Schedule M (Non Cash Contributions) of the new Form 990 asks whether the filing organization has a gift acceptance policy.  Schedule M must be filed by organizations that either:  (1) received more than $25,000 in non-cash contributions; or (2) received contributions of art, historical treasures, or similar assets, or qualified conservation contributions.  Even if an organization is not required to complete Schedule M, it should consider adopting a gift acceptance policy.

A gift acceptance policy defines the types of gifts that an organization may accept and the manner in which such gifts must be administered.  Such policy may prevent an organization from accepting a contribution of real property without vetting it for environmental issues.  It may also prevent the acceptance of a gift subject to costly and burdensome restrictions without careful deliberation by management or the board.  In short, a gift acceptance policy may save an organization from disaster and provide confidence to the organization's fundraising staff.

Here are some helpful resources for understanding and drafting a gift acceptance policy that meets your organization's specific needs:

Understanding and Drafting Nonprofit Gift Acceptance Policies - Kathryn W. Miree

Creating Gift Acceptance Policies - Beth Engel, Gardner, Carton & Douglas

While there are many examples you can find on the web and on the Foundation Center website, gift acceptance policies should be tailored to an organization's specific circumstances.