Guidelines for Charitable Donations by the Stonington Garden Club

Stonington Garden Club’s purpose is to educate and encourage interest in the environment, conservation, and community projects, and to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.

About SGC Grants:

SGC offers grants and scholarships using funds raised from our triennial Gardens By the Sea tour.   The Stonington Garden Club assists in non-profit community efforts to fund worthwhile projects or programs that fulfill the above stated Club purpose. These grants typically range from $200 to $1,500; however, the Club will consider and evaluate requests for other amounts.

About SGC Charitable Donations:

The Club provides charitable funding to eligible non-profit organizations. Eligible organizations are those classified as 501(c)(3) or defined by the IRS as eligible entities that provide charitable services to their community, such as public schools. 

Stonington Garden Club does not discriminate with respect to age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, or national origin of the requesting organization or person. 

Evaluation Criteria

  • The botanical, horticultural, and or educational interest of the project.
  • The community impact of the project:  The project location, public access, and interest, etc.
  • The planning, future maintenance, and/or monitoring of the project:  How it was developed and how it will be executed and maintained.
  • Funding history and plans:  Other sources of funds, current budget, and goals for future funding.
  • Opportunities for Club Member participation and education.

Grant applications will not be considered if they: 

  • Support political, sectarian, or religious programs 
  • Cover existing obligations, continuing operating support, debt, liabilities, or administrative salaries
  • Entail continued funding of previous requests unless submitted as a new request
  • Require funding before the annual allocation date
  • Are for projects that serve only a few people 

Guidelines for Accepting Charitable Donations or Gifts made to the Stonington Garden Club

The Stonington Garden Club (“SGC”), from time to time, solicits and accepts gifts, both directly and in its name, for purposes that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. SGC urges all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. 

The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to the Club for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services:

Use of Legal Counsel – SGC will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

  1. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements
  2. Documents naming the “Stonington Garden Club” as trustee or requiring the Club to act in any fiduciary capacity
  3. Gifts requiring the Club to assume financial or other obligations
  4. Transactions with potential conflicts of interest
  5. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions 

Restrictions on Gifts – SGC will not accept gifts that are contrary to SGC’s best interests when they: 

  1. Impose burdensome financial or other obligations
  2. Require significant additional expense for their present or future use, display, maintenance, or administration
  3. Include gifts of tangible personal property (such as books, paintings, etc.) made on the condition, understanding, or expectation that the gifted items will be loaned to the donor or to persons designated by the donor for life or for an extended period of time as determined by the donor
  4. Result in the Club violating its corporate charter
  5. Might result in the Club losing its status as an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
  6. Are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value
  7. Would result in any unacceptable consequences for the Club
  8. Are for purposes outside of the Club’s purpose

Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Committee in consult with the Finance Committee

Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review 

  1. Cash. Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, wire transfer, or other electronic transfer. 
  2. Marketable Securities. Marketable securities may be delivered physically with the transferor’s endorsement attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt unless otherwise directed by SGC’s Executive 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 Executive Committee in consult with the Finance Committee. 

Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review – Certain forms of gifts or donated properties will be subject to review before acceptance. The Executive Committee shall review and determine whether to accept any donations in light of the following considerations: 

  1. Does the gift further the Club’s purpose?
  2. Is the gift marketable?
  3. Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the gift?
  4. Are there any carrying costs for the gift for which the Club may be responsible?
    1. If there are ongoing maintenance costs associated with the gift, should an endowment or fund be set up to cover those associated costs? Should that maintenance fund be funded by the gift giver?
    2. Is the Club prepared to undertake the maintenance if there are no endowed funds set up? 
      1. If maintenance costs are estimated to equal or exceed $1,000 annually, acceptance of the gift will require approval by membership vote. 
  5. Is the title/provenance of the gift clear? 

Solicitations: – A list of companies or individuals to be solicited should be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. No one may make solicitations for the benefit of the Club without the prior knowledge and consent of the President or another designated representative.

Stonington Garden Club
P.O. Box 385
Stonington, CT, 06378
The Stonington Garden Club's objective is to educate and encourage interest in the environment, conservation, community projects and to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.