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Development Guide:
Gift Services

Giving News

Gift Services is part of Gift and Data Services Department (G&DS) of the University Development Office and is responsible for the processing, retention, and maintenance of all gift, pledge, and biographical information for the University.

G&DS is the official repository for all charitable support and development related data for The University of Texas at Austin (UT). G&DS processes, records, and receipts all donations to UT in accordance with IRS regulations and University and UT System policies.

G&DS receives gift and pledge data from all components of The University of Texas at Austin, as well as, directly from donors.

Life Cycle of a Gift

Acceptance Gift is mailed or Gift Officer accepts gift from Donor.
Gift Entry

(gift status : GA)

The gift has to be entered in VIP (by one of the following: CSU, an assistant, at LCH, internal giving page, lockbox coupon, etc.)

Donor intent must be translated into CSU, Designation, account number, and sometimes solicit code and Pledge documentation.

Note: If the gift is placed in a holding account or an incorrect account it will be transferred later. Transfers need to be done by the owners of the account; NS people transfer NS accounts.

The entry action triggers notifications – primary and secondary managers get a notification by email; some people get instant notification of on-line gifts; every CSU gets a weekly and monthly gift reports )

Note: in the case of instant notifications you may be the first human eyes to see the gift information.


(gift status : GB)

The gift totals are verified, taken to accounting, and deposited.

Exception: Some gifts have already been deposited by System, central accounting, or by the CSU business office. We learn of these on the 210 report. These include Estates, Endowments, wire transfers, research gifts and many others.


(gift status : GV or GX)

We compare documentation to information in VIP to verify the donor and gift information. For many electronic gifts (on line, annual fund, and coupon gifts) this is the first time a human is looking at all gift information.

(gift status : GL)

Each night all proofed gifts have a receipt created. Gifts of $1,000 or under get an email sent around 6:30pm, paper receipts are printed in the morning and sent by mail. Email bounces are reprinted by paper.

(gift status : GF)

CSU’s issue “thank you” letters. Most base these off the weekly gift report. Each office may use its own different and preferred methods.

DEV writes letters for larger gifts on behalf of DEV and PO office.

Foundation Relations handles all Foundation letters. Constituent Relations handles all others (IN, AS, CO, etc.)  She will contact you if documentation is sparse.

Report Monthly Gift report, Campaign reports, special reports, etc.

All UT staff and faculty associated with gift administration are responsible for complying with these policies and guidelines.

Note: All UT gifts are required to be recorded in the VIP database.

Delivery of Gifts to LCH
All monetary gifts, including cash, checks, credit card transactions, stocks and other securities, must be hand-delivered to Gift and Data Services (G&DS) between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. It is not acceptable to send gifts through Campus Mail, with the exception of The Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas.  Lockable money bags, provided by G&DS, must be used for transport of gifts to G&DS at the Littlefield Carriage House.

Note: The removal of gift money from the campus is in violation of UT policies and procedures.

Gift Handling Instructions by Type of Payment

For gifts of cash:  Put the cash in an envelope, write the donor’s name and address on the envelope, write the amount enclosed on the envelope, and make a copy of the envelope.  This will be submitted along with the money to G&DS.

Endorse the check on the back.  Make a copy of the check to submit with the check to G&DS.

Checks must be endorsed and date-stamped by the College/School/Units (CSU) and brought to the G&DS office within 24 hours of receipt. The CSU name should be placed on each check upon receipt. (It is a timesaver to order a stamp that has both CSU name and the endorsement information on it.) The endorsement language for check endorsement is:

The University of Texas at Austin
Development Office Gifts

Credit Card
If the CSU is “running” the credit card, a copy of the credit card slip and the settlement sheet will be submitted to G&DS.  If the CSU wants G&DS to run the credit card, the credit card number, expiration date, and amount to be charged will be submitted to G&DS.  We accept credit card payments from:  Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover.

If you suspect a credit card transaction is fraudulent, please contact Gift and Data Services. Signs of fraudulent charges may include odd names, small gift amounts, and/or multiple attempts by the same person with different cards. More information is available in Dev Direct.

Wire Transfer
Wire transfers are received by the UT Austin Office of Cash Management or, if for an endowment account, by the UT System Office of Gift Planning. University staff who become aware of a pending wire transfer gift should notify Gift and Data Services when, how much, and what account into which to deposit the funds.  See wire transfer transmittal sheet.

Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfers/ACH
The University of Texas is unable to automatically capture money from a donor’s bank account.  However, the donor can instruct their financial institution to automatically send a deposit to The University of Texas through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) as an electronic funds transfer (EFT).

See complete instructions from the Office of Accounting on Automated Incoming ACH Deposit System.

Payroll Deduction
Faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin can opt to have pledge payments automatically deducted from their paychecks.  Gift Services can help set up these automatic payments.

Donors to The University of Texas may access the online giving page to make a gift.  Donor’s may choose the CSU that they wish to recognize and may make specific requests in the remarks section.

Matching Gifts

Note: All matching gift forms and matching gift checks need to be processed by Gift Services.

The donor should obtain the necessary form from his/her employer (usually available through the company’s human resources office). The matching gift form is typically, but not always, received along with the gift and donor’s correspondence. The form should be forwarded, along with the gift and related documentation, to G&DS for processing. If the form is received after the gift has been processed, send the form to G&DS along with documentation to identify the original gift.

Gifts of stock are handled by University of Texas System offices.  UT System sells the stock and reports the outcome to the Gift Services.  Gift Services will enter the amount received in VIP and issue a special tax receipt.

Note: If a stock certificate is received by a CSU, the stock certificate needs to be delivered to the Littlefield Carriage House as soon as possible for transmittal to UT System.  The envelope in which the stock was mailed needs to be included.

Contact Charlotte Hambrick, UT System – Stock Coordinator, 512-499-4346.

Non-Monetary Gifts/Gift of Services/8283 Form
These gifts have very specific IRS requirements, please contact Kerry Fisher, 512-495-9710, prior to accepting gifts of services. Please see the Non-Monetary Gifts Documentation for more information.

Planned Gifts
See Gift Planning page in Development Guide.

Benefit Amounts

IRS guidelines state that the receipt issued to a donor must describe goods or services an organization provides in exchange for a contribution.   Some examples of these goods or services are:  food at a reception or fundraising dinner, gifts provided in exchange for a donation, auction items, memberships, etc.  The University of Texas provides a good faith estimate of the value of such goods or services on the gift receipt issued to the donor.  However, there are exceptions to the IRS regulation.  If you are uncertain if there is a good or service provided for a donation, please contact Gift Services.

Athletics (80/20) Gifts – Current federal income tax law allows a charitable deduction of 80% of a contribution to an education institution where, as a result of such contribution, the donor receives preferred seating rights for athletic events.  Contributions which neither directly nor indirectly result in the receipt of preferred seating rights may be fully deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Donor of Record

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the entity that actually makes the gift (i.e., the last legal entity that had decision-making control of funds) to be the donor of record (i.e., the entity that receives “hard credit”.)  The official gift receipt from The University of Texas at Austin is sent to the donor of record.

Estate/Trust Gifts

Anytime a gift is received from an estate or trust, both the UT System Office of Gift Planning and the University Development Gift Planning Offices should be notified. The UT System Office of Gift Planning should process all gifts from estates.


Imaging Services is a section of Gift Services, which makes electronic copies of documents for desktop access.  Imaged documents consist primarily of gifts, matching gifts, gift documentation, correspondence, obituaries, pledge agreements, and other documents related to Gift and Data Services. The imaged documents are accessible in the biographical section of VIP Direct.

Requests to have a document imaged should be directed to

Gifts and other documents are now imaged to create two separate document images.  The first image is the original, unaltered document and is labeled as Sensitive.  Access to this document is strictly limited.  However, a second image is created with personally identifying information, such as credit card numbers, bank accounts numbers, etc., redacted before posting to the web.

If a VIP user prints an image, this is considered as a convenience copy according to records retention. Any convenience copy should be securely shredded by using Austin Task services.


What is a pledge?
A pledge is a legally binding commitment made by the donor.  The University of Texas at Austin only acknowledges pledges where there is a signed pledge agreement.  Pledges of a donor’s assets should be documented, detailing the purpose and the specific dollar amount that will be paid according to a fixed time schedule.

When is a pledge entered in VIP?
For a pledge to be entered in VIP all necessary documentation is first required, including:  pledge documentation with donor signature, purpose of pledge, amount of pledge, pledge payment schedule, and any other special instructions concerning the pledge.

