About this Policy
Gifts and Gift Pledges
Policy Number: 22205
Campus Advancement Office
UM System Controller
Campus Accounting Office
- Reason for Policy
- Policy Statement
- Related Information
This policy outlines how to properly solicit, accept, record and account for Gifts and Gift Pledges received by the University.
To ensure controls are followed for the accurate solicitation, acceptance and recording of all Gifts and Gift Pledges received by the University.
The University receives Gifts and Gift Pledges in many forms and from different groups of individuals and organizations. This policy provides guidance on how to solicit, accept, record and process Gifts and Gift Pledges. The campus Advancement offices are responsible for managing the Gift and Gift Pledge program for each campus.
Solicitation of Gifts
All university employees involved in fund raising and solicitation of Gifts will coordinate with campus Advancement. This is necessary to avoid duplication and proliferation. Individual Gift solicitations of a routine nature need not have University endorsement but should be cleared, in advance, with campus Advancement.
Proposals for campaigns, special Gift solicitations, Gift level clubs, and solicitation of corporations, business foundations and associations and annual giving programs must be approved by campus Advancement.
Acceptance of Gifts
All Gifts - Authority to accept Gifts on behalf of the University shall be limited to the Board of Curators and to the President under the powers delegated by the Board. The receipt of a Gift by any University employee or department does not constitute acceptance and is conditional pending acceptance by the President and/or Board of Curators or their delegees. Campus Advancement reviews and evaluates all Gift terms prior to official acceptance by the Board, the President or their delegees. Campus Advancement will consult with University General Counsel as needed during the evaluation.
Marketable Securities - Gifts of Marketable Securities, which include stocks, bonds and mutual funds publicly tradeable within the United States, are processed and accepted by Advancement Services on Columbia campus. For purposes of this policy, securities bearing restrictions on transferability, securities tradeable only on foreign exchanges, closely held stock, and partnership interests are generally not acceptable gifts; exceptions in limited circumstances may be granted by the Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations or their delegee in consultation with the Office of General Counsel; exception approval must be obtained prior to any communication of potential or actual acceptance to the donor.
Real Estate - Gifts of real estate must be evaluated by the UM Department of Real Estate (“UM Real Estate Office”) prior to authorization to accept the Gift. The property evaluation shall include: usefulness, value, marketability, condition and potential hazardous situations, as well as an analysis of the administrative or fiscal resources needed to accept the Gift. UM Real Estate Office will consult with University General Counsel as needed during the evaluation. UM Real Estate Office will work with the campus Advancement to recommend whether it is in the best interest of the University to accept the Gift, and forward such recommendation to the Board or President or their delegee for acceptance.
Other Non-Cash Gifts - When a Non-Cash Gift other than Marketable Securities, vehicle or real estate is received, campus Advancement and the campus department receiving the Gift will collectively recommend whether it is in the best interest of the University to accept the Gift, and forward such recommendation to the Board or President or their delegee for acceptance. Non-Cash gifts other than Marketable Securities may take substantial time to evaluate and/or process, and may be rejected at the discretion of the Board, the President, or their delegee. Approval must be obtained prior to any communication of potential or actual acceptance to the donor.
Receipt of Gifts
All Gifts received by a department must be reported to campus Advancement within 24 hours of receipt of the Gift. A completed Advice of Gift Received form (AOG) (UM9a or equivalent within the CRR application) providing documentation that outlines the restriction or designation for use of the Gift funds must accompany the notification to Advancement.
Note: Gifts made payable to affiliated organizations and foundations are not considered a Gift to the University until the organization or foundation transmits the Gift to the University.
Valuation of Gifts
Gifts are valued based on the type of Gift received. The valuation method used for each type of Gifts is as follows:
- Cash Gifts - Cash Gifts are valued at face value.
- Marketable Securities Gifts (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) - The Advancement Services on Columbia Campus will value any Gift of securities as of the date the Gift is irrevocably in the hands of the University, and in accordance with IRS guidelines.
