Gift Services Guidelines

University of Washington

Gift Services

Charitable Gift Guidelines

 (Approved by the Vice President for University Advancement by authority of Executive Order No. 62)

Please refer to Grants Information Memorandum 34, Guidelines for Classification of Sponsored Projects and Gifts, to ensure that funds provided are appropriately classified as a gift to the institution.

Expenditures from gift accounts must comply with all applicable university policies, including but not limited to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Radiation Safety, Biosafety, and Disclosure of Significant Financial Interests.


The following procedures address the various types of gifts the University may receive, each of which has special processing considerations. For most gifts, processing is handled by Gift Services.

Gifts submitted for processing must be accompanied by a Gift Transmittal form, unless accompanied by a preprinted response device. Direct mail solicitation are encouraged to be returned directly to Gift Services, Box 359505; 98195-9505. Gifts received without proper documentation to support charitable or donor intent will be returned to the originating department. Additionally, Gift Transmittal forms without the proper original signatures will also be returned to the originating department.

Gift Transmittal forms may be obtained online at


Many independent agencies have established affiliated articulation agreements with the University of Washington. Gift Services is responsible for the deposit, recording and/or receipting of charitable gifts on behalf of some, but not all, of these agencies.

Agencies independently handling the bank deposit and receipts for gifts independent of Gift Services is responsible for gift acceptance, compliance with applicable laws and University policies, proper receipting, and donor acknowledgment.

For University Advancement reporting purposes, each independent agency is expected to provide Gift Services with timely and coordinated lists and/or extracts detailing the donor and gift information. This information is then recorded by Gift Services for inclusion in donor giving histories, and overall fundraising reports.

All official charitable gift receipts must be issued from the appropriate agency. Gift Services provides receipts on behalf of the University of Washington, UW Foundation, and Harborview Medical Center.


Federal Tax Id

University of Washington 91-6001537
UW Foundation 94-3079432
UW Physicians Network (Harborview Medical Center) 91-1715882
Arboretum Foundation 91-0613583
Burke Museum Association 91-2151686
Henry Art Gallery Inc. 23-7052537
Friends of KEXP 91-2061474
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio 91-2079402
University of Washington School of Law Foundation 23-7066063
William D. Ruckelshaus Center Foundation 20-4490085
University of Washington Alumni Association 91-0450697
University of Washington Retirement Association 91-1021870
Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation 91-0839203


Credit Cards

The University of Washington accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards.

If a donor wishes to make a gift by credit card over the phone, the Student Calling office, or Gift Services can assist in completion of these credit card transactions.

For credit card gifts submitted to Gift Services, please provide the credit card number, expiration date, and name on card, amount, allocation, and daytime telephone number for the donor.

One time, recurring, and sustaining credit card donations can be made online at


All checks should be made payable to the “University of Washington Foundation.” All other checks will be recorded as donations to the “University of Washington”. The ability to process checks made out to departments or funds other than the University of Washington Foundation is subject to the discretion of the bank.

Checks should be sent to Gift Services within five days of receipt.

Checks in excess of $50,000 and all currency items should be hand-delivered.

Checks accompanied by a University solicitation reply form should be sent directly to Gift Services, along with the envelope in which the gift arrived.

Checks Payable to Third Parties

Checks made payable to third parties, such as faculty members or independent organizations, can be processed if endorsed by the payee on the back of the check: “pay to the order of the University of Washington Foundation (with signature of payee).”

Per IRS guidelines, Gift Services will recognize and receipt the payee as the legal donor of the gift.   A legal receipt cannot be provided to the original check writer. Associated credit for the gift may be recorded to honor the original check writer as a contributor.

Wire Transfers

If a donor wishes to make a gift via a wire transfer, the department should request the following from the donor:

  • The name and location of the donor’s bank which will initiate the wire transfer.
  • A letter to the department indicating the amount and intended purpose of the gift.

