Contracts & Grants Accounting

Documentation Requirements for Third-Party Contributions

In accordance with the administrative requirements from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we must obtain supporting documentation for third-party contributions provided as cost share to a sponsored project and document the basis for determining the value of the material, equipment or services provided.

We need an official letter from the third party (on their letterhead) that identifies or describes:

  • The project receiving the benefit of the cost share contribution
  • The type of cost share provided, e.g. personnel time, supplies, equipment, etc. For personnel time, a breakdown of names and time spent is desirable.
  • The time period during which the cost share activities/services/goods were provided
  • The basis of the valuation of the items.  Items must be valued at their value to the project, which may be less than market value. Rates for volunteer services shall be consistent with those paid for similar work in the recipient's organization.

NOTE that the contribution letters must be after-the-fact; letters of intent or commitment are not sufficient. 

In cases where the third-party contribution is for effort given by an emeritus faculty or other without-salary (WOS) employee, it is not necessary to have a letter on letterhead, but the calculations showing the value of the contribution should be documented. For emeriti, the last or highest salary rate may be used.  For other WOS employees, use a salary appropriate for the type of effort provided.  The employee providing the effort must sign the document.  Otherwise, the document should meet the criteria as stated above.

The PI must review and approve all cost share documentation certifying that the cost share was provided and meets all requirements of allowability.

Documentation must be kept on file at the department for the appropriate retention period. See Records Retention Requirements

See also: Uniform Guidance §200.306 (Cost Sharing)

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