“Philanthropic Support and Charitable Giving” Guiding Principles

June 2018 Statement

Grinnell College’s “Philanthropic Support and Charitable Giving” guiding principles state that individuals making personal gifts to the College are presumed to be doing so from their private funds, solely of their own initiative and representing only themselves as private individuals.

The role an individual donor might hold within an organization, whether a paid professional role or an unpaid volunteer role, is irrelevant in regard to gift acceptance by the College, even if that association is with an organization that the College might not otherwise deem in alignment with its mission. Checking donors’ affiliations would be impractical, and more importantly it would be an invasion of their privacy.

In certain instances, the College may determine that it is necessary to apply a more stringent standard of review to private gift acceptance if an individual donor cites their association with the College to advance a personal agenda or position that is antithetical to the College’s mission. Likewise, neither an organization nor individual would be allowed to use a gift to leverage publicity for financial gain, whether for personal or business purposes.

In any instance where a gift might be in question, the College will make a multi-dimensional evaluation and assessment of the benefit to the mission relative to the potential risks to determine whether such a gift should be accepted or declined. In the event a donor implies a commercial relationship, endorsement or imprimatur from or with the College, or otherwise uses association with the College to advance a personal agenda for his or her own gain, the College will require that individual to cease-and-desist the actions in question. Furthermore, any potential future gifts from that individual will be subject to a higher level of scrutiny.

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