Gifts and endowments are an important part of the University’s operations and play an integral role in helping the University achieve its goals. They provide UT Austin with a permanent source of funding to support professorships, financial aid, research, capital projects, schools, departments, institutes, centers, and more.
Private support is extremely important to the teaching, research and public service mission of the University and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). Through private support, the Division can enhance its current programs and develop resources to support future programs.
To ensure effective development and management of private support and compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, DDCE coordinates all efforts to obtain and increase private support through its University Development Office contact, Ian Tuski.
You may download DDCE’s Gifts, Endowments & Pledges Stewardship Guide for more information regarding the management of DDCE’s gifts, endowments and pledges.
Why is Gift Compliance Necessary?
- Donor Contract. Donors expect their current gifts to be expended for their designated purpose within a reasonable timeframe.
- Reputation. UT Austin is viewed as a wealthy university. Accumulating gifts in excess gives the impression that we do not need them. This could impact giving and legislative action. If donors believe we are not spending their gifts appropriately, our reputation suffers.
- Audit and Open Records Requests. As a state agency, UT Austin is subject to both internal and external audits and open records requests.
- Goals. Timely deposit and acknowledgement of gifts. Expenditure of gift funds in a timely manner. Expenditure of gift funds according to donor purpose.
- Benefits. Proper use and stewardship of gifts can result in more gifts that benefit our students, faculty, and programs having a positive impact that supports UT’s mission.
- Unspent Funds. Some departments have Endowed or Non-Endowed spending accounts and are sitting on the funds. Donors expect the money they donate to be used. Make sure you are aware of all the funds available to your department. During budget season, each department should budget to spend these funds, as the donor intended.
Gift and Donation Check Deposits
Please send all gift and donation checks to the DDCE Assistant Director of Business Affairs, Eileen Drake, for processing. All gifts and donation checks are processed once a week on Friday.
- We have updated the account number for both domestic and foreign incoming wire transfers for non-endowed gift funds (30 accounts). The endowed gift fund (57 accounts) wire instructions remain the same.
- The new wire transfer account number is now monitored directly by Gift and Data Services. This change has been made because previous gift wires were going to the Office of Accounting and were often mixed in with tuition payments, invoices, bills, and other financial transactions. Our expectation is this new process will decrease confusion over incoming funds and increase the speed and accuracy of wire transfer gift deposits and gift entry in VIP.
- Please delete all old wire transfer instructions and begin using the new instructions, attached, immediately. These instructions are for gift wire transfers ONLY. If you have questions about other types of (non-gift) wire transactions, please contact the Office of Accounting.
During COVID-19 Response
- Please send all of your gifts to the Texas Gift Operations (TGO) team to enter them into VIP. Please take any checks you have to the DEV building, with all documentation (including a gift entry form). TGO maintains a team of staff working at the Development Building to process gifts. Their office hours are 11am-2pm Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.
- If you are unable to make it to DEV during TGO’s normal business hours, there is a mail slot on the door to securely deliver gifts outside of normal business hours. We are also asking that you leave all biographical updates related to gifts to be done by Texas Gift Operations team, who is working closely with our AIS team.
- Additionally, TGO is leading a digital gift strategy effort to assist colleges, schools, departments, and units to provide donors with the option to make their gifts online or send their gifts to their secure lockbox at Frost Bank. If those options are not possible at this time, you and your team are welcome to use our mailing address for your gift solicitations:
- University Development Office, The University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box 7458, Austin, Texas 78713.
- All options listed above are intended to alleviate the need for you to go to campus. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Year-end Gift Processing
- Batch 2020 gifts separately from 2021 gifts and write the year on the batch sheet.
- If a check/cash/money order arrived in a 2020 postmarked envelope, those are 2020 gifts. Anything postmarked 2020 is a 2020 gift, regardless of date on check.
- Ex. a check dated 12/29/20, but postmarked 1/2/21 is a 2021 gift. Anything received via FedEx or UPS is based on date received (signed), not the date it was sent.
- For a gift to qualify as 2020, the postmark year must read 2020. The check date alone does not meet IRS standards. If the envelope does not have a postmark date, but it was received with other 2020 postmarked mail, we can assume this mail piece should also have a 2020 postmark date. Please handwrite (or date stamp) and sign your name and department.
- Please send us clear copies of the envelope postmark, not the actual envelope (we don’t need it if there’s a copy).
- You can stop copying the envelope postmarks once all the checks received are dates 2021 and the postmarks are also 2021.
- Always beware of foreign checks!
- Please bring them to us unbatched. We will get the currency exchange rate and will enter it into VIP for you. Please include a copy of the check and the account number.
- Always batch IRA, and other odd checks, separately. This will prevent the rest of your gifts from being held back. All checks in a batch must be deposited at the same time. Please also keep cash and checks on separate batches.
- A co-sponsorship is funding for a specific event or function, that is planned, hosted, and sponsored by an outside entity, where the University of Texas at Austin participates in the event and receives a benefit as well as recognition for the co-sponsorship. (Note: Any agreement or contract relating to sponsorship needs to be signed by a person who has delegated signature authority, such as the UT Business Contracts Office.)
- DDCE Policies & Best Practices:
- Co-sponsorship forms should be filled out completely.
- Include Dr. LaToya Smith, VP Diversity as person authorizing.
- Units in ADI, send co-sponsorship approval form and supporting documentation via email to Assistant Director for Business Operations in ADI for review. Documents will be routed for Dr. Smith’s signature once the initial review is complete.
- Attach approved form, invoice, or other supporting documents to the VP2 voucher coversheet
- Payments to internal organizations and sponsored student organizations should be completed using a transfer document or direct use of the department’s account with prior authorization.