In return, the department will need to provide the donor with the following information: the name and address of the University’s bank to which the funds should be transferred, along with the University’s account. For bank account details, please contact Gifts Services at

Department should send e-mail to Kristina Madden,; Nanci Modolo,; and with the following information:

  • Expected Date of Transfer
  • Amount
  • Source (Donor Information)
  • Budget to be credited for gift allocation(s)
  • Department contact person and phone number

When a wire transfer has been received, the department is responsible for the following:

  • Completing a Gift Transmittal and forwarding it along with all donor correspondence (indicating the amount and intent of the gift where applicable).
  • Sending a letter of acknowledgment to the donor.

Cash (Currency and Coins)

Cash should be deposited directly to the gift account via Banking and Accounting Operations. Please refer to “How to Create a Check and Cash Deposit” online at, for additional information.  A copy of the deposit slip and related cash transmittal must be sent along with the accompanying donor information to Gift Services for recording and receipting of the donation.

Cash deposits by Gift Services are handled on a weekly basis. Cash must be hand-delivered to our office no later than 3:00 p.m., with notification to Gift Services at least an hour in advance of delivery. Large amounts of coin should be delivered in coin rolls; rolls can be supplied by any bank.

Foreign Bank Drafts and Foreign Currency Gifts

Foreign currency items, including Canadian dollar gifts, may be accepted in any amount, and will be credited at the U.S. dollar exchange rates applicable on the date deposited.

Foreign currency checks and U.S. dollar drafts drawn on foreign banks under $50.00 should be discouraged, as banking fees charged may be greater than the value of the check. The University’s bank will not accept foreign coins.


University departments and development offices receiving gifts of securities should contact the Operations Analyst in the UW Treasury Office to coordinate these transactions.

The UW Treasury Office determines the value of the stock and sends weekly notification of incoming gifts of securities to University Advancement personnel.

Gifts of securities are recorded when the proceeds from the sale of the securities are received. Once the gift is recorded, Gift Services will issue a receipt to the donor with a statement regarding the deductibility of the securities appropriate to the current applicable tax law.

Departments are encouraged to acknowledge these gifts based on the weekly notification from the UW Treasury Office.

Additional information is provided online by the UW Treasury Office at

And, for donors, at

University of Washington Employee Payroll Deductions

University of Washington employees may make gifts through payroll deduction.

  • Payroll deduction donations should be made for a six months duration at minimum.
  • Payroll deductions will start the first pay period of the following month.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to you summarizing your deduction.
  • For temporary employees, the length of the appointment must extend beyond six months from the start of your payroll deduction.   For deductions that do not meet the six month duration, employees are encouraged to provide recurring gifts online at

A Payroll Gift Deduction Request form is available online at

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify the Payroll Office Gifts Services of any changes or cancellations to their deductions by email at


The Washington State Executive Ethics Board released a new item stating that it is a violation of the state Ethics Act for a faculty member who is a state employee to make a profit on the sale of his or her textbooks to students at his or her educational institution. For more information, please refer to Faculty may redirect these payments in one of two methods:

  • The faculty may receive the royalties and write a personal check to donate the funds directly to the University of Washington. The faculty member will receive the appropriate tax receipt for the contribution.
  • The faculty may direct the publisher to directly donate the royalties to the University of Washington. The publisher will receive a tax receipt for the contribution, and the faculty will receive honorary credit for the gift(s).

All royalties directed to gift accounts must be accompanied by the Faculty Donated Royalties Gift Form.

Note:  Most royalties, honoraria, and consulting fees from the sponsoring organization paid directly to the University are accepted as “Assigned Income”, and credited to the individual who has redirected their payment to the University.

Honoraria, Consulting Fees, and Outside Work

Gifts that result from outside work by faculty and staff (e.g., compensation for serving on a corporate board, honoraria for speaking engagements, royalty compensation, etc.) As a reminder, whenever conducting outside work, faculty and staff must adhere to the Outside Professional Work for Compensation policy under Academic Human Resources.

Agreed upon compensation for outside work/services performed

If the faculty or staff member has negotiated or agreed upon the amount of compensation for work/service performed, the individual may opt to donate the compensation received to the University in the following ways:

  • Deposit the check in their personal bank account and writing a personal check as a donation to UW Foundation
  • Endorsing the original check from the organization, making it payable to the UW Foundation
  • Having the sponsoring organization send the payment directly to Gift Services, along with a letter stating that the donation is being sent on behalf of the individual in lieu of direct payment

In all of these scenarios, the individual will receive a tax-deductible receipt, along with a name of the originating organization in the comment of the receipt.

