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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Gift-in-Kind?

A gift-in-kind is any non-monetary gift to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Common examples include art, hats/ chemo caps, books, and toys.

What Gifts-in-Kind are acceptable?

Please find guidelines designed to help with specific forms of gifts-in-kind:

Any offers to donate works of art are handled by The Society of MSK Art Committee.

As space becomes available, we do gratefully accept donations of hard and soft cover books.

Hats/Chemo Caps
Cancer patients benefit from knitted/crocheted hats during the winter—and brimmed hats and lightweight caps during the spring and summer. Hats may be purchased or hand-made and should be constructed of soft fabric that will not irritate sensitive skin. For infection control and patient comfort, the fabric must be new. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept used donations.

Wig Donation
Due to hygiene concerns, MSK is unfortunately no longer able to accept donations of used wigs.

Pediatrics Department
All donated items should be new, sealed and unused.

For both patient safety and privacy, donors are not permitted to distribute gifts directly to patients and families. Also, MSK policy precludes any form of business advertising; e.g., items bearing company business cards or logos.

Gifts to Clinicians

MSK understands that patients are thankful to clinicians for the care they receive, and sometimes wish to express their gratitude through gift giving. Hospital staff are required to adhere to strict compliance guidelineswhich can be provided upon request.

Who is responsible for Gifts-in-Kind?

MSK’s Development Department oversees gifts-in-kind. All gifts-in-kind policies have been carefully and thoughtfully developed to protect patient safety, comfort, and confidentiality.

What should I consider in giving or receiving a gift-in-kind for MSK?

MSK employees play a critical role in facilitating gifts-in-kind, which bring our patients comfort and respite. In considering a gift-in-kind, several criteria are helpful:

  • Is it relevant to the work of the MSK? As a general rule, MSK accepts only gifts that further our mission, including our utmost concern for both patient safety and privacy.
  • Will the gift cost MSK money in the future, such as maintenance, repair, or preservation costs?
  • Will the gift require a special facility in which to house it? Due to a space shortage, and the high costs associated with storing items, MSK is limited in the items it can accept.
Does MSK determine the value of gifts-in-kind?

MSK does not place a monetary value on gifts-in-kind donations, or appraise gifts-in-kind for tax purposes. MSK gratefully acknowledges receipt of pre-approved gifts, but does not assign actual values. Donors requiring this information should arrange for materials to be appraised prior to donation and must assume the appraisal costs.

Do gifts-in-kind include gifts for special occasions, like birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, and anniversaries?

MSK has a special occasion giving program to facilitate gifts like these. To learn more, please check out the many ways to give to learn more about this program.

Someone is interested in making a gift-in-kind, and would like media coverage of the donation. Whom do I contact?

Patient comfort and privacy are MSK’s top priority. In consideration of our patients, no media coverage or involvement is allowed unless previously reviewed, approved and arranged through the MSK Public Affairs Department. Also, impromptu donation “ceremonies” are not permitted in any Center location—nor are cameras (personal or otherwise) for “ceremonies.”

What will happen to gifts-in-kind that don’t meet MSK’s criteria?

Whenever possible, donated items not meeting criteria will be passed on to other community organizations or returned to the donor. Due to health and safety reasons, we cannot accept gifts that are to be given directly to patients other than those listed.