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Gift Acceptance Policy

The OSU Foundation accepts many types of gifts including cash, securities, real estate, insurance, real property, tangible personal property and even entire corporations.  The staff of the Foundation have the skills and experience to handle complex gifts.  Because of the unique nature of some assets, the Foundation reserves the right to accept or refuse a gift. We would be pleased to discuss any and all giving opportunities directly with you.

Many types of assets may be used to provide gifts for the university through the OSU Foundation. A variety of giving methods allow donors to choose the most appropriate for their circumstances and interests.


Mission of Oklahoma State University Foundation

The mission of Oklahoma State University Foundation (the “Foundation”) is “Uniting Donor and University Passions and Priorities to Achieve Excellence.” The Foundation is a non-profit organization as identified by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.  The Foundation’s tax ID is: 73-6097060.

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Policy Statement and Overview

These policies and guidelines oversee the acceptance of gifts to the Foundation on behalf of Oklahoma State University (“OSU”) or one of its constituent universities and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when making gifts to the Foundation.

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Responsibility to Donors
Donor Intent

As a donor centered organization, the Foundation is responsible for ensuring that gifts are used in accordance with donor intent. Documentation of donor intent should accompany any gift deposited and receipted by the Foundation.  Intent can be demonstrated through execution of a written agreement, such as an endowment agreement or a memorandum of understanding between the donor and the Foundation.  In the absence of a written agreement, donor intent can be demonstrated by 1) making the check payable to a particular project/fund, 2) writing the project/fund in the memo line on the check, 3) return of a solicitation brochure with the gift, 4) donor letter or e-mail, 5) completion of a gift deposit form that includes information regarding how the person completing the form obtained donor intent, i.e. meeting or phone call with donor to include date of donor contact and explanation of discussion regarding intent.

The Foundation, its staff and representatives shall endeavor to assist donors in accomplishing their philanthropic objectives in providing support for the Foundation. All Foundation employees are held accountable to the Donor Bill of Rights (Attachment A). When a donor includes a deferred contribution in their plans, all gift planning officers and other Foundation staff involved in assisting the donor with a planned gift are held accountable to the best interests of the donor by committing to follow the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner (Attachment B).

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Information concerning all transactions between a donor and the Foundation shall be held by the Foundation in strict confidence and may be publicly disclosed only with the permission of the donor.  However, the Foundation does from time to time publicly acknowledge that individuals or businesses have made gifts to the Foundation.

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The Foundation shall respect the wishes of donors who choose to support the Foundation anonymously and will take reasonable steps to safeguard those donors’ identity.

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Compliance with Law

The Foundation complies with federal and state law, including the Internal Revenue Code, the Oklahoma Charitable Fiduciary Act and the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, in acceptance, receipt and administration of gifts. 

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Conflict of Interest and Use of Legal Counsel

The Foundation does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice.  Donors will be encouraged to discuss charitable gift planning decisions with his or her legal, financial or tax advisor before entering into any commitment to make a gift to the Foundation.  Additionally, the Foundation may seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of a gift when appropriate.

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Gift Acceptance Committee

Members of the Gift Acceptance Committee shall include the Foundation’s President and CEO, general counsel, head of development and head of administration.  The Foundation President and CEO shall chair the meetings and may invite other Foundation or University employees to attend the meetings as he or she deems appropriate.

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Gift Acceptance
Gifts Consistent with Mission, Purposes and Priorities

All gifts received by the Foundation must be consistent with OSU’s and Foundation’s missions, purposes and priorities.

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Routine Acceptance

The Foundation will accept unrestricted gifts, and gifts for specific programs and purposes. Other gifts may require review and acceptance by the Gift Acceptance Committee as set forth in this policy.

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Naming Opportunities

The Foundation has adopted policies related to naming rights and the minimum gift requirements for naming rights.  These policies and OSU’s policies are used to determine whether a donor will receive naming rights in connection with a gift.   

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Fiduciary Relationships

The Foundation will typically not serve as executor of a donor’s estate nor as trustee or successor trustee of a living trust or other trust intended to serve as a person’s primary estate planning document.  Any exceptions to this must be approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee.

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Gift Types

The Foundation receives both current gifts, such as an outright gift by check or transfer of stock or real property, and deferred gifts, such as a bequest from a donor’s estate.  Some gifts of marginal risk to the Foundation such as a current gift of cash are accepted by the Foundation without review by the Gift Acceptance Committee.  Other types of gifts such as a gift of real estate require approval of the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee.  Following is information about the most common types of gifts received by the Foundation.

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Cash gifts include currency, coin, checks, credit card payments, money orders, bank drafts and bank wires.  Checks should be made payable to the OSU Foundation. 

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Marketable and Restricted Securities

Marketable Securities include primarily stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that are traded on national exchanges such as the NYSE or NASDAQ.  Gifts of marketable securities that are freely tradable without restriction are accepted without review of the Gift Acceptance Committee.

