135  Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division:
University Advancement
Responsible Office:  Vice President for University Advancement
Responsible Officer: Vice President for University Advancement

I. Purpose

While the primary responsibility for soliciting and accepting gifts for Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) lies with the MTSU Foundation (Foundation), the MTSU Board of Trustees (Board) also has the power to receive donations of money, securities, and property from any source on behalf of the University. T.C.A. § 49-8-203(a)(2). The purpose of this policy is to establish responsibilities and procedures regarding the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to the University.

The solicitation and acceptance of gifts is deemed an administrative responsibility and is delegated by the Board to the President who, as Chief Executive Officer of the University, is charged with the responsibility of establishing policies and procedures for University development, and for promoting efforts to advance that development through private support. The need to generate private funds for the University is critical, and the University’s executive, athletic, and academic leadership shall participate in these endeavors. Coordination of efforts to achieve that support is essential to ensure effectiveness.

The Foundation is the sole legal entity authorized by the State of Tennessee to accept gifts on behalf of the University, serve as the receiver of private support, and is the primary fundraising entity for the University.

Within the authority granted by the President, the Vice President for University Advancement will serve as the executive officer responsible for the planning and coordination of all programs and activities designed to secure private sector support of the University, its colleges, units, and programs. The Vice President for University Advancement will carry out this responsibility in cooperation with the Foundation Board of Trustees.

Procedures for the implementation of this policy are available in the Development and Foundation Office. Solicitations made by anyone for the benefit of MTSU, or any affiliated or associated entity, require approval through established channels. It is the expectation that these policies and procedures will increase success in the attainment of substantial private funding for MTSU.

II. Policy

A.  The Board recognizes the vital importance of gifts to University development.

B.  Gifts of real and personal property from individuals and organizations often benefit the University by making possible the accomplishment of objectives for which support from other sources is limited or unavailable.

C.  Gifts also often represent a means by which the donor may contribute to an aspect of postsecondary education that is of particular interest to the donor.

D.  All activities related to the solicitation and acceptance of gifts shall be implemented in a manner which serves the mutual interests of the donors and the University.

E.  To this end, the University shall maintain policies and procedures which incorporate the following provisions:

1.  Solicitation of Gifts

a.  The President shall designate the campus official(s) authorized to approve and conduct activities for the purpose of soliciting gifts to the University.

b.  Criteria and procedures for soliciting gifts shall be established, which clearly define appropriate activities and the campus approval process.

c.  Solicitation of gifts which may require a commitment of University resources must be approved by the President.

2.  Acceptance of Gifts

a.  The President is authorized to accept gifts on behalf of the University, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Only the Board may accept a gift, if Board acceptance is a condition set by the donor.

(2)  Only the Board may accept gifts of real property, or any permanent interest in real property, and title must be conveyed to the University for the use and benefit of the University.

(3)  Any acquisition of real property by gift or devise which obligates the University or State of Tennessee to expend State of Tennessee funds for capital improvements or continuing operating expenditures shall be approved by the State Building Commission in accordance with T.C.A. § 4-15-102(d)(2) prior to acceptance by the Board. Any such deed transferring title to the University shall not be recorded until the State Building Commission has approved the acceptance of the gift property.

(4)  Gifts with conditions (i.e., gifts to support the initiation of a new academic program or capital improvement project) must be approved by the President prior to acceptance.

(5)  Gifts of property subject to an indebtedness must be approved by the Board prior to acceptance.

(6)  The cost of accepting or keeping a gift in accordance with donor restrictions should not cost more than the benefit of the gift.

b.  The President may delegate to a campus official or officials his/her authority to accept gifts on behalf of the University; however, the University must identify the specific types of gifts that may be accepted by the designated official(s).

c.  Corporate stock given to the University may be sold through, or in consultation with, a registered security broker within sixty (60) days of receipt by electronic transfer, or by receipt of the stock certificate, and the sale may be executed by the President or a designated representative.

d.  Appropriate procedures must be established for acknowledging acceptance of gifts and for ensuring compliance with conditions set by the donors and in compliance with IRS regulations.

3.  Records and Reporting

a.  Adequate records of all gifts shall be maintained by the University in accordance with accepted accounting procedures to allow a proper audit trail.

b.  A summary of all gifts to the University during a fiscal year shall be included in the University's annual report to the Board.

4.  Foundations. For purposes of distinguishing University gifts and related procedures from those of gifts to the Foundation established pursuant to Policy 130 Foundations:

a.  The University may not accept gifts specifically intended for the Foundation, and only gifts specifically intended for the Foundation may be accepted by the Foundation.

b.  As part of a separate agreement outlining the relationship between the University and the Foundation, the Foundation shall serve as the repository and manager of gifts to the University, unless otherwise specified by the donor. Gifts held in this manner shall remain property of the University.

c.  In general, University resources may not be used to meet conditions of gifts to the Foundation; however, exceptions may be approved by the President in accordance with the provisions of this policy on acceptance of gifts.

d.  The University must maintain records of gifts to the University separate from those of gifts to the Foundation.

e.  The University shall report gifts to the Foundations, in the summary of gifts during a fiscal year, to be included in its annual report, as provided in this policy.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: June 2017.

References: T.C.A. § 4-15-102(d)(2); § 49-8-203(a)(2); Policy 130 Foundations.