Gifts Acceptance Policy

The Philadelphia School reserves the right to evaluate whether a gift will be accepted based on its consistency with the school’s mission. The Philadelphia School encourages all donors to seek legal and/or financial counsel regarding their donations, particularly in reference to tax and estate planning consequences. The following policies and guidelines dictate the acceptance of gifts and donations made to The Philadelphia School for its operation and services. 

Generally, monetary donations will be accepted from individuals, foundations, government agencies, partnerships, corporations, and other entities without restriction or requirement of review.

Gifts accepted without restriction 

  • Cash gifts: accepted in any form, including check, credit, wire transfer, money order, or online donations

  • Marketable securities: gifts of securities may be made by the physical delivery of stock certificates to TPS. TPS has an account with a local brokerage firm to ease the transfer of securities. The preferred method of making a gift of stock is through an electronic transfer, called a DTC transfer. The donor should not sell the securities, otherwise a capital gain will be incurred. It is important that the Director of Development or Development Associate be advised of the proposed method of transfer prior to the actual transfer of securities. It is TPS’ policy to sell securities as quickly as practicable. Under no circumstances will the period between the receipt of the gift and liquidation exceed 30 days.

  • Gifts-in-Kind: Gifts-in-kind are generally accepted if they are consistent with the work and mission of The Philadelphia School. Gifts of personal property should be reviewed with special care to ensure they will not involve any financial liability and may require approval by the Advancement Committee.

There are, however, certain gifts that cannot be accepted or will require review before their acceptance. 

Restrictions on Gifts
   The Philadelphia School will not accept a donation that: 

  • Would result in loss of 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization

  • Is too difficult or costly to manage in relation to its value

  • Would reflect poorly on The Philadelphia School

  • Is for a purpose outside of the school’s mission

Gifts reviewed prior to acceptance
   The Philadelphia School maintains the discretionary right to review certain gifts prior to their acceptance: 

  • Bequests: Unless otherwise restricted, realized bequests will be placed in a quasi-endowment until the Head of School and the Board President determine permanent use.

Note: The 1972 Society was founded in 2005 to recognize and honor those individuals  who have remembered TPS in their estate plans, either in their will or through another type of planned gift. 

  • Tangible, personal property: All items will be evaluated based on their continuity with the school’s mission, the marketability and value of the item, and any restrictions surround its use or sale.

  • Closely-held or Non-publicly-traded Business Interests: Gifts of closely-held or non-publicly-traded business interests may be accepted after a review of the proposed gift by TPS’ legal counsel and approval by the Advancement Committee.

  • Real Estate: The Philadelphia School welcomes gift of real property and wishes to allow maximum flexibility for itself and donors in the acceptance of gifts of real property. However, there are certain unique issues associated with real property that require the establishment of clear guidelines for acceptance of such gifts. All gifts of real property must be approved through the Advancement Committee. TPS may accept gifts of real property after a thorough review of the following relevant pieces of information:

    • Marketability of the property as determined by TPS’ ability to sell within a reasonable period of time

    • Potential liability for environment risks associated with the property

    • The existence of restrictions, reservations, easements and other limitations

    • The existence of any encumbrances, such as mortgages and mechanic's liens

    • Carrying costs, such as property owners’ association dues, taxes, and insurance

    • Fair market value in relation to the negative factors listed above

    • The usefulness of the property for TPS’ purposes

    • Such other factors that may be relevant to the particular property

Donors are expected to provide an environmental audit in advance of the gift. In the case of gifts established and improved residential real estate, an environmental checklist may suffice. 

A qualified appraiser will determine the fair-market value of any proposed real property gift in accordance with IRS standards. The donors will cover this cost. 

The Philadelphia School is required to file Form 8282 if the property is sold within two years after the date of gift. The Director of Finance will sign all IRS forms requiring execution by TPS. 

The gift will be completed by the execution and delivery of a deed of gift or other appropriate conveyance and written acceptance by TPS. The costs associated with the conveyance and delivery will be paid by the donor, unless otherwise agreed upon. 

The Philadelphia School’s general policy is to sell property upon receipt. At the time of sale of the property, the sale proceeds--net of any costs of selling, holding, or maintaining the property--shall be used by TPS as directed by the terms of the gift. Undesignated gifts will be used at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

  • Life Insurance: Gifts of life insurance may be accepted under approval of the Advancement Committee. Before a gift of life insurance can be recorded as a charitable contribution, the school must be named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy.

  • Charitable Trusts: The Philadelphia School encourages gifts through charitable trusts, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts.

Ways to Give

There are many ways to support The Philadelphia School. For more information on these types of gifts, please contact the school.

Corporate Matching Gifts 
If you or your spouse works for a company that matches gifts to schools, your contribution to TPS may be doubled. All you have to do is complete the matching gift form available in your employer’s personnel office and enclose it with your gift. 

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Corporate Giving through EITC and OSTC
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers a unique opportunity for businesses in the state to reduce their tax liability by contributing to registered scholarship organizations. Gifts to scholarships at The Philadelphia School can generate a tax credit equal to 75% of the contribution, up to a maximum of $750,000 annually. Two-year commitments receive a 90% tax reduction up to a maximum of $750,000 each year. Learn more about these programs here. 

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The Sycamore Farm Legacy Society
Planned gifts include bequests as well as life insurance and retirement plan designations. These gifts may provide the opportunity to minimize income and estate taxes, reduce capital gains taxes, and more effectively distribute estate assets. Please consult with personal legal or financial counsel regarding the specifics of your donation.

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Retail Partnerships
There are a number of retailers that offer cash-back donation programs to schools based on the amount of money spent in each store. Take a look at the following programs and consider enrolling to support TPS. 

  • Amazon: when you shop at, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to The Philadelphia School. You’re using your same account with your usual shopping cart, wish list/registry, and other account settings, with the added bonus of supporting TPS! Signing up is easy. Click “Get Started” to sign up.

  • Target: Sign up for and use a Target Visa or Target Card, and TPS will receive a percentage of the amount of each purchase in the form of a cash donation from Target through the Take Charge of Education program. It’s easy-- just click here or call 1-800-316-6142 to designate our school.

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United Way Donor Choices Program
Consider supporting the Philadelphia School through United Way of Southeast Pennsylvania. Our donor designation number is 9937. If your employer offers the opportunity to make gifts through the Donor Choice Program, your designation will help to provide financial assistance to students for school-related expenses incurred over and above basic tuition. 

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