The Degen Foundation

Donation of Gifts

Over the 125 years of providing health care to the community, Sparks Regional Medical Center and the Sparks Foundation have been the recipients of many gifts that have furthered the mission to make available superior health services to the greater Fort Smith area. The Degen Foundation intends to continue but expand the type of assistance and services it will offer to our community.

The Degen Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that relies on the goodness and kindness of those who wish to assist in improving the health and education of our community. We welcome your gifts and assure you that they will be used to advance our ongoing mission of service to others.

We gladly accept memorials and honorariums for loved ones who have been or are special to you, in order for their memory to live on.

Thank you in advance for any consideration and should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Gifts can be mailed to:
The Degen Foundation
PO Box 10366
Fort Smith, AR 72917


Gift Acceptance Policy

overview statements

purpose of policies and guidelines

The Degen Foundation encourages and solicits current and deferred gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations to secure its growth and mission. These policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts by The Degen Foundation and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to The Degen Foundation. The Board of Directors maintains an Executive Committee for purposes of evaluating and monitoring gifts to The Degen Foundation. The provisions of these policies shall apply to all gifts received by The Degen Foundation. The Board of Directors does not authorize the acceptance of gifts that would jeopardize the financial, legal, moral integrity, or reputation of The Degen Foundation.

use of legal counsel

The Degen Foundation shall seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts where appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:

  • Closely held stock transfers that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements;
  • Documents naming The Degen Foundation as Director;
  • All gifts involving contracts, such as bargain sales or other documents requiring The Degen Foundation to assume an obligation;
  • All transactions with potential conflict of interest that may invoke IRS sanctions (including any transaction to which a board member is a party); and
  • Such other instances in which use of counsel is deemed appropriate by the gift acceptance committee.

ethics in receiving gifts

The Degen Foundation and its representatives shall always consider the donor's financial situation, and no donor shall be encouraged to make an inappropriate gift. In all matters involving donors or prospective donors, the interest of the donor shall be before that of The Degen Foundation. No trust, contract, or commitment shall be urged upon any donor or prospective donor which would benefit The Degen Foundation at the expense of the donor's interest.

The Degen Foundation will not be associated with efforts representing charitable gifts as tax shelters rather than genuine philanthropic contributions. Further, The Degen Foundation will not be associated with promoters of charitable gifts who charge unreasonable fees or commissions for arranging or managing charitable gifts, or who, without a charity's knowledge or approval, undertake to negotiate gifts on behalf of charitable institutions. The Degen Foundation will not cooperate with any person or organization that charges a "finder’s fee" for arranging charitable gifts beyond reasonable compensation for professional services provided.


Employees will be familiar with and abide by the Confidentiality Policy.

material restrictions

In conformance with the Treasury Department regulations governing community foundations, gifts to The Degen Foundation may not be directly or indirectly subjected by a donor to any material restriction or condition that prevents The Degen Foundation from freely and effectively employing the transferred assets or the income derived there from, in furtherance of its exempt purposes.

board approval

Gifts that are consistent with The Degen Foundation purposes and governing instruments and that are considered ordinary or of little risk will not require review of the Board. The Board shall review and have approval responsibility for all gifts that are not ordinary or that pose risk to The Degen Foundation. These gifts include but are not limited to:

  • Real Estate,
  • Bargain Sales, and
  • Assets with unusual liabilities attached.

assets acceptable as gifts

The following assets are acceptable as described:

