Gift Lifecycle Policy

Institutional Advancement Gift Lifecycle Policy

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Policy Statement

This policy provides consolidation of procedures, donor rights, documentation requirements and legal adherences for gifts processed by the Advancement Finance (AF) team within the Office of Institutional Advancement at Albion College. This document describes a gift’s progression from initial receipt in Advancement Finance to its final steps in the Student Accounting Office (formerly known as the Accounting Office) and the Business Office. Lastly, this policy outlines what specific gift information is available to authorized Albion College staff and the schedule for receiving that information. For more information on how a gift is being spent and the current balances of specific funds, please contact the Business Office.

Reason for Policy/Purpose:

  • Provide standards for the processing of any and all charitable gifts received by Albion College
  • Ensure that internal and external constituents understand how gifts are handled once they are received
  • Ensure consistent application of policies and processes governing the Advancement Finance team

Compliance with Law, College Policies and Higher Education Standards

All philanthropic gifts to Albion College will be accepted in accordance with: (a) the Internal Revenue Code and applicable IRS regulations pertaining to charitable gifts; (b) all applicable Department of Education rules pertaining to issuance of financial aid (c)all Albion College governance documents and college policies and procedures; and (d) all applicable laws and regulations governing fundraising and higher education. Albion College Institutional Advancement is committed to following accepted standards of higher education professional organizations for gift acceptance, such as those recommended by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Donor Bill of Rights

The Albion College Office of Institutional Advancement subscribes to, and upholds, the Donor Bill of Rights.

The text of this statement in its entirety was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and adopted in November 1993.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  • To be informed of the organization’s mission of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  • To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  • To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  • To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  • To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  • To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  • To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.


What happens when a gift leaves a donor's hands? Toggle Accordion

All charitable gifts should be delivered immediately to either the Office of Institutional Advancement or the Student Accounting Office cashier, accompanied with a cash remittance form indicating the(ir) intended purpose. Upon receipt of a contribution, the procedures are as follows:

Checks are copied, reviewed for accuracy to ensure that the payee, the legal signature line and the legal written amount are all recorded correctly. Following review, any contributions and documentation received within a singular business day are batched and shared with the Advancement Finance team for proper processing, disbursement, and deposited.

Once copies are received by Advancement Finance, contributions are then entered into the database of record (Slate) for Institutional Advancement, and the contribution is applied to the record of the legal donor (the individual who signs the check or submits the contribution online); if applicable, soft credit is also given to the spouse associated, unless otherwise stated. If the funds come from a Donor Advised Fund, the legal credit is given to the institution to whom the check came from, and soft credit is given to the family fund named in the attached letter.

When a contribution is received, advancement finance looks at all documentation received with the gift to help identify the donor’s intent of the gift; this can usually be found on the memo line of the check or specified in an attached document that accompanies the contribution. When entering the gift into Slate, Institutional Advancement will ensure that the fund or designation of the gift matches the donor intent that was provided with the gift. The Advancement Finance team will then receipt the donor(s) three to five business days after the contribution has been entered into the system. Any contributions that are received via an online giving form by credit card, PayPal, Venmo or bank transfer are receipted the day they are received. Other gift vehicles (stock, ACH, Gift-in-Kind, horses, etc.) received by Albion College follow the same processing guidelines laid out in this policy.

Any documentation that comes with a contribution is scanned and uploaded to the database of record to ensure there is a form of backup that can be referred to if there are any questions regarding donor intent.

Upon completion of entering contributions into Slate, a report is generated and sent to the Student Accounting Office to verify deposit totals. Once verification is finished, the Student Accounting Office will feed the gifts into the respective revenue accounts controlled by the Business Office’s expenditure tracking system.

*Per the Student Accounting Office and Business Office’s procedure, all checks are to be deposited within 24 hours of receipt. Once Advancement Finance is notified, the contribution is processed within 72 hours, unless an unforeseen issue occurs (e.g. not knowing the purpose of the contribution, incorrect payee information). There may be times, such as the fiscal year end and the calendar year end, where an exception to these rules may apply.

What happens if a gift is received with no donor name or designation? Toggle Accordion

In the event that a contribution is received with no clear indication from whom it originated, there are a number of actions the Advancement Finance team takes to try and identify the donor.

