration from NSCC’s Executive Team.
        2. Gifts for Academic Chairs, Institutes, Centres, Programs or any other staff appointments must be in full agreement with all relevant NSCC policies and procedures.
      6. Outright gifts - gifts of cash
        1. An outright gift refers to a contribution of cash or property in which the donor retains no interest and which can be used currently by the Foundation.
        2. The Foundation will accept an outright gift of any amount, though gifts to establish a named endowment must meet the minimum funding requires established by the Foundation.
        3. A donor may complete a gift in a single transaction or make a pledge to be paid over a period of time that is mutually acceptable to the donor and the Foundation.
      7. Bequests
        1. The Foundation will encourage bequests as one of its highest legacy giving priorities.
        2. The Foundation will make available sample bequest language for restricted and unrestricted gifts, including endowments, to donors and their legal advisors to ensure that the bequest is properly designated. Donors will also be invited to provide information about their bequest provision.
        3. During the estate’s probate period and the subsequent administration of the estate, the Foundation, in consultation with its legal counsel, shall ensure that it is appropriately represented in all dealings with the legal advisor and/or executors/trustees of the estate.
      8. Gift Annuities
        1. A gift annuity is a contractual arrangement whereby a donor transfers assets to the Foundation pursuant to an agreement authorizing the Foundation to purchase a commercial prescribed annuity that will pay a stipulated amount for the life of the annuitant(s) or for a term of years. Assets in excess of the amount required for purchase of the commercial annuity are retained by the Foundation and used for purposes specified by the donor and acceptable to the Foundation.
        2. Determination of the gift receipt and taxation of annuity payments will be in accordance with CRA Policy.
        3. The minimum gift the Foundation will accept for a gift annuity is $10,000. The cost of the commercial annuity should not exceed 75% if the assets transferred to the Foundation.
      9. Charitable Remainder Trust
        1. A charitable remainder trust is a residual interest gift where the donor (settler) transfers property to a trustee. The donor receives the net income from the trust, and the trust remainder is distributed to the Foundation. If the trust meets all of the requirements, the donor is entitled to a gift receipt for the present value of the residual interest.
        2. A charitable remainder trust may be funded with cash or securities.
        3. The size of the trust must exceed $50,000.
        4. The trust agreement shall be drafted and reviewed by the donor’s legal advisor. The Foundation may provide prototype language to the donor’s legal advisor but shall execute no agreement until the donor’s legal advisor has determined that the trust agreement is in proper form and that the gift is appropriate for the donor’s situation.
      10. Life Insurance
        1. There are various methods by which a life insurance policy may be contributed to the Foundation. A donor may:
          1. Assign irrevocably a paid-up policy to the Foundation.
          2. Assign irrevocably a life insurance policy on which outstanding premiums remain to be paid.
          3. Name the Foundation as a primary or successor beneficiary of the proceeds of an existing or new policy.
        2. When owner is irrevocably assigned to the Foundation, the donor is entitled to a donation receipt for the net cash surrender value (if any) and for any premiums subsequently paid on the policy.
        3. The Foundation may also issue a donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy. If the donor wishes to obtain a receipt for the fair market value, they must, at their own cost, obtain an independent actuarial valuation of the policy. It is at the Foundation’s discretion to accept this valuation.
        4. In the event a policy is assigned on which premiums remain to be paid, the Foundation will pay the premiums if and only if the donor makes equivalent contributions for that purpose. This can be achieved by either paying the
          premiums directly to the life insurance company, or by making a donation directly to the Foundation for the equivalent of the premium payment. In the latter case, the Foundation will then make the premium payment directly to the insurance company.
        5. With respect to term insurance, the Foundation will only accept gifts of permanent (Term to 100) term insurance.
      11. Real Estate
        1. The Foundation may accept gifts of real estate.
        2. The donor shall secure, at their own expense, at least one qualified appraisal of the property. The Foundation should also obtain an independent appraisal and reserve the right to obtain multiple appraisals.
        3. The Foundation shall review other relevant factors including operational liabilities, insurability, zoning restrictions, marketability, current use and cash flow in order to evaluate whether the acceptance of the gift would be in the best interests of the Foundation. In making this assessment the Foundation will consult with and secure the approval of the NSCC.
