Small Seal

Gifts to the University

Recommended By: SSU Advancement Committee
Approved: Ruben Armiñana, President
Date of OriginalIssue: June 2, 1993
Current Issue Date: December 1, 1997
Effective Date: Immediately
Contact Office: Office of Development

Policy #1993-2

  1. It is the policy of Sonoma State University (SSU) to solicit and to accept gifts that are determined by the University to be of benefit to the students, employees, alumni, or publics it serves. This policy defines such gifts and establishes policy and procedures for their solicitation, acceptance, valuation, and acknowledgment. This policy is not intended to discourage initiatives on the part of members of the University community to solicit gifts to the University; rather, it is intended to ensure proper coordination of all such solicitation.
    The provisions of this policy pertain to loans as well as gifts (section IX).
  2. Authority and Scope.
    1. The President of Sonoma State University, by the authority granted him/her by the Board of Trustees of the California State University, is responsible for determining the beneficial nature of gifts and acceptance of gifts to SSU.
    2. This policy applies to all University offices and organizations including:
      1. departments, offices, centers, institutes, and programs;
      2. auxiliaries, such as the Academic Foundation, Enterprises, Associated Students, and Student Union;
      3. chartered student clubs and organizations; and
      4. University-affiliated support groups such as the Alumni Association, "friends" groups, and advisory boards.
    3. Funds raised or received for any University offices or organizations must be deposited into a University, Academic Foundation, or auxiliary account. (Off-campus investments or bank accounts are strictly prohibited.)
    4. This policy does not apply to the solicitation of memberships in University support groups, ticket sales, advertising revenue, and other fees collected by University offices and organizations for services and goods provided. 
  3. Definition of Terms.
    1. Gift: something given or donated, including:
      1. Cash.
      2. Securities: publicly traded securities which are listed on a stock exchange for which quotations are published on a daily basis or regularly traded in a national or regional over-the-counter market for which published quotations are available.
      3. Gifts-in-kind: all non-cash gifts with the exception of securities.
    2. Grants: commitments of money or other resources, typically by a government agency, private foundation, or corporation, in response to a proposal for a specific project and usually in response to program guidelines issued by the grantor.
    3. Cultivation: the process of informing, involving, and educating individuals who are or could be potential donors to Sonoma State University.
    4. Solicitation: the act of asking an individual or an organization for a gift to be made to the University.
    5. Valuation: the act of determining the value of anything; appraisal.
  4. Cultivation
    1. Any individual associated with Sonoma State University may be involved in the cultivation process.
    2. The process usually includes the following:
      1. The University office or organization identifies someone as a prospect.
      2. The University office or organization, in consultation as needed with the Office of Development, determines the appropriate steps of cultivation.
      3. The University office or organization introduces the prospect to SSU.
      4. The prospect becomes familiar with and acquires an understanding of SSU.
      5. The prospect develops appreciation of and commitment to SSU.
      6. The prospect becomes involved in the life of SSU.
  5. Solicitation
    1. Any individual or office or organization planning to solicit a gift for University-related projects or programs should first consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs or the Office of Development and complete the appropriate form, as specified below.
    2. The Office of Sponsored Programs (see "Proposal Endorsement Form," attachment A) is responsible for coordinating the solicitation of:
      1. grants from corporations and foundations which do not have branches, plants, or offices within the University's six-county service area; and
      2. all grants from government agencies.
    3. The Office of Development is responsible for approving and coordinating the solicitation of all other gifts and grants, including:
      1. gifts from members of the campus community;
      2. gifts from alumni;
      3. students' parents and families;
      4. gifts from all other individuals and organizations; and
      5. gifts and grants from corporations and foundations with branches, plants, or offices within the University's six-county service area.
    4. All letters and other promotional and solicitation literature that University offices and organizations plan to use for fund-raising purposes must be reviewed by the Office of Development.
    5. The Office of Development has the responsibility of maintaining an annual fund-raising calendar to identify the periods of time during which particular forms of solicitation may be conducted by University offices and organizations.
  6. Acceptance
    1. The "Gift-in-Kind Acceptance Form" (see Attachment C) must be completed and all signatures obtained in the sequence specified before a gift will be accepted.
