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About The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project (TSP) promotes effective and humane responses to crime that minimize imprisonment and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice.

Policy Purpose

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations provide vital support for TSP’s work fighting for a more fair and effective criminal justice system. TSP staff, volunteers, and trustees are encouraged to solicit gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations that are consistent with TSP’s mission and that support its core programs and special projects. 

The goal of this Gift Acceptance Policy is to provide guidelines for the acceptance of gifts and stewardship of donors. The provisions of this policy apply to all gifts received by The Sentencing Project for any of its programs or services. Additional provisions that apply to corporate gifts can be found here

Gift Acceptance Policy

Gifts are accepted at the discretion of the Development Director, with input as needed from the Executive Director.

TSP is able to accept gifts of:

  • Cash
    • Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, wire transfer, or online. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to “The Sentencing Project,” and shall be delivered to TSP’s lockbox at PO Box 358111, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5111 or its administrative office. Wire and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) can be arranged with the TSP staff.
  • Stock, Bonds, and Mutual Funds
    • TSP accepts gifts of publicly-traded stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Gifts of securities that are not publicly traded will be accepted only at the discretion of TSP on a case-by-case evaluation of the conditions affecting the eventual sale of the securities. Similarly, if restrictions are placed on the securities by the donor or by the terms of the securities themselves, acceptance of the gift will require special approval from TSP. As a general rule, all marketable securities shall be sold upon receipt. 
  • Bequests of cash or publicly traded securities
    • Donors and supporters of TSP are encouraged to make bequests to TSP under their wills and trusts. The most useful bequest is one that is unrestricted for TSP’s general operating purposes, which enables TSP to apply the gift where it is needed most. TSP cannot guarantee that restrictions or designations specified in a bequest will be fulfilled unless the donor receives written approval from TSP prior to finalizing their bequest. 
    • TSP will accept gifts designating TSP as a beneficiary of the donor’s retirement plans including, but not limited to, IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403 (b)s. 
  • Gifts through a Donor Advised Fund
  • In-kind contributions 
    • TSP accepts in-kind contributions that directly support TSP’s programmatic activities (e.g. requested event food, beverage, and decor, specified computer and office equipment, gifts that can be used as prizes or auction items)

TSP is unable to accept the following types of gifts: 

  • Real Estate
  • Personal Property that does not directly support TSP’s programmatic activities (e.g. works of art, jewelry, cars, boats, livestock)
  • Gifts that are deemed too expensive or difficult to administer
  • Gifts naming TSP as a trustee or requiring TSP to act in any fiduciary capacity
  • Gifts requiring TSP to assume financial or other obligations
  • Gifts that pose a potential conflict of interest for TSP or that do not align with TSP’s mission and vision
  • Gifts that have the potential to endanger TSP’s status as an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization

Legal Considerations

This policy is not designed to provide specific accounting, tax, or legal advice. The Sentencing Project encourages donors to consult with their legal, accounting, and financial advisors for an analysis of their individual situation to guide their philanthropic activities. It is the donor’s responsibility to secure independent legal counsel for all gifts made to The Sentencing Project.