Waiver of compensation for outside work/services performed

If the faculty or staff member has chosen to waive compensation for outside work, an organization who is engaging a speaker or consultant may opt to make a donation to the University in recognition of the individual’s work. In order for Gift Services to process these as gifts from sponsoring organizations, a letter from the organization must accompany the Gift Transmittal form (a sample waiver letter may be found here), and the following statements must be true:

  • The Faculty or staff member declined compensation for work/services performed
  • There was no expectation of a gift to UW from the outside organization
  • The outside organization chose to make a gift payable to UW in recognition of the work performed by the individual

A full explanation of how UW processes gifts that result from outside work may be found under the heading Non-UW Compensation on this page:

Note:  When faculty are donating to programs whose budgets they administer, the faculty member and Dean must complete a Faculty Donated Gifts Form which confirms that the faculty member is not the sole contributor to the budget, and that money from the fund is dispensed impartially to support the educational purposes of the entire unit or department. This form may be obtained online at or from Gift Services 206–685–1980.

Bequests and Deferred Gifts (Trusts, Annuities, Life Insurance, Estates, Etc.)

All questions regarding bequests and deferred gifts should be directed to the Office of Gift Planning, 206–685–1001.

Copies of wills and notices from attorneys regarding bequests should be promptly forwarded to the Office of Gift Planning. When the University receives a bequest distribution, the check and instructions regarding deposit will be forwarded to Gift Services by the Office of Gift Planning for gift recording and donor recognition.

Gift Services makes gift reporting entries and provides donor recognition credit as instructed by the Office of Planned Giving. Tax receipts for deferred gifts are handled by the Office of Gift Planning.

Additional information is available at

Tribute, Memorial, and Honorary Gifts

A tribute gift is a meaningful way to convey sympathy to the bereaved, memorialize a loved one, commemorate a special occasion or honor a person’s life and accomplishments. Your gift to the University of Washington made in honor or memory of this special person ensures a legacy that extends far into the future.

Gifts made with special recognition of specific individuals should be forwarded to Gift Services with a Gift Transmittal form, just as any with other gift. Gift Services will send a special tribute receipt only to the donor, listing the name of the individual/special occasion being honored. If contact information for the person being honored/memorialized is provided, our colleagues in Donor Services will send an acknowledgement to the individual(s) honored or next of kin, as appropriate. If you have questions or would like to provide contact information for this special notification, please send an email to

If a department receives a memorial gift intended for funds in the School of Medicine, the gift should be directed to the UW Medicine Advancement office, where it will be reviewed and forwarded to Gift Services.

For additional information please refer to the Tribute, Memorial & Honorary Gifts website.

Corporate Matching Gifts

Many employers offer matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. All matching gifts are directed to the fund designated by the original donor, unless prohibited by the organization’s matching gift policy.

University Advancement provides recognition credit for corporate matches to the individual employee who arranged for the University to receive the match. These gifts, therefore, can double (or more) the amount received from an individual, in addition to increasing the donor recognition from the university.

In most cases, the employee coordinates submission of a matching gift claim through the organization’s human resources or benefits office. Once this form is submitted, Gift Services validates these claims via online corporate portals with individual login accounts. Matching gift funds for validated claims are received according to the payout cycle determined by the matching organization.

Many companies state that they do not match gifts to the Department of Athletics if there are direct benefits to the donor, even if the funds are used for athletic scholarships.   All seat-related gifts to Intercollegiate Athletics are 80% tax-deductible per IRS guidelines. Gift Services will review the matching organization’s policies to determine which gifts may be eligible to be matched.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have become an increasingly popular vehicle for payroll deduction and matching gift disbursements.  If you are looking for a matching gift you may not find it on the matching organization’s record.  Matching gift funds received through these DAFs are legally credited to the DAF, such as Benevity and Network for Good.  Associated credit is given to the employee and their spouse where appropriate, along with the matching gift, and to the originating organization for the matching gift amount.  Some DAFs include fees which are deducted from the original donation amount.  However, the individual(s) and matching organization will be credited for the full amount of their original gift.  Some organizations may opt to pay for these fees, but this is on a case by case basis.

