AFP Endorses CASE and NCPG Reporting Guidelines
April 28, 2007
(Apr. 30, 2007) The AFP board of directors has approved two different sets of guidelines related to reporting and counting charitable gifts, one developed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the other by the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG).
After reviewing the CASE Management and Reporting Standards and the NCPG Guidelines for Reporting and Counting Charitable Gifts, the board endorsed both sets of guidelines as legitimate ways to report fundraising results and issued the following statement:
“AFP recognizes the importance of standardization in the reporting of fundraising activities and results. Both the CASE Management and Reporting Standards and the NCPG Guidelines for Reporting and Counting Charitable Gifts provide legitimate ways to report fundraising activities and results to donors, volunteers, boards and staff in the United States. A given nonprofit organization might use both reporting formats, depending on whether the reports are for internal planning, donor recognition, accounting or benchmarking with other organizations.”
AFP created a Reporting Guidelines Task Force after NCPG asked AFP to review and endorse its proposed guidelines. Because AFP has previously endorsed the CASE standards in 1994, it decided to analyze both sets of guidelines to determine differences between the two and ensure both could be used effectively and would not cause confusion among members. The task force consisted of:
- Steve W. Batson, Ed.D., CFRE
- Claudia A. Looney, FAHP
- William M. Moran, FAHP, ACFRE
- E. Ramone Segree, CFRE
- Robert F. Sharpe Jr.
Differences Between the Standards
The primary differences between the CASE standards and the NCPG guidelines are:
- CASE standards include outright or irrevocable gifts only; the NCPG guidelines include revocable gifts as well as outright and irrevocable gifts.
- CASE standards focus on deductible transactions and valuation of gifts based on IRS guidelines; the NCPG guidelines include all meaningful development activity, including planned giving, and gifts are reported as face value numbers.
For example, a nonprofit might choose to use the CASE standards for accounting purposes and for comparing the value of funds raised across organizations or years, but choose to use the NCPG guidelines for internal reports on progress toward campaign goals. The advantage of the CASE approach is that it offers a straightforward set of unified results, and the results reported are comparable across organizations. The advantage of the NCPG approach is that progress can be reported in different categories, including outright gifts, irrevocable deferred gifts and revocable gifts. Use of the NCPG guidelines also allows the organization to recognize donors for their deferred gifts at the face value of the gift and at the time the gift is committed.
Purpose and Consistency
When choosing the type of report that is most useful for a given situation, AFP emphasizes that it is important to be clear about the purpose of the report—whether it be accounting based on generally accepted accounting principles; valuation (a reflection of the present value of the ultimate purchasing power of the gift); summarizing activities; results and progress toward goals; or crediting (providing appropriate recognition to donors for their gifts).
It is also important to be consistent in the type of reporting used over time. For example, if the NCPG guidelines are used for progress reports to the board, the same report format should be used throughout the reporting period. If CASE standards are used for accounting and valuation of gifts for management purposes, they should be used consistently from year to year.
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