Gift Acceptance, Management And Disposition

Applies to:Original Policy Date:Date of Last Review:Approved by:
Faculty, Employees, and Students January 18, 2018 June 21, 2022 Dr. Marco Carvalho
Executive Vice President and Provost

Policy Owner: Office of Advancement

Policy Purpose

Charitable donations help ensure that Florida Institute of Technology maintains and builds upon its reputation for excellence in higher education and allow the University to fund programs, scholarships, fellowships, professorships, research, and facilities in furtherance of the overall mission.

This policy establishes when and how philanthropic gifts are accepted and who has authority to accept such gifts.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to all offers of donations and governs both the acceptance of unsolicited gifts and the proposal or solicitation of a gift by students, staff, or faculty of Florida Tech.

Policy Statement

All philanthropic gifts must be accepted by Florida Tech to ensure that they are appropriate to the mission and needs of the University and impose no undue financial, legal, or other risks or burdens on the University. The university is committed to honoring donor intent for every gift. Consequently, the University reserves the right to decline gifts which are too restrictive in purpose, create undue risk, are too difficult to administer, or are for purposes outside of its mission.

The President has final authority to approve the acceptance of any gift and has sole authority for determining exceptions to these guidelines. The Senior Vice President of Development may accept gifts, providing they meet the guidelines defined below. Any gifts requiring special commitments on the part of any other department must also be verified by the Dean or Vice President of that department. Any of gift greater than $250,000 must be approved by the President. Gift acceptance is indicated by the provision of a receipt or acknowledgment to the donor constituting their documentation for tax purposes. Regular gifts are routinely accepted by Florida Tech by the Advancement Office gift processor.

Procedures/Guidelines

For a gift to be accepted by Florida Institute of Technology, the following conditions must be met:

  • The transfer of cash or other assets must be unconditional
  • The gift does not create a conflict of interest
  • The transfer must be in furtherance of Florida Tech’s charitable mission and not jeopardize the University’s tax-exempt status; and,
  • The transfer must be non-reciprocal
  • No implicit or explicit statement of exchange, purchase of services, or provision of exclusive information to the donor in exchange for the gift
  • Acceptable if benefits to the donor are incidental, tangential, and indirect as described by CASE standards.
  • Must be in compliance with Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and other federal statutes and regulations.

Physical Acceptance Of Funds

Staff, faculty, coaches, or other Florida Tech employees must physically provide to the Advancement Office checks, cash or other gifts given to Florida Tech within 24 hours of receipt. Advancement or other staff who are traveling must send checks via express mail if they will be away more than three days.

Advancement staff must store checks in the Advancement Office safe until the earliest possible date when they can be deposited.

Advancement will accept, deposit, receipt, and acknowledge all gifts in accordance with IRS policies and the documented wishes of the donor. No other department should attempt to receipt or officially acknowledge a gift prior to this. A gift may be acknowledged by others, but not before Advancement has been notified and accepted the gift.

Gifts in Kind

Donors may contribute real estate, property, or other goods or materials for use by the University. All gifts-in-kind must be reviewed by the Senior Vice President of Development due to the special obligations raised and possible liabilities they may pose. Gifts-in-kind greater than $5,000 in value must also be approved by the CFO. Acceptance must be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Can the gifted item be sold? As a rule, real estate and other goods that can be liquidated should be liquidated as soon as practical.
  • Does the gifted item qualify as a budget-relieving gift (e.g. an item that would have been purchased if not donated)?
  • Does the gift represent an acceptable budget additive purpose? If so, then approval from the Dean, CFO, President, or other appropriate leader is required to accept. Such gifts-in-kind, if valued above $250,000, must have approval from the President.
  • Gifts-in-kind must follow CASE standards for donor recognition and fundraising credit.
  • Gifts-in-kind are to be recorded at Fair Market Value (FMV). If FMV is not available, a gift-in-kind may be recorded as a $1 contribution.

Gifts of Securities

The University broker should liquidate such gifts.

Pledges

Pledges of up to five years may be accepted for major gifts of $10,000 or more. Exceptions below this may be made by the Senior Vice President of Development. Exceptions for extraordinary gifts may be made with the approval of the President. For example, the University may wish to accept a $10 million pledge payable over ten years. In keeping with IRS rules, matching gifts may not be pledged or used to fulfill a pledge.

Bequests, Estates, Life Income, Life Insurance

Bequests are indefinitely long pledges that are routinely accepted within CASE standards to recognize donors during their lifetimes, celebrate and encourage bequest giving from others, formalize pledges to strongly discourage changes, and ensure that documentation is provided so that wording can be clarified if needed and any later unresolvable confusion regarding intent is avoided.