  • The team will attempt to track down where the contribution originated from (i.e. did it come via USPS? Did it come from a department?).
    • If the gift came by mail, AF will attempt to track down the original envelope if it was not already received with the check copy.
    • If the contribution came from another party on campus, AF will contact them to see if they can provide any additional information.
  • The Advancement Finance team will also check with the Office of Institutional Advancement to verify if any gift officer or staff member is aware of a contribution of that amount coming in.
  • As a last resort, and only if all else fails, the contribution is filed under “Anonymous” in our database, until such a time where we are able to determine the correct donor to apply it to.

In the event that a contribution is received, and the donor did not specify the intent with which they would like their contribution to be used, the Advancement Finance team begins by viewing that donor’s giving history. If the donor’s entire giving history is attributed to a single fund, their new gift will also go to that fund, (i.e. they have given a total of 30 gifts over a number of years that were all designated to Albion College Fund). If the donor’s history contains more than one fund, the Advancement team will ask a gift officer to contact the donor and verify the gift’s designation. At this time, the gift is placed in a temporary holding fund that is not tied to any other accounts until the donor’s intent is confirmed.

In the event that the gift officer is unable to connect with a donor after multiple attempts, the Advancement Finance team will withhold further action for two weeks; if, after this time period, there is still no resolution, the gift will be applied to the last designation that the donor contributed to. If the donor contacts the gift officer after the two weeks have passed and provides a different designation, the Advancement Finance team will void and re-enter the gift and designate it toward the new designation. For any exceptions, please refer to the Donor Holding Fund Guidelines.

Department Gift Reports Plus Donor Information Shared with Departments:

As of November 1, 2022, the Advancement Finance team has restarted the automation of Monthly Department Gift Reports that are sent to department chairs and coaches. These individuals are able to designate additional recipients. This report is sent out on the first calendar day of every month to the respective parties with the intention of enhancing the stewardship process for the donors of these funds.

While the Office of Institutional Advancement thanks each donor for their gifts, the hope is that the departments will be able to provide the donors with more specific information on how their gifts have made a difference and impacted current and future students.

There are several pieces of information provided in these reports:

  • Cumulative Gift Amount: Total went to that designation for the current fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  • Gift Date: The date(s) that the gift(s) was(ere) entered into our system; it may not match exactly to the date that the gift was received by the College, or the date on the check.
  • Reference ID: This is a unique number assigned to each donor that identifies them in our system.
  • Designation: This is the name of the fund; some reports will have more than one designation attached to them (i.e. Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving).
  • Anonymous: If a donor expresses interest in remaining anonymous, this column will be marked and no other information will be provided about the donor.
  • Donor Type: (e.g. alumni, current or former parent, current or former faculty or staff member, community member, etc.).
  • Mailing Name: The formal version of the donor’s name (i.e. Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Jane Smith).
  • Casual Name: This is the donors preferred first name (i.e. Joe and Jane).
  • Contact information: Donor’s address, email and/or phone number, if available.
  • Exclusions: There are contact exclusions that can be entered onto a donor record per donor request; these exclusions are included on the report, if applicable. If there is an “All Email Contact” exclusion, please do not contact the donor by email; similar exclusions may also appear for phone and postal mail. We have donors who prefer to be contacted in a specific manner, and heeding their requests can ensure an open and honest relationship with them. Donors who have an “All Contact” exclusion will not appear in your gift report as a donor, but the gift amount will be present in your cumulative total.
  • Tribute: This will specify if a gift was given in honor or memory of another individual.
  • Gift Receipt Notes: If the donor has any specifications for how their gift is to be used, those comments will appear in this section.
  • Gift Range: Per CASE standard, receiving departments do not receive individual dollar amounts as it breaks donor confidentiality. For this reason, there are three gift ranges provided with each individual gift to receiving departments:
    • ≤ $100
    • $101-$1,000
    • > $1,000

*Please note: If the donor — of their own volition — discloses the gift amount to the department, this is done so at the sole discretion of the donor and does not fall under the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Questions about this policy

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this policy or the procedures applied to Advancement Finance, please feel free to email or call 517-629-0956.



Governing body: Advancement Finance
Last updated: 3/27/23