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NC State University Definition of a Charitable Gift

Based on National Association of College and University Business Officers Guidelines

Taken from NC State's "Definitions of Gifts, Grants, Contracts, Cooperative Agreement, Deliverables, and Performance and Process for Request and Receipt of External Funds"


A GIFT is an irrevocable transfer of personal property (e.g., cash, securities, books, equipment) or real property by a donor, either outright or through a planned/deferred gift vehicle (e.g., charitable gift annuity, retained life estate, charitable remainder trust or life insurance), for the charitable purpose designated by the donor and without expectation of a tangible or economic benefit to the donor except tax benefits and life income in the case of planned/deferred gifts. A gift to the University or a foundation implies no responsibility to provide the donor a product, service, technical or scientific report(s), or intellectual property rights. Providing stewardship activities to the donor such as the names of recipients of scholarships, awards, appointing the donor to membership on advisory committees, etc. or providing a proposed budget or a summary of how the funds were expended, does not prevent the contribution from being considered a gift. The donor may specify the use of the funds or the gift may be unrestricted for use in meeting needs identified by the University, college/school, or related support organization. A gift shall be deposited to the University or to a foundation depending upon to whom the check is made payable. Coordination of Corporate and Foundation Gift Proposals

University Advancement's coordination of proposals for $25,000 or more to corporations and foundations includes professional assistance to faculty and staff in the identification of funding sources, submission schedules, proposal preparation/editing and presentation strategies. Advancement Services will also provide information gathered in periodic conferences between principal liaison representatives in University Development and funding partners/prospects.

Within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Keith Oakley, the executive director for College Advancement; Sonia Murphy, director of gift planning; Sharon Rowland, the executive director of development for Extension programs; Catherine Maxwell, Director of Development for NCARS; Chris Cammarene-Wessel, campaign and departmental fund raising director; Kathy Kennel, executive director of the NC Agricultural and Tobacco Foundations, Inc. (managing GoldenLEAF and Tobacco Trust Fund grants); David Hays, the executive director for the North Carolina Landscapes of Opportunity Foundation, Anne Porter, director of development for the JC Raulston Arboretum; Michael J. Martin, executive director of the NC 4-H Development Fund; Maurene Rickards, executive director of the NC FCS Foundation; Joshua Starling, the executive director of the NC FFA Foundation; and Bill Collins, Senior Director of Development, (all working in the Office of Development and Foundations) coordinate proposals for corporate and foundation gifts, following procedures established by the Office of University Advancement and the CALS Business and Foundations Offices.


Steps to Follow When Submitting Proposals for Corporate and Foundation Gifts

Talk with your department head/director about the possibility of private fundraising for your program or project. Your department head will notify our office (chris_wessel@ncsu.edu) that you have approval to proceed.

Then call the CALS Development and Foundations Office at 919-515-2000 to speak with one of our development officers.

Give us the name of the prospective funder, and a brief synopsis of your program/project.

  • We will request that funder's guidelines, application forms and annual report, and call the funder to determine its interest in your project or program.
  • If it seems the funder is indeed a viable prospect for your project, we will forward a copy of the funder's guidelines, application forms, etc., to the CALS Business Office budget team.
  • The budget team will provide budgetary assistance and counsel as per University policy.
  • We will work with you to create a proposal/application packet for the prospect.
  • Where accepted by the funder, a grant administration fee of 5% will be added to cover costs incurred by the foundations and development office.
  • The original proposal packet will be completed online or mailed with a cover letter from the Chancellor and/or the Dean, as appropriate or as required by the funder.

If you are unsure as to whether the transaction should go through Foundations or the Contracts and Grants Office, call Keith (515-9262) or Chris (515-7678).

Some clues that will tell you if the grant may be classified as a "gift" are:

  • The funder only gives to organizations designated as non-profit by the I.R.S.
  • The funder mentions the term 501(c)3 or requires an I.R.S. letter be submitted.
  • The funder does not require any "deliverables." This does not include follow-up reports on how the money was spent, or stewardship activities like campus tours and visits.