Accepting and Managing Gifts
Frequently Asked Questions
- I received a gift for a student organization; do I send it to the Foundation?
If the student organization is an approved campus life program, you should forward the gift to the appropriate Foundation for processing.
If the student organization is a registered student organization, gifts should be made payable and sent directly to the registered student organization. The Foundation does not accept gifts for registered student organizations. The gifts may not qualify as a charitable gift depending on the status of the registered student organization.
- Can gifts of securities or payments from a donor advised fund be used for partially deductible donations?
All gifts of securities and payments from donor advised funds must be 100% tax deductible.
- Can a faculty or staff member make a charitable donation to a recognized Foundation?
Yes, faculty and staff are encouraged to give to support programs at the university.
- Can a faculty or staff member provide funds to the University in support of their own work or to control its use at the University?
Yes, and however it is not a charitable donation and is not accepted by a recognized Foundation. The funds are directed to the University of Minnesota and should be treated like a non-gift eligible sponsorship. The responsibility for how funds are allocated for use rests with the Dean of the College.
- Can a faculty member direct honorarium or consulting payments to the University as a gift?
No, see the Constructive Receipt of Income tax guide (Tax Management Office Guide (TMOG) #7) located at the University’s Tax Management webpage.
Once the University has received the money, it must follow the same rules the University uses to avoid imputation of income to a faculty member when the University either pays expenses on behalf of the faculty member or reimburses the faculty member for business expenses.
- Can a donor earmark a charitable gift to be directed to a specific individual?
No, a charitable gift must benefit the University of Minnesota and a payment directed to a specific individual does not qualify as a charitable gift.
- The University is sponsoring a conference. It is funded through registration fees, funding from University departments, and individual sponsorships or grants from outside sources. Are the sponsorships or grants from outside sources a gift? Do they need to be reported to a recognized foundation?
The recognized Foundations can accept sponsorship or grants from outside sources depending on the terms of the sponsorship or grant. Please consult the Classifying and Recording Sponsorships for University-Hosted Events/Activities Policy or the Gift, Grant or External Sales Classification Group as noted in the contacts section of this policy to determine next steps based on the terms of the sponsorship or grant.
- Each year we get $20,000 from several corporations to belong to our corporate affiliates program. It allows them to interview graduate students first, send three people to our annual conference and get advance releases of articles and theses. Do these contributions need to be sent to a recognized foundation?
No, these are considered by the University to be memberships or consortiums and should be processed through the University as an external sale or sponsored project.
- Each year we get $5,000 to pay for a summer internship for a graduate student. The student works at the corporation and earns $4,000 over the summer. Should any part of this $5,000 be considered a gift?
No. The money should be deposited to a University EFS Chartfield String and the person should be paid on the University payroll unless approved otherwise by Payroll Services.
- Our Department head received $10,000 from a corporation to have three faculty members review a proposal for the development of a new product. A four page written report was produced. Should SPA be notified in this instance?
This is not a gift. Before any agreement is signed, contact SPA to determine if this is a sponsored project or is a fee for services.
- Do all federal grants regardless of size need to be reported to SPA?
All sponsored projects (grants, projects, sponsored agreements) except directly awarded fellowships should be processed by SPA regardless of size. However, University personnel who consult for the federal government should do so as private individuals, not as agents of the University of Minnesota. Such personal transactions should be between the individual and the federal department or agency.
- Board of Regents Policy: Foundations states that the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Arboretum Foundation are the recognized foundations for receiving gifts to the University. Where should I deposit gifts directed to an existing University endowment account established within the University system?
Please contact the University of Minnesota Foundation to discuss how it may be possible for the Foundations to accept the donations and direct them to be deposited in the University endowment.
- A Donor contacted me and needs a W-9 form, which W-9 should I send?
Please contact the appropriate Foundation for instructions. It is important to understand where the funds will be going (University or a Foundation) prior to sending or completing a W-9 form. The Foundations and the University have different Tax IDs and remittance addresses and it is important that the correct information is provided to the donor based on the reason for the W-9 request.