Vera Institute Donor Acceptance Policy

Updated: September 2021

The Vera Institute of Justice solicits and accepts gifts that are consistent with its mission and that support its core programs, as well as special projects. Acceptance of any contribution, gift or grant is at the discretion of Vera, which will not accept any gift unless it can be used or expended consistently with the purpose and mission of the organization. Donations and other forms of support will generally be accepted from individuals, partnerships, corporations, foundations, government agencies, and other entities.

Vera seeks especially support from donors who actively promote antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in their spheres of influence. These are principles at the root of everything Vera does, and we want donors who are similarly guided by these principles.

In general, Vera will not accept gifts that:

(a) would result in Vera violating its corporate charter
(b) would result in Vera losing its status as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
(c) are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value
(d) would result in any unacceptable consequences for Vera, or
(e) are for purposes outside Vera’s mission.

The good reputation of Vera, its programs, its leadership, and its funding partners is paramount to our ability to function effectively and partner with a growing coalition of organizations and individuals seeking justice reform. Vera maintains a Gift Review Committee to consider any donation that may raise significant question for the organization.

These gifts are generally accepted without review:

  • Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable by check, money order, credit card, or online. Donors wishing to make a gift by credit card must provide the card type (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, American Express), card number, expiration date, and name of the card holder as it appears on the credit card.
  • Marketable Securities. Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor's endorsement or signed stock power (with appropriate signature guarantees) attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt unless otherwise directed by Vera’s Investment Committee. In some cases, marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift; in such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by the Gift Review Committee.
  • Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to Vera under their wills, and to name Vera as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts. Vera will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.
  • Charitable Lead Trusts. Vera will accept designation as an income beneficiary of charitable lead trusts.

Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review prior to acceptance. These include (but are not limited to) gifts of tangible personal property (such as art, jewelry, vehicles, or aircraft), life insurance policies, and real estate.

Vera encourages donors to seek professional legal and financial advice prior to making a gift in a form other than cash; prospective donors should understand that the organization will not provide advice directly to the donor, because that would pose a conflict of interest.

To discuss a gift, please contact Jordan Kessler, Vice President of Development.
jkessler@vera.org
212-376-3003.