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Gift Processing 101 for UMaine Employees


What is the function of the Gift Processing Department?

  • Receive and process all gifts into the University’s Fundraising Database (Advance) and Accounting System (MaineStreet).
  • Maintain and secure records of all gifts for University and IRS auditing.
  • Ensure University and Federal compliance in the handling and processing of gifts.
  • Issue tax receipts to donors for tax deduction purposes.

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What is a gift?

A gift is a contribution received for either restricted or unrestricted purposes in support of the university’s mission for which the institution has made no commitment of resources or services other than, possibly, committing to use the gift as the donor specifies.5

  • Note:  Quid Pro Quo – If goods or services, other than token items, are received as a result of making a contribution, only the amount of the contribution in excess of the benefit is considered a charitable donation.6
  • Note:   The Gift Processing Department issues all official tax receipts to donors from the University of Maine.
  • If you would like more information about gifts to the University, please contact the Gift Processing Department.

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What types of gifts are accepted by the University?

  • Coin – All American Coins and Foreign Coins valued at less than $1.00.
  • Cash – All American and All Foreign
  • Check – All American and All Foreign (To “UMaine” or “University of Maine”)
  • Money Order – All American and All Foreign (To “UMaine” or “University of Maine”)
  • Credit Card – MasterCard, Visa, AmericanExpress and Discover. Use the online giving website to complete these transactions.
  • Electronic Check – Donations may be routed directly from the donor’s savings or checking account to the University.  Use the online giving website to complete these transactions.

  • Gift-In-Kind – Non-cash donations of materials or long-lived assets that are directly related to the mission of the university or are convertible to cash in support of the university’s mission. This includes equipment, software, food, vehicles, collections of art, books, etc.7

    1. Exception –  The value of a person’s or organization’s time or service is not considered a charitable contribution, regardless of whether the individual assists as a volunteer or as a professional providing a specialized service (e.g., accounting, legal work, consulting or printing).8
    2. NOTE – Because federal guidelines regarding gift-in-kind donations are complex, please contact the Gift Processing Department when such donations are considered or initiated.
    3. A Guide of Standards and Requirements regarding Gift-In-Kind donations may be accessed here.
  • Stock – Have the donor or broker contact the Gift Processing Department for account information.
  • IRA Contributions – Have the donor or donor’s financial institution contact the Gift Processing Department for account information.
  • Wire Transfers – Have the donor contact the Gift Processing Department for account information.
  • Matching Gift – Donations made by a company that matches a gift made by an individual donor. Donors must initiate the process to have their Matching Gift Companies match their donations. Only the Gift Processing Department is authorized to complete the Matching Gift Form.
  • Volunteer Program Donations – Donations made by a company that makes donations based on an individual’s volunteer hours. Donors must initiate the process to have their Volunteer Program Companies make donations based on their work. Only the Gift Processing Department is authorized to complete the Volunteer Program Paperwork.

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How do I determine if money to be deposited is a gift?

  • In general, if the contribution meets the definition described in the What is a gift? section above, it can be processed by the Gift Processing Department as a donation. However, if goods or services, other than token items, are received as a result of making a contribution, only the amount of the contribution in excess of the benefit is considered a charitable donation when receipting to the donor.9
  • Some portions of fundraising events may be tax-deductible. Campus Organizers of these events should contact the Gift Processing Department in advance of the event to determine if this is permissible and for special handling instructions.
  • If you would like more information about gifts to the University, please contact the Gift Processing Department.

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Can part of one check be processed as a gift?

Yes. In order for this to be processed, recorded, and receipted accurately, the proper paperwork and documentation must be submitted to the Gift Processing Department with the check to be deposited. Contact the Gift Processing Department for clarification and/or instructions.

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What are my gift handling responsibilities?

  • University Policies require that you deposit all gifts to the Gift Processing Department within 24 hours of receiving them.
  • You must provide the appropriate and completed Gift Transmittal Form with all supporting documentation when making deposits to the Gift Processing Department.
  • Campus deposits to the Gift Processing Department must be delivered with the appropriate forms and documentation in a sealed envelope addressed to “Gift Processing, 121B Alumni Hall.”
  • University policies prohibit you from copying donor checks and credit card information or keeping record of donor banking information.
  • Complete electronic donation transactions via the online giving website when you receive requests to charge credit card or electronic check donations.
  • You may not alter or withhold information regarding contributions.
  • Matching Gift Forms may only be completed by the Gift Processing Department. Please forward these forms to the Gift Processing Department without altering them.
  • You may NOT include a dollar value of donations or pledges in any of your correspondence with donors.
  • If you have questions about your gift handling responsibilities, please contact the Gift Processing Department.

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 What should I include in my gift deposit to the Gift Processing Department?

  • the appropriate and completed Gift Transmittal Form
  • the donation/deposit
  • all correspondence and/or forms received with the gift
  • the envelope in which the gift was received
  • If you have questions about preparing your deposit, please contact the Gift Processing Department.

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How do you determine the credit date for the gift?

