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Policy 4010 - Donations

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the acceptance of donations.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County is committed to quality education and comparability of programs for all students. The Board welcomes donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations that enhance the educational or extracurricular experiences of students. However, acceptance of donations must include a review of items to ensure their safety and usability by the school system. Accepted donations will be utilized in a manner that is consistent with the philosophy and goals of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS).

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the acceptance of donations.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Advertising – The display of a message, logo, website, phone number, address, or photograph of an individual, service, or product on school property or in an official school communication in return for a fee.

  2. Donations – Equipment, materials, money, or property given to a school or to the school system for use in or in conjunction with educational or extracurricular programs.

  3. Educational Program – A grouping of operations or activities which is identifiable as a distinct entity with specific goals and objectives for budgetary, operational, and managerial purposes (e.g., music program, gifted and talented program, science program, etc.).

  4. Extracurricular Activities – Activities available to students beyond the regular school day that are not required for the satisfactory completion of a particular class.

  5. Fixed Assets – A financial resource that meets all of the following criteria:

    1. Is tangible in nature.

    2. Has an extended useful life, at least one year.

    3. Is not a repair part or supply item.

    4. Has a value of $5000 or more.

  6. Improvement to Real Property – Materials and/or labor used to alter, modify or renovate the physical appearance or structure of a school site or facility.

IV. Standards

  1. Donations that have an estimated value in excess of $500, or constitute an improvement to real property, will be presented to the Board for acceptance by formal action.

  2. Donations not requiring Board approval under the provisions of this policy must be presented to a school or program administrator for acceptance.

    Donations made to individual schools with a value of $500 or less may be accepted by the school principal without further approval provided this donation meets all other provisions of this policy.

  3. If the donation is a fixed asset, it will be processed in accordance with Policy 4040 - Fixed Assets.

  4. Donations submitted to the Board for acceptance must first be reviewed, inspected, and/or tested by staff as appropriate. Certain donated items will be required to meet specific industry certification. In addition, staff may require that a donation be certified by an external source as meeting industry and HCPSS standards.

  5. Any donation constituting an improvement to real property must comply with Policy 6060 - Community Improvements to School Sites or School Facilities.

  6. All accepted donations become the property of the Board of Education of Howard County.

  7. The provisions of this policy do not apply to gifts to individuals, which are addressed by the HCPSS Ethics Regulations.

  8. To be acceptable, a donation must:

    1. Have a purpose consistent with the philosophy and goals of the HCPSS.

    2. Impose no undesirable, unacceptable, or hidden costs in terms of resources (staff time, maintenance, budget, materials, etc.) to the school system.

    3. Place no unacceptable restrictions on educational or extracurricular programs or the school system.

    4. Not endorse, either explicitly or implicitly, any business or product.

    5. Not begin, continue or reinstate a program which the Board is unwilling or unable to consider funding when the donated funds are exhausted.

    6. Meet all applicable federal, state/local, and school system regulations/guidelines associated with its construction or use.

    7. Meet current safety standards.

    8. Not be advertising. However, sponsorship of an activity is acceptable and recognition of sponsorship is permissible.

  9. Donations presented by an organization or individual from funds raised in a manner deemed incompatible with the mission of the school system may be refused.

  10. A written letter of appreciation will be sent to the originators of accepted donations.

V. Responsibilities

  1. School principals and program/department heads are responsible for ensuring that donations not requiring Board approval meet the criteria for acceptance in compliance with this policy.

  2. Each school principal serves as the fiduciary agent for his/her school and as such is responsible for ensuring that all donations are accounted for and that donated funds and items are used for legitimate education-related purposes.

  3. Each school principal is responsible for submitting to the business office an annual report of all donations received during the year in accordance with the procedures in the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Administration of School Activity Funds.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will prepare a monthly donations report in accordance with Policy 4020 - Fund Raising and Policy 4010 - Donations. This report will contain, by school, a list of items donated, a schedule detailing goods and services to be purchased with cash donations.

  5. The Superintendent/Designee will prepare an annual fund raising and donations report in accordance with Policy 4020 - Fund Raising and Policy 4010 - Donations. This report will contain, by school, a summary for fund raising activity and donations.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop all necessary and appropriate procedures to implement and monitor compliance with this policy.

VII. References

  • Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Sections 4-108, 4-114, and 4-118

C. Relevant Data Sources

  • Monthly Donations Report

  • Annual Fund Raising and Donations Report

D. Other

  • Acceptance of Donations form

  • HCPSS Ethics Regulations

  • Manual of Policies and Procedures for Administration of School Activity Funds

VIII. History

ADOPTED: June 24, 1982

REVIEWED: July 1, 2012

MODIFIED: June 12, 2014

REVISED: August 24, 1989, November 26, 2002, January 27, 2005

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2014