Who can pay the pledge?
According to IRS Regulations, a pledge can be made only by the entity exercising legal control over the assets to be given.  Therefore, an individual cannot make a pledge that includes anticipated matching contributions from an employer or some other source.  Nor can an individual commit funds that may be applied for through a donor-advised fund or community foundation.  Therefore, only the individual(s) that signed the pledge agreement can make payments on that pledge.

Pledge Approval
Any pledge that is $10,000 or more will automatically go in to a Pledge Waiting Status.  The pledge will not be approved by the Pledge Coordinator until all signed documentation has been received including any and/or all information pertinent to that pledge.

An acknowledgement letter is sent to the donor after all documentation has been received by the Pledge Coordinator.  The acknowledgement letter will state the amount of the pledge, purpose and the payment schedule.  Prior to mailing the letter, the Gift Officer responsible for the pledge will have an opportunity to approve the contents of the acknowledgement letter.  The acknowledgement letter is also an opportunity for the donor to re-verify that all information is correct and make any changes accordingly.


  • A pledge reminder letter is sent to the donor one month prior to the pledge payment due date.  The CSU can request that Central not send reminder letters to a donor.  However, the reason for reminders not to be sent by Central must be stated on the pledge page.
  • The reminder letter will state the purpose of the pledge, amount of the pledge, the remaining balance, the payment due, and payment due date.  The letter has a detachable section for the donor to return back with the provided enclosed envelope.
  • The Gift Officer responsible for the pledge will have an opportunity to approve the contents of the pledge reminder letter prior to sending the letter out.

Every six months, the Pledge Coordinator will generate a report detailing all $5,000 + pledges that are 6 months past due.  The CSU/Gift Officer will then have an opportunity to contact the donor regarding the late pledge, send another pledge reminder, or decide whether the pledge is still valid.

Depositing of Gifts
G&DS prepares a daily deposit that is hand-delivered to the Office of Accounting (if over $5,000 in cash, the University requires the carrier to have a police escort to the Office of Accounting).

The deposit document is listed on the gift record as Define Doc #.  Deposits are made on a VC4 form.

Quality Assurance

Gifts entered into VIP are reviewed by staff of Gift Services.  These gifts are reviewed to verify:

  • Biographical information is updated and follows standards
  • Gift is correctly accredited to donor per IRS regulations and soft credited per stewardship standards
  • Gift is correctly coded as to special circumstances (honorary, IRA gift, benefit amount, etc.)


A receipt is sent to each donor that makes a gift, whether cash or non-monetary, to the University.

Note: The office of Gift Services is the only entity that can issue an official receipt on behalf of The University of Texas at Austin or designate a CSU to issue a receipt on its behalf.

E-mail Receipt
Donations of $1,000 or less are sent via email each night after 6 pm CST.

Paper Receipt
A paper receipt is issued for donations over $1,000 or for donors without a valid email address. Any emails that bounce are re-sent by paper. Paper receipts are printed overnight and mailed the next day.

Non-Monetary Receipt
Receipts issued for non-monetary gifts do not include an amount.  A list of the items donated are included on the receipt.

Stock Receipt
Stock receipts are issued in two parts.  One part indicates the number and types of stocks donated.  The second part shows high/low/medium prices of the stock on the day of sale.

Corporate/Foundation Request for Confirmation of Receipt of Gifts
These forms should be forwarded to G&DS for processing.  The forms will be signed for by an officer in the University Development Office.


Different levels of acknowledgements are sent for different levels of gifts. Acknowledgments are completed by the CSUs and larger gifts are acknowledged by Constituent Relations.

Note: An acknowledgement or thank you message should not include any language that could be construed as a receipt.


210 Reports
There are instances when a gift has NOT been processed through VIP and the G&DS office.  Gift and Data Services reviews a daily report of all transactions  recorded in DEFINE, deposited by a method other than VC4, and having a gift object code.

Holding Account
Frequently, a gift will be received by the University where the ultimate account where the gift is to reside is not known or has not been created.  G&DS and CSUs maintain a holding account for depositing these gifts.

There are instances when a donor will send in a check or make one credit card charge that includes a donation and a purchase.  The donation portion of the money will be recorded on VIP and batched and the purchase portion recorded on a BU102 form.  When submitting the money to the Littlefield Carriage House, the amount on the batch and on the BU102 must equal the amount of money being deposited.