Once possession is obtained and the donor information confirmed, marketable securities are sold as soon as practical by the Department of Gift Administration.  Marketable, securities may not be held without notification to the Gift Acceptance Committee and approval from the Foundation Investment Committee.

Shares of marketable securities subject to restrictions on sale, whether by contract, by SEC rules, an underwriter’s “lock-up” or other restrictions, or as the result of corporate policy applicable to the donor, will be given special review and accepted only if the Foundation Investment Committee determines it is in the best interest of OSU to do so.  Efforts should be made to have the restrictions removed prior to acceptance of the gift.

Restricted securities include thinly traded, non-publicly traded, closely held or unmarketable securities.  Gifts of restricted securities must be approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee.

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Tangible Personal Property – Gifts-In-Kind

Tangible personal property/gifts-in-kind (“GIK”) include items such as works of art, boats, books, computers, computer software, machinery, medical equipment, motor vehicles, or animals. 

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GIK Gifts received by OSU Personnel

The Foundation provides gift receipting services for GIK gifts received by OSU upon completion of GIK form by the appropriate department or division.  Gifts of art to OSU must be approved by the appropriate OSU authority designated by OSU.  Gift receipting and notification to OSU of GIK gifts will follow Foundation procedures and also OSU Policy and Procedure 3-0125 – Inventory of Movable Equipment.

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GIK Gifts Received by the Foundation

GIK gifts received by the Foundation intended to be owned by the Foundation must be presented to the Gift Acceptance Committee for approval.  The Gift Acceptance Committee will ensure the appropriateness of the Foundation’s ownership of the GIK, the exempt purpose of the GIK, and that all steps required by the IRS for receipt and disposal of the GIK have been followed.

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Intangible Personal Property

Intangible personal property, which includes property without physical existence such as, but not limited to, patents, inventions, intellectual property rights, royalties, and copyrights which have no intrinsic value, are subject to approval by the Gift Acceptance Committee and, if appropriate, academic and administrative departments at OSU.

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Real Estate

The Foundation may accept both present and future interests in real estate.  Prior to acceptance of the real property, the gift shall be approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee.  Criteria for consideration of acceptance of the property shall include (i) usefulness of property for purposes of the Foundation or OSU; (ii) marketability; (iii) results of an environmental review, and (iv) appraised value (minimum appraised value is $100,000).  Other issues to be considered include:  (i) clarity of title; (ii) restrictions, reservations, easements, or other limitations associated with the property; and (iii) carrying costs, which may include insurance, property taxes, mortgages, or notes, etc., associated with the property.  These policies also apply to gifts of real estate to charitable remainder trusts where the Foundation is serving as trustee.

The Foundation may accept and retain ownership of real estate gifts which OSU plans to utilize for current university programs rather than sell immediately.  OSU will be included in the Gift Acceptance Committee review process for these gifts and a manage and maintain agreement between the Foundation and OSU will be created to outline the roles and responsibilities of each party associated with the real estate.  The Foundation will have the sole discretion to select the time, sales price and sales method for any real estate gift given to the Foundation.

For Retained Life Estate Gifts or gifts of a remainder interest, the donor or other occupants may continue to occupy the real property for the duration of the stated life.  Where the Foundation receives a gift of a remainder interest, expenses for maintenance, real estate taxes, insurance and any property indebtedness are to be paid by the donor or other occupant.

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Oil, Gas, and Mineral Interests

The Foundation may accept oil and gas property interests, when appropriate. Prior to acceptance of an oil and gas interest the gift shall be approved by the Gift Acceptance Committee.  The property should not have extended liabilities or other considerations that make receipt of the gift inappropriate.  A working interest is rarely accepted and may only be accepted when there is a plan to minimize potential liability and tax consequences.

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Bargain Sales

All bargain sales must be reviewed and recommended by the Gift Acceptance Committee and approved by the Foundation Executive Committee.  Generally, the Foundation will not accept a bargain sale gift if debt must be assumed.  Requirements that apply to a certain gift type, e.g., an environmental review for real estate, shall apply to bargain sales.

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Gifts through a donor’s will or trust are accepted by the Foundation.  Development officers should obtain a copy of the portion of the donor’s will which names Oklahoma State University Foundation as a beneficiary and be attached to the Confirmation of Deferred Gift form.  The Foundation will typically not serve as executor of a donor’s estate nor as trustee or successor trustee of a living trust or other trust intended to serve as a person’s primary estate planning document. 

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Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations for retirement plans, including IRAs, tax-sheltered annuities, 401 (k), and Keogh plans will be accepted by the Foundation.  A beneficiary designation form signed by the donor naming Oklahoma State University Foundation as the beneficiary should be attached to the Confirmation of Deferred Gift form.

Because of potential adverse tax consequences and issues concerning spousal rights to retirement plan assets, the donor should be advised to secure independent advice regarding any gifts of retirement assets.

