Grants vs. Gifts Definitions
GIFT: A gift is defined as a contribution with no tangible reciprocal benefit to the donor.
SPONSORED PROJECT: A Sponsored Project is an activity that requires a specific statement of work, detailed financial accountability, and is subject to compliance with the sponsor’s terms and conditions.
|Funding does not originate from a governmental agency, state, municipality, nor an educational institution||Funding often originates from governmental agencies but also with non-governmental entities|
|For a general or specific purpose, e.g., endowment, capital projects, a line of research , faculty support or student financial aid and /or it may be for any activity at the university, e.g., department, library, arts, scholarships, facilities, research/instruction activities, etc.||For a specific statement of work, e.g., specified protocol, experiments, testing of hypotheses, particular line of inquiry or for a specified research project, specific instruction or other sponsored activities|
|Few, if any, deliverables (other than reports as noted below, and use of funds as requested and awarded)||Deliverables defined by agreement, e.g., reports, research results, IP rights, equipment, etc., and funds may be withheld pending delivery|
|No restrictions on publication rights. Publication attribution may be encouraged or agreement may be silent on attribution||Agreement requires attribution to the sponsor and often may ask for or require minor publication delays|
|Proposal may be informal, e.g., a letter proposal from an individual, a department, office or school, or the grant making Organization may require a formal proposal with specific guidelines and required information||Sponsor requires formal and detailed proposal and/or contractual agreement. Must be submitted through a Research and Sponsored Programs Office as allowed|
|No requirement for return of unexpended funds||May require detailed financial and other reports, e.g., scientific reports, invention reports, financial reports on sponsor-specified format, may include the right of sponsor to audit|
|No required pre-approvals for expenditures unless a change of circumstances arises that may cause the University and / or the Foundation to revisit the purpose of the gift with the donor||Budgets and project period may lead to unexpended funds that must be returned if there is no approval to carry forward or extend project|
|Some gifts may be combined into one fund (if for the same purpose)||Certain expenditures may require prior written approval by sponsor|
|Qualifies for tax treatment as charitable contribution by donor||Must be separately budgeted and accounted for|
|No obligation or agreement to share data with donor; donor willing to relinquish intellectual property and data rights to University. Donor may request progress reports as noted above||May qualify for basic research tax credit for sponsor|
|Donor expects access to data, primary records, or has ability to audit data collection.|
*(Sources: This chart was taken from the document Guide to Identifying Gifts from the UW System Administration. Some of the information contained in this publication has been adopted from http://www.wisconsin.edu/fadmin/gapp/gapp2.htm & http://www.rsp.wisc.edu/policies/UWF_Policy.pdf.)