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Givzey Guidance: Can I Book a Verbal Pledge?

Updated: Apr 28

Can I Book a Verbal Pledge?
Can I Book a Verbal Pledge?

Question: Can I Book a Verbal Pledge?

A longtime major donor agreed to give $165,000. We reviewed the proposal together and she confirmed her commitment over dinner last night. I'm under some pressure to have this gift closed quickly. Can I book a verbal pledge? This is basically set in stone.


It's not uncommon for fundraisers to manage dozens, and entire organizations to have hundreds of outstanding verbal agreements. Can I book a verbal pledge? Unfortunately, no. You cannot book a verbal pledge.

Under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP),the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) set firm and clear guidelines, outlining the criteria for booking, or recording, gifts and pledges. According to FASB Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 116 only written pledges may be recorded and must include:

1. The amount of the pledge 2. A define payment schedule or due date 3. A designation, if applicable 4. Signature of the donor 5. Email correspondence from the donor will be considered as meeting the signature requirement


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