As the University's policies and procedures governing the processing of gifts-in-kind (GIKs) have undergone some significant changes recently, the following is an overview of the process that the Fisher staff follow whenever we receive donated material.
Each time a donation is accepted, a paper trail has to be established and maintained. The first step is the completion of a Fisher donation form, a copy of which is added to the annual Master file. Another copy is placed in the Appraisers' file so that we can track and group items for monetary appraisal. A third copy is placed in the Donor's file. A final copy is left with the gift on designated shelves in the second basement to await description and evaluation.
The next step is preparing the appropriate documentation to enable the appraisers to place a monetary value on the gift. For printed items the Fisher staff prepares a detailed gift list describing each item, including full bibliographical details as well as information on provenance and condition. For manuscript gifts a detailed finding aid is prepared.
Our appraisers are called upon throughout the year, as donations accumulate. Gifts arriving early in the calendar year may have to wait until we build up enough material to occupy an appraiser for at least a full day. On the other hand, gifts arriving later in the year, as tax deadlines loom, may also be held up awaiting appraisers who are kept very busy meeting our end of the year requests, as well as those of other cultural institutions.
For any gift over an appraised value of CAD$1000.00, the donor is required to complete a Deed of Gift stipulating whether or not they have owned the property for more than three years, and whether it was acquired with the intention of donation. They must also assert that the donor is the sole owner of the property and that the property is free of debt or lien. If this form is not filled out in duplicate, and returned to us to be countersigned by a senior administrator, the University's Office of Advancement will not issue an income tax receipt.
Once the gift has been appraised and the donor informed, the Library embarks on yet another round of paperwork. The Library must complete a Gift in Kind donation form and send it to the Division of University Advancement along with copies of the appraiser's letter and the signed Deed of Gift. The role of the Advancement Office is to vet the information and send a copy to the Receipt Management Office. In addition to two copies for our own files, the Library also forwards copies of the GIK form to the University's Fixed Assets Officer, and the Library Development Office.
For gifts being submitted for certification to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB), the documentation required is even more complex: conservators' reports, inventory summaries, spread sheets comparing the appraisals, verifications of authenticity, justifications for why the property should be considered of outstanding significance and national importance, photocopies of selected items of special interest within the collection being donated, biographies of authors, and possibly even critical reviews of their work. The Board meets three or four times a year and packages must arrive in Ottawa about two months in advance of the meeting, in order for their staff to have the time to go through all the documentation.