Thank you for your interest in supporting the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District and its programs! Contributing to our programs through a tax-deductible gift is easy. Just click on the DONATE button below to donate online using PayPal’s secure website. (You do not need to create a PayPal account.) Please contact Holly Crosson, BSWCD District Manager, if you would like to discuss additional ways to give to our organization.
Gift Acceptance Policy
Benton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) recognizes that donor gifts can assist us in fulfilling our mission, goals and objectives. We are grateful to donors who help provide stability to our organization, strengthen our programs and help us to better serve our community. The BSWCD Board has adopted a gift acceptance policy to assure that we receive any gifts in the most ethical and unencumbered manner.
As a tax-exempt entity, Benton SWCD can accept gifts that further the work of our organization while allowing donors to receive various tax benefits. Gifts may be made in a variety of forms, including bequests of cash, marketable securities, in-kind services, tangible personal property and real property. However some gifts, especially real property gifts, have the potential to require more staff or resource outlay than Benton SWCD can accommodate. While unrestricted gifts allow more flexibility for our organization, it is recognized that some donors may prefer to direct their contributions for specific uses. Benton SWCD will follow the restrictions that are agreed to when the gift is accepted, per this policy.
Benton SWCD does not determine the value of donations. The value of all non-cash gifts is subject to verification by a qualified third party.
Outright Gifts of Real Property
Benton SWCD may accept a gift of real property including residential property, commercial property, and working farms and forests. Under current tax law, these gifts may allow the donor to avoid capital gains tax and receive an income tax deduction for the appraised fair market value, while making a significant gift to Benton SWCD. Benton SWCD and its employees are prohibited from providing legal or tax advice to donors, therefore, Benton SWCD recommends that potential donors seek advice on the tax ramifications of their gift from independent legal or tax advisors.
Real property will be accepted by Benton SWCD with the explicit understanding that the property may be sold and the proceeds used to support Benton SWCD’s mission, goals and objectives, unless specified restrictions are agreed to, per this policy.
Should donors have a personal desire related to the use or disposition of real property to be donated to the Benton SWCD, those donors are encouraged to contact Benton SWCD staff to discuss their wishes and then to describe them in writing in a way that informs Benton SWCD as it moves through their decision making process.
Before Benton SWCD accepts any donated land and/or easements (including farms, forests, and natural areas) the Board will consider:
- The restrictions placed on the gift.
- The suitability of the land for permanent protection.
- The compatibility with Benton SWCD’s mission, priorities, and due diligence
- The stewardship costs for protecting the donated land and the ability of the Benton SWCD to provide appropriate stewardship of the land.
The Board of Directors will be notified of all bequests received or pending. It is the policy of the Benton SWCD to use any funds received through a bequest or other planned gift in accordance with the donor’s specified wishes. By accepting such a gift, the Benton SWCD agrees to any restrictions or designations the donor may have placed upon the use of the funds. If the donor has not designated how the funds are to be used, the Board of Directors will determine how the funds should be used to best meet the long term goals of the organization.
Donors may place restrictions on how monetary or other kinds of gifts, including real property, may be used. However, these restrictions must be discussed in advance with Benton SWCD and include any conditions, such as certain parameters of time or action(s), that are required to lift the restrictions. All restrictions must be agreed to in writing and signed by all parties before a gift is accepted.
The Benton SWCD Board reserves the right to refuse gifts if the conditions of the gift or restrictions are deemed to be unsuitable or incompatible with Benton SWCD’s mission or priorities.
Unrestricted gifts will be used to forward the mission of the organization by providing stability to its operations and by advancing its programs. The use of these gifts will be determined by Benton SWCD as part of its budgeting and planning processes.
Marketable securities will be sold by the Benton SWCD promptly upon receipt or as soon as feasible after receipt so that the proceeds may be invested in a manner consistent with the Benton SWCD’s policies.
Tax Deductibility for Donations/Contributions
IRS Code, Section 170(c)(1): Contributions or gifts to a state or any of its political subdivisions (i.e., conservation districts) are “charitable” contributions for tax purposes, and are, therefore, tax deductible.
Conservation districts have the authority under ORS 568.550(1)(e), “To obtain options upon and to acquire by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant, bequest or devise any property, real or personal or rights or interests therein, to maintain, administer and improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions of ORS 568.210 to 568.808 and 568.900 to 568.933, and to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any of its property or interests therein in furtherance of the purposes and the provisions of ORS 568.210 to 568.808 and 568.900 to 568.933.”
Conservation districts should consult the IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions for more information on the requirements for contributions, limits, reporting, receipts, etc. See References for a link to this publication.
Internal Revenue Service
Proof of Tax-Exempt Status and other IRS services
IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions