Gift Receiving & Fundraising

Section: Business and Financial Services
Subject: Gift Receiving & Fundraising
Issued by: Institutional Advancement
Number: 506.1
Date Revised: 8/2019

  1. Purpose
    To encourage good donor relations and to provide donors with official receipts for tax purposes, all gifts and copies of related correspondence must be delivered to the Office of Institutional Advancement within 48 hours of receipt of the gift. It is essential to good donor relations that gifts to the University are recorded and acknowledged promptly for University development purposes. The general responsibility for receipt of gifts is assigned to the Office of University Development, Office of Gifts and Records Administration (GRA) in Ann Arbor.

    The Office of Institutional Advancement processes and coordinates all gifts with the GRA. The Office of Institutional Advancement incorporates Alumni Engagement, Development, and Business and Foundation Engagement.
  2.  General Guidelines for Gift Processing
    1. ​​​​Gifts requiring maintenance
      University By-Law 3.05 specifies in part: "No officer or member of the staff is permitted, without express permission of the Board, to accept a gift, the maintenance of which will add to the operating budget of the University". University personnel anticipating the receipt of such a gift should first contact the Office of Institutional Advancement.
    2. Gifts for the support of specific students 
      Gifts for the benefit of specified students may not be acknowledged as gifts to the University.
    3. Employer matching gift forms
      Many of the larger companies will match the gifts of their employees to the University. The company forms should be forwarded to the Office of Institutional Advancement with the check and will be sent to the Gift Processing Services Office to be verified on behalf of the University. University departments receiving checks should remind the donors to include the matching gift forms if they or a spouse work for a company with that program. Tuition payments or the amount of premiums associated with a gift are not eligible for company matching programs.
    4. Bequests
      Bequests are coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement in coordination with the Office of University Development, Office of Gift Planning in Ann Arbor. University personnel who receive inquiries about establishing a bequest or the notification of a bequest distribution should immediately contact the Office of Institutional Advancement.
    5. Gifts involving premiums for the donors
      Fundraising activities may include the offering of premiums (goods, services, tickets to events or performances, or any other tangible benefit) to donors as an incentive for giving. The retail or fair market value of such premiums must be deducted from the donor remittance to determine the net gift value that will be acknowledged. In general, tangible items are to be discouraged; when an item is selected as a premium, its value should be in proportion to the size of gift expected. The fundraising department must observe the following procedures in order to avoid donor tax problems and any possible inadvertent University involvement or implication thereto:
      • Determine the retail or fair market value of the premium.
      • Advise potential donors of the retail or fair market value of the premium being offered, and that the premium value is not tax deductible and will not be included in the gift acknowledgment. This information must be communicated in all promotional publicity, admission tickets, and any other information conveyed to the donor.
      • Establish the gift value at least 100% greater than the premium value.
      • The Office of Institutional Advancement can assist with fair market value determination.
    6. Memorial Gifts
      Memorial gifts may be made to campus units or departments by first contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement. Notices should state that tributes should be made "payable to the University of Michigan-Dearborn" with the notation of the person honored by the check. The department or unit is responsible for obtaining the names and addresses of the donors and the names and addresses of the next of kin of the honored person for acknowledgment purposes. Memorial endowed scholarships may be established with a gift(s) of $25,000 or more. Amounts below this amount may be given to any existing funds in honor of an individual.
  3. Procedures
    1. Gifts of checks cash, securities, or in-kind
      Gifts of checks or cash should be delivered immediately to the Office of Institutional Advancement.
    2. Gifts of securities
      Securities of any kind, or a copy of a letter from a donor to a broker directing the transfer of securities to the University, received directly by a University office or individual as a gift for the support of any unit of the University shall be hand-delivered immediately to the Office of Institutional Advancement. 
    3. Gifts-in-Kind
      ​​​​​​​Gifts-in-kind such as equipment, books, art work, etc., should be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement by means of a Gift-in-Kind transmittal form giving the name(s) and address of the donor(s) and a brief description and location of the gift. Each form is to be signed by the person receiving the gift, and by the dean, chair or director of the unit receiving the gift. An estimated value of the gift should also be included. The Gift Processing Office will acknowledge the donor without stating the value. Gifts of $5,000 or more are subject to special appraisal and reporting requirements by the U.S. Treasury Department. Most gifts-in-kind are accepted in the manner described above, however, there are exceptions. Specific information on the exceptions may be obtained from the Office of Institutional Advancement and are happy to help with in-kind gifts.
    4. New Accounts for Gifts
      When a school, unit or department desires a separate account for a gift(s), a request in the form of an email or memo which would include the type of account (endowment, funds functioning as an endowment or expendable), the reason the request is being made, suggested title of the account, source of funding for the account, project director, and function of the account (instruction, research, public service, scholarships, academic support, institutional support or student services).  Questions regarding new gift accounts should be directed to the gift processor at 313-593-5130.
    5. Gifts of Art
      Gifts of art for the permanent collection will be considered for acceptance by the art acquisition subcommittee of the Fine Arts Council. While all works of art will be considered, the primary emphasis of the permanent collection is on contemporary glass and works by Michigan artists.

      Acceptance of a proposed gift will be based upon the aesthetic and/or educational value of the work of art for students and the community-at-large. A photograph or slide and a description of the work of art to be donated should be sent to the curator of collections and exhibitions. After the art acquisition subcommittee's preliminary acceptance of the work of art for consideration, the actual work of art may be delivered to the curator's office. Final acceptance may be granted after the subcommittee reviews the actual work of art. Large works of art that require a permanent site may be recommended for acceptance by the Fine Arts Council, but final approval rests with the senior officers of the university. Within two months of receipt of the photograph or slide and the acceptance of the work of art for review by the subcommittee, the donor will be notified of the subcommittee's decision. If the work of art is not accepted, a courtesy letter will be sent to the owner from the subcommittee with an indication of why the proposed gift was not appropriate for the permanent collection.

      A gift of art accepted into the permanent collection must have a transfer of title form completed in full by the donor at the time of delivery.
      • Gifts of Art​​​​​​​
        ​​​​​​​The curator of collections and exhibitions will advise donors to discuss their gifts of art with their tax consultants. The Internal Revenue Service requires that donors file Form 8283 "NON-CASH CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS" if their deduction for all non-cash gifts is more than $500.00. Deductions over $5,000.00 require a qualified appraisal. If the art being donated is $20,000 or more, a signed appraisal must be attached to the donor's tax return. The curator shall request a copy of an appraisal for the University's internal records, but it is not legally required for the curator to have it or maintain it. By arrangement with the curator of collections and exhibitions, the work of art will be physically transferred to the University campus. Upon receipt of the actual work of art, the Transfer of Title form will be delivered to the Office of Institutional Advancement, along with the Gift-in-Kind Transmittal form. The Transmittal form is an internal University document that requires the signature of the curator of collections and exhibitions. No work of art can be accepted by any member of the campus faculty or staff without proper paperwork to document acceptance and transfer of said work of art.
    6. Deferred giving
      ​​​​​​​Pledges and other gifts of a future interest should be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement so they can be officially confirmed, acknowledged (with the donor's permission), and recorded for University development and audit purposes.
  4. Fundraising: Non-University
    ​​​​​​​Fundraising activities in campus facilities are limited to University departments or related groups and activities. Outside organizations may not use campus facilities for fundraising events unless the event will jointly benefit the University or its departments and the outside group. Promotion of the event must be cleared with the Office of Institutional Advancement in advance of any public information about the event.

Policy owned by: Institutional Advancement

Last reviewed: 8/2019

Last updated: 8/2019

Next review: 1/2021