        4. The Foundation shall conduct an extensive environmental assessment of the property which may include an environmental audit. The Foundation will agree to accept the property if and only if it contains no toxic or otherwise harmful substances, or if these substances are removed or other remedies taken to ensure that Foundation assumes no liability.
      12. Private Company Shares
        1. Donors may make gifts of private-owned shares and partnership interests.
        2. The Foundation will conduct appropriate due diligence on these assets prior to acceptance.
        3. The Foundation will only accept shares if they do not subject the Foundation to penalties or other adviser tax consequences. The acceptance of private owned shares should be based on their ability to be sold to arm’s length purchasers.
        4. It is the Foundation’s practice to liquidate or sell private company shares. The Board may approve exceptions to this practice.
      13. Independent Legal Advice
        1. Persons acting on behalf of the Foundation shall in all cases encourage donors to discuss the proposed gift with independent legal and/or tax advisors of the donor’s choice so as to ensure that donors receive full and accurate explanation of all aspects of the proposed gift.
      14. Agreements with Donors
        1. All agreements requiring execution by the Foundation shall be reviewed by the Foundation’s legal counsel. All agreements requiring execution by the College shall first be reviewed and approved by the College’s Executive Committee and reviewed by the Foundation’s legal counsel. Where substantially the same agreement is used repeatedly, only the prototype requires approval.
    6. Rejection of Gift Offers
      1. Gifts may be accepted from any source the Foundation deems appropriate.
      2. The Foundation, in consultation with NSCC Executive Team, reserves the right to decline any gift if it or the donor fails to meet:
        1. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requirements and guidelines on donations, including a donor’s intent to sit on a selection committee for their own named student award.
        2. The objectives of NSCC, the mission and values of NSCC.
        3. The Foundation’s environmental, social and governance criteria or,
        4. The values expressed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and in applicable human rights legislation.
      3. The Foundation may also reject gifts that have:
        1. Donor specified conditions such as an expectation of reciprocal benefit such as an offer of employment or a contract with NSCC.
        2. Gifts which require NSCC to assume additional responsibility or specific liability.
        3. Gifts where a conflict of interest or conflict of conscience may exist.
        4. Gifts that contain considerations that are inappropriate or which the Foundation/NSCC is unable to fulfill.
        5. Gifts that would limit the Foundation’s freedom.
        6. Gifts that support programs or activities that are peripheral to the mission of the Foundation/NSCC.
      4. The Foundation will not engage in any of the following practices:
        1. Accepting gifts that violate federal, provincial or municipal laws.
        2. Accept gifts that require the Foundation to provide special or unlawful consideration for the donor or designate.
        3. Accepting gifts that require the Foundation to deviate from its normal hiring, promotion and contracting procedures.
    7. Gift Valuation
      1. Cash
        1. Cash (including gifts of cash or gifts made by cheque or credit card) is valued in accordance with the Gift-in-Kind Procedures.
      2. Marketable Securities
        1. All gifts are recorded at market value on the date that the Foundation obtains control over them. Market value is defined as the closing market price on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the relevant exchange where the security is traded. Should the value of the stock rise or fall prior to the Foundation selling it, the donor will neither benefit nor be disadvantaged. Additionally, the donor’s receipt will not be reduced by the value of sales commissions unless this is discussed in advance with the donor. The Foundation reserves the right to refuse to accept gifts of securities from a donor.
      3. Gifts of Real and Personal Property
        1. All gifts of property that are not cash or securities will be valued in accordance with the Gift-in-Kind Procedures.
        2. For gifts over $1,000 that require a charitable tax receipt, FMV will be determined in accordance with the Gift-in-Kind Procedures.
        3. For gifts under $1,000 that require a charitable tax receipt, a Foundation staff member must be able to perform, or validate, such valuations can establish FMV. However, as a minimum, an original invoice should be sought as supporting documentation.
        4. Gifts in Kind which do not require a charitable receipt can have a Business Receipt or a Silent Auction Receipt, as appropriate, issued. However, although these receipts are not required to adhere to CRA regulations, similar valuation criteria should be applied.
      4. Planned or Deferred Gifts
        1. Bequests are valued as cash, marketable securities or real and personal property in the manner described above. Gifts of securities arising from a bequest shall become part of the donor’s Estate and valued as at the date the Estate transfers the securities asset to the Foundation, or in accordance with existing CRA guidelines.
