Carnegie Hall, a New York not-for-profit corporation, encourages and depends on gifts to further and fulfill its mission to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences.
The purpose of these policies and guidelines is to govern the acceptance of charitable gifts by Carnegie Hall, to assure that Carnegie Hall is a responsible steward of these gifts and that such gifts are in the best interests of Carnegie Hall and to provide guidance to prospective donors when they are contemplating making gifts to the Hall. The following policies and guidelines apply to gifts offered to Carnegie Hall to support any of its programs or services.
The Gift Acceptance Committee will consist of staff members appointed by the Executive and Artistic Director, including designees from Development, Finance and Legal. This Committee will be responsible for reviewing inter vivos gifts, pledges, bequests and other planned gifts offered to the Hall where and as appropriate, in accordance with these policies and guidelines and with applicable laws, rules and regulations. Carnegie Hall reserves the right to refuse or return gifts containing restrictions that are inconsistent with the Hall’s purpose or mission or that otherwise may be deemed inappropriate by the Committee. No less frequently than semi-annually, the Gift Acceptance Committee will report on accepted gifts (usually as a gross contributed revenue figure) to the Board of Trustee’s Finance and Operations Committee.
Carnegie Hall will comply with all applicable tax laws and other legal requirements regarding gifts.
Unusual aspects of, or structures for, proposed gifts should be reviewed by Carnegie Hall’s counsel. Carnegie Hall will not knowingly facilitate a donor claiming an improper tax or other benefit.
Carnegie Hall will comply with all applicable Internal Revenue Service requirements, and will acknowledge all gifts in writing to the extent and in the manner required by law. All charitable gifts to Carnegie Hall are recorded in Carnegie Hall’s records by the name of the donor and include the date of the gift, restriction (if any) and value or description. Carnegie Hall’s Development Office is responsible for sending donors required gift acknowledgments, which must include a good faith estimate of any goods or services provided in exchange for the gift.
It is the donor’s responsibility to determine whether it is necessary to obtain an appraisal of a proposed gift and, if so, to secure such appraisal. It is also the donor’s responsibility to secure independent legal, tax, financial and estate advice with respect to the donor’s gifts to Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall will not act as advisor to any donor in any of these respects, though the Hall will work with a donor’s advisors in furtherance of approved gifts.
Proposed gifts that are required to be used in connection with one or more existing programs of Carnegie Hall will not require review by the Gift Acceptance Committee.
Any proposed gift to Carnegie Hall that is subject to any other restrictions pertaining to use will be reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee to ensure that the restrictions are consistent with the mission and administration of Carnegie Hall.
Applicable restrictions on a gift’s purpose will be clearly stated in the written acknowledgment of the gift as well as in any written agreement governing the gift.
The minimum amount necessary to establish a restricted endowment is $100,000. Endowments may be funded with outright contributions or with deferred contributions from bequests, life insurance policies, retirement plan designations, charitable remainder trusts and similar instruments and arrangements.
Endowments created by testamentary transfer will be administered in accordance with the donor’s wishes as set forth in the relevant testamentary document, provided that the donor clearly establishes an endowment and the intended use is not prohibited by law or Carnegie Hall policy and is otherwise acceptable to the Hall.
Endowment principals will be pooled and invested, and the income expended, in accordance with the prevailing investment and spending policies of Carnegie Hall and applicable laws and regulations.
Carnegie Hall generally does not accept securities that are subject to restrictions as to sale or liquidation, or restrictions on gifts of art. See more detailed guidelines below.
Outright gifts of cash and publicly-traded securities that are not subject to restriction—either by the donor or applicable law—do not require Gift Acceptance Committee review. Checks should be made payable to “The Carnegie Hall Corporation” or “Carnegie Hall.” Credit card payments and fund transfers (including wire and ACH transfers) are also acceptable. Publicly-traded securities may be accepted and will be sold upon receipt unless otherwise directed by the Finance and Operations Committee.
Gifts of otherwise marketable securities restricted by applicable law or other restriction will be reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee, taking into account the potential benefits as well as costs of the proposed gift. Any restricted marketable securities that are accepted by Carnegie Hall will be sold as soon as practicable upon expiration or satisfaction of their restrictions unless otherwise directed by the Finance and Operations Committee.
Gifts of closely-held securities, including debt and equity positions in non-publicly traded companies, as well as interests in LLPs, LLC and other ownership forms, must be reviewed by the Gift Acceptance Committee, taking into account:
If accepted, Carnegie Hall will seek to sell the securities as soon as legally permissible, unless otherwise directed by the Finance and Operations Committee.
