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Development Guide:
Gift & Data Services

Giving News

  • Biographical Services
  • Gift Services
  • Image Services

Gift and Data Services (G&DS) is responsible for the Biographical systems, processing, retention, imaging, and maintenance of all gift and pledge information for the University.

Gift and Data Services is responsible for the three largest and fastest growing elements of VIP.

  • Biographical – Individual and non-individual records in VIP amount to a little over 1.6M. Over 300K have been added this year, over 200K were added in 2014.
  • Gift – VIP has almost 4M recorded gifts. In FY 2015 324K were recorded. We have recorded more gifts each year than the year before since 2010. Our Ten year average is 195K, 5 year is 239K and 2 year is 299K.
  • Image – VIP has almost 1M images. In FY 2015 over 68K images were added.

Gift and Data Services is housed on campus in the Littlefield Carriage house. We are divided into two teams, Data Services and Donor Services

Data Services is the primary custodians and maintainer of Biographical data in the *VIP system. We seek to maintain the integrity of and promote consistency all records in *VIP.  Data Services is also responsible for half of Gift processing

Donor Services is responsible for the Pledge System, matching gifts, proofing gifts and Donor Receipts.

VIP is the official repository for all charitable support and development related data for The University of Texas at Austin (UT). Gift and Data Services (G&DS) processes, records, and receipts all donations to UT in accordance with IRS regulations and University and UT System policies. Additionally, our data is recorded in such a way to allow up to compline with CASE, VSE and other reporting systems relevant to Higher Education. G&DS receives gift and pledge data from all components of The University of Texas at Austin, as well as, directly from donors.

The teams are responsibilities are:

  • Data Services
    • Biographical
    • Return mail
    • Imaging
    • Gift check in from CSUs
    • Gift entry
    • Gift deposit
    • On-line gifts
    • iModules Gifts
  • Donor Services
    • Pledges
    • Matching gifts
    • Receipting
    • Proofing gifts
    • Non Mon gifts
    • 210 report (gifts coming from non-standard channels)

Training offered by Gift and Data Services

  • VI 100 – Introduction to VIP
  • VI 101 – On line VIP Security Training (quickest way to start)
  • VI 120 – Biographical Updating in *VIP
  • VI 300 – Gift/Pledge Processing
  • One on One trainings may be arranged as needed


Reports and notifications

  • Deceased – an email is sent to those connected with a record when it is deceased.
  • On line gifts – There is an option for an email notification triggered by each on line gifts.
  • Weekly gift report – Based of CSU, a list of all gifts over the past week regardless of source. They are sent Monday afternoon.
  • Prospect giving – Primary and secondary managers receive an email notification for any gifts, hard or soft credit to that persons Household ID. They are sent at 10 pm.
  • Monthly gift report – CASE style commitment reports sent in PDF format around the 10th of each month.
  • Commitment Vs. Cash report standards
    • The different standards can cause confusion. CASE reporting is based on date of commitment and is generally the best measure of development productivity. Cash centered reports are required for planning and budgeting.
    • A pledge counts on a commitment report when the documentation is signed, on a cash report as each payment arrives.
  • Note: G&DS does not create these reports but they are based on data we manage. In most cases we manage the distribution lists.


Data Services – Review of Special Prospect Records

  • Special prospects are records stewarded by the central Development office.
  • Changes to Special Prospects are reviewed by Data Services.
  • Sometimes in conjunction with other teams like Research and Constituent relations.
  • These changes should be well documented


Data Services – National Change of Address (NCOA)

  • Done Quarterly
    • Do not pay a vendor to do what we already do!
  • Must be done to preserve best mailing rates
  • VIP is updated with notations
  • Addresses not fixed are tagged for follow up with a vendor
    • This is restricted to those who have donated in the last ten years.


Data Services – Returned Mail Process

  • *VIP updates
  • Paper and electronic (ACS)
  • Bad addresses are researched
  • Can help CSUs plan and process large mailing projects.


