K1: Acceptance of Gifts

Responsibility for Maintenance: Onondaga Community College Foundation

I. Policy Statement  

Onondaga Community College (OCC) appreciates and depends upon the generosity of alumni and friends to support its mission, programs and purposes. Gifts must be considered, accepted, processed, recorded and acknowledged in a manner that protects the interests of both the College and the donors. The Gifts described in this policy will be made to the Onondaga Community College Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) for the benefit of the College. The requirements and procedures for the Foundation’s acceptance of such Gifts are set forth in the Operating Agreement between the College and the Foundation, as well as the Foundation’s operating procedures. These requirements and procedures require the College’s input with respect to the solicitation and acceptance of certain Gifts. This policy sets forth procedures pursuant to which the College will provide such input to the Foundation, as well as procedures for the handling of gifts once they are received by the College.

II. Reason for Policy  

This policy is intended to (a) ensure that all Gift solicitation and acceptance occurs through appropriate channels, (b) set forth procedures for the College to fulfill certain obligations under the terms of its Operating Agreement with the Foundation, and (c) ensure that Gifts are accepted and handled in a manner that protects the interests of both the College and the donors.

III. Applicability of the Policy  

This policy requires that all solicitation efforts be coordinated through the Foundation. Accordingly, all members of the College community should be familiar with this policy.

IV. Related Documents  

V. Contacts  


Office Name

Title or Position

Telephone Number


Questions regarding policy, initiation of review and implementation of proposed gifts

Onondaga Community College Foundation

Executive Director

(315) 498-2225


VI. Definitions  




See Item I, above


Cash, securities, other personal property or real property donated or bequeathed with or without donor restrictions as to permitted use. Grants and similar agreements that entail contractual obligations as to specific outcome, other than donor restrictions as to permit use, are subject to the College’s Policy on Grant Development, Clearance, Solicitation, Acceptance and Administration.

Gifts in Kind

A Gift in Kind is a particular type of Gift, and is a gift or bequest of property other than cash or marketable securities. Examples include real estate, equipment, art, antiques, rare books, mortgage rights, intellectual property rights, notes and consumable commodities.


VII. Procedures  

Coordination, Review and Evaluation  

All Gift solicitation and acceptance shall be coordinated through the Foundation which is responsible for ensuring that Gift solicitation and acceptance occurs to the extent required by the Operating Agreement between the College and the Foundation.

Unrestricted Gifts of cash or marketable securities may be delivered to the Foundation to determine whether acceptance conforms to the mission, policies, and philanthropy and development standards of the College. In addition, following review by the Foundation, Gifts in Kind should be reviewed by the unit or department responsible for carrying out the donor's specifications and by the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

The review of proposed Gifts shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, consideration of the following:

1. Whether restrictions or limitations governing the Gift can be met by the College. All Gift requirements must support the College's mission, and any restricted use stipulated for a Gift must be consistent with prevailing laws, public policy and College policies. Note that use restrictions may be imposed in formal Gift agreements, but may also arise from the content of correspondence preceding or accompanying the Gift and/or promises and representations made in solicitation materials and communications.

2. Whether the Gift involves ongoing expenditures the College is prepared to make (e.g., the cost of maintaining appropriate insurance coverage, installation expense, and maintenance expense).

3. Possible risk or exposure inherent in acceptance of a Gift (e.g., risk of potential injury in connection with a proposed donation of equipment, risk of environmental or other liability associated with proposed gifts of real estate).

4. With respect to Gifts in Kind, an assessment by the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, in consultation with appropriate College officials, of their value and usefulness to the College (including without limitation the relationship between the benefits to be derived by obtaining the asset as compared to associated costs, commitments and potential liabilities such as those noted above).

Gifts may have to be declined under certain circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

1. The Gift is restricted and would require support from other resources that are unavailable, inadequate, or may be needed for other institutional purposes.

2. The Gift is restricted and would support a purpose or program peripheral to existing principal purposes of the College, or create or perpetuate programs or obligations which would dissipate resources or deflect energies from other programs or purposes.

3. The Gift would limit, or tend to limit, the academic freedom of the College or its faculty.

4. The Gift would injure the reputation or standing of the College, or generate such controversy as to substantially hinder the educational purpose to be served.


Following the review described above, proposed Gifts may be approved on behalf of the College as follows:

  • Unrestricted Gifts of cash or marketable securities require no approval on behalf of the College.
  • Temporarily or permanently restricted Gifts of cash or marketable securities must be approved by the Executive Director of the Foundation and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the College.
  • Gifts in Kind must be approved by the Executive Director of the Foundation and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the College. In addition, gifts of real property must be approved by the College’s Board of Trustees.

Following the above approvals, the Executive Director of the Foundation, will process the Gift accordingly.

Acknowledgement, Processing, Record-keeping and Receipt  

The Foundation is solely responsible for determining the value of Gifts and for issuing official Gift receipts in accordance with applicable gift substantiation rules for tax purposes. College Departments may issue informal acknowledgments or thank you notes, but must disclose in writing that such communications are not official receipts.

College personnel must immediately notify the Executive Director of the Foundation upon the receipt of a Gift or a proposal for a Gift. Cash, checks, securities and money orders should be personally delivered and should never be sent through campus mail or similar means. Copies of correspondence and instructions documenting the donor's gift intention should accompany the Gift. Upon receiving notice of the Gift or proposed Gift, the Executive Director of the Foundation shall facilitate any necessary review and approval.

Upon receipt by the College following any necessary review and approval, Gifts in Kind shall be recorded and processed in accordance with the College’s Inventory Control Procedures.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006