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- Gift Certificates
Donated gift certificates are not routinely recorded as gifts because they are not gifts until the certificate is redeemed. It is too onerous for the donor and AUF to monitor their subsequent use. However, should a donor choose to provide substantiation when donated gift certificates are used, they may be recorded.
- Gift Transmittal
The accounting staff works diligently to ensure donors are receipted within forty-eight (48) hours and in accordance with internal and IRS guidelines. Gift entry procedures are continually evaluated for quality control to ensure timeliness, accuracy and efficiency. Internal and external auditors recommend that gifts be sent direct to Accounting. For efficient and timely processing, donors should be encouraged to do so. However, it is recognized that often a gift comes first to a Development staff member. In these cases, the check and any accompanying documents, accompanied by a Gift/Pledge Records Form, should be remitted to Accounting the same day. If information regarding its designation is pending, retain a copy of the check while this is being investigated. Large checks will be deposited, pending receipt of information to allow it to be entered into ASCEND.
If a donor wishes to make a gift by credit card, the donor should be directed to the on-line site whenever possible.
Gifts should not be sent to Accounting through Campus Mail. Courier service is available by calling 734-0276 or 734-0275.
Cash (currency) should be delivered in person to Eagle Crossing, where the cash will be counted in your presence and a cash receipt issued.
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- Gift/Pledge Records Form (Orange Form)
Each time a check is received without a source form (see examples below), a Gift/Pledge Records Form (Orange Form) is to be completed. This form also accompanies the fully executed, original AUF agreement, since it is the form summarizing the information used to book the gift. This form should indicate donor specified restrictions on the use of the gift. If a donor does not specify a restriction, the gift is unrestricted. No AU employee has the right to specify a restriction or select a restricted fund.
When a pledge is received from a donor, the orange form supported by a properly completed letter of intent or a signed pledge card, must be sent to Accounting to allow the pledge to be recorded prior to receipt of the first pledge payment. Real estate gifts are coordinated through the VP of Development and the AUF Property Manager since they require the approval of AUREF.
Approved gifts of real property also require an orange form prior to booking, and should be supported by the appraisal and the original property deed. The following gifts do not require the use of the Orange Form:
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- marketable securities submitted to Treasury Services with the appropriate valuation
- pledge payments returned with a pledge reminder card
- annual fund contributions returned with a solicitation card
- phonathon gifts returned with a pledge reminder card
- gifts accompanied by donor letter
- gifts accompanied by school/college solicitation form
- gifts of personal property, which require the use of the gift-in-kind form (see below)
- Gifts-in-Kind Form
Many donors contribute appreciated real estate, securities or intellectual property to AUF. In addition, certain tangible personal property including works of art, books, equipment, furnishings, vehicles, animals, inventories and other valuables may be appropriate gifts for a particular discipline or a library or museum collection. These types of gifts are called gifts-in-kind and under certain circumstances (with the exception of vehicles) can receive the same beneficial tax treatment as gifts of real estate and securities. The donor pays no capital gains tax, and is also eligible for a tax deduction at fair market value. Gifts of real estate and marketable securities require special procedures as discussed above in the Gift Acceptance Policy for Marketable Securities and Real Property (B.4.b. and f. respectively).
Note that for gifts to be added to the permanent collections of AU, such as works of art or historical collections, there will usually be other formal approval processes and committees whose procedures must be followed. The DO should contact the head of the area that is to receive the gift as early in the process as possible to ensure the gift will be used in their program in a substantial manner.
Gifts of tangible personal property to be retained and used in a university program and those to be sold that are valued at $5,000 or greater should be accompanied by a properly completed and supported Gift-in-Kind form and processed as follows. The DO responsible for the gift should complete/coordinate the completion of a gift-in-kind form. See intranet at Forms/accounting/Gift & donations/forms.
Step One is to obtain the initial permission to accept the proposed gift. Complete the form with the
Upon completion, the professor, researcher, or department head will sign the form and forward it to the Dean for approval. Once the Dean's signature has been obtained, the gift-in-kind form is sent to the VP for Development for approval to accept the gift. Museum gifts-in-kind follow the same procedures with the added requirement that all items for accessioning must be recommended by the Director of the Museum, with the advice and consent of the Museum's Advisory Board.
The original of the approved form should be returned to the DO or the faculty member to authorize them to accept the gift. A copy will be sent to Accounting to be logged into the tracking system.
Step Two is to physically take possession/ownership of the gift. The person receiving the gift must
- Name of the department receiving the gift,
- Name, address of the legal donor,
- Description of the property and estimate of the value
- Memorandum describing how the gift-in-kind will be used in the receiving department's program "in a substantial manner" for a period of no less than 3 years.
Then return the completed form to Development Accounting.
Gifts of tangible personal property to be used in a special event or to be sold at a silent auction are governed by the Special Fund Raising Events Policy.
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- Obtain the donor's signature on the form signifying that ownership is being relinquished,
- Note the date the gifted property is actually received,
- Attach the appraisal or other valuation documentation.
- Gifts of Automobiles, Boats, and Airplanes
In July, 2006, the IRS changed the deduction allowed a donor of automobiles, boats and airplanes. Unless the vehicle is actually being retained and used in a University program in a "substantial manner" for a period of three (3) years, the donor's deduction is limited to the amount for which it is sold, and the receipt must reflect this amount. A tax form 1098-C must be filed with the IRS by AUF showing this information, and a copy provided to the donor for the donor's tax return. In order to sell a donated vehicle, it must first be re-titled to AUF, a tag purchased and sales tax paid.
- Gifts of Real Property
Gifts of real property will be made to the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation, Inc. and require approval by its Board before acceptance (see the Real Property section of the Gift Acceptance Policy, and the related Appendix B). Whenever real property is offered to AUF, the VP for Development should be notified immediately. In no case should a DO allow a donor to record a deed in the name of AUF and then present it as a completed gift.
Real estate gifts also require an assessment of environmental status prior to acceptance. The VP will determine whether to assign the project to the property manager or to legal counsel, and a determination will also need to be made as to how the title will be held.
Upon formal acceptance of the gift, the deed and appraisal should be sent to Accounting with a memo or Gift/Pledge Commitment Form identifying the donor and documenting the donor's restrictions, if any, on its use so that it can be recorded and an official tax receipt issued.
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Last Updated: February 5, 2015