The Define document used to record deposits on DEFINE is the VC4 document.  This document is used exclusively by the Gift and Data Services Office.  When a gift is deposited, the VC4 document number is attached to the gift record in VIP.

Refunds should rarely be made, however, there are times that for stewardship purposes or for corrections of errors, refunds should and will be made.  Refunds will be noted in VIP by reducing the amount of the gift (perhaps to zero); adding R to gift description; and noting in remarks the amount of original gift, amount of refund, who initiated the refund, and why the refund was made.

Note: VIP records should never be deleted when refunds are made.

Charge Backs
Donors sometimes request that their credit card companies reverse charges to their accounts.  The credit card company will notify the charging unit and ask for justification of the charge. If that justification is not accepted by the donor, then the credit card company will initiate a charge back and the money is removed from the University’s account.  Charge backs should be noted in VIP in the same manner as refunds.


G&DS distributes a Monthly Gift Report created by the Reporting Team.

The Monthly Gift Report is a multi-part report compiled from information entered into the VIP database. The report is generated and distributed approximately 15 days following the close of each month by G&DS to executive officers, deans, unit directors, and development officers.

Special Fundraising Events

The following are recommendations on how to process in-kind donations, which are given for the purpose of being used in a silent auction fund raiser. Please contact Kerry Fisher for assistance before the auction.

  • Any in-kind items collected for a Silent Auction should be acknowledge by the C/S/U to the donor and a completed Non-monetary Gift Acceptance Form submitted to Gift Services.
  • The Non-monetary Gift Acceptance Form submitted to Gift Services should be approved and processed prior to the Silent Auction event.  Due to the timing of these events, you should contact Gift Services with any problems that arise in this regard.
  • At the time of the Silent Auction, a bid sheet should be prepared which describes the time and provides a “market value” of the item.  The market value should be the same as that listed on the Non-monetary Gift Acceptance Form submitted to Gift Services.  The bid sheet is the page upon which people write their bid for the item.  A copy of the final bid sheet should be retained for verification and recording of the cash gifts received from the highest bidders.
  • At the time of the event, the highest bidder should pay UT Austin for their winning bid amount.  The gift processing person should enter on the GADD screen in VIP, the amount of the gift as the Gift Amount and the “market value” of the donated item as the Benefit Amount.  When this gift is processed, the VIP system will generate a receipt to the donor, which reflects the net difference between the Gift Amount and the Benefit Amount as the tax deductible donation amount.
  • In the event the person buying the item pays less for it than the “market value,” there is no tax-deductible amount for the buyer.  He/she has made no donation to your event: he/she has purchased something.  Those checks should just be deposited into your account directly by your accounting personnel.  They should not be sent through gift processing.
  • If a donor has included a donation and a purchase (as defined above) on the same check/credit card charge, please see procedures for a BU102 to process.

According to IRS Regulations, funds raised through raffles are not considered gifts.  You are purchasing a chance to claim a prize.  There is no gift value.

C/S/Us will often have a dinner or reception to 1) raise money, 2) honor someone, or 3) in appreciation of a donor, alumnus, or employee.  These reception/dinners are ways of garnering money for a campaign and are often underwritten.  However, it is to be noted that the purchasers of tickets for these events are receiving a benefit (the food) and this benefit must be recorded in the VIP gift record under the Benefit Amount field.  The only exception is if the “purchaser” of the ticket, up front, states that they will not be attending or that the tickets can be given to someone else (i.e., student).

The University of Texas Foundation

The University of Texas Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which operates as an agent for UT System and its component institutions, including UT Austin.  The UT Foundation, in turn, prepares a check in the same amount made payable to UT Austin. Note: The original donor of the funds, not the UT Foundation, should receive hard credit for this gift/grant. The UT Foundation does not receive soft credit.


Development staff responsible for the handling and electronic posting of gifts is required to complete course VI 300: Gift/Pledge Processing System Overview, and prerequisite classes VI 100 and VI 120. Attendees receive appropriate reference materials that outline all applicable steps and processes. Additional copies of the VI 300 materials may be obtained by contacting G&DS.

Primary Contact

David Bourland

Updated October 12, 2012

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