WHAT IS A GIFT?
While the University is the legal recipient of all gifts, for accounting purposes each gift must be associated with a University subdivision called herein the receiving unit.
A gift is a contribution received for the benefit of the University for either unrestricted or restricted use in furtherance of the University's mission and that requires nothing in exchange beyond an assurance that the intent of the contribution shall be honored. If a donor receives benefits in return for a contribution, the amount of the gift recorded and reported will be reduced by the fair market value of all benefits given, in accordance with IRS regulations.
A non-charitable gift is a donation that is not eligible to receive an IRS tax deduction. Examples include:
- Advertising income;
- Appraisal costs;
- Shipping costs;
- Contract revenues;
- Contract services;
- Educational discounts;
- Expense reimbursements associated with transferring a gift to the University;
- Gifts for fraternities, sororities, or student social clubs—with the exception scholarship funds—do not qualify because they are not operated exclusively for educational purposes according to IRS 18.104.22.168.5;
- Government funds (local, state, federal, or foreign) including disbursements from Tribal governments and their private enterprises;
- Quid pro quo amounts;
- Merchandise sale proceeds, unless the merchandise is sold as part of a fundraising program and the charitable portion of the gift transaction is clearly identified;
- Affinity agreement royalties (e.g., pouring rights, alumni partnerships);
- Scholarship recipient namings (i.e., instances in which a donor stipulates a specific student as the recipient of scholarship or tuition funds);
- Frequent flier miles;
- Series EE savings bonds;
- Software; or
A grant is a contribution that typically comes from a corporation, foundation, or other organization (not an individual) for either unrestricted or restricted use in furthering the mission of the University. Some grants may have special reporting requirements. In rare cases where a difference of interpretation arises, the Vice President of Research and Vice President of Advancement shall determine the proper processing and administration of the grant. Grants from private sources that require no exchange transactions are counted in fundraising progress reports.
A written agreement or other formal instrument in which there is mutual agreement to terms that bind the University to any legal obligation. Typically, at least one party to the agreement is external to the University. A contract may be in the form of an agreement, proposal, statement, notice, resolution, letter, memorandum of understanding (MOU), memorandum of agreement (MOA), purchase order, license, indenture, grant, cooperative agreement, et al. CASE Reporting Standards mandate that contracts be excluded from fundraising progress reports.
A pledge is a commitment from an individual or other entity to give a specific dollar amount in scheduled installments. All pledges, excluding annual fund phonathon pledges, are required to be in writing. In rare cases, a pledge may be recorded without formal documentation, upon approval of the Vice President of Advancement.
A planned gift is a donation from an individual or other entity that the University will receive in the future. Generally, planned gifts are either revocable (i.e., can be changed by the donor at any time) or irrevocable (i.e., cannot be changed by the donor once the gift is made). The benefit to the donor depends on gift type and revocability. Types of planned gifts include simple bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, life insurance policies, retained life estates, or other instances where the University is named as a beneficiary.