Gifts to the University

Recommended By
University Advancement
Judy K. Sakaki, President
Issue Date
Wednesday, June 2, 1993
Current Issue Date
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Effective Date
Wednesday, June 2, 1993
Contact Office
University Advancement
Policy number
  1. It is the policy of Sonoma State University 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 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 entities including:
      1. Departments, offices, centers, institutes, and programs;
      2. Sonoma State University recognized auxiliary organizations;
      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 entity must be deposited into a University or Sonoma State University recognized auxiliary organization 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 entities for services and goods provided.
  3. Definition of Terms
    1. Gift: something given or donated with philanthropic intent, including, but not limited to:
      1. Cash
      2. Securities: publicly traded securities that 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. Real estate.
      4. Gifts -in-kind: all non-cash gifts with the exception of securities and real estate.
      5. Planned/Deferred gifts: bequests, life insurance, charitable gift annuities, revocable remainder trusts, revocable trust agreements, charitable lead trusts, retirement plan beneficiary designation, and life insurance beneficiary designation.
    2. Solicitation is the outcome of working the cultivation plan to move someone from a prospect to a donor. At this stage, a proposal is put in front of the prospect within a set time frame and ask amount.
    3. Acknowledgment Letter: the official tax-deductible receipt issued to a donor by University Advancement.
    4. Gift Type Corporate Sponsorships:
      1. Philanthropic intent
      2. Recognition for these types of sponsorships are limited to:
        1. The name of the corporation or individual in the title of an event
        2. Sponsor logos and slogans that do not contain comparative qualitative descriptions of the sponsor’s products, services, facilities, or companies
        3. Sponsor locations, telephone numbers, and internet address
        4. Value neutral descriptions, including displays or visual depictions of a sponsor’s product line or services
        5. Sponsor brand or trade names and product or service listings.
    5. Non-Gift Type Corporate Sponsorships:
      1. For corporate sponsorships where the sponsor recognition exceeds the recognition methods noted in section III (D) above, or if any other benefits are given to the sponsor, then the sponsorship may be required to be documented in a written sponsorship agreement and signed by the Contracts and Procurement Office or a representative authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University.
      2. Contact University Advancement to discuss these types of sponsorships.
  4. Solicitation
    1. University Advancement is the central coordination point for all fundraising and development activities. Any individual or office or organization planning to solicit a gift for University-related projects or programs must coordinate and obtain approval from University Advancement.
    2. All letters and other promotional and solicitation literature that University entities plan to use for fund-raising purposes must be approved by the University Advancement.
    3. University Advancement 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 entities.
  5. Acceptance
    1. 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 public the University serves;
      3. Conditions or restrictions attached to the donation;
      4. The cost to the University for operation, maintenance, storage, etc.
        1. Gifts may be formally accepted by, or recorded as noted below:
            Sonoma State University SSU Foudation Sonoma State Enterprises ASI
          Cash X X X X
          Real Estate, securities, planned and/or deferred gifts, pledges, and endowments   X    
          Equipment, furniture, books, artifacts, antiques, works of art, alcoholic beverages not for auctions or for resale at the GMC X      
          Alcoholic beverages donated for auctions or for resale     X  
          Transfers of gifts from Sonoma State University recognized auxiliary organizations X      
          Fundraising event revenues X      
    2. For Gifts-in-Kind, the Gift-in-Kind Acceptance Form must be completed and all signatures obtained in the sequence specified before a gift-in-kind will be accepted.
    3. For all gifts accepted by the University Controller, upon notification by the University Controller, University Advancement will send to the donor an acknowledgment letter.
    4. If the University decides not to accept a gift, the donor should be notified by the dean or appropriate administrator.
  6. Valuation
    1. The University shall not appraise or affix the value of a non-cash gift for purposes of determining the charitable contribution amount. It is the responsibility of the donor to substantiate the value of the gift and to pay for appraisal costs when required.
    2. Gifts-in-kind valued $5,000 or less.
      1. Gifts-in-kind valued $5,000 or less are not required to be appraised by a third- party appraiser.
      2. For gifts valued at $5,000 or less, the University is not required to sign IRS Form 8283 or submit IRS Form 8282.
    3. Gifts-in-kind with a value of more than $5,000:
      1. All gifts-in-kind with a value of more than $5,000 must be submitted with IRS Form 8283 and an appraisal by a qualified independent appraiser not associated with the donor or the University in order for the University to sign IRS Form 8283 and provide a tax substantiation receipt. Form 8283 is not required if the donor does not wish to report a charitable gift deduction on their tax return.
      2. Gifts-in-kind with a value of more than $5,000 that is inventory held by the donor primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of the donor’s trade or business are not required to be appraised nor is the donor required to submit IRS Form 8283 Section B for signature by the University. However, the donor must provide the University with a copy of its list price and the discount price, if applicable, for which it would normally sell to the University in the ordinary course of business.
      3. For every gift-in-kind valued in excess of $5,000 that is sold or otherwise disposed of within three years of the University receiving it, the donor should be consulted and IRS form 8282 "Donee Information Return" must be filed with the IRS by Financial Services in consultation with University Advancement and a copy sent to the original donor and the successor donee within 15 days of disposition.
    4. If the donor chooses not to claim a charitable deduction and does not submit IRS Form 8283 and the associated appraisal, the department receiving the property shall provide supporting documentation which supports the estimated fair market value of the donation to the University Controller for proper recording in the University’s financial records.
  7. Acknowledgment 
    For all gifts, upon notification by the accepting office, University Advancement will:
    1. Prepare and send an acknowledgment letter to the donor.
    2. Arrange for private or public acknowledgment and recognition when appropriate.
    3. Acknowledge gift type corporate sponsorships by recognizing the sponsor using the following methods:
      1. Event programs and brochures
      2. University Advancement “Honor Roll of Donors”
      3. Press Releases
  8. 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 Contracts and Procurement Office, working with the department initiating and/or receiving the loan, will arrange for and execute 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.
  9. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the President of the University.
  10. Related University policies and/or procedures include:
    1. Special Events and Related Use of Campus Facilities
    2. Sales and Solicitation of Funds, On-Campus
    3. Fundraising Event Administration (PDF)
    4. Property Management Policy (PDF)
    5. Artwork, Exterior

Approval and Revision History

Approved by  Title Signature Date Approved Effective Date Version Description of Changes
Patricia McNeill  VP, University Development Approved, on file 9/2/11 9/1/11 v 1.0 Initial Release
Letitia Coate AVP, A&F Approved, on file 9/1/11 9/1/11 v 1.0 Initial Release
Patricia McNeill VP, University Development   9/2/11 9/1/11 V 1.1 Changed section V.B. to table format
Letitia Coate AVP, A&F   9/1/11 9/1/11 v 1.1  
Peter Smits VP, University Advancement (Interim) Approved, on file 10/26/16 11/01/16 v 1.2 Eliminated Student Union from table in section V.B., and added "pledges" and "endowments" to table. Moved "works of art" from Foundation to University within table. Changed "Development" to "Advancement" throughout document.