Definition of a Gift

LAST UPDATED: February 24, 2011

What You Should Know

A gift is an irrevocable contribution of money or property from a donor to the University.

The donor must intend to make a transfer of money or property and the money or property must actually be delivered to and accepted by the University. The donor may place certain restrictions on the use of the gift.

For Example

A member of the community gives you a check for $50,000 and wants to establish a scholarship fund with this money. She wants to select the scholarship winner every year, as long as she is alive. Is this a gift?

No. A donor can designate a department or area the gift will benefit, but she can have no further involvement once the University accepts her gift.

An alumnus mails a $20,000 check to you indicating that he wants to help one of your students pay her tuition. Is this a gift?

No. Because the money would benefit one specific individual, it is not a gift to the University. The gift could, however, be made to benefit a student in a specific department, but not a specific student.

A professor gives you a check for $10,000 to fund his research. Is this a gift?

No. The professor can make a gift to support the research of the University, but not his own research.

The CEO of a New Jersey pharmaceutical company gives you a personal check for $45,000 to support genetic research. Is this a gift?

Yes. The CEO specifies what the gift is to be used for, but states no other conditions.


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Princeton University
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