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Life Insurance

A donor may name the Foundation as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of an insurance policy or the donor may name the Foundation as a beneficiary. If the donor contributes future premium payments, the Foundation in most cases will include the entire amount of the premium payment as a gift upon receipt.  The Foundation will only accept whole, universal or variable life insurance policies.  The Foundation does not accept term insurance but may be named as a beneficiary.  In the event a donor does not make a gift equal to the amount of any premium payments due on a policy then the Foundation may liquidate the cash value of the policy and use the proceeds pursuant to the donor’s intent.

The Foundation may accept ownership of a life insurance policy that meets the following criteria without review by the Gift Acceptance Committee:

  • the Foundation is named both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the policy;
  • the policy death benefit is not split between the Foundation and other charities/non-charities;
  • the policy covers the life of the donor;
  • the policy is paid up to the donor’s age 100;
  • the policy  does not have any outstanding loans at the date of the gift; and
  • the Foundation has received and reviewed the insurance illustration.

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Life Income Gifts
Gift Annuities

A Charitable Gift Annuity is an agreement between a donor and the Foundation in which the Foundation agrees to pay the donor a fixed income for life in exchange for a gift.  At the end of the donor (s) life, the remaining assets will fund the area of greatest interest to the donor(s). The minimum gift for funding an annuity is $25,000.  The minimum age for life income beneficiaries of a gift annuity is 65.  If the annuity is deferred, the minimum age of the annuitant at the time payments begin must be 65.  The payment is a binding liability of the Foundation.  A charitable gift annuity shall have an annuity rate no higher than the rate suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities at the time the gift is funded. Under IRS regulations, the maximum number of life income beneficiaries is two.

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Charitable Remainder Unitrust

A charitable remainder unitrust (“CRUT”) permits a donor(s) to make a gift and receive payments for a life, two lives, or a term of years and allows for flexible payout options.  The Foundation may agree to serve as trustee for a CRUT if the Foundation is named an irrevocable remainder beneficiary of the CRUT and will receive at least 50 % interest of the remainder of the CRUT.  The minimum initial gift to fund the CRUT shall be cash, real property, or marketable securities with a value of at least $100,000.

Subsequent additions to a unitrust of at least $10,000 in cash or marketable securities may be made subject to approval of the Gift Acceptance Committee.  The percentage to be paid by the unitrust to the donor or to donor's designee(s) shall represent no less than 5% each year of the value of the trust assets, as revalued annually.

Under IRS regulations, CRUT may not last for more than two measuring lives and may not have a term longer than 20 years.  As a general rule for the Foundation to serve as trustee of a one or two life CRUT, all income beneficiaries must be at least 50 years of age at the time the trust is created. For a term-of-years CRUT, there is no minimum age for beneficiaries.

The preferred arrangement to be used when an illiquid or non-income producing asset is contributed to a CRUT is a net income unitrust with a “flip” provision.  This provision will cause the CRUT to become a standard unitrust no sooner than the year after the asset is sold.  The donor must agree to contribute liquid assets at the time of the gift to cover expected costs as well as in the future in order to cover all costs incurred by the trust (this should be documented in a letter of agreement signed by the donor and the Foundation prior to acceptance).  In certain events the donor may serve as trustee with the provision that the Foundation serves as successor trustee of the CRUT once the asset is sold.

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Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts

A charitable remainder annuity trust (“CRAT”) is similar to a CRUT and subject to the same policies and procedures, except that the donor and/or beneficiary annually receive a payout that is fixed irrevocably at the time of the gift and stated in the trust agreement. The payout must equal at least 5% of the fair market value of the assets placed in the trust when it is created. Income in excess of the annual payment is added to the principal. Unlike a CRUT, additions may not be made to a CRAT.  The Foundation will typically not accept gifts of real property to fund a CRAT.

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Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable Lead Trusts (CLT) are designed to pay an income stream to the Foundation for a term defined in the trust instrument with the remainder interest passing to non-charitable remainder beneficiaries, such as children or grandchildren, upon termination of the trust.  The Foundation may accept a designation as income beneficiary of a charitable lead trust.

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Donor Advised Funds

The minimum gift level for establishing a Donor Advised Fund is $100,000.  This can be given in cash or marketable securities.  The Foundation requires that at least 50 percent of the corpus is dedicated to OSU purposes.  An annual fee of one percent is charged for administration. 

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The Foundation follows IRS guidelines regarding valuation, disclosure and reporting of donor gifts to the Foundation.

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Adoption and Amendment of the Gift Acceptance Policy

The OSU Foundation Board of Trustees authorized the Foundation Leadership Team to adopt this policy to govern the acceptance of gifts to the Foundation.  The Foundation Leadership Team may revoke, amend, or supplement this policy at any time. 

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400 South Monroe / P.O. Box 1749 / Stillwater, OK 74076-1749
Ph. 800.622.4678 / Fax 405.385.5102 /
© 2013