    2. Sonoma State University retains the right to accept or decline all gifts based on:
      1. applicable federal and state laws, rulings, and regulations, and CSU and SSU policies and procedures;
      2. the benefit of the gift to the students, employees, alumni, and/or publics the University serves;
      3. conditions or restrictions attached to the donation;
      4. the cost to the University for operation, maintenance, storage, etc.
    3. Gifts must be formally accepted by, or recorded by, one of two offices:
      1. Gifts of cash, real estate, securities, and works of art--by the SSU Academic Foundation. (For works of art, see Art Gallery policies and Exterior Artwork policy.)
      2. All other gifts, such as equipment, furniture, books, artifacts, antiques, etc.--by the University Controller, Administration and Finance Division.
    4. For all gifts accepted by the University Controller, upon notification by the University Controller the Development Office will send to the donor a letter of appreciation.
    5. If the University decides not to accept a gift, the donor should be notified by the dean or appropriate administrator and given a tactful reason why the gift cannot be accepted.
    6. Under certain circumstances, and with the approval of the University Controller, gifts valued at under $250 and for which the donor does not require a receipt (such as books given to the Library or the Friends of the Library) may be exempted from the above acceptance procedures.
  7. Valuation
    1. The University shall not appraise or affix the value of a gift. It is the responsibility of the donor to prove the value of the gift and to pay for appraisal costs when required.
    2. Gifts-in-kind valued at under $5,000.
      1. Gifts-in-kind valued at under $5,000 are not required to be appraised by a third-party appraiser.
      2. For gifts valued at less than $5,000, the University is not required to sign IRS form 8283 or submit IRS form 8282.
    3. Gifts-in-kind with a value of $5,000 or more:
      1. All gifts-in-kind with a value of $5,000 or more from individuals, closely held corporations, personal-service corporations, and partnerships must be appraised by a qualified independent appraiser not associated with the donor or the University.
      2. Gifts-in-kind with a value of $5,000 or more from all others, including vendors, dealers, and manufacturers who contribute property that they sell in the regular course of their business, are not required to be appraised; donors should value the property at the price they would have received if they had sold the property in their customary market.
      3. The University will adhere strictly to Internal Revenue Service guidelines applicable to the acceptance of charitable gifts, including:
        1. For gifts defined in VII.C.1., IRS form 8283 "Non-Cash Charitable Contributions" must be obtained by the donor, signed by an appraiser, signed by the accepting SSU office and a copy retained, and filed by the donor with his/her tax return.
        2. For every gift-in-kind valued in excess of $5,000 that is consumed, transferred, or sold within two years of the University's receiving it, the donor should be consulted and IRS form 8282 "Donee Information Return" must be filed by the accepting SSU office and a copy sent to the donor within 15 days of disposition.
  8. Acknowledgment. For all gifts, upon notification by the accepting office the Office of Development will:
    1. Prepare and send a receipt and a letter of acknowledgment and appreciation to the donor.
    2. Arrange for the donor's name to be listed in the "Honor Roll of Donors" whenever one is published.
    3. Arrange for other forms of private or public acknowledgment and recognition as appropriate.
  9. Loans to the University. An individual or organization may choose to offer something of value, such as equipment, land, or furniture, to the University as a loan rather than a gift.
    1. The provisions of this policy pertain to loans, except that:
      1. IRS guidelines applicable to the acceptance of charitable gifts do not apply.
      2. The individual or organization making the loan will not be included in the "Honor Roll of Donors."
    2. In addition, the University Controller, working with the University office or organization initiating and/or receiving the loan, will arrange for a written agreement between the University and the individual or organization making the loan, specifying:
      1. who will be responsible for maintenance and repair and to what extent;
      2. who will be responsible for securing insurance and at what level;
      3. the location of the item;
      4. what security measures will be taken;
      5. the period of the loan;
      6. what access, if any, the loaner will have to the loaned item during the period of the loan;
      7. the costs of transportation and installation and who will be responsible.
  10. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the President of the University.
  11. Related University policies and/or procedures include:
    1. Special Events and Related Use of Campus Facilities
    2. On-Campus Sales and Solicitation of Funds
    3. Recording, Security and Protection of Capitalized and Non-Capitalized University Property
    4. Acceptance and Installation of Exterior Artwork
    5. All other policies and procedures pertaining to works of art.

A Proposal for Endorsement Form
B Gift-in-Kind Acceptance Form

Updated August 17, 1998 by