  • In most cases, the gift credit date is determined by the date that the gift is received by the Gift Processing Department.  The credit date is the date of the donation printed on the official tax receipt.
  • Checks, cash, and money orders postmarked in December will receive that year’s credit date for the receipt, though the donation may not have reached the Gift Processing Department until January.
  • Credit card and electronic check transfers always receive the credit date that the funds are moved from the donor’s account.

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How can donors make a gift to the University?

Online – click on the “Give Now” button on the Gift Processing Main Home Page. Donors may complete the online gift form and make a donation using their credit card information (credit card charge) or bank account information (electronic check).

By Mail – mail donations to:

Gift Processing Department
The University of Maine
P.O. Box 370
Orono, ME 04473-0370

Note: It is best that donors send their donations directly to the Gift Processing Department’s P.O. Box address (see above). When donations are received by other areas of the University, employees are required to comply with University Policies and Procedures as outlined on this website.

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Can donations be made in memory or honor of someone?

Yes. The University accepts memorial and honorary donations.
Donations should be sent directly from the donor to:

Gift Processing Department
The University of Maine
P.O. Box 370
Orono, ME 04473-0370

  • A note on or accompanying the check stating “in memory of” or “in honor of” and the person’s name is enough to indicate that the donation is a memorial or honorary donation.
  • Memorial and honorary donations may also be made using the University’s Online Giving Website at www.umaine.edu/give . A field is provided to indicate the name of the person to be memorialized or honored.
  • The Gift Processing Department is responsible for sending notices of memorial and honorary donations when they are directed to allocations held at the University and the University of Maine Alumni Association.
  • These notifications include the donors’ names, their mailing addresses, and the allocation in which each memorial or honorary donation was made.
  • Because of privacy standards, donation values are never disclosed in these notifications.
  • If you are contacted regarding someone’s interest in suggesting memorial or honorary donations to the University in an obituary or posting, please direct the caller to contact the Gift Processing Department.

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How should University Departments, Organizations, and Groups go about developing and preparing fundraising projects (mailings/asks/calls)?

Contact the Gift Processing Department directly to assist you in:

  • structuring your mailing to suit your goals and better serve the donors’ needs as well as ensure that the University’s standards are met.
  • developing the card, form, or slip that is returned by the donor with the donation as well as the return envelope and/or mailing address.
  • including your fundraising effort on the University’s online giving website for credit card and electronic check donations.

Note: Communicating your fundraising efforts directly to the Gift Processing Department ensures that donations are efficiently processed and deposited to suit your needs, respects the donors’ wishes and intent, and allows for immediate assessment of donation responses to your fundraising effort.

Note: You should contact the Gift Processing Department to discuss the development and preparation of your fundraising project before you have completed formatting your fundraiser.

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How do I submit gifts that I’ve received to be processed?

  • Campus deposits to the Gift Processing Department must be delivered with the appropriate forms and documentation in a sealed envelope addressed to “Gift Processing, 121B Alumni Hall”. Call ahead to ensure that someone will be available when you arrive.
  • All deposits should be accompanied by the appropriate Gift Transmittal Form (Excel) completed.
  • All gifts should be deposited with all forms and correspondence received and the envelope in which it was received.
  • Coin – should be rolled. May only be hand delivered to the Gift Processing Department.
  • Cash – should be bundled. May only be hand delivered to the Gift Processing Department.
  • Check and Money Order – stamped “Deposit Only” and “The University of Maine”
  • Electronic Check – Donations may be routed directly from the donor’s savings or checking account to the University.
    • Electronic Check transfer requests from donors are to be completed by the University Employee receiving the request via the online giving website at www.umaine.edu/give.
  • Credit Card Charge Requests:
    • Credit card charge requests from donors are to be completed by the University Employee receiving the request via the online giving website at www.umaine.edu/give.
  • Gift-In-Kind:

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Why should I deposit monies to the Gift Processing Department?

  • Only donations processed by the Gift Processing Department generate a tax receipt to the donor.
  • Only donations processed by the Gift Processing Department are recorded in the University’s Fundraising Database (Advance).
  • The Gift Processing Department processes donations designated to all funds held by the University, the University of Maine Foundation, and the University of Maine Alumni Association.
  • Only donations processed by the Gift Processing Department are reported to the University Board of Trustees.
  • Record of donor biographic and giving information is retrievable by the end user in Advance. Contact your Dean’s Office (or equivalent office) for this information.

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Who do I call to find the balance of the University Account that I am responsible for?

Contact University Budget & Business Services at 581-1545.

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I want to create a new account. How do I go about it?

  • Contact Barbara Laplante at the Development Office to begin the process of creating a new account. (581-3500)
  • Contact the Gift Processing Department to communicate that gifts may be received for a new allocation while it is being created.

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Should I keep a copy of the check or credit card information before I make my deposit to the Gift Processing Department?

No. University Policies and Federal regulations prohibit you from copying donor checks and credit card information or keeping a record of donor banking information.

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References

5 CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines, 4th edition

6 IRS Pub. 526

7 IRS Pub. 526, CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines, 4th edition

8 IRS Pub. 526, CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines, 4th edition

9 IRS Pub. 526