Sac State University Policy Manual


Policy Administrator: Vice President, University Advancement
Effective Date: July 1, 1987
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: UMG05050.htm


The University President may accept gifts on behalf of the State in accordance with the following:

1. Money
a. All unconditional gifts of money. The Chancellor's Executive Order No. 170 delegates to the President authority to accept conditional gifts of money provided the only condition attached to such gifts is that the money be used for scholarship, loan or similar student financial aid purposes.

b. When the condition of giving is that it is to be used for personal services not to exceed $500 or for purchase of equipment. (Any equipment purchased comes under the limitations stated below in Section 2, Personal Property.)
2. Personal Property (excludes cars, trucks or buses)
a. The gift is unconditional.

b. The property will not require more than 100 square feet of floor space for housing or the construction of specialized facilities.

c. The property will not require unreasonable amounts of money, in relation to value and use, for operation, repair, or maintenance. Two copies of the letter of acceptance must be forwarded to the Chancellor's Office per California Administrative Code, Title 5, Section 42300.

Encouragement should be given to individuals or groups to establish scholarships and to make direct contributions for the benefit of the University. Persons indicating an interest in making a gift or in establishing or contributing to a scholarship fund should be encouraged by members of the faculty to do so. Such persons should be referred to the President of the University or to the Director of Financial Aid.

Gifts not qualifying for acceptance as described above can be accepted only by mutual agreement of the President and the Chancellor of the California State University. The Associate Vice President for Finance shall be responsible for compliance with all gift acceptance procedures where either university or state regulations are involved. (CAM 541.2) Letters of acceptance of gifts of student aid are prepared by the Director of Financial Aid.

The President of California State University, Sacramento must officially accept (by CSU policy) and will acknowledge all gifts to the University. The Office of University Affairs, through the executive Director for University Advancement, is responsible for seeing that this is accomplished. Other units, including the unit receiving the gift, do not need to prepare the acknowledgement letters for the President.

A Gift Acceptance Form (GAF) is required for every gift acquired by CSUS or one of its 501c3 auxiliaries (e.g. Hornet Foundation, CSUS Trust Foundation, Stinger Foundation, ASI, University Union). In the case of many small gifts, the total can be combined on one GAF with an attached sheet listing the individual donors, addresses and amounts. These forms are available from University Stores without charge.

The green copy of the GAF, sent to the Vice President for University Affairs, will trigger the appropriate acknowledgement from the President:

$ 1 - $ 99: a pre-printed card
100 - 249: a form letter
250 & up: a personalized letter

Persons associated with CSUS or one of its 501c3 auxiliaries who receive the gift are encouraged to write personal thank you letters, over their own signatures, to donors as desired. Copies should be attached to the GAF copy sent to University Affairs (the green sheet) to avoid duplication of phrases by the President.

If there are particular things concerning the gift which the President should mention in his letter to the donor, they also can be attached to the green sheet as an additional note. Copes of letters from the President to the donor will be blind-copied to the units receiving the gifts.

If the gift is being deposited with the CSUS Trust or Hornet Foundation or other 501c3 auxiliary, the white sheet should go to that office. If it is to be deposited in a University account, the white sheet should go to the Vice President for Finance. If no Gift Acceptance Form is attached to a gift check submitted for deposit, the business office receiving the check (i.e., the CSUS Trust or Hornet Foundation or other 501c3 CSUS auxiliary) is responsible for initiating the GAF, by contacting the unit and requesting the form or by filling out the form. No gift check shall be deposited without a GAF.

Timeliness is very important in this acknowledgement process. The donor should be thanked by the department or school within 48 hours of the receipt of the gift by CSUS. An acknowledgement from the President will follow as soon after as is possible.



CSUS retains the rights to accept or decline gifts in-kind (such as paintings, books, antiques, sculpture, furniture and equipment) on an individual basis. There are some gifts that CSUS, wisely, may not want to accept. If there is a question as to any restrictions attached to a gift that is offered to the University, University Advancement should be contacted before a CSUS department agrees to accept the gift. The exact placement of furniture or equipment cannot be guaranteed.

A Gift Acceptance Form (available from Stores) must be filed on all gifts in-kind received by the University. All gifts will be acknowledged promptly and donors will be listed in the Honor Roll of donors published annually. The value of in-kind gifts also will be counted toward annual membership in Gift Societies. However, the value of in-kind gifts will not count toward any pledge to the University.

The in-kind gift must be accepted by CSUS before December 31 to qualify as a gift in that calendar tax year, although the gift does not actually have to be "on campus" by that time.


CSUS is not responsible for affixing value to any gift. It is the responsibility of the donor to prove the true value of the gift. If the gift is valued in excess of $5,000, its value must be affixed by an independent appraisal.

It is the responsibility of the donor and his/her tax advisors to be knowledgeable of the tax laws and to comply with them. The Internal Revenue Service guidelines in use at the time of transfer will be strictly adhered to.

Transportation and appraisal costs will be borne by the donor.

The following laws now apply for gifts in three categories:
1. Gifts Valued in Excess of $5,000:

A completed IRS Form 8283 (Noncash Charitable Contributions) must be obtained by the donor and attached to the tax return for the year when the deduction is first claimed. The appraisal portion must be signed by an appraiser qualified in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, with his/her tax identification number (social security number). Form 8283 must be submitted to CSUS and must be signed by an officer of the University. A copy of the signed form, indicating CSUS received the gift, should be filed with the Gift Acceptance Form in the CSUS Business Office.

Under the tax law, if CSUS transfers property whose claimed value for purposes of the charitable contribution deduction is more than $5,000 for any single item, within two years of the date of receipt of that property, CSUS must file Form 8282 with the IRS, with a copy to the donor. Gift Acceptance Forms on gifts appraised at more than $5,000 must be separately inventoried by Support Services in order to comply with this requirement.

2. Gifts Valued at Less Than $5,000:

Donor must keep adequate records (receipts, appraisals) pertaining to the value of the donated items. Appraisal for these items need not be attached to the donor's tax return. CSUS does not need to sign IRS Form 8283.

A Gift Acceptance Form must be filed. CSUS will not issue receipts for these items. An acknowledgement letter will be sent to the donor (value of the gift will not be stated).

3. Gifts In-Kind That Do Not Have Appraised Value Assigned to Them:

These gifts will be acknowledged by the University and listed in the Honor Roll. A Gift Acceptance Form must be filled out by the accepting University official, with "no appraised value" written into the proper place. The appropriate Gift Club may be noted, based on the gift's approximate value as estimated by the CSUS department.

Suggested steps to be taken when a gift of property is offered:

1. Ascertain that the appropriate College/School/unit
actually wants or needs the gift, or that it can be sold to benefit the University.

2. Notify the donor that CSUS would be pleased to accept the gift, or give him/her a truthful but tactful reason why we cannot accept the gift. If you suspect the value may be more than $5,000, you can remind the donor of the IRS rulings and assure the donor that we will be pleased to sign the IRS form 8283 at the time of accepting the gift.

3. Fill out a Gift Acceptance Form and send copies to the appropriate areas listed on the bottom of the form. Immediately write a letter of thanks to the donor.

4. Remember to thank the donor again, perhaps six months or a year later, if the gift is continuing to provide service/pleasure to our University. Perhaps you can invite them to campus to see the gift in use, or invite them to come and enjoy a campus concert, play, lecture, etc. We can never thank our donors too often! Questions should be directed to the office of the Executive Director, University Advancement.