If a gift is received from a donor after their death, the University will work with the executor and/or family regarding gift acceptance. Gift restrictions will be subject to the same acceptance process as other gifts.

From time to time family will express a desired restriction for an estate gift that is not part of the will or otherwise indicated by the deceased. The University may consider honoring this so long as it does not undermine the known desires of the donor.

If the University receives an unrestricted major gift through a donor’s will, it may wish to utilize the gift for an endowment or facility naming to honor the donor’s memory. This will require approval by the President. The Senior Vice President of Development may recommend programs based on the donor’s known interests, career, history of giving, or other evidence of their personal areas of interest.

To record an estate gift, the University must receive:

  • A copy of the will (or the portion needed) indicating the amount of the estate committed to Florida Tech.
  • If the will states a percentage of the estate designated to Florida Tech, then it should be accompanied by a written statement of the good faith estimated amount this percentage would be.
  • The President may approve if a donor alternatively provides a signed letter of gift indicating that their will designates a specific amount to be given to Florida Tech.

The University may accept a gift of life insurance provided that the policy has a positive cash surrender value and the University has been named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy. The minimum age of the donor shall be 45 years at the start of the policy coverage.

Estate gifts for endowments must meet the minimum required level for an endowment at the time the estate was documented.

Endowment Gifts

The minimum gift to establish a new endowment or to name an endowment is $25,000. Gifts less than that may be used for general or other existing endowments. Endowment agreements must include the following provisions:

  1. The gift amount and date of gift.
  2. The detailed explanation of how the endowment will be managed and the funding implemented, including the date it will be launched.
  3. The name of the fund and how the naming will be publicly treated.
  4. A complete and detailed expression of the donor's intent and purpose for establishing the fund and provision that allows the University to use the funds for the nearest purpose possible if the stated purpose can no longer practically be implemented. If no such statement is included in a gift agreement, it will be presumed unless otherwise stated.
  5. Any commitments for stewardship.
  6. Permission to publicize the gift, including in print, news, and social media.
  7. Signatures with dates. Include the donor and signers for the University authorized to accept the gift, typically the Senior Vice President of Development.

Gifts From Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff gifts may not be restricted to accounts that the donor manages. However, faculty and staff may contribute to their own department or even their own research, so long as someone else has control of the funds and provided the donor does not benefit personally. For example, a donor may not fund their own travel or professional development.

Anonymity

Donor wishes to be anonymous will be respected.

Definitions

CASE Standards: A common set of standards, guidelines, and definitions for reporting the results of educational philanthropy activities, published by Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Deferred gifts: Bequests, life insurance beneficiary designations, retirement plan beneficiary designations, and payable-on-death/transfer-on-death forms.

Fair market value (FMV): The price that property would sell for on the open market.

Gifts: All charitable donations (cash, property, goods, etc.) from private individuals, organizations and corporations and all grants from charitable foundations as defined by IRS regulations.

In-Kind gifts: Gifts of physical items that are transported to the university. These may be either liquidated to cash or used by the University as if purchased.

Matching gifts: A charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee's donation, where the employee receives soft credit for that gift in the University Advancement database.

Outright gifts: Current and irrevocable (assignment of income; cash, checks and credit cards; securities – privately traded stocks; securities – publicly traded stocks; publicly traded bonds; mutual funds; partnership interests; real property; tangible personal property; intellectual property; life insurance; retirement plan distributions).

Regular gift: Any gift that does not meet policy criteria for requiring presidential approval and for which there is an existing Gift Fund for the purpose described.

Soft credit: Recognition given to any person or entity the university wishes to co-recognize for a gift that is otherwise attributable to a different person or entity for tax purposes.

Compliance Reference

Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended

Responsibilities

The Advancement Office will oversee this policy and provide education to all faculty and staff who are likely to receive gifts and offers of gifts.

The Advancement Office will “count” for purposes of gift credit and fundraising reporting, the value of all philanthropic gifts, adhering to the most current CASE Global Reporting Standards. This includes following accepted practices for valuation (or deferring to the donor to seek their own counsel for valuation of gifts used for tax deductions).

The Gift Processor may accept gifts received in the normal course of solicitation (e.g. gifts given online or in response to annual campaigns).

The Finance Office will record all gifts accepted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, policies, laws, and regulations that guide their department.

Enforcement

Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action including termination.