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71.52 - Definitions for Grants, Contracts and Gifts


  • Position: Office of Sponsored Programs Director
  • Name: Sarah Martonick
  • Email:

Last updated: July 21, 2009

A. General. The University may enter into agreements with external funding agencies in which a question may arise over whether the agreement is a gift or a grant/contract. The following sections differentiate between a gift, grant or contract.

B. Definitions.

B-1. Grant or Contract. A grant or contract is an agreement based on an authorized proposal or application submitted by the University. The university accepts the award or agreement in writing and assumes an obligation to provide a deliverable in exchange for funding. Examples of a deliverable include the following: performing specific research, accomplishing a specific objective, providing a service, or producing a product. The form of the contribution can vary, but could include the following: contribution of a specific dollar amount, an in-kind contribution, or a waiver of indirect cost. Separate accountability for the funds received may be required.

B-2. Gift. A gift can be made in the form of a contribution of money, a legally-enforceable pledge or property. A gift can be based on a proposal or application. The term “gift” also includes grants made with philanthropic intent. By accepting a gift, the university assumes no liability to provide a deliverable, only the obligation to use the gift for the purpose(s) stipulated by the donor. Overall, there will be no reporting requirements. However, periodic reporting and a final accounting could be required by the donor without jeopardizing classification as a gift. Usually, there are no separate accountability requirements for each contribution, and the amounts received may be commingled with contributions received for similar purposes.

C. Information and/or Clarification. Inevitably, there will be situations when the classification of a grant or gift will be unclear. When such situations arise, personnel in the Office of Sponsored Programs @ (208) 885-6689, and the Gift Administration Office @ (208) 885-6796, will jointly decide the proper classification and administration of the award. [ed. 7-06]

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Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119