Policy: 1217 Donor and Volunteer Gift Policy

Subject Area: Procurement/Disbursement
Responsible Office: Financial Services
Sponsor: Chief Financial Officer
Originally Issued: June 2011
Revised: N/A
Refer Questions To: Shared Services Help Desk, 773-702-5800

Purpose: To define the University Alumni Relation & Development policy on gifts to donors and volunteers in recognition of their support of the University.


  1. Recognition gifts must be given as part of a meaningful donor strategy and might include gifts to celebrate philanthropy, gifts for retiring volunteer leaders, recognition gifts, or sympathy gifts.
  2. Recognition Gifts are tangible items used to recognize a donor or volunteer for their gift of time, talent, or treasure. Examples include personalized or engraved photo frames or pens, floral arrangements, University of Chicago branded items, custom photo booklets, artifact presentations, and other items of this nature.
  3. Alumni Relation & Development staff have the authority to purchase recognition gifts for donors or volunteers in the amount of $500 or less without prior written approval. However, all recognition gifts in the amount of $500 or less are subject to final approval by the Assistant Vice President, Operations, for Alumni Relations and Development.
  4. Gifts in excess of $500 require prior written approval from the Vice President for Development. The written approval should be included with the payment request.
  5. Monetary Gifts are prohibited under this policy. Monetary Gifts include any cash or cash equivalent payments.  Cash equivalent payments include gift cards, gift certificates, or any other item that can be readily converted into cash.
  6. Payment requests for gifts to donors or volunteers in accordance with this policy should specify donor or volunteer name and provide a brief description of the efforts being recognized. Donor and volunteer gifts must be charged against subaccount 9907.