The Jamaica Society for the Blind, a not-for-profit organization serving blind and visually impaired individuals in Jamaica, is headquartered in St. Andrew Jamaica.
To promote eye health education, prevent avoidable blindness and vision impairment, whilst advancing the well-being of persons who are blind and visually impaired, through the provision of training and empowerment programs as well as advocacy services.
The Jamaica Society for the Blind envisions a country where no one is blind from preventable causes and, where blind and visually impaired persons are guaranteed opportunities and access to services through collaborations.
The JSB encourages the solicitation and acceptance of gifts/ donations for purposes that will help in the furtherance of its mission and vision. We recognize that Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is within this context that we formally establish the following policy and procedures which govern the gifts /donations process of the JSB.
to set forth the criteria and guidelines which the JSB uses to determine that a proposed gift/ donation is acceptable and to inform prospective donors and their advisors of the types of gifts/donations the JSB accepts. While these criteria and guidelines establish best practices, they foster flexibility as directed by the Board of Directors. The JSB must seek the advice of legal counsel as appropriate on matters relating to acceptance of gifts/donations. Review by legal counsel is usually sought in connection with:
a. Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements
b. Documents naming the JSB as Trustee
c. Gifts involving contracts, such as bargain sales or other documents requiring the JSB to assume a legal obligation
d. Gifts of patents and intellectual property
e. Transactions with potential conflict of interest which may invoke the Jamaica Tax Authorities sanctions
f. Other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate by the JSB’s Board of Directors.
II. Communications with Donors:
The JSB holds all communications with donors and information concerning donors and prospective donors in strict confidence, subject to legally authorized and enforceable requests for information by government agencies and courts. All other requests for or releases of information concerning a donor or a prospective donor will be granted only if permission is first obtained from the donor. This policy adheres to all relevant sections of the JSB’s constitution, communication’s policy, Code of Conduct and the corporate governance Framework.
III. Restrictions on Gifts:
All gifts/donations may be accepted, provided they are consistent with the JSB’s mission, vision and stated purpose. The JSB will not accept gifts/donations that are inconsistent with its mission and vision or are judged too difficult to administer.
IV. The Finance Committee:
The finance committee is a creature of the Board of Directors and is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the resources of the JSB and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on the prudent management of these resources.
a. Gifts/ Donations in Kind
The finance committee of the JSB shall review and value all gifts/ donations in kind made to the JSB with the objective being to add such value to the society’s books. This shall be executed after the following processes have been observed:
1) Receiving and documenting of gifts/donations by the financial officer or his/her designates.
2) Assess and value the donation of gifts/donations
3) Record the value of the gift/donation
4) Submit the acquired value to the finance committee for review
b. Gifts/ Donations in Cash/ Cheque
The JSB shall receive cash gifts in one of three ways: cash, cheque and electronic deposits. The following process shall be observed for cash receipts:
1) An available officer shall receive and receipt cash or check and hand it over to the finance officer.
2) The financial officer shall make the accounting entry in books.
The following process shall be observed for electronic deposits:
1) A donor may initiate contact with the JSB re making an online donation.
2) Accounts in public domain for donation purposes shall be monitored regularly for online donations.
3) These donations shall be posted in the accounting records.
The finance Committee is responsible for regularly reporting its decisions on gift acceptance to the Board of Directors. The Committee is also responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to improve this policy at least annually or as needed to ensure that it remains consistent with applicable laws of Jamaica, international accounting standards and the programs of the JSB.
V. Types of Gifts/ Donations:
Gifts/donations that shall be considered for acceptance by the JSB shall include but not be limited to the following:
b. Tangible personal property, including in-kind gifts
d. Real estate
e. Remainder interests in property
f. Life insurance
g. Intellectual property rights
i. Gifts/ donations made by companies/ organizations
VI. Criteria for receiving gifts/donations:
The following criteria apply to the acceptance of gifts/donations in the following categories:
a. Cash: Cash may be accepted in any negotiable form. Checks must be made payable to the JSB and should be delivered to the Accounts Department at the administrative offices of the JSB. Additionally, online, electronic and digital payments are also acceptable payments to the JSB and must be done directly only to the accounts of the JSB.
b. Tangible Personal Property: The JSB will accept tangible personal property gifts/ donations if the gifts/ donations meet the objects of the mission of the JSB.
c. Securities: The JSB can accept both publicly traded securities and closely held securities.
