SPECIAL EVENTS PAYMENT GUIDELINES
Source: Guidelines for Accepting Donor Advised Fund Contributions, published October 1, 2016 by ACT, Asian Art Museum, Berkeley Rep, California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of Art, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco Ballet, SFMoMA, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony.
Under federal law governing donor-advised funds, it is not permissible for donors to split, or “bifurcate,” payments for tables or tickets when a portion of the purchase is not tax-deductible. This means that donors may not recommend a grant through a donor-advised fund for the deductible portion of a table or ticket purchase and then pay the non-deductible portion from a personal source.
If a portion of event admission is not tax deductible, your donor-advised fund can support the event in the following ways:
- If you would like to attend an event and make an additional contribution, you may pay the full price of admission (non-deductible and deductible portions) from a personal source outside of your donor-advised fund. Then, you may recommend a grant from your donor-advised fund. Our cultural organizations are pleased to recognize both your personal and donor-advised fund contributions in all event-related materials.
- If you purchase a table or tickets and donate them back to the organization (and not attend the event), you may recommend a grant from your donor-advised fund, noting that the requested table or tickets shall be donated back to the organization.
SF Ballet will accept payments from private foundations for tickets for Gala and Student Showcase, as these events are associated with performances that allow a foundation to evaluate the Company or School for a potential grant. We cannot accept payments from foundations for Fashion Show, since there is no performance or dancer training component to the event.
A foundation can pay for the full price of the ticket(s) if the purchase meets the following conditions:
- The foundation has a formal policy allowing directors or staff to attend special events at the foundation’s expense in order to evaluate the non-profit for a grant. It only applies to directors or staff and does not include spouses or partners or others who are not directors or staff. Spouses and partners may be permissible only if they have a genuine, official responsibility within the foundation and are attending the event on behalf of the foundation.
- The directors or staff are attending the event in an official capacity.
The award letter from the foundation should specifically cite both the foundation’s policy and that the directors or staff are acting in an official capacity during their attendance at the event. We cannot process the purchase without this, or comparable, language.
The foundation will be listed as the ticket-buyer in all relevant materials: invitations, programs, and publications.
There can be no bifurcation between the donation portion and the goods and services. The foundation must pay for the full price of the ticket.
Similar to rules governing donor-advised funds, it is not permissible for donors to split, or “bifurcate,” payments for tables or tickets using a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). See explanation under “Donor Advised Funds” above on ways you can support the event with a gift from your IRA. The individual will be recognized in all relevant materials: invitations, programs, and publications.
An individual must be 70 ½ to qualify for this option, as that is the age at which the tax law allows individuals to make charitable distributions from their IRA.
These special events payment guidelines were last updated on October 5, 2022. For questions, please contact the SF Ballet Special Events Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynn Eve Komaromi, Senior Director of Individual Giving at email@example.com or 415-865-6638.