University units should forward all matching gift inquiries/forms/requests to the Gift Services matching gifts coordinator by contacting Gift Services at (206) 685-1980 or

All corporate matching gift claim accounts must be established and maintained centrally by Gift Services.

A searchable list of participating organizations and their matching gift policy information is available online at

In-Kind Gifts

In-kind gifts are gifts of tangible personal property or equipment. There are two types of in-kind gifts: related use and nonrelated use.

  • Related use allows the receiving unit or department to use the donated property or equipment. Development officers and their respective units are responsible for acknowledging and processing related use, in-kind gifts.
  • Nonrelated use occurs when equipment or property is intended for sale. These gifts are handled by the Office of Gift Planning and approved by the Vice President for University Advancement and the Director of Gift Planning. Nonrelated use, in-kind gifts should be referred to the Director of Gift Planning, 206–685–1001.

Note: The rest of this section refers exclusively to related use, in-kind gifts.

Acceptance—Donations of tangible personal property or equipment should be carefully evaluated by the unit’s development officer and director or dean prior to acceptance. The gift should be desirable to the unit, and not result in unanticipated expense or liability.
Acceptance vs. Deductibility—The University issues receipts for tax purposes for gifts of tangible personal property noting “value unassigned”. The donor should be instructed to consult a tax advisor about the steps the donor needs to take to substantiate the deduction.
Processing In-Kind Gifts—Donations of tangible personal property or equipment should be reported on the Gift Transmittal and sent with the appropriate documentation to Gift Services. In-kind gifts should be reported regardless of whether or not a value can be assigned. Where values are unavailable, the box for “value unassigned” should be checked on the Gift Transmittal form.
   In order to assign a value for an in-kind gift, Gift Services requires the following documentation:

Gifts From Individuals

Gifts From Corporations

Gifts Under $5,000: Independent appraisal, or UW staff member appraisal. Independent appraisal, appraisal from the corporation, or staff member appraisal.
New Gifts Over $5,000: Independent appraisal. Recent bill of sale, or Appraisal from the corporation, or Independent appraisal.
Used Gifts Over $5,000: Independent appraisal. Independent appraisal.

Independent Appraisals—The University cannot provide an independent appraisal of in-kind gifts, because it is a party to the transaction. If an independent appraisal is needed, the donor must assume any cost. The donor should be informed that the cost of an independent appraisal is tax deductible.

A designation of “value unassigned” does not prevent the donor from having an appraisal made subsequently and using it in tax filings.

The appraisal should contain the following information:

    • Name, address, and qualifications of the appraiser.
    • Date of appraisal.
    • Description of property appraised.
    • Method of valuation.
    • Facts and analysis used in determining value.

Acknowledgments—Letters of acknowledgment should be prepared by the receiving unit. The letter should be clear that the amount credited to the donor is distinct from a receipt for tax purposes.

IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property is designed to help donors and appraisers determine the value of property (other than cash) that is given to qualified organizations.

IRS Form 8283—In some instances, the donor may request the receiving department to sign IRS Form 8283, “Noncash Charitable Contributions.” When this occurs, the department head should sign the form in the “Donee Acknowledgment” area, which acknowledges receipt by a charitable organization. A copy of the form should be sent to the Office of Financial Management.

Inventory of Equipment—To add the donated equipment to the receiving department’s inventory list, the department must coordinate equipment tagging and reporting in OASIS, the university’s online inventory system. For addition information, please contact the Equipment Inventory Office at


All donors to the University receive a receipt verifying the tax-deductibility of their gift. Gift receipts include the full amount of the payment, along with a notation of any goods or services received in exchange. Deferred gifts and estate distribution receipts are sent by the Office for Planned Giving. Gifts deposited by independent agencies must be receipted to the donors by that agency.

For payments that are known to be gifts, Gift Services makes every effort to work with the donor, advancement office, and/or departments to determine the appropriate fund. When extensive delays occur, the gift may be placed in a suspense account. In these instances, a receipt is issued to the donor reflecting that the funds have been allocated to the “Unallocated Gifts” account.

