IFAS Internal Management Memoranda

IFAS; Definition of "Gift"

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 1, 1993


SUBJECT: IFAS; Definition of "Gift"

A gift is defined as a transfer of funds, stock, property, or services given to University of Florida Foundation, Inc.-SHARE (Special Help for Agricultural Research and Education) by individuals, corporations or foundations (non-governmental sponsored) to enhance the programs of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. The donor may make the gift unrestricted for use in the teaching, research and extension programs or may restrict the gift to a specific department/center or even a specific program within a department/center. The donor cannot exercise control over the objectives, project direction, methods of research, or scheduling of a project. The donor cannot terminate a project for convenience, issue changes, or specify strict adherence to the scope of the project.

A gift is differentiated from sponsored grants, agreements and contracts in the following ways:

  1. The donor will receive no direct or preferential benefit or service from having given a gift, such as the furthering of the donor's product research endeavors. Direct or preferential benefit or service is defined as a study or research project directed specifically to a particular product produced solely by the donor.

  2. The donor requires neither program nor financial accountability in the form of written reports for the project supported by the gift.

  3. Dissemination of program or project results supported or advanced by the donor's gift is unrestricted. Results may be released to the public without donor acknowledgement.

  4. Fiscal procedures and regulations differ for funds handled as gifts by the IFAS Office of Development--SHARE and sponsored program agreements handled by the IFAS Grants Office. The distinctions between gifts and grants are based on differences specified by (1) IRS rules, (2) State and University rules, (3) the Florida Statutes and tax status governing the Foundation as compared to the University, and (4) the intentions of the donor.

The importance of making the distinctions correctly is the ability to avail ourselves of opportunities to use the more flexible "gift" procedure whenever appropriate. For your convenience, a checklist is attached to assist you in making a determination.


  1. If the gift is restricted to a particular extension, instruction, or research project, does the donor control the project direction, methods, or scheduling?

    YES_________ NO_________

  2. Is the donor able to change the project direction or method?

    YES_________ NO_________

  3. If a particular project is being studied, is it produced only by the donor?

    YES_________ NO_________

  4. Is there a written agreement between donor and IFAS?

    YES_________ NO_________

  5. Are there any restrictions placed on the dissemination or results of the project?

    YES_________ NO_________

  6. Is IFAS required to provide written program or financial reports to the donor?

    YES_________ NO_________

*If you can answer "no" to all these questions, the monies you have received are in all probability a gift. If you answer "yes" to any of these, you may be dealing with a grant. Please contact the SHARE staff for clarification.

The Checklist does not apply to scholarships or fellowships, for they are gifts. Assistantships and post-doctorates are grants because they are OPS appointments.

For assistance in differentiating between gifts and grants, please contact the IFAS Office of Development--SHARE or Grants Office.