        2. For gifts of Insurance, if the Foundation is named both the beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy, a gift is recorded at the cash surrender value or fair market value (FMV) of the policy on the date that it is given. If the donor pays premiums on such a policy, these payments will be recorded as a gift at the cash value of the payment. If the donor wishes the policy to be valued at its FMV, the donor shall obtain an independent actuarial valuation.
        3. For charitable remainder trusts, pooled income funds and gift annuities although a portion may be receipted, will not be recorded as revenue by the Foundation until they have been realized.
    8. Donor Recognition
      1. General
        1. The Foundation Office shall be responsible for coordinating the recognition of all donors.
        2. Gift acknowledgement and donor recognition may include, but is not limited to, a listing of donors in the Foundation’s Annual Report on Giving, naming of NSCC’s physical assets, academic schools, programs, membership in gift clubs, invitations to events at NSCC, campus tours, publication of names in a donor list or in a permanent donor recognition area, receipt of NSCC publications or announcements. Typically, clarity regarding how each donor will be acknowledged will be described in gift acceptance correspondence, a terms of reference document or a full Donor/Foundation Gift Agreement. Details can be found in NSCC Donor Recognition and Naming Procedures.
        3. The Foundation, in consultation with NSCC’s Executive Team, will maintain donor recognition guidelines. These guidelines will serve as reference for NSCC to consider when preparing donor recognition offers and/or recommendations to the Board of Governors. 
        4. Some donors may wish to remain anonymous. NSCC and the Foundation will make every effort to respect their privacy in publications and correspondence.
      2. Confidentiality
        1. The Foundation staff will be held to a level of confidentiality as it relates to discussing the Foundation’s pursuit of potential sponsors until the information is made public. Unless otherwise requested, the Foundation will treat sponsorships/gifts as public knowledge but will make every reasonable effort to comply with donor/sponsor requests regarding confidentiality. Donor/sponsor wishes, and privacy will be respected at all times. The  Foundation does not identify or comment publicly on specific donor/sponsor contributions without the expressed consent of the donor.
        2. Donor names, together with donation amounts, are kept on a privileged and confidential basis and are protected from disclosure unless permission is given by the donor or there is a statutory requirement for disclosure.
      3. Anonymity
        1. The Foundation respects any donor’s wish for anonymity. However, donors must recognize that the Foundation may be legally required to disclose the identity of the donor and the type and value of the gift and must therefore retain the right to do so.
      4. Legal and Tax Advice
        1. The Foundation does not provide legal or tax advice. However, staff may discuss the general legal and tax ramifications of a donor’s gift. Donors should be advised to seek independent counsel.
      5. Return of Gift
        1. In most cases, as per CRA guidelines, a registered charity cannot return a donor's gift. If the Foundation determines that we cannot use a gift to fulfill a donor’s wishes every effort will be made to best meet the donor’s objectives while upholding the Foundation’s mission and values.
        2. Where we have received a gift from a donor with whom we no longer wish to be associated because of illegal acts or behaviour deemed to be unfavourable to the reputation of the Foundation or NSCC, the Foundation, in consultation with the Board, will determine how to best dispose of the gift in keeping with CRA guidelines and legal advice.
      6. Ethics
        1. All promotions, solicitations and decision-making by the Foundation will be guided by external standards and regulations for ethically responsible behaviour by charities.
        2. The Foundation has an ethical responsibility to every donor and as such all staff, volunteers and professional representatives acting on behalf of the Foundation will conduct themselves in accordance with accepted professional standards of accuracy, truth and integrity. The Foundation subscribes to the Donors’ Bill of Rights professional standards and code of behaviour as set out by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners to serve as the ethical guidelines when raising funds for the Foundation.
        3. Undesignated gifts shall be used for such purposes as the Foundation will judge best advance the College’s mission priorities. Sponsorships and designated gifts shall be used expressly for the purposes for which they are given, which must be consistent with The College’s mission and priorities.
  1. Policy Supports

Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights
Code of Ethical Principles and Standards
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NSCC’s Board of Governors and NSCC
Foundation Board of Directors (WIP)
Foundation By-Laws (WIP)
Foundation Investment Policy
Foundation Endowment Management and Spending Policy
Foundation Gift Acceptance Procedures
Foundation Gift In-Kind Procedures
Foundation Donor Recognition and Naming Procedures