Distinction Between Gifts and Sponsored Activities

Distinction Between Gifts and Sponsored Activities
Type of Policy
jbarber32 Fri, 06/08/2012 - 16:37
Policy No
Effective Date
Last Revised
Review Date
Policy Owner
Georgia Tech Foundation
Contact Name
Mark DeLorenzo
Contact Title
GTF Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
Contact Email
Reason for Policy

Contributions to GIT must be distinguished from private support, which creates a contractual obligation on the part of the Institute. Generally, funds received for the benefit of the Institute may be classified as "Gifts", "Grants and Sponsored Agreements" or "Contracts" as described below.


Gifts represent contributions made for which the provider receives no direct benefit and requires nothing in exchange beyond a general assurance that the intent of the contribution be honored. Contributions which are considered "Gifts" should be made to Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc. and accepted and processed as provided for in this document. The following guidelines are to be used to determine if a proposal will result in a "Gift" to the Institute: Key indicators include:

  • No contractual requirements are imposed
  • The award is irrevocable
  • No period of performance is specified
  • No formal financial reporting to donor is required
  • No requirement to return unexpended funds
  • Funds are donative in nature and bestowed voluntarily without expectation

Grants and Sponsored Agreements
Grants and Sponsored Agreements Accepted by Georgia Tech Foundation
Grants and Sponsored Agreements represent awards that have a defined activity to be undertaken with the support provided, with an outcome that either directly benefits the provider or a public purpose. Grants and Sponsored Agreements, or contributions made for a specific project of the Institute, may be received and accepted by GTF if:

  1. the grant agreement names GTF as grantee, and
  2. the obligations of the Foundation under the grant agreement are limited to
    • expenditure of the funds for the described purpose at the request of GIT, and
    • reporting on the expenditure of funds to the donor, but not the status or progress of any project.

GIT procedures require that Grants and Sponsored Agreements awarded to GTF be administered by Grants and Contracts Accounting (or GTRI Accounting for awards to units of GTRI) in the same manner as other sponsored projects. GTF will not accept funds sponsored directly or indirectly by the Federal Government.

Grants and Sponsored Agreements Accepted by Georgia Institute of Technology
If the Grant or Sponsored Agreement is sponsored directly or indirectly by the Federal Government, requires cost-sharing, or requires support in excess of the grant amount, the Grant or Sponsored Agreement must be awarded to Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) and administered by the Office of Contract Administration. The following guidelines will determine whether a proposal would result in a Grant or Sponsored Agreement to GIT:

  • The award carries terms on the use of funds
  • The sponsor may retain authority to withhold funds pending satisfactory completion of project objectives
  • Unused funds must be returned to the grantor unless waived, in writing, by the sponsor
  • Formal financial accounting may be required
  • Periodic payments may be made by the sponsor
  • Generally, subject to specific restrictions and contingencies

Contracts and Other Agreements with Special Term and conditions.
The acceptance of funds under circumstances which entitle the sponsor to deliverables and/or intellectual property rights, or under which anything of value is conveyed to the sponsor, will create a "Contract" which must be processed through the Office of Contract Administration. Contracts can not be processed through the Georgia Tech Foundation. The operating procedures of the Office of Contract Administration include features designed to address these requirements, and assure compliance with the terms of such agreements. All contracts must be made with the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation for GTRI contracts) and administered by the Office of Contract Administration. The following guidelines are suggested for determining whether a proposal will result in a "Contract" with the Institute:

  • The award is subject to formal conditions outlined in a contractual instrument signed by both parties
  • The sponsor often places more restrictions upon expenditures allowed in the pursuit of the activity
  • Normally involves the generation of some tangible product or service
  • Financing may be on a cost-reimbursable basis, advance funding, or lump-sum payments as work progresses
  • Sponsor requires periodic progress reports and may include invention, royalty, financial or equipment inventory reports
  • A closing audit is sometimes required