Acceptance of Gifts and Pledges

Policy number: 5.3

Policy section: Development and External Affairs

Revised Date: January 2, 2019


1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

At the direction of the Vice President for Development and External Affairs (“the Vice President”) or his/her designee, the Division of Development and External Affairs (“DEA”) shall have sole authority for accepting Gifts and Pledges to the University, including to its Schools and Units. In addition, DEA is responsible for evaluating Donor Intent to ensure that gifts and pledges are accepted in accordance with SMU’s mission and ability to execute. Finally, DEA is responsible for designating gift income to the proper accounts in accordance with University guidelines and in close coordination with SMU’s finance units. Schools and Units in receipt of pledges and gifts must immediately submit them to the proper DEA unit for recording and deposit, as appropriate.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Donor Intent and IRS regulations are followed by the University, and that the University only accepts gifts for purposes related to its mission and within its ability to execute.

4.  Applicability

All faculty, students, staff, volunteers, and contractors are expected to comply with this policy.

5.  Legal Review

DEA shall seek the advice of the Office of Legal Affairs in matters relating to acceptance of gifts where appropriate.

6.  Questions

Questions regarding this policy are to be directed to the Office of the Vice President.

7.  Department Administrative Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines

Development and External Affairs will create and maintain guidelines and procedures related to this policy.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Donor Intent” refers to the purpose to which the donor directs a Pledge or Gift.

“Gifts” refers to all items of value given outright to the University. Gifts include cash, securities, real estate, equipment, artwork, trusts, bequests, and all other forms of asset transfers. Gifts need not be 100% tax deductible under IRS guidelines to fall within this definition.

Pledges” refers to any Gift or portion thereof promised to be provided at a future date.

“School” refers to SMU’s six schools and one college, and departments and programs within.

“Unit” refers to established entities other than Schools, such as the Office of the Provost, Central University Libraries, Department of Athletics, Division of Students Affairs, etc., and departments and programs within.


Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: August 17, 1999