1,600: UNR Foundation/Development & Alumni Relations

Revised: April 2015

The University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, founded in 1981, is designed by the university as the organization through which all fund raising for UNR academic, research, and public service programs will be conducted. The Foundation's officers, trustees, and staff 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 of Nevada, Reno and are consistent with adopted university plans, programs, and policies. The Executive Director of the Foundation is also the Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations.

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,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 the endowment was established for use by the campus 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 the 1300's series fund numbers 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

Spending within the Terms:

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 department 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 department to maintain a record of terms of the gift instrument (terms) for each fund it manages. The terms should be reviewed periodically with those responsible for spending from the fund. Terms for endowments are in the Raisers Edge Database (accessible by deans and development staff) and non-endowed funds in the Foundation Accounting office. The Foundation accounting staff and the external auditors monitor the appropriate use of funds.

Alternate Charitable Purpose:

There may be funds that have very restrictive terms and/or are for an activity that no longer takes place at the University. 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/college 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 makes it difficult to report accurately to donors on the use of the fund. It also leaves an inadequate audit trail and raises questions as to whether the funds were used according to the donor terms.

Exceptions to the policy may be granted on a case by case basis but are rare. Typical exceptions would be for construction projects, scholarships or other limited type of expenditures. Please contact the Foundation Accounting Office if you need 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 department to transfer (journal voucher) expenses out of the fund. Do not transfer income into the fund from other sources.

Proposals for awards/grants received by the Foundation to be funded from unrestricted gifts will be submitted to the university President or designated campus committee for review, prioritization, and recommendation. The President of campus committee will forward all such proposals to the Foundation Board of Trustees with its prioritization and recommendations.

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

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

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