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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.
A gift or donation is a voluntary transfer of money, services, or property (e.g., equipment, property, personnel time, etc.) from a donor without any expectation of or receipt of direct economic benefit or provision of goods or services. Gifts to UNLV are made through the UNLV Foundation in order to provide the donor with appropriate donor recognition and IRS tax documentation. Donations to UNLV for the university's ownership and benefit are generally considered to be gifts if the donor does not benefit by the donation outside of normal recognition benefits, such as stewardship reports, events to interact with beneficiaries of their donations, and/or plaques or other recognition items. All gift solicitation and receipting should be coordinated with the UNLV Foundation.
General characteristics of gifts requiring administration by the UNLV Foundation:
For more information on fundraising procedures or on the cultivation and solicitation of donors, please see the UNLV Foundation website.
Sponsored projects can come in various forms, including, but not limited to, grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. A sponsored project is an agreement formalizing the transfer of money or property from a sponsor and can be for the intent to either carry out a public purpose or provide a direct benefit for the sponsor. Sponsored projects are enforceable by law, and specified objectives are usually accomplished within a specified time frame, with payment being subject to revocation. Most sponsored projects also include indirect costs. Sponsored projects must be signed by an authorized signatory for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Sponsored projects are funded by sponsors based on the technical expertise of the principal investigators submitting outcome-driven proposals. However, the formal award is made in the name of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. When the award is accepted, the principal investigator assumes responsibility for conducting and completing the technical work and for administering the project in accordance with federal, state, university, and sponsor requirements. While the principal investigator is responsible and accountable for the sponsored project, the university provides infrastructure to support the investigator and promote an environment of compliance. The principal investigator and the university have a mutual interest in carrying out the project for which the funds are awarded.
General characteristics of sponsored projects requiring administration by the Office of Sponsored Programs:
Please contact the UNLV Foundation (702-895-2810) or the Office of Sponsored Programs (702-895-1357) with any questions.
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.