The Government of the District of Columbia’s Donations Handbook contains the official procedures required by the Office of Partnerships and Grant Services (OPGS) for all employees requesting legal authorization to solicit, accept, and/or use donations. The procedures were developed in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). They are based on the policies and procedures set forth in section 115 of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2003 (117 Stat. 123, Pub. L. 108-7, D.C. Official Code §1-329.01), Mayor’s Order 2011-170 dated October 5, 2011, the Rules of Conduct Governing Donations to the District Government – Mayor’s Memorandum 2012-3 dated May 16, 2012, and the Memorandum of Understanding between OPGS and OCFO dated December 16, 2002.
Pursuant to Mayor’s Order 2011-170 and Mayor’s Memorandum 2010-2, the Director of OPGS is the only official who, on behalf of the Mayor, can approve solicitation, acceptance, and use of donations to the District government, unless that authority has been delegated specifically and directly from the Director of OPGS. Accordingly, in order for a donation to be legally authorized, the following requirements must be met:
- The solicitation (if any), acceptance, and use of the donation must be approved by the Director of OPGS or his or her designee;
- The donation must be used for an authorized function or duty of the District government and the agency receiving the donation; and,
- Use of the donation must be accounted for through record-keeping that is auditable and accessible for public inspection as directed by the Director of OPGS and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
The Director of OPGS is the only official who, on behalf of the Mayor, may approve the solicitation or acceptance of donations to the District government, unless that authority has been delegated specifically and directly from the Director of OPGS. Any District government employee who does not comply with the procedures and rules set forth in this handbook may be subject to adverse personnel action. See section 1801 of the D.C. Personnel Regulations (6B DCMR § 1801) for more details.
Donations may come from individuals, organizations, foundations, corporations, businesses, associations, governments, and other entities and may be in the form of negotiable instruments, such as checks, money orders, and securities, and in-kind items such as real property (land and improvements), facilities, personal property, and services. Cash donations are prohibited.
There are three steps required for the legal donation of goods, services, or property to the District of Columbia.
- A District agency must submit to the Director of OPGS an application to solicit or accept a donation;
- The Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) must review the submitted application and certify its legal sufficiency;
- The District agency and the donor must enter into a donation agreement approved by the Director of OPGS.
Each agency Director must delegate a Donations Point of Contact who will be responsible for attending donation trainings as required by the Director of OPGS.
Please feel free to contact the Donations Manager in OPGS if you have questions or suggestions about the information presented in the Donations Handbook. The Donations Manager’s contact information is as follows: 300 E. St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-727-7996, or visit OPGS’ website at www.opgs.dc.gov.
The Donations Handbook contains the official procedures for each employee who is responsible for soliciting, accepting, using, and reporting on donations for their respective District government agency or entity. These donations include: (1) financial donations, such as checks, other negotiable instruments, and securities; (2) in-kind donations, such as the donation of supplies or the provision of free (pro bono) services; and (3) fixed asset donations, such as the donation of equipment, buildings, or land. The handbook provides step-by-step instructions on how to obtain authorization from the Director of OPGS to solicit and accept donations as well as procedures to use and report on those contributions. Its appendix contains information on frequently asked questions (FAQ), a glossary of relevant terms, sample donation forms and reports, pertinent legal references, and key government contacts.
The Donations Authorization Process
The donations authorization process requires the successful completion of three basic components: (1) the Application to Approve Donations – AAD Form; (2) the Legal Sufficiency Review; and (3) the Donation Agreement. Each component’s process is described in the below sections.