Accept, Document, and Track Gifts

When your department receives a gift, send the gift, any accompanying documentation, and the appropriate chartstring to Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations (CEFR). If the gift is from an individual, send it to the Office of Alumni and Donor Records (ADR).

CEFR or ADR will officially accept the gift and acknowledge the donor. The gift is then recorded and posted to the General Ledger. You’ll be able to view the gift amount and its restriction information on the Fund Restriction / Designation reports. Most gifts are term gifts—expendable funds that are applied to “B Funds.”

Accept Term Gifts

It is extremely important to accept a gift in the appropriate manner. Simply receiving a check in your department does not mean the University has formally accepted the gift. Once a gift is accepted, it is irrevocable and the restrictions placed on its use must be strictly observed. These guidelines will help you to ensure that gifts are properly accepted:

  • Appropriate documentation must accompany all gifts. Documentation must be signed by authorized individuals. Do not sign agreements, forms, or any other gift documentation you receive from the donor.

  • Only certain central University officials may accept gifts. Please refer to the Gift Administration Policy for further details.

  • Gifts are recorded and entered into the University’s accounting systems. This ensures that the use of the money can be tracked.

Propose Gifts

Before proposing a gift to a corporation or foundation, submit your documentation to CEFR for review. Once you receive the gift, the signature of a CEFR official is required for acceptance.

Document Term Gifts

Gifts come in various forms, including checks, securities, and gifts-in-kind. Term gifts are predominantly cash and checks. Any gift and its accompanying documentation should be sent to ADR or CEFR. Important documentation can include:

  • A signed gift agreement

  • A signed letter (or email correspondence) from the donor in which they indicate the intent of the gift

  • An envelope

Note: Any information you receive from the donor may be important. For example, the envelope used to transmit the gift may help to establish the date of the gift. Please submit any supplemental materials along with the above.

Track and Use Gifts

The University uses funds to track gifts and assure that departments spend restricted gift monies according to the donor’s wishes and in accordance with gift acceptance practices.

  • Existing Funds: Use this if the gift purpose is exactly the same as another.

  • New Funds: Use this if your department doesn’t have an existing fund with the same purpose and/or if the gift has donor-specified financial reporting or stewardship requirements.

  • Departmental Gift Funds: Sometimes donors give gifts with instructions such as “to be used as the department chairman deems necessary.” Rather than deposit the gift into a fund with specified restrictions, these should be deposited into the general Departmental Gift Fund B0001. 


Scenario Tracking Approach
Orange & Black, Inc. sends a check to your department accompanied by a letter specifying, “The gift is for the purpose of purchasing large tiger cages. A financial report is required to the company in six months.” Your department already has a Large Tiger Cage Fund. Do you use the existing fund or open a new one? In order to fulfill the financial reporting requirements, open a new fund.
A donor sends a $20,000 check to your department accompanied by a letter stating: “The gift is for the purpose of purchasing large cages. Any remaining balance may be used for research travel.” Your department anticipates purchasing two large cages that total $18,000. You already have a fund for small cages, a fund for medium cages, and a fund for research travel. Where should you deposit the gift? Open a new, Large Cage Fund, as the gift specifies large cages. Any remaining balance after the purchase of large cages can be transferred to the research travel fund. Or, open a fund specifically for this gift and use it for both cage purchase and research travel. If you receive additional gifts for the purchase of large cages, then you would need to open a new, large cage fund.

Gift Tracking Tools

Term Gift Report

Once your gift has been recorded in STRIPES and posted to the general ledger, you’ll be able to view the amount and restriction information, and track the use of the money using the Fund Restriction / Designation reports and other reports found in the Financial Management section of the Information Warehouse. These are found in the folder entitled “Financial Management” in the Prime Information Warehouse.

Invested Funds Report

Invested fund restriction information can also be found in the Fund Restriction / Designation reports section noted above.