Please review the following information to familiarize yourself with our process for accepting donations of books and other materials for our Burns Library collections.
Donations of property involve certain legal considerations, and may have tax implications. While Burns Library staff are neither qualified nor permitted, as representatives of the receiving organization, to give you, as the prospective donor, specific legal or tax advice, we can help you to become more aware and better informed about such matters so that you can feel more confident in representing your interests and prepared to seek advice from appraisers and other experts if needed.
A gift agreement is a legal instrument that serves to document the transfer of property from a donor to an institution, like Burns Library, so that the institution can make the property available for public benefit.
We encourage prospective donors to read the following online guide published by the Society of American Archivists to acquaint themselves with the elements of gift agreements:
Burns Library requests donors to complete a gift agreement for donations of tangible property that have a monetary value of approximately $250 or more, or that involve the transfer of copyright or other special considerations. Smaller gifts may be acknowledged by a thank-you letter, which also serves to formally document acceptance of a donation.
All offers of books, manuscripts, and other collection materials must be inspected by Burns Library staff prior to their acceptance and the issue of donation documentation. You may be asked to deposit materials with staff for a limited period of time so that staff can review. In such cases, we will provide you with a receipt of temporary deposit. If your materials are not accepted, you will be asked to retrieve them or to allow us to dispose of them in accordance with our gift review policies.
Books, manuscripts, and other materials have market value as well as cultural, historical, and research value. As a prospective donor, you may wish to assess the financial worth of the materials you wish to donate to determine whether they would provide an appreciable tax benefit.
As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution chartered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston College is qualified to receive donations of tangible personal property for charitable purposes. All gifts to Boston College are tax deductible to the full extent allowable by law. BC’s federal tax ID number is 04-2103545.
As a prospective recipient of donations of personal property (i.e., donee), IRS regulations exclude employees of Boston College, including Burns Library staff, from serving as qualified appraisers to determine the fair market value of donated property for tax purposes. We can, however, help you become more informed about tax considerations pertaining to charitable donations of personal property and provide referrals to qualified appraisers. The IRS website includes a Tax Tip for "Things to Know About Deducting Charitable Contributions" that contains links to IRS Publication 526 (Charitable Contributions) and Publication 561 (Determining the Value of Donated Property) and other relevant publications and forms.