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AAA Gift Acceptance Policy

Approved November 29, 2001
Amended November 30, 2005
Amended November 18, 2015
Amended August 14, 2019


This policy serves as a guideline to prospective donors who wish to make gifts to the AAA, to American Anthropological Association (AAA) staff members involved in accepting gifts from donors, and to outside advisors who assist in the gift planning process. This policy enables AAA to accept gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations in a manner that supports the purposes and activities of the AAA and is administratively acceptable to the Association. It also establishes a giving policy for AAA that enables donors to plan gifts of assets in addition to pledged cash contributions. It is intended as a guide, and allows for some flexibility on a case-by-case basis.

Donor’s Rights

Acceptance of gifts and gift plan arrangements must fully support the purposes and activities of the AAA and will fully reflect the donor’s financial needs and wishes.

Donor and Prospect Relations

The AAA Resource Development Committee and AAA staff will be responsible for relationships with all donors and prospective donors of major gifts and planned gifts. In some instances, further review of prospective gifts by the AAA Finance Committee may be necessary. The Association’s representatives will urge that, before a gift is made, donors review the information on the benefits, limitations and tax implications of their contribution with their tax or investment advisor(s). In particular, representatives of the AAA shall not advise donors as to the tax implications of their gift for federal income tax purposes. AAA representatives will instead advise donors and prospective donors to consult their own tax advisors.

Donor Recognition

All donors, with the exception of those donors who request anonymity, will be recognized annually. Donors of life income plans will be recognized, with their permission, in the same manner as donors of direct gifts and pledges, such as honor rolls. Individuals indicating that the AAA has been included in their estate plans may be recognized in separate categories from direct donors.


Except as required by law, all information obtained from or about donors or prospective donors will be held in strictest confidence by the AAA. Upon the donor’s request, the name, amount, and/or the conditions of any gift shall not be made public.

Gift Acceptance

Gifts of cash and other financial assets can be accepted by authorized staff, along with basic planned gifts, such as bequests or beneficiary designated gifts. The Resource Development Committee or its successor will review in advance of execution any AAA administered gift over the threshold of $10,000, to ensure that it is in compliance with AAA acceptance standards.

The acceptance of corporate gifts or corporate-sponsored foundation gifts shall be in accord with the AAA’s Principles of Professional Responsibility, as well as the ten principles for evaluating corporate or environmental responsibility as contained in the United Nations Global Compact of 1999.

The AAA will accept funds, or other donations, from corporations that demonstrate a sincere attempt to adhere to the Global Compact and the Social Accountability 8000 Standard. Because these lists are not exhaustive, donations may also be accepted from other corporations pending review by the RDC (or its successor) and Executive Board.

In the rare event that recognition offered to a donor for themselves or someone they wish to honor becomes damaging to AAA, its mission and values, and/or its constituents, AAA retains the right to cease the recognition with approval by the Executive Board. The discontinuance of recognition is a serious consideration, but it may become necessary in extenuating circumstances (i.e., when a donor does not follow through on a pledge commitment or the donor or recognition recipient does not adhere to the AAA’s principles of professional responsibility).


All donors may either complete the AAA pledge form (exhibit A) or confirm the pledge in writing when making a donation of $10,000 or more. A pledge letter may be used in place of the AAA pledge form and should include the following information:

  • Pledge amount
  • Payment schedule (if the donation will be made over time)
  • Restrictions (if any)
  • Recognition or naming requests
  • Acknowledgment of the AAA Gift Acceptance Policy

All gifts and pledges will be in support of AAA’s mission, will be made in good faith, and will be honorably fulfilled by each donor. In return, the AAA will expend effort to fulfill its obligations to provide appropriate recognition and honor the Association’s commitment to our donors.

Donors who make long-term pledge commitments are encouraged to incorporate the AAA into their estate or contingency plans to cover any unfulfilled commitment in the event of unexpected death or disability. The Association’s policy is to not pursue any unfulfilled pledge commitment through legal means unless the AAA’s Executive Board votes that special situations or circumstances involving any particular pledge would warrant such action.

Gift Credit

To facilitate gift crediting and adhere to the AAA Executive Board’s funding priorities, all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that the following conditions are met:

  • All gifts and pledges of cash and convertible property made to the AAA during a specific campaign period will be counted toward the campaign goal, provided they are unrestricted or designated to the specific campaign purpose.
  • Individuals whose gifts are matched by their employers will receive campaign recognition, but will not receive individual credit for the amount matched.
  • Pledges may be paid on a schedule established by the donor, preferably within five years of when the pledge is first made.
  • Charitable lead trusts will record only the income received during the period of operation of the trust in a campaign.
  • Bequests realized during a campaign will be given campaign credit provided they are unrestricted or designated for the specific campaign purpose and have not been counted in previous fundraising efforts.
  • Campaign gift commitments made after an approved starting date by the AAA Executive Board, as reflected in their meeting minutes, will be counted toward the goal of the specific campaign.

Trust Management

The costs of managing gift annuities and income trusts will be borne by the gift annuity accounts and income trusts. The AAA Finance Committee may recommend an exception to this guideline. The AAA will not serve as trustee for charitable trusts in which AAA is named as remainder beneficiary.


The American Anthropological Association, regardless of the amount, shall accept any restricted and unrestricted gifts by cash, check, or credit card.

Checks should be made payable to AAA with a notation about any particular program or project of the AAA that the donor wishes to designate to. In no event shall a check be made out to an individual or company who represents AAA.