- Real Estate Gifts – Prior to acceptance of title to a Gift of real estate, the UM Real Estate Office works with campus Advancement to notify the donor an appraisal is needed. The donor will be asked by campus Advancement to arrange and provide an appraisal of the property as soon as practical but no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date title to the gifted real estate is to be transferred. The final value will not be determined or entered into the General Ledger until it has been accepted by the University. The value will then be determined as of the date of the transfer by making any appropriate adjustments to the final value, based on the UM Real Estate Office's due diligence including, if necessary, ordering an updated appraisal.
- Vehicle Gifts (automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats and aircraft) - The donor establishes the fair market value of the vehicle on the date of the donation. The fair market value cannot exceed the private party sales price listed in a used vehicle pricing guide for the same make, model, year, mileage and condition of the vehicle. This policy applies to Gifts of qualified vehicles as determined by IRS regulations. Qualified vehicles include motor vehicles manufactured primarily for use on public streets (automobile, truck, motorcycle, recreational vehicle), and boats and aircraft.
- Other Non-Cash Gifts – The University does not provide appraisals on non-Cash Gifts. For Gifts that are valued at $5,000 or less, the value is recorded at the amount provided by the donor. For Gifts valued greater than $5,000, an independent appraisal is not required if the valuation can be documented with readily available market value information for standard pricing of commercial goods and services. Acceptable documentation would include an itemized receipt, detailed billing statement, etc. An independent appraisal provided by the donor is required when there is not readily available market value information. If the value of the non-cash Gift (excluding Marketable Securities) was greater than $5,000 and the University sells the item(s) within a three year period, the receiving department has the responsibility of notifying the campus Advancement office, who will work with the Controller’s Office to prepare IRS form 8282 – Donee Information Return.
Recording and Acknowledgement of Gifts
Campus Advancement is responsible for recording Gifts in the donor tracking system and acknowledging the Gift by sending the official receipt to the donor as required by IRS regulations. Gift financial data feeds to the University’s finance system on a daily basis from Advancement’s donor database. Campus Advancement is responsible for verifying the accuracy of daily Gift processing between the two systems. Reconciliations are to be prepared to ensure the accuracy of Gift revenue presented in the campus and university financial statements at least annually.
Gifts From Employees
Employees can donate their own personal funds as a Gift to the University. When the employee’s Gift is to be spent on projects or activities that are under their direction or their department’s direction, the funds must not benefit, or appear to benefit, the employee that donated the money. Funds of this nature may not be applied in any way to provide a personal benefit, such as salary, travel, or scholarships and may not be fully deductible by the employee for federal tax purposes if there is a Direct or Indirect Personal Benefit to the employee. Gifts received from employees through a payroll deduction must have a Payroll Deduction Form completed by the employee and sent to the advancement office.
Management and Expenditure of Gifts
Management and expenditure of all Gift monies is the responsibility of the University administration under the Board of Curators and all Gifts shall be expended as required by the donor subject to the approval and acceptance of terms by the President and/or the Board of Curators. Campus departments that are the recipients of the Gifts are responsible for utilizing the funds consistent with any restrictions specified by the donor(s). Undesignated Gifts will be allocated where the need is the greatest under a procedure approved by the President, consistent with Board of Curators policies and based on written proposals submitted to the President.
Gifts with a promise to give at a future date are recorded in accordance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Statement No. 33 (GASB33) as Pledge receivables. Provided that the Pledges are verifiable and the resources are measurable and probable of collection, Gift Pledges are reported as follows:
- Revenues and receivables should be recognized (net of estimated uncollectible amounts) when all eligibility requirements have been met or when resources are received, whichever comes first.
- Conditional Gift Pledges should not be recorded in the General Ledger but should be monitored by campus Advancement until such condition is satisfied.
- If Unrestricted Gift resources or Temporarily Restricted Gift resources are transmitted in advance of all conditions, including time requirements being satisfied, the transaction should be recorded as deferred Gift revenue.