Data Services – Obituaries/Deceasing Records in *VIP

  • Four major Texas daily newspapers are checked each morning
    • Austin American-Statesman, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and San Antonio Express News
  • A vendor provides us with data from smaller Texas Dailies and major National papers based on key words.
  • VIP records are marked Deceased
  • A notification email is sent to a CSU representative if they have stewarded that record
  • Any VIP user can decease a record
  • An image of the obit is uploaded to the record


Data Services – Non Individual Records – Corporate, Government, Association, etc. Records

  • Corporate Records can be united by a “Unit Key”
  • It links the many locations and entities of a big (or small) corporation
  • It functions like a Household ID for individuals
  • A report of records with giving triggers a review of the unit key status.
  • Corporate owned foundations have the corporate VIP entity type
  • Foundation records have a sub type of family or non-family / Professional
  • This report is reviewed by the Corporate and Foundation Relations office
  • Schools and Universities – Public are Government type, Private are Associations.


Data Services – will maintain or help maintain the follow VIP elements

  • Salutations
  • Preference codes, particularly, Do not contact codes.
  • Find, combine and delete duplicate records
  • Outsourced Data Cleansing
  • Departmental ACS Changes
  • New record uploads.


Image Services – What is imaged?

  • All paperwork with a gift is imaged
    • An unaltered copy is marked sensitive and viewing is limited
    • A redacted copy (sensitive information is blacked out) is available for all VIP users.
  • NOTE: CSU do not need to keep copies of submitted paperwork
  • Images are verified in a review process
  • Paperwork is stored for three months.
  • Once verified and over three months old the paper is shredded.
  • Requests to have a document imaged should be directed to
  • Computer files can now be directly uploaded to VIP under the Bio area.
    • This is the quickest way to get an obituary on a newly deceased record
    • CSUs are encouraged to add gift acknowledgements and correspondence via the upload system.


Data Services – Gift Processing – Delivery of gifts to LCH

  • LCH is open between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm
  • All gifts should be hand delivered, use of Campus mail is not acceptable
    • MSI in Port Aransas is one exception.
  • Lockable money bags, provided by G&DS, must be used
  • Removal of gift money from campus is a violation of UT policies and procedures.
  • Gifts prepares multiple deposits each day. Check and Cash Gifts are hand-delivered to the Office of Accounting.
  • Once a deposit is made each gift is updated with the date and DEFINE DOC ID

Data Services – Gift Processing – Types of Gift

  • For greater detail on each type take VI 300 or refer to your manual.
  • Checks
  • Credit cards
    • Checks and Credit Cards are each almost half our volume, the rest is low volume but often high dollar.
  • Cash – rare
  • Payroll Deduction – Can be set up on line
  • Estates and Trusts
    • Notify 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.
  • Stock – Handled by UT System
    • UT System sells the stock and reports the outcome to the Donor Services.
    • Donor Services will enter the amount received in VIP and issue a special tax receipt.
  • Wire Transfers
    • Instructions are available on the commonly used forms section of DevDirect
    • Wires come with very little information
    • It is vital you use the emails on the instructions to alert us to incoming gifts – Otherwise you gift may be orphaned in a holding account
  • Non-Monetary Gifts
    • These gifts have very specific IRS requirements, please contact Kerry Fisher McGuire, 512-495-9710, prior to accepting gifts of services.


Data Services – Gift Processing – Fraud

  • Unfortunately, Non Profits sites are often used to test stolen credit cards.
  • Contact G&DS if you suspect fraud
  • Some signs are
    • A 1$ charge (but not always)
    • Odd names (often they can be typed with one hand)
    • Multiple gifts by the same person in growing amounts.


Donor Services – Gift Processing – Matching Gifts

  • All matching gift checks and forms need to be processed by G&DS


Donor Services – Gift Processing – Quality Assurance

  • Gifts go through a proofing process before a receipt is issued.
  • This is 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.)



