New Orleans Film Society Gift Acceptance Policy

New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. NOFS recommends all prospective donors to seek the advice of professional legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including any potential tax liabilities and estate planning implications. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to NOFS for the benefit of any of its operations, programs, or services.

Use of Legal Counsel

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

  1. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
  2. Documents naming NOFS as trustee or requiring NOFS to act in any fiduciary capacity.
  3. Gifts requiring NOFS to assume financial or other obligations.
  4. Transactions implicating potential conflicts of interests.
  5. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions.
Restrictions on Gifts

NOFS will not accept gifts that (a) would result in NOFS violating its corporate charter, (b) would result in NOFS jeopardizing its status as an IRC § 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, (c) are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value, (d) would result in any unacceptable consequences for NOFS, or (e) are for purposes outside NOFS’s mission. Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director. NOFS reserves the right to convey or use gifts without restrictions. In conformity with Treasury Department regulations governing publicly supported 501(c)(3) organizations, gifts to NOFS may not be directly or indirectly subjected by a donor to any material restriction or condition that prevents NOFS from freely and effectively employing the transferred assets, or the income derived therefrom, in furtherance of its exempt purposes.


Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review

►     Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, electronic fund transfer or digital payment platform. Donors wishing to make a gift by credit card must provide the card type (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, American Express), card number, expiration date, card security code (CSC) and name of the card holder as it appears on the credit card.

►     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 NOFS’s Finance Committee. In some cases marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift; in such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by the Executive Committee.

►     Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to NOFS under their wills, and to name NOFS as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.

►     Charitable Remainder Trusts. NOFS will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.

►     Charitable Lead Trusts. NOFS 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:

►     Movable Property. The Executive Committee 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. NOFS will accept gifts of life insurance where NOFS 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.

►     Immovable Property. All gifts of real estate are subject to review by the Executive Committee. Prior to acceptance of any gift of real estate other than a personal residence, NOFS shall require an initial environmental review by a qualified environmental firm. In the event that the initial review reveals a potential problem, the organization may retain a qualified environmental firm to conduct an environmental audit. 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 or liabilities 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 the environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?


Tax Deductibility of Gifts

►     The amount of allowable deduction for each gift will be determined subject to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules related to the type of gift accepted. NOFS will not provide tax advice.  Donors are not to rely on NOFS and/or NOFS legal counsel for any tax advice.

►     If a professional valuation or appraisal is needed for a donor’s tax purposes, it will be the donor’s responsibility to coordinate and obtain such valuation at their own expense. 


Acceptance Policies and Guidelines

►     Disclosures to Donor. NOFS’s staff should disclose to a prospective donor that all gifts (other than testamentary gifts and certain planned gifts) are irrevocable. 

►     Independent Counsel. Donors are encouraged to review benefits, liabilities, and potential tax consequences of any donations with the donor’s financial or legal advisors before any gift is made. 

►     Trustee.  NOFS will not serve as trustee of charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, or other trust arrangements, and will recommend that the donor seek the services of a personal or professional trustee. To avoid personal conflicts of interest, no member of the staff of NOFS may knowingly serve as trustee or executor for a donor or prospective donor without the permission of the Board President and Executive Director of NOFS. 

►     Distribution of Proceeds.  Given the mission of NOFS, NOFS encourages donors to designate a Capital, Operational, or Programmatic Fund or funds as the ultimate recipient of the future proceeds of their deferred gift arrangements.  

►     Review.  The Board may revise, amend or supplement these Policies and Guidelines at any time. NOFS shall periodically review all gift acceptance and development policies to ensure they continue to accurately reflect the policies of NOFS. NOFS may update such policies as needed and will submit any revisions to the Board for approval.