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 University personnel, 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, 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
Gifts deeded to the University: University President
The Board of Trustees and the President may delegate certain responsibilities relating to the acceptance of gifts to the Gift Acceptance Committee or to the Foundation staff.
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 but may not be limited to:
The Gift Acceptance Committee shall make the final determination for gifts of moderate risk.
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.
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:
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 Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations 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 an 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 strive to 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 their designees in attendance in order to vote to approve or decline gifts. Attendance may be considered to be in person, participating via conference call, or via email, if the meeting is held in an email format. It may be necessary on occasion for a member’s designee to attend in order to consider a gift, but every effort must be made for members to represent and vote for themselves.
4) Majority Vote Required
Decisions of the Committee must be made by a majority vote of the quorum. If a 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.
Legal and ethical requirements, designed to protect both the donor, the University, and the Foundation, prohibit the University itself from appraising most gifts. Such appraisals are to be conducted by appraiser’s independent from the University. The cost of an appraisal will be the donor’s responsibility.
The policy of the Foundation is for donors to provide their own appraisals at their own expense. The University reserves the right to conduct appraisals for internal accounting or other purposes.
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.
The Foundation will provide donors with a charitable gift statement within 30 days of receipt of the gift. The statement will also indicate the Foundation’s 501(c)(3) IRS status. It is the responsibility of donor(s) to accurately and properly document their charitable gifts on their individual IRS tax returns and consult their legal, financial and tax advisors, when necessary.
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 determined by the Gift Acceptance 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 donor in a Gift Agreement. Gifts with restrictions that do not further the University’s mission will not be accepted.