IX - 5.30 - Policy on Gifts

I. Purpose

Bowie State University encourages, solicits and accepts gifts and donations that enable it to fulfill its mission. This policy provides guidance to the University and its supporters so as to facilitate the gift giving process.

II. Applicability (Scope, Eligibility, Responsibility)

A. This policy applies to all gifts and donations solicited, offered and accepted for the benefit of Bowie State University.

1. Gifts may be solicited and accepted from individuals, corporations, foundations, federal, state and local governments. However, they may be obtained only for programs and initiatives consistent with the mission of the University. No faculty member or other employee of Bowie State University may solicit gifts and grants on behalf of the University without the prior knowledge and approval of the President. Informal, exploratory inquiries to locate possible outside sources of support do not require such prior approval.

2. Gifts are donatives in nature and may be in the form of money, real property, personal property and non-contractual grants received in support of programs and projects. They are current or outright gifts, bequests or deferred gifts. Sponsored project awards are not gifts, since they generally are received in exchange for a specific, research-related, performance requirement that is attached to the acceptance, and which may or may not benefit the donor or sponsor.

B. The University cannot receive gifts that are overly restrictive in purpose or that are targeted toward the benefit of particular individuals.

1. Gifts with the least restrictions are the most desirable, as unrestricted funds allow the University to address its most pressing needs. Gifts accepted by the University must not prevent it from seeking gifts from other donors be they similar, different, foreign or domestic. Gifts must be designed and administered in ways that are not in contravention of Federal or State law, Board of Regents policies, University System of Maryland policies or Bowie State University policies.

C. Routine gifts are accepted and administered through the Division of Institutional Advancement.

1. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement has final authority to accept routine gifts. Gifts and grants with a value of $1 00,000 dollars or more (cash, securities, land, buildings, materials, supplies, furniture, equipment, books, historical documents, art objects, etc.) require the official acceptance of the President.  Offers of gifts that expose the University to adverse publicity, require undue expenditures, or involve the University in unexpected responsibilities because of their source; conditions or purposes will be referred to the President's Executive Councilor to a committee, established to oversee the acceptance and disposition of gifts, whose members are appointed by the President of the University.

III. Guidelines and Standards

A. Gift Review and Acceptance

1. Any gift which has restrictive terms or conditions must be reviewed and approved prior to acceptance. The Division of Institutional Advancement performs this review and may require consultation with the University Attorney, Controller, recipient department, PEC or Committee for Acceptance and Disposition of Gifts (if established).

2. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement and/or the Director for Development will review all recommendations to determine if a gift will be accepted. If the gift is not accepted, the Division of Institutional Advancement will send written notification to the department explaining how the gift will be handled.  If the gift is accepted, it will be acknowledged through the gift processing system.  When applicable, the department will arrange for delivery or pickup of the property.

3. Acceptance of personal property or real property requires the approval of the appropriate Vice President, Dean and Department Chair prior to acceptance. The approval must be in writing and submitted to the Division of Institutional Advancement before acceptance.

4. All gifts must be adequately documented to ensure proper recording (e.g. letter from donor, pledge card, memorandum of understanding)

5. Gifts other than moneys should be accompanied by a written offer of the gift from the donor to the University. It should include a full description of gift, the donor's name, address, phone number, identifying number, donor's representation of the value and any restrictions.

6. Gifts with a stated value of$5,000 dollars or more must be valued by an independent appraiser. The University may not pay for the appraisal. Gifts with a value between $500 dollars and $5,000 dollars may be appraised by a qualified expert on staff. If a qualified expert is not available, the donor must provide an independent appraisal. Gifts of $500 dollars or less may be reported at the value declared by the donor. The Division of Institutional Advancement must forward documentation/or gifts-in-kind valued over $25,000 dollars to the University System of Maryland, Office of the Vice Chancellor/or Advancement.

7. The University recommends that donors and prospective donors always consult their own legal counsel or tax advisors for opinions about the tax or other legal consequences of specific situations.

8. All gifts must be acknowledged with a letter or official gift receipt. The official receipt date is usually the day the gift is placed in the hands of an official Bowie State University representative.

9. The Institutional Advancement Division is the only University agency authorized to provide the letters or official gift receipt to donors. Acknowledgment letters may be signed by the President or the Vice President or the Director of Development.  Deans and Directors of receiving units should also acknowledge the gift. The Development Office will work with receiving units to develop appropriate acknowledgment letters.

10. Gifts that are not processed according to these guidelines will not be considered as accepted by the University.

11. Gifts should not be accepted if any of the following exists:

a) The gift violates applicable Federal or State laws, Board of Regents, University System of Maryland or Bowie State University policies.

b) The gift is not in the best interests of the University.

c) The gift obligates the University to undertake financial or other duties that it is not fully capable of meeting for the period required by the terms and conditions of the gift.

d) The gift cannot be properly administered within the intended recipient's normal budget or resources (for example matching funds).

e) The gift presents an unreasonable degree of risk due to environmental, health or safety hazards.

IV. Definitions

A. Gifts are voluntary transfers of things of value from a person or organization for which no goods and services are expected, implied or forthcoming from the donor. Gifts may be in the form of money or tangible gifts-in-kind (equipment, software, furniture or books).

B. Types of Gifts

1. Unrestricted gifts are gifts in which the donor retains no interest and for which no specific program or purpose has been designated by the donor.

2. Restricted gifts are designated for specific programs or projects by the donor.

3. Grants are funds received from corporations, foundations, government and" from private non-government sources. Grants, unlike contracts, are donatives in nature. They are bestowed voluntarily and with no expectations.

4. Planned gifts are gifts made by the donor during his/her life time that will pass to the charity upon his/her death. They may be in the form of gift annuities, bequests, pooled income fund, charitable remainder trusts, retained life estate, life insurance. Copies of bequests, trust agreements or other planned giving devices are retained by the System Development Office.

C. Allocation of Gifts

1. Operating funds may be restricted or restricted. They are used for regular ongoing expenses including student support.

2. Capital funds are for building construction, renovation, or remodeling; or for equipment, books, or other non-disposable items.

3. Permanent Endowment funds are funds established and maintained in perpetuity. The donors have stipulated that the principal be permanently invested and only the income used.

4. Quasi-endowment funds are funds functioning like endowments, which are established by the University rather than an external donor.


Effective Date:  12/15/1999