1,600: University of Nevada, Reno Foundation and Development & Alumni Relations

Revised: October 2020

The University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, founded in 1981, is designed by the University as the organization through which all philanthropic fundraising for university academic, research, and public service programs will be conducted. The Foundation's officers, volunteer Board of Trustees and staff members who are employees of University Development and Alumni Relations provide consultation and assist university officials in soliciting prospective donors to support important institutional programs and objectives. To that end, the Foundation will involve itself only in activities which are beneficial to the University and are consistent with adopted university plans, programs, and policies. The Executive Director of the Foundation is also the University Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.

Administrative and Accounting Guidelines for the Foundation are published in the Board of Regents Handbook.

The Foundation will:

  1. Solicit or receive gifts, grants, conveyances, devices, or bequests from all sources for designated uses specified by donors only when they are consistent with university objectives and policies approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.
  2. Approve expenditures (e.g., equipment purchases, travel, hosting, etc.) only if they are consistent with university objectives and fiscal policies approved by the Board of Regents and donor restrictions.
  3. Transfer funds from its gift accounts to the University of Nevada, Reno only through Board of Regents gift accounts and in the following prescribed manner:
    1. The distributable earnings from designated endowment funds in annual or other installments, or a directive by the donor with whom the endowment was established, and for use by the University and unit for the specific purpose stated by the donor;
    2. All designated funds upon demand by the university representative with authority for such funds;
    3. All designated funds annually, or as requested, for uses as the Foundation Board of Trustees designate, less amounts necessary for operational, endowment, and campaign expenses.
    4. The Foundation will establish gift accounts in Workday for gifts that are restricted to the University, Foundation or other 501(c)(3) entities. The appropriate spending codes will be established to comply with donor restrictions.

Accounting for Gifts to the Foundation or University

Gift Accounts and Gift Agreements:

A Foundation gift account may be established to hold, manage and transfer gift funds to the University. A gift agreement, which outlines the terms of the gift, is the responsibility of the Foundation to effect with the donor and maintain and make available to appropriate units. Agreement terms will comply with federal, state, NSHE and Foundation policies and regulations.

Responsibility of Unit:

When the University or Foundation accepts a gift and the accompanying terms, it is of critical importance to ensure compliance with the terms. It is the responsibility of the unit authorized to spend from the restricted fund to ensure that all expenditures charged to the fund are for the activity specified by the terms, and that all expenses are properly documented. It is also critical for each unit to maintain a record of terms of the gift instrument or agreement (terms) for each fund it manages, and to be aware that terms may change from time-to-time through amendments. The terms, which are in the Raiser's Edge database, should be reviewed periodically by the unit and with those responsible for spending from the fund. The Foundation Accounting staff and the external auditors monitor the appropriate use of funds to ensure disbursements comply with federal, state, NSHE and Foundation policies and regulations.

Alternate Charitable Purpose:

There may be funds that have very restrictive terms and/or are for an activity that no longer exists. In such cases the Foundation has a policy for how to request modifications to the terms of a gift. Please contact the development staff in your unit or call the Donor Relations Office to find out what options are available. 

Transferring Funds:

Donations deposited to a restricted fund must stay in the restricted fund for compliance and stewardship purposes. Funds deposited into a restricted fund will never be transferred to another fund. Transferring funds prohibits accurate reporting to donors and inhibits audit and compliance of use of funds according to donor terms. 

Exceptions to the policy may be requested. Rare exceptions might include construction projects, scholarships or other limited types of expenditures. Please contact the Foundation Accounting Office if you seek an exception to the policy.

Monitoring Balances:

As with all funds, balances must remain positive. Should a fund fall into deficit, it is the fiduciary responsibility of the unit to transfer (journal voucher) expenses out of the fund. Do not transfer income into the fund from other sources.

Foundation Awards/Grants:

Periodically, the Foundation will consider proposals for awards/grants to be awarded from unrestricted gifts. These proposals will be submitted by the Foundation to the University President or a designated university committee for review, prioritization, and recommendation. The President of or University committee will forward all such proposals to the Foundation Board of Trustees with its prioritization and recommendations.

The Foundation and its Board of Trustees will make no awards/grants for any proposed uses which are inconsistent with university mission, objectives and policies approved by the Board of Regents.

Awards/grants will be made only by transfer of funds from the Foundation to the Board of Regents for the use designated by the Foundation and accepted by the University.