According to the IRS, the donor is responsible for requesting and obtaining the written acknowledgement from the donee. Although there is no prescribed format for the written acknowledgment, it must provide sufficient information to substantiate the amount of the contribution. Please refer to Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions, Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements.

Donors may access and reprint charitable tax-receipts online at My UW Giving.


Fellowship awards provided by organizations, primarily corporations, may be categorized as gifts when the university has been actively engaged in the selection of the recipient. The university must either provide a group of nominees for the organization to select from; or the recipient’s application is submitted by the university, as a result of the University’s unique eligibility to compete for an award that the student would not be able to pursue independently.


Donor-advised funds (DAFs) receive irrevocable donations from individuals, who receive an immediate tax benefit, and then later recommend grants from these funds for disbursement to charities. Donations received from donor-advised funds are legally receipted to the DAF. Associated credit is provided to the individual(s) recommending the gift.


Registration fees for paid events are not considered charitable contributions. Underwriting and sponsorships may offset the cost of the event, but do not diminish the direct benefit received by the attendees at an event. The fair market value of all goods and services (meals, drinks, entertainment, etc.) must be disclosed as a premium on the receipt. Underwriting and sponsorships may be considered charitable donations if there is no direct benefit to the sponsor. For gift acceptance considerations, please contact Gift Services at

Auction items must publicly list the fair market value of the item(s) to be auctioned to establish a gift component. The value may be associated with individual items during the auction and/or published in a catalogue for reference. The amount provided above the stated fair market value is considered a charitable deduction. If no fair market value is established prior to the auction, per IRS guidelines, the purchase price at auction establishes the fair market value, eliminating a charitable gift.

Gift Services provides online event registration forms, payment handling, and reporting processes to support University Advancement in conjunction with fundraising-related events. For additional information, please contact Gift Services at


The University of Washington and UW Foundation are audited by outside auditors on an annual basis. Internal audit performs routine audits of gift records and departmental account expenditures. In support of these audits, Gift Services performs ongoing reconciliation of online payment processors, bank deposits, donor giving histories, and distribution of these funds into the benefitting gift accounts.


Online Giving provides multiple mechanisms in support of fundraising and gift acceptance:

  • One time gift transactions
  • Recurring pledges, offering a set commitment amount with installment payments
  • Sustaining giving, providing ongoing set donations until requested to stop
  • Payroll deduction forms for internal faculty and staff
  • Event registration services for University Advancement fundraising events

To customize urls and webpages for specific funds, refer to


Pledges are commitments of a donor’s intention to give at some period in the future. These intentions are recorded in the donor database to reflect fundraising efforts, and generate the appropriate reminders to donors according to their intent. These pledges are not considered binding, unless specifically noted in the pledge commitment. For additional information about pledge types, donor pledge forms, and sample materials, refer to


Gifts received and recorded in the donor system are frequently reported to the benefiting units for donor recognition and stewardship. Thank you letters, giving clubs, and low-cost branded recognition gifts are encouraged.

University-wide giving clubs are calculated nightly, based on gifts recorded during the fiscal year. Please refer to for donor recognition levels provided centrally, naming opportunities, and stewardship examples.

My UW Giving is an online resource developed specifically for donors to the University of Washington. This site provides donors with a unique account allowing them to track their personal giving history, identify memberships and donor clubs, make additional gifts, and access tax receipts personally. For additional information, please contact


Gift budgets reside in the university’s financial system, and are restricted for expenditures according to the donor designation or gift agreement.

Gift allocations reside in the donor database, with annotative information reflecting the financial system budget number, a brief fund description, the school or department, and categorical information for fundraising progress reports.

Online toolkits to explain and assist in the process to establish a new gift agreement is available for:

Term/Current-use Funds:


To identify an existing fund, or establish a new fund and/or allocation, submit a completed request form online at

Faculty donating to funds from which they operate must provide a completed Faculty Donated Gift form, and an independent administrator must be assigned to the budget to avoid any perception of self-dealing.


Gift activity, fund performance, and donor profile reports are available via the University Advancement “Reportal”. Please contact Advancement Training and Support for access to the Advance alumni/donor database, training, and assistance with report access and requests regarding donor and fundraising activity.

Budget activity is tracked in the university accounting system, FIN. Reporting of financial activity is available via MyFinancial.desktop.