Donor Intent Policy


To ensure donor intent for all gifts is established, recorded and fulfilled.


Ducks Unlimited will fulfill specified gift intent to the extent it is legal, consistent with the organization's tax exempt purposes, and capable of being performed.


Donor Intent:
All funds Ducks Unlimited receives from a donor are to be administered in accordance with the written intent of the donor and the gift acceptance policies established by the organization.

Given the dynamic, comprehensive nature of delivering our conservation mission, Ducks Unlimited encourages donors to consider and staff to seek unrestricted contributions as these gifts provide the organization with the greatest flexibility to meet our most pressing conservation and operational priorities. Gifts donated without express limitation will be credited to the unrestricted account to be used for general purposes.

A donor may specify directions for how a gift is to be used but may not include:

Gift Documentation: 
The determination of donor intent must be supported by gift documentation. Documentation may be in the form of:

DU will retain original gift documents in the donor's electronic and/or hard copy file at National Headquarters. Historical giving records, including names, dates, amounts and donor intent, will be maintained in reference databases. These databases will include the source of the donor's intent (i.e., pledge form, acknowledgement letter, etc.)

Initiative/Project Designation:
To ensure compliance with donor intent, Ducks Unlimited tracks gifts separately, accounts for the use of all restricted gifts, and passes the restriction on to partner organizations.

Matching gifts will be designated in accordance with the company's matching gift instructions; when there is no company matching gift instruction, gifts will be designated in accordance with the donor designation.

Fund Expenditure:
Ducks Unlimited will designate twenty percent (20%) of the amount of all new Major Sponsor commitments to the Conservation Reserve Allocation, which enables DU to take advantage of unanticipated conservation opportunities and support the costs of fundraising, conservation administration, and general operations.

DU strives to achieve a high level of efficiency each year, investing as much as possible into our conservation programs across the continent.

All allocable direct and indirect expenditures are eligible to fulfill gift purposes, unless other written instruction is provided by the donor (i.e., foundation that will not fund indirect costs).

Should future circumstances make it impossible or impractical for DU to use a gift for the purposes the donor intended, DU will consult with the donor (if available) to discuss using the gift for purposes as closely resembling the donor's original intent as possible.

Ducks Unlimited may include Major Sponsors on both printed and online donor recognition lists. Donors may request the degree of anonymity they prefer on a specific gift or pledge.


Compliance with donor intent, particularly proper gift designation, will be monitored by the Chief Fundraising Officer and periodically reported to the Finance and Development committees.

Approved by National Development Committee
Revised November 7, 2011