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Los Angeles COE |  AR  3290  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Gifts, Grants And Bequests   

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The following definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this regulation.

1. "Authorized designee": An authorized designee is an employee of the Office to whom the County Board has delegated authority to accept gifts that do not require County Board approval; however, all such gift acceptance is subject to County Board ratification in accordance with the procedures delineated in this regulation.

a. Authorized designees may be the following:

* County Superintendent

* Deputy Superintendent

* Members of Executive Cabinet:

* Chief Academic Officer

* Chief Educational Programs Officer

* Chief Financial Officer

* Chief Human Resources Officer

* Chief Technology Officer

* General Counsel

* Administrators designated (in accordance with procedure delineated herein) to accept certain gifts, within their respective jurisdictions

* Classroom teachers only for gifts that involve an amount or value of up to $100 which will directly benefit instruction

2. "Gift": A gift is financial support, materials, personal and/or real property, or other non-financial support given without the donor's expectation or receipt of economic benefit or consideration. Gifts include bequests, devises and other donations. Bequests are gifts of personal property which have been given through a will. Devises are gifts of real property given through a will.

The donor must retain no control over the money or property transferred, although the donor may place restrictions on the use of the gift.

Gifts differ from grants and contracts. In the case of a "gift", the donor does not impose contractual requirements or expect any form of consideration for the gift. Also unlike grants and contracts, gifts are awarded irrevocably.

3. "Office": The Office refers to the Los Angeles County Office of Education including all divisions, departments, sites, programs and projects.

4. "Real Property": Refers to improved and unimproved land and buildings. Real property differs from personal property, in that, personal property consists of moveable articles such as equipment, consumable supplies, stocks and bonds.

5. "Restricted Gift": The donor for a particular program, project, site or acquisition specifically designates a restricted gift. An "unrestricted gift" is one with no conditions attached.

6. "Value": For purposes of the gift policy, the value of a gift shall be the dollar amount of cash actually received; or shall be equivalent to the fair market value of non-monetary donations received.

Gift Acceptance

As set forth by policy, all gifts must be accepted or ratified by the County Board and may be accepted by authorized designees, subject to Board ratification.

1. Gift review

All respective gifts must be reviewed. Only those prospective gifts that meet the criteria set forth in the Board policy may be accepted.

2. Conditions

a. Restricted gifts will be used in accordance with the donor's conditions. If due to unforeseen developments, it becomes impractical or impossible to meet those conditions, the gifts shall be property of the Office.

b. Office personnel shall not use a gift until it has been reviewed and accepted by the County Board or its authorized designee.

c. The Office and its representatives may solicit only those gifts that would meet the Office's gift acceptance criteria.

d. It is not permissible to advise or suggest that a donor split his/her proposed gift to allow gift acceptance by an individual who would not otherwise be authorized to accept the gift.

e. All gifts accepted by the County Board or its authorized designees must be acknowledged as delineated in this policy.

f. Neither the Office nor its employees shall provide a donor with an estimate of the value of non-monetary gifts, or serve as legal or tax consultant to a donor.

Delegation of Authority to Accept Gifts for LACOE

g. All gifts to the Office are a matter of public record, and the name of the donor may be disclosed. However, the donor may specify his/ her preferences as to publicity. The Office may consider these preferences and advise the donor accordingly.

Grants Development will request that the County Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent, and members of Executive Cabinet designate those administrators to whom he/she delegates the authority to accept gifts of an amount or value up to $1,000, as authorized in Board policy.

All designations shall be made in writing and forwarded to Grants Development. A designation becomes effective when received and recorded by Grants Development, and is renewed annually until the designated administrator is no longer responsible for the program, project, or jurisdiction for which he/she was designated to accept gifts.

The County Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, and members of Executive Cabinet may add and/or remove authorized designees at their discretion at any time during the year by contacting the Grants Development Unit.

Gift Application, Processing, and Acknowledgment

1. In order for a prospective gift to be reviewed and considered, the donor must complete the "Offer of Gift to the Los Angeles County Office of Education" form. This form provides important information. (Note: In exceptional circumstances, use of this form may be waived. Grants Development should be contacted if it appears a waiver is warranted.)

2. Upon receipt of the donor completed form, staff determines the appropriate level of review or acceptance and follows the corresponding process outlined as follows:

a. If the prospective gift is one that must be accepted by the County Board:

(1) The form is forwarded to Grants Development for review and processing, as detailed below. As needed, Grants Development will route information regarding the prospective gift to appropriate divisions/units for further review.

(2) Grants Development will submit information on prospective gifts to the County Superintendent and the County Board for consideration.

(3) The County Board will review prospective gifts in light of the criteria set forth in Board policy.

(4) If the County Board determines that a gift should be accepted, staff determines how or by whom the donor should be contacted to advise the donor that the gift has been accepted.

(5) The head of the division, unit or office that takes receipt of the gift shall provide written acknowledgment to the donor.

If the gift is non-monetary and has a value of $500 or more, such item should be included in the Office inventory.

b. If the amount or nature of the prospective gift is such that it can be accepted by an authorized designee:

(1) The form is forwarded to the appropriate authorized designee for review.

(2) The authorized designee reviews the prospective gift and completes the "Gift Review" form. If the gift entails installation, maintenance, or continuing costs, the authorized designee must provide an estimate of the costs and other relevant details. As needed, the authorized designee will consult with appropriate divisions, units or offices for further review.

(3) If the authorized designee determines that the gift should be accepted, he/she does the following:

(a) Immediately forwards the "Gift Review" form and corresponding "Offer of Gift to the Los Angeles County Office of Education" form to Grants Development so that the County Board can place it on the Consent Calendar.

(b) Promptly advises the donor of acceptance of the gift.

(c) Takes receipt of the gift and handles it according to the type of gift:

(i) Non-monetary gifts are forwarded to site or program for which it is intended, and if the gift has a value of $500 or more, ensures that the item is included in the Office inventory.

(ii) Checks are sent to the Financial Operations Team Leader of the Grants Project Management Section of Business Services with a cover memo identifying the specific purpose of the monetary gift and referencing the check number amount.

(iii) Cash, unless it is to be used immediately for a special purchase of supplies, is hand-carried to the Financial Operations Team Leader of the Grants Project Management Section of Business Services so that it can be deposited. As a general rule, $100 should be the maximum amount that should be received in cash from an individual donor. Donors should be advised when making larger monetary gifts that it should be made in the form of a check.

(d) Furnishes written acknowledgment to the donor. Refer to Gift Policy Manual.

(i) Acknowledgment of gift acceptance shall be made in writing.

Letters of acknowledgment must include the following information:

* Name of the donor

* Name of the recipient: Los Angeles County Office of Education and specific division or unit

* Date of the receipt of the gift

* Amount, if cash gift; or description of nonmonetary gift

* A statement that LACOE has not provided any goods or services or consideration to the donor in exchange for the gift

* A description of how the gift will be used

(ii) Each authorized designee shall establish and maintain a formal file containing a copy of each of the following:

* The "Offer of Gift" form received from the donor

* The "Gift Review" form

* Written acknowledgment of the gift acceptance sent to the donor if the gift was accepted

Miscellaneous Gift Acceptance Considerations

1. If a donor wishes to make a gift in support of the Office, but specifies that the recipient must be a non-profit public benefit corporation (501 (c) (3)), the donation may be made to Friends of LACOE: A Foundation for Learning, the Office's nonprofit partner. Contact the Grants Development Office for information and guidance as to how to proceed.


approved: June 18, 2019 Downey, California