Friday is Stewardship Day

At our small development team, we’ve decided to make Friday’s stewardship days. We believe it helps us focus on current donors, and think strategically about our prospects. The world thinks clearly on Friday afternoons when there are less emails visiting us.

It is also a great day to write “thank you” letters that carry meaning and not terse, dull statements. Friday’s are also good to do catch-up work on all those emails that we felt carried no sense but we were obliged to respond.

In a world of information overload, we want to make sure our donors come first. Let them know that we care for them, understand their needs and are grateful for their support. So, as we juggle multiple priorities,  set aside Friday’s for stewardship. Without stewardship, philanthropy never works.

Global Corporate Gifts Get a Definition

If you are a recipient of  a corporate gift from a Fortune 2000 company at the global level, read the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) guidelines.  CECP’s “The Global Guide to What Counts,” for the first time defines eligible charitable donations across borders. International tax professionals at Deloitte rigorously examined tax laws and related conventions of 17 countries to find out what makes up a charitable gift.

They concluded that any recipient of a corporate charitable gift must meet the following criteria:

  1. The recipient must be formally organized, meaning it should be recognized as a legal entity in the country where it is headquartered. Individuals and ad hoc groups that lack structure are ineligible.
  2. The recipient must exist for a charitable purpose, meaning charity should be its primary purpose. The Guide excludes political parties, business and professional associations, unions and religious entities, except those that fund charitable activities that fall under CECP guidelines.
  3. The recipient must never distribute profits, meaning it should reinvest in achieving the organization’s mission.

The Guide addresses a uniform definition of what constitutes a corporate charitable gift. The yardsticks are similar to those proposed by large Foundations in the United States. However, a standardized check list for charitable entities seeking global corporate gifts is very useful. It creates a level playing field, sort of United Nations for recipients seeking charitable corporate gifts across borders.

The Global Guide tactically avoids religion, politics, labor unions, associations and chambers of commerce. Some of these indulge in corrupt practices, especially in developing countries. However, it offers broad flexibility in defining a recipient of a charitable gift and gives a larger degree of latitude for charitable entities to compete for corporate gifts. Religious organizations that have far-reaching impact on grassroots philanthropy are given some opportunities to seek charitable gifts.  The complete guidelines are available here.