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Gift Accounting

Revised: July 1, 2007

Also refer to Signature Authority Policy

Table of Contents

Gift Accounting Policy
IRS Regulations
Gift Acceptance Committee Defined
Non-Cash Gift Defined
Fair Market Value Defined
Conditional Gift Defined
Calculating Fair Market Value for Securities
University Development Responsibilities
Business & Finance Division Responsibilities
Department Responsibilities
Gifts Received by Departments
Related Policies
Additional Information


Gift accounting policy

The University complies with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations for gifts. The Gift Acceptance Committee must review all potential gifts where issues relating to restriction, terms or valuation are involved. The University will not assign a value to non-cash gifts nor will the University provide or pay for an independent appraisal. Non-cash gifts are recorded at fair market value on the date the gift is received. The University does not record gifts or pledges that are conditional until such time as the conditions are met.

IRS regulations

The University provides donors with written acknowledgements for gifts received. The value of any consideration provided to a donor (i.e., tickets, meals, etc.) is included on the acknowledgement as these amounts are not considered contributions by the IRS.

Gift Acceptance Committee defined

The Gift Acceptance Committee is staffed by individuals drawn from the Business and Finance Division, University Development Office, and Office of the Provost. Their purpose is to review and make recommendations on whether to accept potential gifts where issues relating to restrictions, terms, or valuations may arise.

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Non-cash gift defined

Gifts other than cash or checks. Non-cash gifts include, but are not limited to:

  • securities,
  • property (both real estate and personal),
  • inventory,
  • contributed services, and/or
  • deferred instruments (i.e., bequests, life insurance, etc.)

Note: Gifts of property ≥ $5,000 to be held by the University must be tagged and entered into the University's property control system. See the Capital Assets Management Policy for additional information.

Fair market value defined

Value of an item based upon what a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept in an arms' length transaction (i.e., a transaction between two unrelated parties). Generally fair market value is determined by an independent appraisal. The University will not determine fair market value except for gifts of securities.

Conditional gift defined

A gift or pledge that depends on the occurrence of a specified future and uncertain event. Financial Accounting Standard (FASB) 116 prohibits the University from recording conditional gifts or pledges until the stipulated conditions are met.

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Calculating fair market value for securities

Fair market value for securities is the average high and low on the date the University sells the asset. The high and low price is determined by University Development.

University Development responsibilities

University Development is responsible for:

  • Receiving and acknowledging all gifts made to the University,
  • Compliance with all IRS regulations for acknowledgements and reporting,
  • Working with donor to complete IRS Form 8283, as necessary, and forwarding to Controller,
  • Depositing all funds with the University's cashiers in accordance with Receipts Handling Policy.

Business & Finance Division responsibilities

The Business & Finance Division is responsible for:

  • Insuring that all cash receipts are properly deposited with the University's financial institutions,
  • Gifts are properly recorded and reported in the University's financial records,
  • Completing and/or filing IRS forms as necessary,
  • Insuring any tangible property gifts.

Department responsibilities

Departments are responsible for:

  • Insuring that all gifts received by the department (see Gifts received by departments below) are delivered immediately to Development along with a completed Gift Report Form,
  • Insuring that gifts benefiting departments are spent in accordance with donor wishes,
  • Complying with Capital Assets Management Policy for any gifts of capital equipment to be held.

Gifts received by departments

All gifts should be sent by donors directly to University Development for processing. In the event a department receives a gift of cash or checks, the department must deliver the gift(s) to University Development on the same date received. The envelope containing the cash/check gift(s) must also be submitted to University Development.

Note: Departments are not authorized to accept non-cash gifts on behalf of the University.

Related policies

University Policies

Gift Acceptance Policy

Business Policies & Procedures

Capital Assets Management Policy

Gift Disposition Policy

Receipts Handling Policy

Additional information

Contact University Development for additional information.

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