Gifts & Endowments

Funds created for gifts or endowments are determined by the specific donor designated purpose.  A separate UC Fund and associated expense account may be required for each gift or endowment income.  Regents endowments are held at UCOP and Foundation endowments are held externally, but the endowment income is distributed to campus.  The following is a list of scenarios in which you may require you to create a new account:

  • Your department does not have an existing account with a purpose matching a new gift that has been received by your unit.
  • Your department has an existing account which matches the purpose of a new gift, but you wish to track certain gifts separately.
  • A gift has been received by Advancement Services or UCD Foundation, and they send a request to your department requesting an appropriate existing account or, if needed, a new account.
  • A new Regents or Foundation endowment is established and a request for an endowment payout account is sent to your department by Gifts & Endowments or by Development and Alumni Relations - Foundation Accounting.
  • Gift acceptance paperwork is submitted by your department and received by Advancement Services, but the account provided is determined to be inappropriate for the donor designated gift purpose so a new account is requested.
  • Your department or Development Office decides to create a new account to link to the on-line giving site or a solicitation piece.

Fund numbers for Gift & Endowment funds vary but are usually in funds "3XXXX", "4XXXX" and "5XXXX". These funds are in the Sub Fund Group Types and Sub Fund Groups listed below.



Per UCD PPM 260-15, expenditure of gifts shall be in accordance with donor wishes as agreed by the University.

Endowment Funds

In general it is recommended that endowment income be spent within three years of receiving it.

Per the Accounting Manual Chapter E-525, the University is legally required to administer the endowment funds it has accepted, in accordance with all the terms imposed by the donor. Since an implied requirement of the law is that the University must put endowment payout to use, income may not accumulate for an unreasonable period of time. To ensure compliance with this law, The Office of the General Counsel (General Counsel) has recommended that endowment income should not be allowed to accumulate beyond five years. This policy does not apply to those situations in which the donor has implicitly or expressly authorized the accumulation of income for longer periods.

Sub Fund Group Types

E - Endowment Funds Income
Sub-Fund Group Description
R - Private Restricted Gifts
Sub-Fund Group Description
U - Private Unrestricted Gifts
Sub-Fund Group Description

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a new gift or endowment fund?

For information about creating a new gift or endowment account visit the Creating a New Gift/Endowment Account page.

  • Please remember while it is tempting to template an existing account, it is best to start fresh. If templating is done, review carefully to be sure that all fields have been updated as needed.

I’ve received a gift check. To what account should I deposit it?

With the conversion to the new GREAT gift processing system, all gift deposits are to be processed by Advancement Services.  Check and cash gifts received at the department need to be delivered in person or via courier to Advancement Services at 1460 Drew Avenue, Suite 100.  Gifts should never be deposited directly to a gift expense account.

Can I deposit money received as a sponsorship to a gift account?

Sponsorship funds where the donor has not received benefits valued greater than 2% of the total amount provided are considered gifts and should be processed as such.  For sponsorship funds where the sponsor has received benefits, such as advertising or table display space, with a fair market value (FMV) greater than 2% of the sponsorship amount: 1) the amount equal to the FMV of the benefit received should be deposited to an appropriate University Related Event account, and 2) the remainder is to be processed as gift.  For more information on sponsorships visit the How to Handle a University-Related Event Account page.

Is it okay to name a gift account “Various Donors”?

Although it was commonly done in the past, naming an account “various donors” is unnecessary.  Unless an account was established to receive funds from a single donor, it is implied that the account could receive gifts from various donors as long as the donor intended purpose is the same.  The account name should briefly reflect the account purpose as designated by the donor(s).

How do I know if an expense is allowable on a gift/endowment fund?

Another reason for having a detailed purpose on all gift expense accounts is that it can help in determining whether an expense is allowable on that fund/account per the donor designated intent.

Can we accept gifts from government agencies?

No, funds received from government agencies are not considered gifts.  Consult with Sponsored Programs, as the funds may in fact be a grant.  If not, the funds should be posted as income to an appropriate self-supporting account.

There is a small balance left in an old gift fund. Can I move the balance to another fund/account?

No, gifts need to be expended in full according to the donor intended purpose, as this was the expectation of the donor.

Can overdrafts be carried on gift/endowment funds?

Gift and endowment funds should not be allowed to go into overdraft.  At year end, all gift and endowment overdrafts must be cleared.

A gift account is no longer needed. Can it be expired?

Yes, if a gift expense account is no longer needed, it can be expired.  The balance and all object consolidations must be zeroed out.  To expire, submit an account document to add an account expiration date and continuation account.  Account award end date will not expire an account and will not prevent expenses from posting to the account.  Keep in mind that endowment expense accounts should not be expired if they are the primary account, receiving the annual endowment payout.  Also, accounts linked to the web giving site should not be expired unless no longer needed and removed from the web site.

For more information on expiring an account, please see Expire an Account process guide.

Supplemental content

Fiscal Officer Menu