Donor Services – Gift Processing – Receipts

  • The office of Development, and specifically G&DS 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
  • There is one CSU and several separate by associated legal entities that receipt their own gifts. They are
    • KUT, Texas Exes. The Law School Foundation, The McCombs Business School Foundation and the LBJ Foundation.
  • Paper
    • A donor gets a paper receipt for gifs of more than 1,000$
  • Email
    • A donor gets a paper receipt for gifts of 1,000$ or less
    • If they do not have an email or the receipt email bounces they are sent a paper receipt.
    • Email receipts are sent about 6 pm each work day.
  • Reprint
    • VIP keeps a snapshot image of the receipt in PDF format
    • Any VIP users can print or email a copy to a donor.
  • Gift stamp
    • When a receipt is created VIP stamps the bottom of the gift page with a note of the date and type of receipt sent (paper or email)
  • Benefit amount
    • Benefit amounts are recorded in VIP and deducted from the total gift on the IRS receipt.
    • If you are accepting gifts that give a benefit to the donor in return your CSU must make a good faith estimate of the value of such goods or services
    • G&DS can help with these calculations.
  • Non-Monetary Gift Receipt
    • Non-Monetary receipts describe the gift instead of an amount.
  • 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.
    • They are imaged and linked to the gift
  • Anonymous Donor Receipt
    • These donors may not want publicity but they do want an IRS tax receipt.
    • They are created by a manual exception process
    • They are not imaged as that would reveal the real donor’s name, thus if a reprint is requested they must be manually created a second time.
  • Athletics
    • 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.
    • This is known as the 80/20 rule.
    • Gifts to Athletics have a different rule for paper or email receipts. They get an email receipt for gifts of 10,000 or less.


Donor Services – Gift Processing – Pledge

  • A pledge is a legally binding commitment made by the donor.
  • To book a pledge in VIP a signed pledge form is required
  • The assets, the amount, purpose, specific amounts and a fixed schedule should be included.
  • Pledges over 10,000 are put in waiting status until reviewed by the pledge Coordinator at G&DS.
  • Once recorded an acknowledgement letter is sent to the donor. The gift officer responsible for the pledge reviews the letter first. This is an opportunity for the donor to re-verify that all information is correct and make any changes accordingly
  • Reminder will be sent according to the pledge schedule. A CSU can request that Central not send reminder letters.  However, the reason 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.
  • Gift Officers will receive reports of past due pledges.


Gift Processing – IRS rules and Regulations

  • 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.
    • This is referred to as Hard credit
    • Other associated persons may be gift recognition credit or soft credit
  • Raffle
    • As you are buying a chance a raffle ticket is not a gift.
  • UT Tax Status
    • UT is a 170c, a government supported non-profit. Our Federal EIN (Tax ID): 74-6000203
    • Some Donors require a 501c3 a public charity, those gifts should be routed to UT Foundation, there Federal EIN (Tax ID): 74-1587488


Gift Processing – Miscellaneous

  • Letter of Receipt
    • Some Corporations and Foundation request a letter acknowledging receipt of a gift.
    • This may accompany the gift or come later
    • Forward these to G&DS for review and signature
    • They will be reviewed, if any conditions are in the text they will be reviewed at a higher level.
  • 210 Report
    • The Donor Services team reviews a report of all gifts from the accounting system. The report list all transactions with a gift object code not deposited on a VC4 (an method exclusive to G&DS)
    • This is how most gift routed through the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and many other channels come to our knowledge.
  • Holding accounts
    • Gifts are placed in a holding account if they are awaiting an account to be created or if information is incomplete.
    • Each CSU has an endowment holding account. Central has an endowment and general holding accounts.
    • Every gift in a holding account eventually must be transferred; it saves work to avoid the holding account if possible.
  • Special Events, Auctions and Raffles
    • These situations have very specific IRS requirements, please contact Kerry Fisher McGuire, 512-495-9710, in the early planning stages of your event.


Gift Processing – Other Legal Entities Supporting UT

  • There are several institutions with a separate legal and IRS standing that accept gifts that support the mission of the University of Texas. Funds they accept as gifts may be recorded in VIP and part of our reporting totals.
  • The Law School Foundation
    • They record and receipt their own gifts and report them via a nightly upload to VIP.
  • The Longhorn Foundation
    • They record their own gifts but they are reported to VIP nightly and receipted by UT.
  • The McCombs Business School Foundation
    • They record and receipt their own gifts and enter them in VIP
  • The Johnson Wildflower Center
    • They became part of the University of Texas in 2006. They report their gifts via an upload twice a month. They are receipted by UT
  • Texas Exes, The Alumni Assocation of the University of Texas
    • They upload all gifts once a month on a delayed basis. All gifs and dues are uploaded but only gifts are considered reportable.
  • UT Foundation
    • A 501c3 Foundation supporting all UT System components. They transfer gifts on a weekly basis.
  • Student Organizations
    • To accept and record gifts for UT a student organization must be sponsored


Reference 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.. Gift entry 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.)  They will contact you if documentation is sparse.

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


Primary Contact

David Bourland

Updated Aug 22, 2016

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