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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

11.1 University Gifts

The University solicits and receives donations which further its missions of education, research, public service, and economic development. The President accepts all gifts on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and has delegated that authority and responsibility to the Chancellors, University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) and Processing and Stewardship Services Office (GPSSO). No gift funds may be accepted under terms which require prohibited discrimination or are in conflict with federal or state law or University policy. Fund agreements with a donor are highly recommended and required for endowment gifts.

The UIF exists for the purpose of assisting the University by providing fundraising services and other assistance to attract private gift funds to support University programs. Through an annually renewable service agreement with the University, the UIF performs a variety of functions to solicit, receive, record, and administer private gift funds. The UIF is the primary receiving point for gifts made to the University. Donors should be instructed to direct their gifts to the UIF. Donor gift history is confidentially retained in the Tracking and Engagement Database (TED).


University of Illinois Foundation - The UIF solicits, receives, processes official receipts to donors, and processes matching gift forms for the University. The UIF also provides stewardship services and guidance regarding spending in accordance with donor intent. If necessary, the UIF coordinates with the University Office of Real Estate and Planning Services to review any gifts of property to the University before acceptance.

Gift Processing and Stewardship Services Office (GPSSO) - The GPSSO has authority to process all University gifts except stock gifts or real estate gifts directed to the University and bequests from estates directed to the University. The Foundation Senior Vice President for Financial and Administrative Operations is authorized to review and approve financial arrangements for the donation of unrestricted research gifts. The Foundation Senior Vice President for Financial and Administrative Operations will consult with the Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance on specific gifts, as appropriate. All UIF gifts of negotiable securities, real estate and bequests to the Foundation from estates are reviewed and approved by the Foundation Senior Vice President for Financial and Administrative Operations, or delegate.

There are times when it is not entirely clear whether money received in the GPSSO is actually for a gift or for a sponsored project (for example, a grant) - see 11.2 Distinctions Among Gifts, Grants and Contracts for further details on the distinctions between gifts and sponsored activities. If the GPSSO receives funds that appear to have characteristics of a sponsored activity (for example, a grant), the GPSSO forwards the documentation to the applicable Sponsored Programs Office for review. During this review, it may be determined that the funds are intended for a sponsored activity; if so, the applicable Sponsored Programs Office will process these grant applications, including the review, approval, processing, monitoring and reporting. However, if the funds do not appear to be intended for a sponsored activity, then the applicable Sponsored Programs Office notifies the GPSSO of that fact and recommends that the funds be processed through the GPSSO as a gift.

Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS) - The OBFS, University Accounting and Financial Reporting (UAFR) has several responsibilities relating to the administration of private gifts. The OBFS, University Accounting and Financial Reporting:

  • In consultation with University Legal Counsel, reviews all bequests to the University from estates before acceptance.
  • Assists the Foundation in the processing of gifts and negotiable securities.
  • Reviews non-mandatory fund transfers involving Banner gift funds or Banner endowment income funds. The non-mandatory transfers are reviewed for compliance with fund accounting rules and any applicable donor intent restrictions assigned to the involved gift or endowment income funds. These transfers will not post until they have been reviewed and approved by the UAFR.
  • Completes an annual review of expenditures posted to a judgmental sample of gift funds from each campus. These expenditures are reviewed for compliance with the applicable donor intent restrictions assigned to the involved gift funds. Any expenditures included in this testing that are not in compliance with the assigned donor intent restrictions on the applicable funds are brought to the attention of the unit, and a transfer is completed to move these unallowable expenditures off of the gift fund.
  • Reconciles gift revenues with the UIF's records to help ensure gift revenue has been properly recorded on both the UIF's and the University's records.
  • Ensures University gift and endowment income funds are coded properly in accordance with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) guidelines. This includes ensuring that the applicable program codes and donor intent codes assigned to these Banner gift and endowment income funds are in alignment and properly reflect the applicable donor intent restrictions assigned to the fund.

College/Unit- The college/unit completes appropriate forms and sends all available documentation concerning gifts to the University of Illinois Foundation Gift Processing and Stewardship Services Office for further processing. The unit acknowledges receipt of donor gifts, reviews and reconciles gift reports, and monitors expenditure of funds in accordance with donor instructions. Detailed procedures regarding campus/unit responsibilities for gift processing are outlined in 11.3 Campus Processing of Gifts. Additionally, units are strongly encouraged to provide the donors with a report of how the gifts have been expended.

Gift Administrative Fees

All income generated by current use gift funds is allocated to gift administrative fees. These fees are used for the following purposes:

  • To support central University and UIF functions such as gift administration and development activities; and
  • To support campus activities such as Renewal and Replacement (R&R), land acquisition, research parks and other capital needs.

Endowment funds are also assessed a gift management fee. This fee funds University and UIF development and administrative costs. The fee is disclosed to donors.

These fees are reviewed annually by the University Policy Council and are assessed against the income earned on unexpended gift fund balances.

Last Updated: October 30, 2017 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: May 2006

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