- At CU, processing donor contributions in the form of cash – including checks, credit cards, or other forms of currency – requires that deposits be handled through the campus Designated Advancement Office instead of through the Bursar’s Office.
- Top areas of concern are: (1) understanding that the CU Foundation has been designated as the primary recipient of gifts given for the benefit of the University (even if the payee is identified as a specific campus department), and (2) understanding when exceptions apply (e.g., for fundraising events).
Procedural Statement - effective date: 07/01/2017
These procedures set forth University requirements for processing gifts/charitable contributions in the form of cash, including checks, credit cards, or other forms of currency. For procedures to handle electronic transfer of marketable securities, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, contact the University of Colorado Foundation (CU Foundation) Accounting team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Per Regent Policy 13.F, the CU Foundation is designated as the primary recipient of all gifts given for the benefit of the University, except as provided in these procedures.
Gift Instrument Payee Identification
All gifts of cash and all gifts transferred by gift instrument (including wills, bequests, stock transfers, or other written transfers of title or ownership) shall be directed to the CU Foundation and deposited in an account owned or controlled by the CU Foundation.
This process applies whether the payee on the gift instrument is the University of Colorado Foundation, the University of Colorado, or a specific campus unit at the University. Furthermore:
- Payee/other information on the check or other gift instrument may not be modified.
- Only the CU Foundation may endorse a check that was received as a gift.
Gift Deposit Procedures and Responsible Offices
For general information on cash handling procedures, including security and timelines for making deposits, see the Accounting Handbook chapter on Cash Control.
When cash is received as a gift, the deposit is handled through the campus Designated Advancement Office as opposed to through the campus Bursar’s Office.
- Each campus must identify a Designated Advancement Office (DAO) within the campus Office of Advancement. The DAO serves as the central office for handling cash gifts. Each DAO includes at minimum one employee and one back-up employee who are fully trained in gift handling policies and procedures.
- Campus employees hand-deliver to the DAO all gifts/charitable contributions (as described above), along with a completed Cash Receipt-Gifts form and all accompanying documentation (donor description, envelopes, remittance forms, and other correspondence or forms).
- Checks and money orders must be attached to their supporting documentation with paper clips or binder clips – not staples.
- All gift deposits must identify a CU Foundation fund number. If an organizational unit does not have a CU Foundation fund number, contact the CU Foundation.
Special Notes on Processing Credit Cards
All employees should strongly encourage donors to give credit card gifts through the website, https://giving.cu.edu. This is a secure giving portal and is the preferred method for accepting credit card gifts.
In instances where online giving is not feasible and the donor wants to provide credit card information over the phone or in person, employees will refer the donor to the CU Foundation at 1800 Grant St., Denver.
Review and Reconciliation
University employees will verify and reconcile their gift deposits using the CU Foundation’s Financial Edge Reporting System. Employees will see available balance in gift funds using the University’s Finance System to look up linked SpeedTypes.
- To request access to Financial Edge, email CU Foundation.
- To register for live training on Financial Edge, go to SkillSoft in the campus portal: CU Instructor Led Training > CU Advancement > CU: Financial Edge (Accounting System) Hands-on Training.
As a general rule, the CU Foundation at 1800 Grant St., Denver, reviews and processes gifts within two business days of receiving them. In addition, the office sends a tax receipt to the donor on the next business day after processing.
Questions about these procedures should be directed to the appropriate campus controller, who will consult with the Associate Vice President & University Controller, as appropriate.
These procedures do not apply to the following funds:
- Funds derived from fundraising events (see the Accounting Handbook procedures for Fundraising Events) – unless those fundraising events are utilizing the Cvent registration and payment system (in which case, these do follow the procedures set forth in this document)
- Fund 35 gifts from CU Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado Research Institute, and University Hospital (consult with the CU Denver l Anschutz Medical Campus Controller)
- Boulder campus scholarships and other financial aid transferred through a credit union arrangement (contact the Boulder Campus Financial Aid Office)
- All ticket sales by the University where there is a gift component (contact the appropriate ticketing office, e.g., Athletics, CU Presents)
- Gifts-in-kind (see the Accounting Handbook procedures for Gifts-in-Kind)
- Instruments transferring any interest in oil, gas, mineral, or water rights (contact the University Treasury)
- Any gift to a University-endowed fund currently in existence or any gift where an historical pattern of giving represents intent by the donor for the University to manage the gift (contact the University Treasury)
- Any other gift where evidence of donor intent rebuts the presumption above that all cash gifts to the University will be processed by the CU Foundation (the campus controller may consult with the CU System Office of University Counsel as appropriate)
- Any other gift with respect to which the University President determines that transfer to the CU Foundation does not serve the good of the University (contact the Vice President for Advancement)
Unless approved by the Associate Vice President & University Controller, there are no other exceptions to this procedural statement. Requests for approval of exceptions must be submitted through the campus controller's office.