The University of Wisconsin–Madison (the University) has a fiscal responsibility to ensure appropriate and compliant acceptance and administrative stewardship of gifts made directly to the University, and gifts made to the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) in support of the University.
This policy defines the gift criteria and the standards for accepting and using gifts.
This policy applies to University employees involved in the receipt and use of gifts. University division leaders have a responsibility to ensure that employees accepting and using gifts are fully informed of the gift acceptance and expenditure standards in this policy and related procedures.
To be classified as a gift, a monetary contribution must meet all the following criteria:
Due to IRS regulations, employees of the University are prohibited from making a tax-deductible gift, either individually or through a foundation or donor advised fund, that is restricted to support or directly benefit their own work or that of an immediate family member at the University. However, a gift is permissible, including support to an employee’s own department, when:
Employees of the University must not pursue and/or accept a gift that, in their own judgement:
Employees of the University involved in the receipt of an individual gift of $25,000 or more directly to the University must make an effort to authenticate the identity of the prospective donor and must exercise and document donor risk-based due diligence. The donor identity authentication process must be performed one time per donor and must include screening donors against tools such as Google advanced search, Bizapedia, or Dun and Bradstreet. The authentication process must also include requesting the University Export Control Office to screen prospective domestic and international donors against available denied/excluded parties lists. A due diligence checklist can be used to evidence characteristics of prospective donors and aid the gift acceptance decision-making process. A due diligence checklist can include, but is not limited to:
The University Controller may override a University employee’s decision to accept a gift should the University Controller determine that accepting such gift is noncompliant with laws and regulations the University is subject to, or any of the standards enclosed in this policy.
All gifts accepted by the University directly must be acknowledged in writing.
Employees of the University shall not provide financial planning, legal, accounting, or tax advice to donors. Donors should be encouraged to seek the assistance of their own financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts.
Revenue generated from activities supported by gift funds belongs to the University.
All gifts must be used in accordance with donor intent, and in compliance with laws and regulations the University is subject to and with University and University of Wisconsin System policies.
As a general principle, gifts provided to WFAA for the benefit of the University shall be expended by way of University fund 233 projects or fund 533. Gift funds must be readily available at WFAA or in funds 233 and 533 prior to incurring expenses against these funds. Incurring expenses in funds 233 and 533 in anticipation of a gift may result in negative cash balances, which must be restored to zero or positive balances by June 30 of each fiscal year.
When expenditures are not allowable per University or University of Wisconsin System policies, the University may submit requests to WFAA to pay funds directly to vendors. Such requests will be evaluated by WFAA for compliance with WFAA disbursement policies.
Non-compliance with this policy or related procedures may result in disciplinary actions through established employment policies.