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Records Retention and Destruction Policy

The Delaware County Foundation will maintain records necessary for legal, financial, and operational purposes, while minimizing office file and storage space requirements. 

To achieve these objectives, the Records Retention Schedule attached to this Policy is hereby adopted along with the following guidelines:

  • Retention Period begins with the last day of the year in which the record is dated.
  • Records may be discarded or destroyed at any time following the Retention Period. The manner of discard or destruction will be determined with respect to individual privacy and corporate integrity.
  • Notwithstanding the scheduled retention years, documents may be retained for longer periods at the discretion of the Foundation President.
  • In the event the Foundation receives notice of pending or actual litigation or government investigation or if it appears reasonably foreseeable that such litigation or investigation may occur, the related records will be retained indefinitely. 
  • In most cases, records created and maintained within reliable electronic recordkeeping systems shall serve as the official record copy.

Retention / Destruction of E-mail Documents

Work related e-mail is a Foundation record and must be treated as such. It is the responsibility of the Foundation sender of the email message from the Foundation and the Foundation recipient of messages from outside the Foundation to manage email messages according to the Community Foundation’s records retention policy. E-mail that does not meet the definition of a Foundation record (i.e., personal e-mail or junk e-mail) should be deleted from the system right away.

Electronic Records

This policy applies to all electronic records. Staff should determine whether a document should be held in paper or electronic format, if it exists in both. Either the paper version should be destroyed and the electronic version maintained for the time requirements of this policy, or the electronic version deleted and the paper version maintained for the time requirements of this policy. Duplication of records in both electronic and paper format is unnecessary and cumbersome. If an employee has performed Foundation-related work on his or her home computer, laptop, or other device, any records or documents should be transferred at the earliest possible time to a Foundation-owned computer and deleted from the personal device. This ensures that the document will be maintained under this policy.

Periodic Destruction 

Documents from the preceding list will periodically be destroyed after the time requirement has been met. In each case records should be retained for the longer of the periods specified in the “Legal Purposes” and the “Business Purposes” columns. 

Other documents that will be destroyed due to their confidential nature include, but are not limited to: budget drafts, drafts of fund agreements (would include donor name), internal reports (gift history, donor history, contribution history, etc.), donor lists, anything listing account numbers or donor names/addresses.


 Category of File  Item Retention Period(Legal Purposes) Retention Period (Business Purposes) 
Corporate RecordsArticles of IncorporationPermanentPermanent
 Board meeting agendas & materials7 years7 years
 Board and committee meeting minutes PermanentPermanent
 Board of Trustees Conflict of Interest disclosure forms7 years7 years 
 Trustee files (info on individual trustees including correspondence)7 years after end of servicePermanent
Finance & AdministrationAccounts payable ledger7 years7 years
 Accounts receivable ledger7 years7 years
 Auditor management lettersPermanentPermanent
 Bank deposits & statements4 years7 years
 Chart of accounts7 years7 years
 Check register & checks7 years7 years
 Contracts & agreements7 years after all obligations endPermanent
 Correspondence – general7 years7 years
 Equipment files & maintenance records7 years after disposition7 years
 Expense reports7 years7 years
 Financial statements (audited)Permanent 
 IRS Form I-9 (store separate from personnel file)Greater of 1 year after end of service, or 3 yearsSame as legal requirement
 General ledgers & journals (includes bank reconciliations, fund accounting by month, payouts allocation, securities lending, single fund allocation, trust statements)7 years7 years

Insurance files  
     Policies – occurrence typePermanentPermanent
     Policies – claims-made type7 yearsPermanent
     Accident reports7 years7 years
     Fire inspection reports7 years7 years
     Group disability records7 years after end of benefits7 years
 Safety (OSHA) reports (if applicable)Permanent7 years
     Claims (after settlement)7 years7 years
 Investment performance reports7 years7 years
 Investment manager correspondence7 years7 years
 Investment manager contracts7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
 Investment consultant reports7 years7 years
 Journal entries7 years7 years
 Payroll records3 yearsPermanent
 Real estate  
   Leases (expired)7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
   Mortgages, security agreements7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
   Purchase agreements7 years after disposition of propertySame as legal requirement
 Correspondence with legal counsel or accountants, not otherwise listed7 years after return is filedSame as legal requirement
 IRS exemption determination & related correspondencePermanentPermanent
   Tax audit closing lettersPermanentPermanent
   Tax returnsPermanentPermanent
 Timecards3 years3 years
 Withholding tax statements7 years7 years
DevelopmentFund agreements (signed)PermanentPermanent
 Fund correspondence relating to terms of the fundPermanentPermanent
 Gift acknowledgments7 years7 years
 Gift solicitations7 years after final distribution of funds received in response to solicitationSame as legal requirement
 Trust agreements7 years after termination of trustPermanent
 Trust correspondence7 years after termination of trustPermanent
CommunicationsAnnual reports7 yearsPermanent (5 copies)
 Other publications7 yearsPermanent (2 copies)
 Photos7 yearsPermanent
 Press clippingsn/aPermanent
 Press releases7 yearsPermanent
 Research reports/surveysn/a5 years
 Year-end reportsn/a10 years 
Program / GrantmakingApproved grants – all documentation supporting grant payment, including application/recommendation, due diligence, grant agreement letters, and grant transmittal letters.7 years after completion of funded program, or date of grant if general operating supportSame as legal requirement
 Approved grants – post grant reporting information, outcome analysis.PermanentPermanent
 Records from advisory committee, including minutes, if any and lists of grants recommended for approval.7 years7 years   
 Scholarship grant records, including applications if Foundation participates in selection decisions 7 years7 years
 Declined/withdrawn grant applications3 years3 years
 Funding requests (denied)3 years3 years
 Funding requests, correspondence and reports (funding received)7 years after completion of programSame as legal requirement

Philanthropic Consulting Services
Consulting contracts7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
Human ResourcesBenefits:  retirement plans (plan descriptions, plan documents)PermanentPermanent
 Consultant contracts/files (expired)7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
 Contracts with employees 7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
 Disability & sick-benefit records7 years after claim datePermanent
 Employment applications3 years3 years 
 Employee handbooksPermanentPermanent
 Employee orientation & training materials7 years after use endsSame as legal requirement
 Employee personnel filesPermanentPermanent
 Resumes3 years3 years
 Workers comp claims (after settlement)7 years7 years
TechnologySoftware licenses & support agreements7 years after all obligations endSame as legal requirement
LibraryAnnual reports for other foundationsn/a2 years
 Directoriesn/a2 years
 Periodicalsn/a2 years

Amended 3-17-21