Publicly Traded Securities

The AAA can accept readily marketable securities that are nor in conflict with the “Portfolio Restrictions” of the AAA Investment Policy Statement.

Gift securities are likely to be sold immediately by the AAA.

For AAA gift crediting and accounting purposes, the value of the securities shall be determined in a manner consistent with IRS regulations:

  • If the stock certificate and stock power (properly endorsed) are mailed to AAA, the gift is the effective date of mailing (postmark date)
  • If the stock is electronically processed, (transferred DTC) the valuation date is the date the securities are recorded as deposited in AAA’s account
  • If the securities are transferred into AAA’s name, the valuation date is the date that the ownership is recorded on the corporation’s books (date that is printed on the stock certificate)
  • If the stock certificate and stock power are physically delivered to a representative of AAA, the valuation date is the date of delivery.

Closely-Held Securities

Non-publicly traded securities may be accepted after consultation with the AAA’s legal counsel. A qualified appraiser must determine the fair market value of the securities.

Prior to acceptance, the AAA shall explore methods of liquidation through redemption or sale. An AAA representative shall contact the closely-held corporation and determine if there are any restrictions on the transfer prior to acceptance.

No commitment for repurchase of closely-held securities or any other property shall be made prior to completion of the gift of securities as the transaction might be viewed by the IRS as a sale rather than a gift.

Real Estate

The Resource Development Committee or its successor may encourage gifts of real estate. However, review by the Finance Committee, with final approval by the Executive Board, must be obtained prior to closing any Association-administered agreement under which real estate or any interest in real estate or any property is involved.

The donor shall be responsible for obtaining and paying for an appraisal of the fair market value and an environmental audit of the property.

Prior to presentation to the Finance Committee, a member of the staff must conduct a visual inspection of the property. If the property is located in a geographically isolated area, a local real estate broker can substitute for a member of the staff in conducting a visual inspection.

Prior to presentation to the Finance Committee, the donor must provide the following documents:

  • Real estate deed
  • Real estate tax bill
  • Plot plan
  • Substantiation of zoning status
  • Result of a Level 1 environmental audit indicating an absence of clean-up liability.

Property that is encumbered by a mortgage will not be accepted.

For AAA gift crediting and accounting purposes, the value of the gift is the appraised value of the real estate.

Due to the expenses associated with receipt of gifts of real estate, only real estate gifts in excess of $100,000 valuation will be considered.

Depending on the donor’s connection with AAA, and the donor’s past gift record, the donor may be asked to pay for all or some portion of the following costs, while the property is being held for sale by AAA:

  • Maintenance costs
  • Real estate taxes
  • Insurance
  • Real estate broker’s commission and other costs of sale

Per current best practice, donors will be responsible for securing an independent qualified appraisal.

Life Insurance

The AAA will accept life insurance policies only when the AAA is named as the owner and beneficiary of the policy.

If the policy is a paid-up policy, the value of the gift for the AAA’s gift crediting and accounting purposes is the policy’s replacement cost.

If the policy is partially paid up, the value of the gift for the AAA’s gift crediting and accounting purposes is the policy’s cash surrender value.

Gifts of life insurance policies that are encumbered by loans against them shall be declined.

Gifts of term life insurance will not work as charitable gifts, and shall be declined.

Charitable Gift Annuities
Administrative fees shall be paid from the income earned on the charitable gift annuity.

There shall be no more than two beneficiaries on a charitable gift annuity.

The minimum gift accepted to establish a charitable gift annuity is $10,000.

No income beneficiary for a charitable gift annuity shall be younger than 60 years old.

AAA offers the current payment rates suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities.

Deferred Payment Gift Annuities

Administrative fees shall be paid from the income earned on the charitable gift annuity.

There shall be no more than two beneficiaries on a deferred gift annuity.

The minimum gift accepted to establish a deferred gift annuity is $10,000.

No income beneficiary for a deferred gift annuity shall be younger than 30 years of age.

AAA offers the current payment rates suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities.

Tangible Personal Property

Gifts of tangible personal property to the AAA should have a use related to AAA’s tax-exempt status.

The Resource Development Committee or its successor is responsible for reviewing intended gifts of jewelry, artwork, collections, equipment, and software for approval by the Executive Board. Such gifts shall be used or sold for the benefit of the AAA.

The Resource Development Committee or its successor is responsible for reviewing gifts of property that require special display facilities or security measures for approval by the Executive Board.

If the anticipated value of the gift exceeds $5,000, the AAA shall request the donor to have a qualified outside appraiser value the gift before accepting it.

The AAA adheres to all IRS requirements related to disposing of gifts of tangible personal property and filing appropriate forms.


The Resource Development Committee (or its successor) and AAA staff shall encourage assets transferred through bequests that have immediate value to the AAA, or that can be liquidated. Gifts that appear to require more cost than benefit shall be discouraged or rejected.

Donors who have indicated that they have made a bequest to the AAA may, depending upon the individual situation, be asked to disclose in writing or by copy of the will, the relevant clause that benefits the AAA as evidence of their gift. This information is used for internal financial purposes and is not binding to the donor.

Administrative Issues

AAA shall not act as an executor (personal representative) for a donor’s estate.

AAA shall not act as trustee or co-trustee of a charitable remainder trust.

AAA shall not pay for the drafting of legal documents for trusts or wills.

AAA shall not pay any finder’s fee or other fees for directing gifts to the organization.

AAA shall not pay any appraisal fees for gifts of personal or real property.