A Gift is defined as the voluntary contribution of external support by a donor to the College or School, without any requirement for receipt of any economic or other tangible benefit in return beyond what any general member of the public would receive. The contributor of a gift is referred to as the “donor” and the donor’s intent must be philanthropic or charitable. The primary beneficiary of a gift is the general public and not the donor.
Gifts typically carry no reciprocal obligations between donor and recipient, and are often unrelated to the business interests or mission of the donor. A gift generally has no time limit for its use and expenditure. A gift may be directed by a donor to support the work of a specific department or faculty member, but in these cases, the department or faculty member typically would have broad discretion as to the design and implementation of, and specific expenditures to support, specific academic activities for which funds received would be used. Although it is not unusual for a donor to expect a report on the general uses of funds donated (for example, a list of activities or projects that have been supported by a gift) or even a report on line-item expenses, a donor may not recoup gift funds. If a gift made for a restricted purpose has not, however, been spent according to the donor’s restrictions, a donor may have grounds to rescind and recoup the gifted funds.
Gift solicitation and acceptance should be coordinated with the appropriate development officer in each College or School. In situations in which the determination of gift vs. sponsored program award is not obvious, consult the Grants Offices (GO).