- Permanently Restricted Gifts and deferred Gifts such as planned Gifts or trusts, with a conditional time stipulation that the resources cannot be sold, disbursed, or documented until after a specified number of years have passed or a specific event has occurred, if ever, the recording of the resources should occur only when they are received. No Gift Pledge revenue or receivables are recognized since the time requirements have not been met.
Allowance on Doubtful Pledges Receivable
The calculation for the allowance on doubtful Pledges receivable takes into account the discounted net present values and the historical collection rate on the Pledges. The discounted net present value on Pledges due in more than one year, based on the Pledges Receivable Aging, is calculated based on a discount rate equal to the current interest rate on the most recent borrowing rate for the University, as supplied by the UM Treasurer’s Office.
The historical collection rates on Pledges are provided by the Advancement Office and uses the last 3 years of pledge data to calculate an average collection rate. The historical collection rate along with the discounted net present values are used to calculate the allowance for doubtful Pledges receivable.
Recording Pledges Receivable, Net
Pledges Receivable are recorded on the University’s financial statements in accordance with GASB, with the portion that is due in one year recorded as Current Pledges Receivable and Pledges receivable due in more than one year recorded as Long-Term Pledges Receivable. Both receivable balances are reported on the financial statements net of the allowance for doubtful Pledges receivable.
Advancement Services on Columbia Campus - the advancement office at the Columbia campus that performs centralized business functions for all four campuses, or other office(s) serving an equivalent function for all University campuses.
Campus Advancement - the advancement or development office at each campus, or other office(s) serving an equivalent function for the campus.
Gift - a voluntary transfer of funds, property or other items of value by a person or organization to the University without any consideration of value or compensation to the donor.
Gifts do not include Gifts made payable to affiliated organizations and foundations (including Gifts to agency funds administered by the University) and does not include exchange transactions, such as grants, endowment earnings, student activity fees or other monies from sales and/or services.
Cash Gifts - any Gift received by cash, check, debit card, credit card, wire transfers, or payroll deductions.
Gift Pledge - a promise of cash or other assets voluntarily given to the University at a future date or in incremental dates with or without purpose restrictions or time requirements.
Marketable Securities - includes stocks, bonds, and mutual funds publicly tradeable within the United States, but excludes securities bearing restrictions on transferability, foreign securities, closely held stock, and partnership interests.
Non-Cash Gift - intangibles, securities, services, personal property, collectibles, real estate, materials, long-lived assets. Note: Contributions of services are recognized, for accounting purposes only, if the services received (a) create or enhance non-financial assets or (b) require specialized skills, are provided by individuals possessing those skills, and would typically need to be purchased if not provided by donation.
Non-Exchange Transaction - One party gives (or receives) something without directly receiving (or giving) something of equal value in return.
Value - monetary worth or measurable usefulness, importance or general worth for something exchanged.
Conditional Gift Pledge - a Gift promise dependent upon the occurrence of some future and uncertain event to bind the donor. The determination of whether a condition exists for the pledge is related to the pledge receivable in the general ledger only. For a full listing of questions to determine the GASB reportability of a pledge, please see the GASB 33 checklist.
Direct or Indirect Personal Benefit - a direct personal benefit includes a gift contributed to the University for which the donor (including employee donors) receives something in exchange. This includes salaries to the employee donor, scholarships to the donor’s chosen individual recipient, and employee donor travel. Indirect personal benefit includes a gift contributed to the University for which the donor (including employees of donors) receives a benefit of some kind for making the gift. This could include directing of scholarships to an individual of their choice but outside of their family, directing a gift for the purpose of advancing ones own career, or any other real or perceived personal benefit to the donor.
Unrestricted Gift - the donor has not placed any restrictions as to the method or purpose of expenditure. The University determines the appropriate use of the funds.
