Current Use Gifts and Endowments

Definitions:

Gift:

A gift is an unconditional donation to an institution for which the donor does not expect to receive any reciprocal benefit. For the purposes of this document we focus on monetary gifts.

Current Use Gifts:

A current use gift is a donation that may be spent down in its entirety. Like endowment gifts, current use gifts can either be unrestricted or restricted.  An unrestricted gift may be used for the general purposes of the tub in which it is established, while restricted gifts are limited by the donor for a particular, defined purpose.

Current use gift funds appear in the general ledger in the fund range:  300000 to 399999.

Endowment Gifts:

An endowed gift requires the gift corpus be held in perpetuity and only the income generated by investing the corpus may be spent. Most endowment gifts are invested in the endowment pool, and units of the endowment are assigned to the individual endowment fund. Units are, in effect, a share of the endowment.  The number of units a fund receives is based on the gift value as well as the value of the endowment pool at that time.  The University calculates the unit value of the endowment pool monthly.  Units are then used to monitor the market value and to determine the annual treasurer’s distribution to the fund.  Income distributed per University policy becomes available for current use spending. The funds must be spent in accordance with the terms set forth by the donor.

Endowment funds may be categorized as unrestricted or restricted:

  • Unrestricted endowments must be used for general purposes of the tub holding the funds.
  • Restricted endowments are funds established for a more specific purpose, such as a specific department or programmatic activity.  An endowment fund for the general purposes of a particular department is considered “restricted” by the tub since it is restricted to the activities of a particular department.

Endowment funds are also further categorized as either Quasi or Permanent Endowment funds:

  • Quasi Endowments are gifts in which the principal may be spent down, but the University chooses to invest the gift in the endowment, therefore making only the annual treasurer’s distribution available for current use purposes.  The unit holding the fund may decide from time to time to spend some of the principal.  In cases when a portion of the principal is needed, the unit must submit a request to decapitalize a portion of the principal (see section on decapitalization of funds).
  • Permanent Endowments prohibit the use of the original gift corpus; only the income generated from the investment may be spent.  

Endowment funds appear in the General Ledger in fund range:  400000 to 699999.