Gift or Grant

Typically, no single characteristic by itself would dictate whether funding should be processed as a Gift or as a Grant (Sponsored Project). All factors and circumstances must be reviewed together to make the best determination. Please contact your assigned ORSP Grants Administrator at 843-792-3838 for further assistance with Gift vs. Grant determinations.

Conditions/factors usually associated with Grants (Sponsored Projects):

  • Money or property is provided to achieve a specified scope of work or to provide a specific product, service, or other expected result within a specified period of time.
  • There is an exchange of money/property (financial assistance) for research/instruction/public service activities in order to fulfill the institution’s mission (a quid pro quo arrangement).
  • Use of funds is restricted by the sponsor, prior sponsor approval is required for budget revisions, and dis-allowance of specific types of expenditures are included in the terms.
  • Sponsor retains the right to revoke award based on stated circumstances.
  • Sponsor is a governmental agency or is awarding governmental flow-through funds.
  • The award is a contract, cooperative agreement, consortium agreement, grant, sub-grant, or sub-contract.
  • The sponsor requires external audits, detailed financial reports, invoices, and/or technical status reports as a condition of the award.
  • Sponsor defines how unused funds are to be handled.

Conditions/factors usually associated with Gifts:

  • Donor refers to funding as a gift, a donation, or a contribution and intends for the funding to be a charitable gift as reflected by the absence of any quid pro quo arrangement.
  • Donor provides the funding to the University without expectation of direct economic or other tangible benefit commensurate with the amount of funding. Indirect benefits such as tax advantages, business or personal goodwill, or benefits derived from donor club status are of immaterial nature and not sufficient to negate the gift intent.
  • Funding is provided with few terms beyond specifying general intent. Any conditions or stipulations placed on the use of the funding are reasonable and serve only to direct the funding to support the desired area of interest of the donor.
  • Funding is irrevocable with the donor relinquishing rights to reclaim any portion of the funding.
  • Funding is from a non-governmental source and is provided for such activities as endowments, capital projects, general student financial assistance, or other general operations of the University.
  • Technical and/or progress reports are NOT required. These reports should not be confused with general stewardship reports which should occur on a regular basis or upon request from a donor on an ad-hoc basis.
  • There is NOT a requirement for a line item budget and no restrictions are placed on the use of the funding other than expenditures must be consistent with donor’s stipulations.
  • Often there is no time period specified with the use of the funding.
  • No deliverables (reports or rights) are provided to the donor in exchange for the funding provided.