Temporarily Restricted Gift - the donor has imposed definite restrictions, which may stipulate a specific purpose for the use of the funds or require that the Gift be used only after a specific time period has elapsed, or both. Use of funds can occur only to the extent that the stipulations attached to the funds have been fulfilled.
Permanently Restricted Gift - indefinite restrictions have been placed on the use of the funds.
UM System Office of Investments:
Accepting or rejecting other Gifts pursuant to the extent delegated by the Board or President
UM System Real Estate Office:
Recommending for acceptance, valuing and processing Gifts of real estate
UM System Controller's Office:
- Reconcile the bank accounts receiving deposits of Cash Gifts
- Calculation of Allowance on Doubtful Pledge Receivable
- Calculation of Discounted Net Present Value on Pledge Receivable
- Record fiscal year end journals for Net Pledge Receivable Current and Long-Term
Advancement Services on Columbia campus:
- Accepting, valuing and processing Gifts of Marketable Securities
Campus Advancement Offices:
- Handle Cash Gifts received
- Balance the cash received to daily input
- Ensure accuracy of Gifts and Gift Pledges received
- Maintains the donor tracking system (Advance) as a record of Gift receipts and Gift Pledges
- Balance and reconcile the feed of Gift transactions into the financial system
- Review and evaluate all Gift terms prior to official acceptance by the University through the Board, President or their delegee
- Ensure a Pledge Checklist has been completed accurately for all Pledges exceeding $1,000
- Monitor Pledges for extinguishment of contingency to then record and recognize as a Non-Exchange Transaction
- Acknowledge Gifts and sends an official receipt to the donor as required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Reconcile all gift-related clearing accounts
- Prepare the following schedules:
- Pledges Outstanding Roll-forward - A Roll-forward of Pledges outstanding from the prior year end to the current year end including Prior Year Balance, Write-offs, New Pledges, Pledge Payments, Ending Balance
- Pledges Receivable Aging - A Pledges Receivable Aging listing segregated by year in which the Pledges are to be received. The totals on the Aging must agree to the Ending Balance totals represented in the Pledges Outstanding Roll-forward
- Historical Collection Rate
Campus Finance Offices:
- When appropriate, the campus finance office is responsible for reviewing capital Gifts and monitoring the Asset Management System to reflect the Gift.
- Review the finance system at a high level on a periodic basis, but no less than annually, to ensure thatGift revenue presented in the campus and university financial statements accurately, focusing on Non-Cash Gifts.
- Review and submit the following schedules, prepared by the advancement office, subsequent to fiscal year end to the UM System Controller's Office:
- Pledges Outstanding Roll-forward
- Pledges Receivable Aging
- Historical Collection Rate
- Notify campus Advancement of all Gifts received within 24 hours and provide information regarding donor restrictions on the Gift funds
- Handle Gift monies received in accordance with University policy
- Manage and expend Gift funds consistent with donor wishes
- Coordinate with the donor and make arrangements for the delivery of the Gift to an agreed upon location and notify the campus Advancement office of the location
Cash Received Reports (CRR/ARR): https://fscf.umsystem.edu/crr/intro.cfm
This policy was updated in May 2023 to include clarifications on acceptance of gifts, including but not limited to, the acceptance of marketable securities and other non-cash gifts.
This policy combines the following former policies:
- Accounting Policy Manual 45.05 - Processing Cash Gifts (revised 5/10/2012)
- Accounting Policy Manual 45.10 - Non Cash Gifts (revised 5/14/2007)
- Accounting Policy Manual 45.15.05 – Processing Gift Pledges (revised 5/14/2007)
- Accounting Policy Manual 45.15.10 – Pledge Checklist (revised 7/1/2011)
- Accounting Policy Manual 45.40 - Reconciliation of Gifts to General Ledger ( revised 7/8/2011)
- Business Policy Manual 106 - Solicitation of Gifts (revised 5/1/1990)
- Business Policy Manual 212 -Gifts - Processing (revised 2/18/1991)