  • Cash - The Degen Foundation accepts cash, check, money orders, bank drafts, and gifts via credit card.
  • Marketable securities - The Degen Foundation accepts gifts of publicly traded stocks and bonds. In order to expedite the transfer of funds to The Degen Foundation's investment account and facilitate processing, the investment firm that manages The Degen Foundation's short-term cash shall be used whenever possible. It is The Degen Foundation's policy to sell securities as soon as is reasonably possible.
  • Securities in closely held corporations - To be accepted, such stocks must have a qualified appraisal performed by an independent professional appraiser. Prior to approval, each gift is reviewed by The Degen Foundation staff and legal counsel.
  • S-Corporation stock - To be accepted, S-Corporation stock must have a qualified appraisal performed by an independent professional appraiser. Prior to approval, such gifts are reviewed by The Degen Foundation staff and legal counsel.
  • Partnership interests and interests in limited liability companies (llc) or limited liability partnerships (llp) - The Degen Foundation does not accept gifts of general partnership interests. Prior to approval of gifts of LLC or LLP interests, all LLC or LLP agreements will be reviewed by The Degen Foundation staff and legal counsel with particular attention given to the activity of the LLC or LLP and how allocations are made. Further, the underlying assets and liabilities of LLC or LLP will be reviewed.
  • Family limited partnerships (flp) - Prior to The Degen Foundation accepting family limited partnership interests, the partnership agreement must be reviewed by The Degen Foundation staff and legal counsel. The Degen Foundation will review the agreement's structure, function, and underlying assets. Issues to be reviewed include but are not limited to the following:
      • Value of the limited partnership interest. Generally, a minimum discount value of $25,000 for the limited partnership interest, as established by a qualified appraisal, is required.
      • Costs to The Degen Foundation in holding the interest such as administrative responsibilities, tax return preparation, and unrelated business income tax. The donor may be asked to cover all or some of these costs, particularly the unrelated business income tax which may be generated by phantom income.
      • The liquidity of The Degen Foundation's interest.
  • Real estate - All real estate gifts must be approved by The Degen Foundation Board of Directors and legal counsel. Gifts of real estate should be mortgage free. Donor shall agree to pay for the costs of an environmental audit. The Degen Foundation shall not accept gifts of real estate with restrictions upon the ultimate sale of the property. Full interests, partial interests, and remainder interests in real property are all acceptable. In the case of such gifts, the donor will be responsible for all property taxes, maintenance on the property, adequate insurance on the property, and utilities. Conditions for acceptance shall include salability and annual maintenance costs, including evaluation of any liens against the property and any real estate taxes. Donor may be asked to sign a statement regarding liability for previous and current environmental or other conditions if The Degen Foundation deems it appropriate.
  • Bargain sales - A bargain sale is one in which The Degen Foundation is provided the opportunity to purchase property at less than its fair market value. The gift is usually the difference between the sale price and the market value. The Degen Foundation Board of Directors must approve all bargain sales prior to acceptance.
  • Tangible personal property - Gifts of tangible personal property are acceptable. Conditions for accepting gifts include salability or usability and current Foundation needs for the type of property offered, physical condition of the property, cost of any storage or insurance needed, and any other unusual feature or condition involved in the transfer.
  • Insurance - The Degen Foundation may be named as a percentage or contingent beneficiary of any life insurance policy. In addition, The Degen Foundation accepts life insurance policies for which the donor has relinquished ownership by assigning all rights, title, and interest in the policy to The Degen Foundation. If the insurance policy is not fully paid up, the usefulness of the gift is judged on a case-by-case basis. If the policy is accepted, The Degen Foundation may either cash it in for the current surrender value or continue to pay the premium so long as The Degen Foundation is not required to expend funds from sources other than the donor to maintain the contract. The Degen Foundation shall have no obligation to continue premium payment on insurance policies. Paid-up life insurance policy gifts in which The Degen Foundation is the owner and irrevocable beneficiary are acceptable. The Degen Foundation does not participate in charitable split dollar insurance plans.
  • Retirement plan assets - The Degen Foundation may be named as a beneficiary of any retirement plan.
  • Annuities - The Degen Foundation may be named as the beneficiary of an annuity and can also become the owner of an annuity.
  • Bequests - The Degen Foundation receives bequests from persons who have directed in their wills that certain assets be transferred to the Foundation. The Foundation also reserves the right to refuse such a gift from a bequest. The Foundation's legal name is The Degen Foundation.
  • Other assets and forms gift may take - Other types of gifts not mentioned in this policy may be acceptable within reason for the purpose given, and in an amount appropriate for the gift type. The Degen Foundation will use its best judgment in gift acceptance, and will defer to the Board when appropriate. This policy should serve as a general guideline under such circumstances.
  • Assets from private foundations - Private foundations can transfer assets to establish a permanent donor advised fund or supporting organization of The Degen Foundation while retaining the private foundation's name and charitable purpose.

life income arrangements

The following life income agreements are acceptable when in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code at the time the gift is established, and are subject to reformation as tax laws change. The Degen Foundation willingly acts as Director for these life income vehicles where The Degen Foundation is the irrevocable remainder beneficiary for fifty (50) percent of the remainder.

  • Charitable remainder trusts.
      • The Degen Foundation may accept gifts from both charitable remainder annuity trusts and charitable unitrusts that are in a form substantially similar to the forms approved by the Treasury Department or are otherwise determined by The Degen Foundation's legal counsel to be legal trusts for administration by The Degen Foundation. The Degen Foundation encourages the use of a Director suitable to the donor including banks or other appropriate institutions. Should The Degen Foundation be selected to serve as Director, The Degen Foundation will provide donor's advisors with certain necessary Director provisions. The Degen Foundation will consider serving as Director on the following terms:
          • Charitable contribution to The Degen Foundation is a minimum fifty (50) percent of the remainder;
          • The trust is funded with a minimum amount of $250,000;
          • The number of life income beneficiaries, and the generations across which beneficiaries may span are negotiable based on meeting Internal Revenue Code requirements for remainder values, generation skipping tax implications for the donor, and the funding amount;
          • The charitable contribution to The Degen Foundation is computed to be $25,000 or more; and
          • In no event shall mortgaged property be accepted.

The Degen Foundation encourages donors to consult their own legal counsel and tax advisors to create a charitable remainder trust. When desirable, The Degen Foundation will provide sample documents and calculations for the donor and his or her advisors to review.

policy exceptions

  • General exceptions
      • Exceptions to this policy must be approved by The Degen Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Exceptions for completed gifts and gifts under negotiation.
      • Gifts made for estate plans that have been properly executed prior to the date of this policy, and gifts already received by The Degen Foundation are grandfathered in under this policy. Gifts under negotiation at the time this policy is adopted need not conform to the policy but will be accepted based upon the spirit of this policy and the specific terms negotiated with the donor.

authority to negotiate

The Degen Foundation Board authorizes the Executive Director and his/her delegates to negotiate on behalf of The Degen Foundation acceptable gifts (other than cash and listed securities). Gifts negotiated on behalf of The Degen Foundation must be in compliance with this policy.

The Board authorizes the Executive Director or any delegate working through the planned giving program, and any advisor our outside counsel deemed necessary, to negotiate life income gifts – charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts – both inter vivos and through estate planning.

Negotiated gifts shall be submitted to The Degen Foundation Board of Directors or Gift Acceptance Committee for approval. They may seek the advice or input of any party they deem appropriate to make sound decisions.

Dedicated to improving the health care and education needs in the River Valley Region.