This policy is designed to assure that all gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation (Foundation) or the University of Georgia (University) are structured to benefit the University while ensuring fidelity to donor intent. Because some gift opportunities may be complex, more costly than beneficial, or restricted in a manner inconsistent with the Foundation’s goal of philanthropy in support of the University, the Foundation has outlined the following procedures for assessing and accepting gifts to the Foundation or the University for the University’s benefit.
While the procedures set forth herein are detailed and often specific to the type of gift contemplated, they shall be interpreted in light of two overriding principles:
Principle 1: The Foundation accepts those gifts that have a reasonable expectation of benefitting the University or serving the University’s mission.
Principle 2: The Foundation shall not encourage any gifts that are inappropriate in light of the donor’s personal or financial situation.
While this document provides guidance to the Foundation and the Board of Trustees regarding acceptance of prospective gifts, donors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that a proposed gift furthers their charitable, financial and estate planning goals. Therefore, the donor should be encouraged to seek the advice of independent legal and financial counsel in the gift planning process. It is not within the province of the Foundation or the University to give legal, accounting, tax or other advice to donors or prospective donors.
PROCEDURES – GENERAL
Overall responsibility for assuring compliance with the requirements of this policy is assigned as follows:
Gifts deeded to the Foundation: Foundation Board of Trustees (“Board”)
Gifted deeded to the University: University President (“President”)
The Board and the President shall delegate certain responsibilities relating to the evaluation and acceptance of proposed gifts to the Gift Acceptance Committee (“GAC”) or to the Foundation staff and to the University staff as provided in this policy.
University Development staff must initially screen all gift proposals. The Gift Acceptance Committee, the Board of Trustees and the University President must also screen certain high-risk gift proposals as outlined below. If a gift proposal would benefit a specific program, unit or department at the University, the leadership of such program, unit or department must also screen the gift proposal.
RISK CATEGORIES FOR GIFTS
1. Marginal Risk
This category of gifts presents very little risk to the Foundation and the University. All proposed gifts that are not considered as moderate or material risks per this policy are considered as marginal risks and may be accepted by University staff. Gift Accounting may record and receipt all gifts of marginal risk accepted by University staff after receipt of required documentation per Foundation policy. Please see Foundation policy 4.1 for Authority, Responsibilities, and Duties of Gift Accounting.
2. Moderate Risk
This category of gifts presents an identifiable level of risk to the Foundation and the University. Gifts considered to present moderate risks may be accepted by University staff after approval by the Gift Acceptance Committee. Please note that a pledge or other commitment to give is considered a gift for the purposes of this policy. Gifts of perceived or real moderate risk include:
- Charitable lead trusts naming the Foundation or University as trustee
- Charitable gift annuities exceeding $1 million
- Gifts of life insurance naming the Foundation as owner
- Gifts of personal property with a fair market value exceeding $250,000
- Gifts of real property that do not include restrictions on use or disposal
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall make the final determination for gifts of moderate risk, in accordance with applicable Foundation Policy. Gifts of Moderate Risk accepted by the GAC will be presented to the Audit Committee.
3. Material Risk
This category of gifts presents a material risk to the Foundation and the University. The Gift Acceptance Committee will recommend these gifts to the Executive Committee of the Foundation for review and approval. The Board of Trustees’ Finance, Investment, Audit, or Development Committees may advise the Executive Committee as deemed appropriate.
- Gifts of real property with restrictions on use or disposal
- Gifts of non-publicly traded securities
- Any other non-cash gifts that are illiquid in nature and/or may obligate Foundation or University resources.
Gifts of Moderate or Material Risk will only be accepted after consideration of the financial, reputational and other risks of accepting the gifts. Further the reputation of the donor shall be a factor to be considered in determining the risks of encouraging or accepting any Moderate or Material gift.
GIFT ACCEPTANCE COMMITTEE
The role of the Gift Acceptance Committee (the “Committee” or “GAC”) shall be to review the appropriateness of accepting certain gifts. This includes performing due diligence as necessary to make informed decisions and appropriately evaluating any restrictions or cost associated with accepting the gift.
