450-11: Gift Acceptance and Acknowledgement

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Establishes authority to accept and acknowledge gifts and private grants.


This policy establishes authority to accept and acknowledge gifts and private grants.


Formal process to accept a gift, agreeing to the terms, conditions, and restrictions on the gift, executed by a person authorized to accept gifts on behalf of the University.

Written notification sent to inform the donor that the gift has been received and accepted.

A voluntary, irrevocable transfer of something of value (e.g., cash, real estate, marketable securities, gifts-in-kind, mineral rights, inventions, patents) without receiving something of value in return at the time of transfer or any time in the future. Includes outright gifts, pledges, trusts, and bequests, but excludes grants from private sources.

An expressed intention or legal commitment to donate assets of a specific value over a mutually agreed upon period of time.

An award to UCSF in response to a proposal submitted to a private or corporate foundation, association, corporation, or private trust that specifies reports on expenditures, guidelines for audits, consideration for the grantor, testing or evaluating, and/or satisfying specific conditions or requirements for a specified period of performance.


Under Standing Order of The Regents 100.4 and Presidential Delegation of Authority – To Solicit and Accept Gifts (DA2631), formal acceptance is required for all gifts and pledges to The Regents, the UCSF Foundation, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation. Authority to accept gifts is re-delegated to select individuals within University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR).

  1. Gift Acceptance Authority
    1. Acceptance by the President or The Regents is required for gifts meeting any of the following conditions:
      1. Amount of gift exceeds $10,000,000
      2. Requires exceptions to approved University programs and policies
      3. Includes commitments for more than seven years
      4. Makes obligations on the part of the University to expenditures or costs for which there is no established funding source
      5. Funds construction of facilities not previously approved
      6. Includes an interest in real property
    2. Acceptance by the Chancellor is required for gifts exceeding $5,000,000
    3. Acceptance by UDAR is required for all gifts
  2. Gift Documentation Requirements
    1. Gift solicitations made by UCSF are to be reviewed and approved in advance in accordance with Policy 450-10, including all terms and conditions proposed by UCSF.
    2. All gifts and pledges must be clearly identified as such by the donor, in writing. Ideally this statement should:
      1. Express the intent to make a gift
      2. Identify the entity to receive the gift
      3. Describe the gift
      4. Declare the irrevocability of the transfer
      5. Designate the purpose(s) for which the gift is to be used
      6. Acknowledge the infrastructure and operations assessment
      7. Authorize endowment and funds-functioning-as-endowment gifts to:
        1. Combine with other funds for investment purposes
        2. Transfer of income to principal (i.e. reinvestment annual payout)
        3. Identify a new purpose if the original purpose is no longer valid
    3. The dollar amount of a gift shall be the amount of cash actually received or the fair market value of marketable securities or other property received. If in the form of a pledge, the dollar amount of the gift shall reflect the full amount pledged. 
    4. All gifts and pledges are to be directed to UDAR for acceptance and processing. If any gift is received by another unit, it is to be forwarded to UDAR immediately with a completed Controller’s Office Gift Transmittal Form.
    5. Foreign gifts (those received from donors domiciled outside the US) especially those with stipulations (restrictions, membership arrangements, etc.) can be accepted, but additional review must be performed in order to ensure compliance with Federal law and that no conflict of interest exists. Any questions should be directed to the UCSF Foundation Chief Financial Officer.
  3. Other Items that may be included
    1. Processing
    2. Establishing Gift Projects
    3. Conflict of Interest
    4. Naming (see Related Policies below)
    5. Establishment of Endowed Chairs


University Development and Alumni Relations is responsible for ensuring that all gifts received are processed in accordance with this and other campus and university policies.