· Publicly Traded Securities: Marketable securities will be transferred to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s signature or stock power attached. As a general rule, all marketable securities will be sold upon receipt unless otherwise recommended by the Finance Committee of the JSB. In some cases, marketable securities may be restricted by applicable securities laws; in such instance the final determination on the acceptance of the restricted securities may be made by the board of directors.
d. Real Estate: The JSB will consider real property gifts. Gifts/ donations of real estate may include developed property, undeveloped property, or gifts/ donations subject to a prior life interest. Prior to acceptance of real estate, the JSB requires an initial review of the property to assess legal, environmental and other encumbrances which may be associated with the property. Where it is not deemed prohibitive, the JSB may treat with all encumbrances associated with the property.
e. Life Insurance: The JSB must be named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of an insurance policy before a life insurance policy can be recorded as a gift/donation. If the donor contributes future premium payments, the JSB will include the entire amount of the additional premium payment as a gift in the year that it is made. If the donor does not elect to continue to make gifts to cover premium payments on the life insurance policy, then the JSB may:
1) continue to pay the premiums,
2) convert the policy to paid up insurance, or
3) surrender the policy for its current cash value once the policy is accepted.
Life insurance holdings will be reviewed annually to determine whether it is best to continue to pay the premiums, convert the policy to paid up insurance, surrender the policy for its current cash value, or change the underlying investment structure.
f. Bequests: Donors and supporters of the JSB will be encouraged to make bequests to the JSB under their wills and trusts. Such bequests will not be recorded as gifts to the JSB until such time as the gift is irrevocable.
g. Intellectual Property Rights: Intellectual property rights, which include royalties, patents, copyrights, contract rights or other similar interests, will be examined in light of the following criteria:
1) Is the intellectual property right in keeping with the constitution, the mission and the vision of the JSB?
2) Can the ownership of the intellectual property right be clearly transferred or assigned to the JSB?
3) Is the intellectual property right a full or fractional interest? If fractional, who are the other owners of the property and percentage interests?
4) Is there a market for the sale or licensing of the intellectual property right?
5) Are there any costs associated with acceptance of the intellectual property right? (i.e., is the gift a patent application that will require further action to secure, are there any claims, liens or other contests associated with the property, or are there likely to be costs associated with defending the intellectual property right?)
6) Are there any restrictions on the retention or use of the property? What agreements or other legal documents would the JSB be required to execute in order to obtain patents, market the property and grant licenses in the name of the JSB?
VII. Donor’s Guarantees:
The JSB recognizes the efforts of donors in garnering and contributing resources for the furtherance of the work of the organization. We acknowledge that these efforts and contribution could have been exhausted for many other causes. As such, donors are being provided with the following guarantees:
a. informed of the JSB’s mission, and Vision, the way (s) in which the JSB intends to use donated resources, and its capacity to effectively manage these resources.
b. reserve the right to determine the use of donated resources for any programmes or services offered by the JSB.
c. informed of the identity of all directors serving on the JSB’s board.
d. the board will exercise prudent management in its stewardship of donated resources.
e. have access to the JSB’s most recent financial statements.
f. Where requested or required the JSB will provide appropriate acknowledgement and recognition for donations.
g. Where a donor wishes to remain anonymous, be assured that information concerning the donation is handled with confidentiality to the extent provided by the laws of Jamaica.
h. The donor shall be informed whether those seeking donations/gifts are members, volunteers, employees or board directors of the JSB or hired solicitors.
i. Donors may request to be acknowledged on JSB public awareness platforms. Additionally, donors may request to be removed from our mailing lists.
The JSB guarantees transparency and honesty in relation to your donation/gift. These guarantees are only applicable to donors who are not anonymous.
a. Securing gifts/ donations in kind to the JSB: Upon receipt of gifts/ donations in kind, the JSB requires an initial review of the asset to assess possible encumbrances which may be associated with this gift/donation. Where it is not deemed prohibitive, the JSB may treat with all encumbrances associated with the gift/donation.
b. Disclosure: The JSB shall provide all appropriate and necessary disclosures as required by the laws of Jamaica. The JSB may enter into nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with donors, provided that these NDAs are within the legal remit of the laws of Jamaica. The JSB also honors the desire of any donor who wishes to remain unknown as long as this is being done within the remit of the laws of Jamaica. It is essential to the gift/donation process that the role and relationships of all parties involved, including how and by whom each is compensated, be fully disclosed to the donor.
c. Compensation: No staff member, board director, or volunteer shall receive compensation from any donations/gifts.
d. Professionalism: No staff member, board director, volunteer or member of the JSB shall act or purport to act as a representative of the JSB without the expressed knowledge and approval of the Board of Directors and shall not, while engaged by the JSB , act or purport to act as a representative of the donor, without the expressed written consent of both the JSB and the donor. All staff members, board directors, volunteers and members of the JSB should strive to achieve and maintain a high degree of professionalism in their dealings in relation to handling donations. Such dealings must be characterized by courtesy, tact, honesty, integrity, openness, fairness, and mutual respect. The JSB shall fully comply with and shall encourage donors to fully comply with both the letter and spirit of all applicable Jamaican laws.
Jamaica Society For The Blind
111 1/2 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6 Jamaica
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