For acknowledgment and accounting purposes, and in accordance with applicable law, the value of donated securities will be determined as the mean between the highest and lowest quoted selling prices on the date they are received in Carnegie Hall’s brokerage account, multiplied by the number of shares.
Carnegie Hall may accept gifts of tangible personal property, including but not limited to art, collectibles, antiques and books, with the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee (in consultation with the Carnegie Hall Director of Archives and Rose Museum, as appropriate). In considering whether to accept a proposed gift of tangible personal property, the Gift Acceptance Committee will consider:
Carnegie Hall may accept gifts of intangible personal property, including but not limited to copyrights, patents and royalties, with the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee. In considering whether to accept a proposed gift of intangible personal property, the Gift Acceptance Committee will consider:
In rare instances, Carnegie Hall may accept gifts of developed or undeveloped real estate. Proposed gifts of real estate must be approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee and the Executive and Artistic Director. In determining whether to accept such gifts, the donor will be asked to disclose, and the Gift Acceptance Committee will evaluate:
The following, which will be furnished to Carnegie Hall by the donor, at the donor’s expense, or otherwise paid for by the donor, will also be considered:
Carnegie Hall will not accept real property subject to a retained life interest unless the property has a minimum value of $500,000 and the youngest life tenant is at least 70 years of age. Any retained life estate should include provisions requiring the life tenant to maintain the property, pay all taxes on the property, insure the property and refrain from encumbering the property.
To the extent that ordinary charitable gift annuities are offered by Carnegie Hall in the future, such annuities will not require Gift Acceptance Committee review. The Committee, however, will review any variations or unusual terms. Payout rates will depend on the number of annuities and their ages. Carnegie Hall follows the rates recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities. The minimum gift for funding is $10,000, and the minimum age for a beneficiary is 60 years old (at the time the annuity is funded or, in the case of a deferred annuity, at the time the annuity is scheduled to begin payments to the annuitant).
Designations of Carnegie Hall as a remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust or as an income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust will not require Gift Acceptance Committee review. The Committee, however, will review any non-cash funded trusts or other variations or unusual terms. Carnegie Hall will not serve as a trustee of a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust.
Donors are encouraged to name Carnegie Hall as the beneficiary of their retirement plans. Unless conditions are imposed on Carnegie Hall, the naming of Carnegie Hall as a beneficiary of a donor’s retirement plan will not require Gift Acceptance Committee review.
Carnegie Hall may accept a gift of life insurance in the form of a transfer of a paid-up whole life policy without Gift Acceptance Committee review. Designation of Carnegie Hall as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary on a donor’s life insurance policy that is not paid-up will require Gift Acceptance Committee review to assure that the donor has made satisfactory provisions for the payment of any future premiums. Carnegie Hall reserves the right, at its discretion, to cash in any insurance policy or to retain it.
Carnegie Hall accepts gifts from donor-advised funds (“DAFs”) and private foundations, subject to two limitations that are observed by Carnegie Hall in recognition of certain legal restrictions applicable to DAFs and private foundations.
First, Carnegie Hall will not accept contributions from a private foundation to satisfy an individual’s legally-binding pledge obligation to Carnegie Hall. A donor who wishes to make a pledge to Carnegie Hall that will be satisfied using a private foundation should be encouraged to cause the private foundation to make the pledge or else to make the pledge on a non-binding basis. Carnegie Hall may, in its discretion, choose to treat a DAF contribution toward satisfaction of an individual’s legally-binding pledge.
Second, Carnegie Hall will not provide individuals with benefits (including concert or special event tickets or membership) in recognition of contributions from a DAF or private foundation but may permit such individuals to purchase those benefits at cost (at the lowest publicly-available price). In very limited circumstances, it may be acceptable for individuals to attend a gala or event even if the contribution is paid for by a DAF or private foundation. These determinations are to be made by the individuals in consultations with their advisers.
Carnegie Hall will in all cases comply with its own legal obligations. Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations otherwise remains the exclusive responsibility of the donor, DAF, or private foundation, as applicable.
It is Carnegie Hall’s policy not to accept any gifts of funds with respect to which the donor retains investment management control of such funds.
Legally enforceable commitments to make a future gift to Carnegie Hall may be made through written pledges payable according to a fixed time schedule over a period of no more than ten years, unless approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee or the Finance and Operations Committee.
Carnegie Hall may accept other types of gifts on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee.