Policies & Procedures


Section 1

University Advancement

Sec. 680-11: Procedures for Processing Acceptance of a Gift/Private Grant

Responsible Office: Gift Administration, University Advancement
February 2015

References / Resources

Contact: Gift Administration at gift-admin@uci.edu

A. Definitions

  1. Gift

    A gift is a contribution received by the University for either unrestricted or restricted use to support the University's teaching, research, and service mission. It is a nonreciprocal transfer without an implicit or explicit statement of exchange, purchase of services, or provisions of exclusive information. In accepting the gift, the University makes no commitment of resources or services other than, possibly, committing to use the gift as the donor specifies. If the donor receives benefits in return for the contribution, the true value of the potentially tax deductible gift is the amount over and above the fair market value of any benefits received. Whether or not the University has an obligation to report to the donor how a gift is used or invested, such reporting is an important element of good donor stewardship.

    1. Types of gifts
      • Securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds)
      • Life Insurance
      • Real estate
      • Deferred (unitrust, gift annuity, pooled income funds)
      • In-kind (equipment, vehicles, computer software/hardware, artwork, food/catering, books/periodicals, jewelry/coins/precious metals, plants/trees, substances)

      Note: Environmental Health & Safety must be notified prior to acceptance of in-kind gifts of potentially hazardous substances (chemicals, paints, inks, cleaning agents, asbestos materials, compressed gases).

    2. Contributions with the following characteristics are generally classified as gifts:
      • Donor's charitable intent included in the donor's cover letter or other communication received from the donor.
      • Irrevocable contribution without any requirement to return unexpended funds after a specific period of time.
      • Donor letter or other communication from donor includes a general statement of purpose or restriction limiting the purpose of the contribution (for example, educational, capital projects, endowments, scholarships, fellowships, library, etc.) prior to the University's acceptance of the contribution.
      • No donor expectation for the exchange of goods or services with the University or its employees other than to use the gift for the purpose intended by the donor (for example, the donor does not require the use of University resources for the donor's benefit, including faculty/staff time or University facilities).
      • No donor imposed contractual requirements, such as the requirement to perform or conduct activities within the specified period of time.
      • No donor imposed deliverables or reports in excess of customary stewardship communication. Customary stewardship communication includes providing a general statement on how the funds will be or have been used and donor acknowledgement.
      • No donor expectation or requirement that intellectual property rights or options to such rights will be conveyed to the donor.
      • No donor expectation or requirement that the University's use/expenditure of the contribution be audited by or on behalf of the donor.

    Questions on acceptance of gifts should be directed to Gift Administration at (949) 824-5751.

  2. Pledge

    A pledge is a commitment to make future gifts. Pledges are subject to the same delegations of authority as gift acceptance.

  3. Research Gift

    A research gift is a gift to support research for one or more faculty members or research programs. The University may determine that what a donor calls a gift is a grant, per University policy, which must be processed through Sponsored Projects Administration.

  4. Grant, Contract, or Agreement

    A grant is a contribution received by the University for either unrestricted or restricted use to support the University's teaching, research, and service mission that typically comes from a corporation, foundation, or other organization, rather than an individual. The University may determine that what a donor calls a grant is a gift, per University policy.

    An award which has one or more of the following characteristics may be classified as a grant, contract, or agreement:

    • Provision for audits by or on behalf of the grantor
    • Grantor will receive or be entitled to receive some consideration, such as a detailed technical report of research results, a summary appraisal of product, or a report of expenditures
    • Testing or evaluating of proprietary products
    • Research, training, or service is directed toward satisfying specific grantor requirements (for example, terms and conditions stating a precise scope of work to be done rather than a general area of research); or there is a clear reference made with regard to a research project or proposal title
    • Specific or implied period of performance
    • Amount of funding received is based on expenses incurred to conduct the activities supported by the research gift
    • Termination is at the discretion of the grantor
    • Funds unexpended at end of period shall be returned to the grantor
    • Intellectual property, data, or patent rights ownership is requested by the grantor
    • Limitations placed on the dissemination (publication) of results of the research.

B. Classifications and Awards

  1. Judgment must be exercised in order to classify the gift/grant in accordance with the intent of University policy. The decision as to whether a particular award should be considered a gift cannot be made based upon the presence or absence of a single characteristic or criterion. The award must be reviewed in its entirety in order to determine its proper classification.
  2. Before the University can accept private funds in support of a specific project, the project must be reviewed and approved at the department and school level. When an award from a private sponsor is sent directly to the principal investigator, the initial review, approval, and determination as to gift or grant status shall be made by the department and school. All appropriate documents shall be forwarded to University Advancement (UA) for further review. Classification shall be the initial responsibility of UA, with the exception of research gifts, which will be forwarded to Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) in the Office of Research for final review. SPA reviews and classification. SPA reviews the award for compliance with University policies including University Regulation Number 4, patents and copyrights, use of human subjects, indirect costs, conflict of interest, etc. The information provided should be sufficient enough that SPA can complete a timely review and classification.

C. Processing Awards from Private Sources

  1. Gifts

    All gifts received by department representatives, whether for The Regents or the UCI Foundation, are to be deposited immediately upon receipt. The Online Gift/Pledge Acceptance form is completed for each gift or pledge from a non-governmental source and sent to University Advancement, Office of Gift Administration, accompanied by:

    • Original gift letter and all other correspondence or material that accompanied the gift letter
    • Original check (Foundation gifts only)
    • Copy of acknowledgment letter, if available
    • Principal Investigator's Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700-U, if (1) the gift is earmarked for a specific researcher or a specific research project and (2) the donor is a non-governmental entity not excluded from the disclosure requirement (please refer to the UC Exempt Non-Government Entities list)
      • If a positive disclosure, also include the Gift Addendum (Form COI-2)
    1. UC Regents Gift

      If the gift is for the UC Regents, an OPAL Campus Online Deposit (COD) Advice and an Online Gift/Pledge Acceptance form are required. The original check and Deposit Advice are submitted to the Campus Cashier.  A copy of the check and Deposit Advice, along with the documents listed above, are sent to University Advancement, Gift Administration.

    2. UCI Foundation Gift

      If the gift is for the UCI Foundation, an Online GIft/Pledge Acceptance form is completed. The original check, along with the documents listed above, are sent to University Advancement, Gift Administration.

    3. Services Rendered

      If the check is payment for services rendered where there is no gift component, it is deposited to a more appropriate account rather than a gift account.

  2. Grants (when a proposal was not formally submitted to an agency via SPA)
    1. From time to time, a contribution is submitted to University Advancement that is determined to be a Grant. In these cases, UA will turn over all documentation to the office of Sponsored Projects Administration for review and classification.

      (1) Nothwithstanding the gift characteristics noted above, the presence of any one or combination of the following may cause a research gift to be classified as a research grant or contract:

      • Activities conducted using the research gift relate to the testing of a product (for example, compound, drug, device, solution, etc.) or directly benefit the proprietary interests of the Donor;
      • Researcher has a proprietary interest in the Donor;
      • Researcher intends to enter, or has entered, into a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement with Donor;
      • Researcher intends to consult, or is consulting, with the Donor where the subject of the consulting activity is the same or substantially similar to the activities conducted using the research gift;
      • Entity providing the research gift transfers proprietary research materials for use in the activities supported by the research gift, regardless of whether such transfer is the subject of a material transfer agreement; or
      • Researcher has received an award (contract or grant) from the entity providing the research gift where the scope of work for the award is the same or substantially similar to the activities supported by the research gift.
    2. Review and reporting responsibilities are assigned to SPA. Once a grant is accepted and recorded by SPA, University Advancement records appropriately classified grants in its private support database.
    3. When a contract, purchase order, or agreement (for research, training, public service) is received and no proposal was submitted to an agency via SPA, such documents must be reviewed and signed by the Director, Sponsored Projects Administration.

D. Acceptance and Administration of Awards from Private Sources

  1. Awards classified as gifts by SPA are transmitted to and administered by University Advancement. No indirect costs are assessed.
  2. Awards classified as grants or contracts are administered by SPA (see UC Contract and Grant Manual). Awards are subject to indirect cost recovery and the research review process utilized for privately funded and government contracts and grants.
  3. All gifts/grants from private sources are to be reported to the Office of the President. A summary report of gifts is prepared by University Advancement and sent quarterly to the Office of Institutional Advancement at the Office of the President.
  4. When appropriate, acknowledgment letters for gifts are prepared by University Advancement for signature by the Chancellor or other administrator.
  5. Any substantial donor receives regular report letters, particularly if the support is for a specific project or department in response to a written proposal.