2200 PR.02 Gift Stewardship

Revision Date: 
December 14, 2021


1.     Overview

2.     Principles of Stewardship

3.     Gift Adjustments

4.     Gift Stewardship Reporting

1. Overview

This procedure supports Policy 2200 Gifts to the University.  It details the steps to follow for the stewardship of Gifts.  It does not cover sponsored awards (i.e., grants and contracts), nor does it cover the receipt and processing of Gifts.  For specific information on the receipt and processing of Gifts, refer to Procedure 2200 PR.01 Gift Receipt and Processing.

Proper stewardship of Gifts involves the following:

  • appropriately acknowledging Gifts;
  • ensuring that they are used in accordance with donor wishes; and
  • reporting to donors and/or other parties when appropriate.
  • ensuring the safeguarding of Gifts to the University

The University offers training for individuals involved in the stewardship and administration of restricted Gifts.  All such individuals are encouraged to access and complete that training: Restricted Gifts Training.

2. Principles of Stewardship

A. Gift Acknowledgment

Contribution Processing, a unit within Gift and Records Services (hereinafter, “Contribution Processing”), sends official University acknowledgment to donors.  This acknowledgment indicates to the donor that the Gift has been directed in accordance with the donor’s wishes.  This acknowledgment also constitutes the University’s official receipt for income tax purposes.

Departments that have a direct relationship with a donor may wish to send their own letter of thanks in addition to the official University acknowledgment.  Departments choosing to send their own letter of thanks should send a copy to Contribution Processing.  Medical School departments should send an additional copy to the Medical School Development Office.

B. Departmental Responsibility

Cost Center Managers (or their designees) are responsible for:

  • reviewing Gift agreements to ensure that Gifts in their cost centers are used in a manner consistent with the stated intentions of the donor;
  • being familiar with the purpose(s) of Gifts in their cost centers and any special restrictions or requirements associated with the Gifts;
  • monitoring Gifts in their cost centers for overdrafts and accumulating balances;
  • overdrafts must be cleared before the end of the fiscal year;
  • accumulating balances may indicate an inability to use a donor’s Gift - consult with Gift Administration for guidance in appropriate use of Gifts and endowment income;
  • reviewing spendable Gifts in their cost centers for closure when the balance is zero or when the restricted purpose for which the Gift was originally given has been fulfilled;
  • a restricted spendable Gift may be closed when the balance is zero and no future contributions are anticipated for the restricted purpose for which the Gift was originally established;
  • a restricted spendable Gift with an unspent balance may be closed when the restricted purpose for which the Gift was originally given has been fulfilled.  Any remaining balance will be used to offset the requesting department’s General Appropriations funding.  Requests to close a Gift with an unspent balance must be approved by the department’s responsible Deputy Provost (or appropriate Lead Administrator);
  • the form to complete the closure of a restricted spendable Gift is Form 2203 FR.06 Request to Close Spendable Gift.

C. Gift Changes

If changes to Gift agreements are required, contact the Office of Development to discuss the required changes.  The Office of Development works with the donor to determine if changes to the Gift agreement are acceptable.

If changes to the Gift’s chart of accounts values are required, such as requests to change the purpose code, contact Gift Administration.  Gift Administration reviews change requests to ensure they are in compliance with donor intent and are deemed allowable.  Changes may need to be approved by the Provost’s Office or General Counsel.  Once a requested change is deemed appropriate, Gift Administration updates Workday, which generates a notification to the Lead Administrator.

3. Gift Adjustments

In certain circumstances, Gifts may need to be moved from one account to another.  In such instances, use the following procedures:



I need to allocate a current year Gift income from one cost center, program, project, or assignee to another

Refer to Reclassification and Transfer of Funds

I need to allocate Gift balances to another source to fund expenses that match the intended purpose

Refer to Reclassification and Transfer of Funds

I need to change the cost center, program, project, or assignee for future deposits to a Gift

Contact Gift Administration at giftawards@yale.edu

I need to move funds between two Gifts

Such reclassifications are rarely permitted.  Consult Gift Administration at giftawards@yale.edu for guidance.

The department deposited a Gift itself and the Gift needs to be correctly recorded

All donor contributions received by departments/units should be deposited into the Gift clearing account.  If this was not done and an erroneous deposit needs to be corrected, the department should reverse the original entry and credit the Gift clearing account (LA43005.GS054999.CC1520.PG00655. PJ000001.FD05.RC237).

Send donor documentation, a copy of the journal entry, and an explanation of the correct Gift in which the contribution should be deposited to gift.adjustments@yale.edu.

Contribution Processing will transfer the contribution out of the clearing account and into the correct Gift.  Contribution Processing Donor record will adjust the contribution in Hopper and the general ledger.

Contribution Processing deposited funds into an incorrect Gift or Cost Center

Department should contact gift.adjustments@yale.edu and provide the correct COA where the contribution should be deposited.  Department should provide all information known about the contribution, including the donor ID, contribution amount, Gift date, and designation number.  Contribution Processing will adjust the contribution in Hopper and the general ledger.

4. Gift Stewardship Reporting

Department Lead Administrators (or their designees) should be familiar with stewardship reporting requirements for Gifts for which they are responsible and should work with Gift Administration and the University Recording Secretary in the Office of Development to prepare and submit reports accordingly.

Although donors often contact the Office of Development to determine how their Gifts are being used, donors occasionally contact individual departments or faculty members.  Departments should be prepared to respond to donor questions regarding the use of their Gifts.

Copies of any correspondence or reports to donors from departments should be added to the Fund Stewardship Purpose Record (“SPR”) via uploading to Central Files by department staff.  If department staff do not have access to the SPR, please contact the University Recording Secretary, Office of Development, at recording.secretary@yale.edu to request access.