Where possible, donors should be encouraged to make their donation by way of a single lump-sum in GBP sterling.
Specialist advice should be sought from the University's Legal Services Office in respect of any offers of substantial donations in cash from parties based in countries associated with organised crime or terrorism or when, for any reason, there are any concerns in relation to the origin of the funds.
Foreign currency donations
Where a Department is expecting a donation in a foreign currency the Development Office's Head of Finance must be consulted in advance to establish appropriate mechanisms for accepting the donation.
It is the University's general practice to realise any non-monetary gifts e.g. stocks and shares or other specific financial instruments and to use the proceeds to create a trust fund, a specific endowment or a general or specific donation as appropriate. Occasionally a donor's specific direction will be that the original asset be retained, in these cases the Development Office will consult with the central bodies for approval.
Proposed gifts of property or shares in private companies need to be carefully considered, because they may not be easily realisable. Again the Development Office should be informed if such a gift is contemplated and they will consult with the Director of Finance, Head of Department/School and other relevant stakeholders as dictated by the gift.
Careful consideration should be given before accepting gifts of works of arts or books as there are often hidden costs to a department associated such as:
- fine art insurance
- additional security
- maintenance (correct temperature and humidity, lighting, protection from sunlight, moths etc).
Where they are accepted they are often retained by the University and added to its collections.
For more information on Fine Art Insurance please see the Insurance chapter of the FPM or contact the Insurance Section.
Grants from charitable trusts
Grants from charitable trusts may be received directly by the institution or the Development Office. It is important that the responsibility and format for reporting to the Trust be set out and agreed at this point (See Ongoing Management of Donation Accounts).
The procedures set out in sections Types of Donation for Accounting Purposes and Procedures for Receiving Donations via the Development Office should be followed with the exception of any references to Gift Aid which is only applicable to UK individuals. It is important that the Development Office is notified of such grants because:
- They need to ensure that the trusts receive the appropriate level of recognition for their support. It is common for the trusts to support numerous activities across the University and whose total value should be aggregated.
- Their value should be included in the University's 800th Campaign results.
Once credited to the appropriate cost centres these funds may be invested in accordance with the principles summarised in Reporting to Donors.
Grants from government departments and agencies
Grants from Government bodies and agencies are normally received centrally by the Finance Division, who will credit the appropriate cost centre in the relevant institutions by means of journal. The Development Office does not get involved with any grants received from such bodies.