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In-kind Donations – Art and Other Collectibles Procedure - 61.05.05

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College (HCC) acknowledges that it has an institutional responsibility for its various collections, including art, musical instruments, rare books, etc., and that it oversees the collections in public trust. The college will, therefore, endeavor to conserve the collections for posterity while making the collections accessible to the public, particularly to students, faculty, and staff.

General Responsibilities

All donation inquiries for HCC collections must be directed to the director of development/executive director, educational foundation, HCC Educational Foundation, Inc. (HCCEF). Depending on the nature of the donated collectible, the appropriate collection committee is convened as noted below:

  • Artwork: dean of the arts and humanities division, the department chair of visual arts, the director of the art galleries, and a representative from facilities.
  • Musical instruments: dean of the arts and humanities division, the department chair of music, and one other music faculty member.
  • Rare books: director of the library, the associate vice president of academic affairs, and one faculty member.
  • Other collectibles: other committees are established as appropriate.

Responsibility for recommendations for acceptance of an object for entry into an HCC collection rests with the appointed collection committee.

The appropriate collection committee makes recommendations to the president of the college for the accession of objects into the HCC collection. The final authority for the accession of any artwork or collectible resides with the president.

Objects may be added to an HCC collection by means of gifts, bequests, purchases, exchanges, or any approved transactions by which title to the objects passes to the college.

Donor Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the donor to obtain a valuation and provide condition reports or associated documentation as available for submitting this evaluation to the HCCEF. For non-cash gift donations with an estimated value under $500, the donor's estimate is acceptable. For those items with an estimated value between $500 and $5,000, an internal "expert" can value the property (e.g., the college librarian can value books at this level). For those items with an estimated value over $5,000, an independent qualified appraiser must sign the form or provide the information on letterhead. Any costs incurred for valuations are paid for by the donor. The college reserves the right to obtain its own appraisal. The costs of appraisals obtained by the college are the responsibility of the college.

All approved donated objects are to be accompanied by an appropriate written confirmation of title transfer (gift in-kind form). The title to all objects acquired for the collection should be obtained free and clear without restrictions as to use, accession or future disposition, or encumbered by conditions set by the donor.

Criteria and Conditions for Determining Acquisitions

  • Acquisitions are accepted only in accordance with this procedure and upon the recommendation of the appropriate collection committee. The college is not responsible for objects acquired without its prior approval.
  • The president reserves the right to decline a recommended acquisition on the basis of acquisition criteria, collecting areas, or resource limitations.
  • The college reserves the right to determine the placement of the object and the duration of such placement.
  • The following criteria is considered prior to the acquisition of any object:
    • how the objects contribute to the integrity of or enhance existing collections;
    • the usefulness of the objects for teaching, with emphasis on lasting value. The objects should possess aesthetic merit based upon historical significance, social significance and/or importance of artist;
    • the condition of objects; and
    • the ability of the college to provide for the storage, protection, preservation, and appropriate display of the objects.

Restrictions Which Tend to Preclude Acquisitions

  • Uncertain legal title and provenance.
  • A condition of perpetual exhibition or ownership.
  • Unreasonable limits on deaccessioning.
  • Unreasonable conditions for special care or storage.

College Responsibilities

A letter of gratitude to the donor will be prepared by the appropriate collection committee for the president’s signature, with a copy to the HCCEF office.

A copy of the gift in-kind form and a formal acknowledgment letter through the college’s development office will be sent to the donor and operate as an official receipt for the donor’s purposes. These documents will set forth an adequate description of the objects and the condition of the transfer as a gift.

The objects will be properly recorded and cataloged.

Objects received from a donor who has received a tax deduction are retained by the college for the period specified by current rulings of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before deaccessioning is considered.

HCC collections are insured in accordance with appraised or estimated value.

Ongoing maintenance and care of the object will occur.

Acquisitions Procedures

The HCCEF is responsible for completing and maintaining the following database information for objects added to permanent collections:

  • Completion of an accession record that consists of the following:
    • accession number;
    • date and nature of acquisition (gift, purchase, bequest);
    • source of acquisition;
    • identifying information (for example, artist or author, title, medium, dimensions);
    • condition;
    • provenance;
    • value; and
    • name of staff member recording accession.
  • Create a file for each object that consists of the following:
    • copy of letter of gratitude from the president;
    • copy of formal letter of acknowledgment/gift in-kind form from the HCCEF;
    • appraisal;
    • accession record;
    • artist biography, if applicable;
    • photograph print/transparency; and
    • location.

Loaned Art and Other Collectables

On occasion, an individual or organization (the owner) may wish to loan art or another collectable to the college through the HCCEF. All inquiries related to loaned art must be directed to the director of development/executive director, educational foundation. For loaned gifts, the guidelines previously outlined in this document are followed, as applicable. In addition, a 30-day notice must be given to the owner if HCC would like to return the loaned gift or a 30days notice must be given to HCC if the owner would like the loaned gift returned.

Potential Criteria and Conditions for Determining Deaccessioning

Objects in HCC collections should be retained permanently if they continue to be relevant and useful to the purposes and activities of the college, and if they can be properly stored, and preserved. Potential criteria and conditions for determining deaccessioning include:

  • the objects duplicate a better example and/or are redundant;
  • the objects have deteriorated beyond usefulness;
  • the objects cannot be properly preserved, stored, or exhibited;
  • the objects are not relevant and useful to the purposes and activities of the college; or
  • the college has a clear and unrestricted title to the objects.

Guidelines for the Process of Deaccessioning

Deaccessioning of objects is considered when the above conditions no longer prevail and deaccession is not prohibited under the terms of accession.

No member of the college staff, board of trustees, or collection committee will personally profit from any transaction involving the sale or exchange of objects in the collection.

Deaccessioning Procedures

The appropriate collection committee makes recommendations to the president of the college for the deaccessioning of objects.

Objects may be deaccessioned through sale at public auction, donation, or exchange to other nonprofit or educational institutions.

The president or the director of development/executive director, educational foundation should inform the donor, if known, of the potential disposition of the objects. The original donor should be acknowledged for their generosity with regard to the activities accomplished due to the funds realized from the sale of objects.

The IRS requires that notice be given (Form 8282) to both the IRS and the donor if an object is deaccessioned within two years of donation and if the college is on notice that the donor obtained a qualified appraisal with regard to donation.

Effective Date: 02/11/22

President's Office Use:  PRES

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