Distinguishing Between Gifts to the University and Sponsored Projects

The following information provides guidance on distinguishing between gifts to the university and sponsored projects so that they can be correctly classified and administered by the appropriate offices.

Gifts and Grants


Gifts and sponsored projects are the principal forms of awards made by both governmental and private sources. The correct classification and processing of awards is sometimes complex and will require the exercise of informed judgment, particularly in cases where the nature of an award is not immediately clear. Rather than focusing on any single characteristic, each award must be considered in its totality.

Colleges and other university fundraising units must coordinate the cultivation and solicitation of donors with their respective development officers and/or the UNLV Foundation. This coordination is required for fundraising from individuals, corporations, and private foundations, as well as for fundraising events such as dinners, sponsorship events, auctions, golf tournaments, etc. Sponsored projects should be coordinated with the Office of Sponsored Programs.

The UNLV Foundation and the Office of Sponsored Programs have jointly developed the following guidelines to assist individuals seeking external support in correctly classifying awards and determining if any funds deriving from their particular proposal should be routed through the UNLV Foundation or the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Private-sector entities (individuals, private agencies, professional associations, businesses, private foundations, corporate foundations, and corporations) may be perceived as either donors or sponsors depending on the award instrument. There are also several shared characteristics, such as signatures from authorized officials binding the university to the terms and conditions of a gift or grant. A gift or grant can also contain terms on the use of the funds. The following indicators have been developed to help direct specific awards to the proper university office.

Download additional information on UNLV Policy on Private Gifts .



For more information about Gifts please contact the College of Education Director of Development Erika Christensen.