1. Committee Members
The committee shall consist of the following voting members:
- University of Georgia Foundation’s Executive Director – This person shall serve as the Chair of the Gift Acceptance Committee
- University of Georgia Senior Executive Director for Development
- A representative of UGA’s Office of Finance and Administration
- University of Georgia Foundation’s Chief Financial Officer
- University of Georgia Foundation’s Designated Representative as assigned by the Chief Financial Officer
- University of Georgia Associate Provost for Academic Fiscal Affairs
- University of Georgia School, College, or Unit Chief Business Officer
The Committee shall select a Chief Business Officer (CBO) from one of the University’s schools, colleges, or units to serve a two-year term assigned on a rotating basis. An alternative CBO shall be selected to serve as needed to consider gifts benefitting the primary CBO’s school, college or unit. The chair shall select a Secretary to record meeting minutes. The Secretary is a non-voting member of the Gift Acceptance Committee and does not count towards quorum. The Committee will consult with UGA and UGAF counsel and subject matter experts when appropriate. Committee members will sign a confidentiality statement prior to the beginning of Committee service.
2. Committee Meeting
The Committee shall have regularly scheduled in person meetings, therefore minimizing email and ad hoc approvals.
3. Quorum Required
The Committee must have a quorum of all seven members (or proxy to an individual identified in 1.c-g. above) in attendance in order to vote to approve or decline gifts. Attendance may be considered to be in person or participating via conference call. GAC meetings addressing pledges in excess of 5 years may be held via email. It may be necessary on occasion for a member’s proxy to attend in order to consider a gift, but every effort must be made for members to represent and vote for themselves.
4. Super Majority Vote Required
Decisions of the Committee must be made by a super majority vote of five members. If a super majority decision cannot be reached, the offer of a gift will be declined. The Committee, at its discretion, may determine whether the offer of a gift of moderate risk should be forwarded to University of Georgia Foundation’s Board of Trustees for review and final decision. Gifts of material risk must be forwarded to the Executive Committee of the Foundation Board.
The donor is solely responsible for conducting any appraisals of the gift for purposes of the donor’s federal, state or local gift tax or income tax reporting and shall bear the entire expense of such appraisals. The Committee or the Foundation shall obtain such appraisals as deemed necessary or useful for accounting or other purposes of the Foundation.
EVALUATION OF COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCEPTANCE OF CERTAIN GIFTS
Proposed gifts of non-cash property and restricted gifts must be evaluated by the University and Foundation staff to determine whether the restrictions and costs associated with receiving the gift can be prudently accommodated by the University. Non-cash property and restricted gifts shall only be accepted in accordance with this Policy.
The Foundation may incur and pay reasonable fees for professional services rendered to or for the benefit of the Foundation in connection with the completion of a gift to the Foundation. Where advisors retained by the Foundation prepare documents or render services of any kind to the University, Foundation and/or to a donor on behalf of the Foundation, the donor shall be informed that the professional involved is retained by the Foundation and is not acting on behalf of the donor and that any advice given or documents prepared should be reviewed by donor’s counsel prior to completion of the gift.
All donors are to be furnished gift receipts that comply with IRS rules. Gifts that have been accepted and receipted as charitable gifts by the Foundation shall not be returned to the donor(s) unless deemed prudent to do so by the Foundation, as recommended by the Gift Acceptance Committee. Gifts greater than $25,000 recommended for return by the GAC must be approved from the Executive Committee.
Gifts of time (for example time spent volunteering on a leadership group or at an event) will not be credited as charitable gifts to the University.
ACCEPTANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF RESTRICTED GIFTS
Frequently, donors require that gifts be used by the University and/or Foundation in particular ways. It is the responsibility of the University and/or the Foundation to comply with such requirements if the gift is accepted. The Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, or designee, is responsible for assuring arrangements are made to achieve compliance with such requirements. It is the responsibility of donors to inform the Foundation of their wishes to restrict gifts. Restrictions must be documented in writing by a donor in a Gift Agreement. Gifts with restrictions that do not further the University’s mission will not be accepted.
ADDITIONAL DUTIES OF THE GIFT ACCEPTANCE COMMITTEE
All gifts, pledges, and planned gifts to the University of Georgia, University of Georgia Foundation, or its affiliate organizations will be counted towards annual fundraising totals in accordance with the Fundraising Counting and Reporting Guidelines.
The Gift Acceptance Committee is responsible for the review and approval of any gifts that are exceptions to the University’s Fundraising Counting and Reporting Guidelines. Exceptions to the Guidelines will be reported to GAC for approval prior to the gift counting in annual fundraising totals.
The Fundraising and Reporting Guidelines are maintained by Gift Accounting. Any changes to the Fundraising Counting and Reporting Guidelines must be proposed to and approved by GAC before the update becomes effective.
Board Oversight of GAC Decisions
The GAC shall report all of its decisions to the Board at each of its Foundation meetings. The Report must be sufficiently detailed to identify any in kind gift recorded as over $1,000,000 for fund raising purposes.
Last Updated on December 2, 2022