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Gift Accounting & Reporting

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FAQ about Alumni Giving
This FAQ document on ethically counting gifts from alumni was developed by the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations in consultation with the CASE Commission on Philanthropy. It was approved by both commissions in October 2007.

About the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines
The CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines, developed by educational fundraising professionals from a broad range of institutions and organizations, provide a common set of definitions and procedures for reporting the results of fundraising activities at educational institutions. The standards and guidelines have evolved over 30 years to reflect changes in the profession.

Clarification to CASE Reporting Standards on Counting Issues
This document outlines clarification to the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines, 4th edition (CASE, 2009) as endorsed by the CASE Commission on Philanthropy in October 2011. Clarification is provided regarding counting donations in three categories: intellectual property and patents, conservation easements and corporate partnerships.

Legislative and IRS Update 2019
Webinar Led by John Taylor and Brian Flahaven, this webinar will examine the upcoming changes regarding rules for charitable giving and nonprofit management and will assess what is new as well as what's misunderstood.

Closing Remarks: Standards Issue
CURRENTS Article The science of fund raising requires development officers to measure and evaluate their efforts using rules, definitions, and standards that uniformly measure accomplishments. CASE’s Management and Reporting Standards are a valuable resource for doing so, especially for campaign accounting, crediting, and gift reporting. The author, a member of the committee that revised the M&RS, says standards enable fund raisers to communicate clearly with donors, colleagues, and other constituencies, and contends that fund raising never will be a true profession without the discipline of a common language and the rigor of clear standards.

CASE Standards & Guidelines
CASE Guidelines & Standards

Noncash Gifts
Noncash Gifts


Endowment Administration
Endowment Administration

Tax Regulations
Tax Regulations

Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Spring Session
Conference Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Spring Session

Donation Inflation
CURRENTS Article Many development leaders grouse that liberal arithmetic for determining fundraising totals is becoming more common and does not comply with CASE's Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines. No one CURRENTS contacted for this story wanted to charge specific institutions with promoting bogus totals, but everyone wanted to talk about what they feel is a scourge on the profession. They cited examples of practices that enable institutions to claim they're breaking fundraising records. Such practices pressure other institutions to keep up, detract from the mission of educational institutions, undermine the promise and joy of philanthropy, and damage the profession's reputation.

Campaign Guidelines
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of campaign guidelines for all CASE members.

The Benefits of Branching Out
CURRENTS Article Many institutions shy away from accepting real estate or convert the gift into cash by selling it. But at Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources, donated land is a gift that keeps giving. Since it started soliciting land gifts through its Bulldog Forest program in 2005, the college has received more than 28,000 acres from 26 families.

Charitable Gift Law
Good Question Q: We are starting an international fundraising program and will be asking foreign alumni for gifts. Can donors in other countries receive tax benefits or deductions for gifts to our institution?

What’s the Deal with Donor-Advised Funds?
CURRENTS Article Offering donor-advised funds can strengthen bonds with longtime donors interested in alternative giving vehicles, but they can put institutions in a tricky place in terms of how they relate to their supporters.

Gift Acceptance Policies
Good Question We are revising our gift acceptance policy and are interested in reviewing samples from other institutions. Do you have any samples or best practices to share?

Gift Acceptance Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of gift acceptance policies from independent schools, colleges and universities.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Preserves Charitable Deduction
Article,  BriefCASE Article On Jan. 2, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), legislation that preserves the charitable deduction and extends the estate tax and IRA charitable rollover.

IRS Announces 2013 Inflation Adjustments for Insubstantial Benefit Limitations
Article,  BriefCASE Article The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance on inflation adjustments for 2013.

Anatomy of an Endowment Report
University of Georgia
This interactive guide walks through the components of the university's endowment reports sent each fall to donors and donor representatives of all endowed funds. Reports reflect the fiscal status and growth of each fund. They are developed by the Office of Donor Relations & Stewardship, which works closely with Financial Services to ensure accurate and timely reporting. The university's Report to Donors is also available.

HMRC "Clarifies" Gift Aid Guidelines for UK Charities
Article,  BriefCASE Article HM Revenue & Customs has updated its recently revised gift aid guidelines following numerous queries for further information about the changes.

Commission on Philanthropy Approves Clarifications to Reporting Standards
Article,  BriefCASE Article The CASE Commission on Philanthropy has approved several clarifications to the CASE Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, 4th Edition.

Records Retention Policies
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of records retention and destruction policies for all CASE membes.

Filing and Recordkeeping Requirements
Excerpt In this excerpt from Advancement Services: A Foundation for Fundraising, 2nd ed. (CASE, 2007), author Amy J. Phillips discusses IRS requirements and recordkeeping issues and practices.

Reconciling Advancement Services and Accounting: Five Principles to Help Explain the Relationship and End the Confusion
Article First published as Chapter 20 of Advancement Services: Research and Technology Support for Fund Raising (CASE, 1999), this article discusses differences between how the development or advancement services office and the business/finance office count and report gift income.

Advance Work: Cracking the Code
CURRENTS Article Keying in 300 pledge cards after a phonathon was an all-day activity until Mississippi's Delta State University started tracking alumni by barcode and using a scanner.

Closing Remarks: Those Enormous Endowments
CURRENTS Article The endowments of the richest U.S. colleges and universities are big and becoming enormous. The author posits that U.S. higher education is losing its way and proposes a way to rectify the disparity between rich and and not-so-rich institutions.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: University of California, Berkeley - Gold Medal
Best Practice Endowment financial reporting in the decentralized fundraising environment at the University of California, Berkeley, led to several business problems. The solution had three principal components: 1) the development of business practices for maintaining linkages between funds and people and for recording opt-out situations, 2) the formation of a multi-disciplinary team to develop a data model that would bring disparate data into one place, and 3) the decision to outsource the preparation and mailing of reports to a vendor with variable printing capabilities. It also had an overarching "mass-customization" philosophy that relied on using technology to tackle the issue of scale.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: Oakland University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The goals and objectives of "The One Stop Endowment Shop" are to decrease the time necessary to obtain information on endowments and named funds, along with housing the data centrally so the entire university can take advantage of it for business purposes. The reporting tool was created to be user-friendly for the end-user who may not know much about creating reports or about relational databases.

Donor Relations/Customer Service: St. Edwards University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice An embodiment of university-wide collaboration, St. Edward’s Office of University Advancement’s Activity Reports contain meaningful financial and anecdotal information that is gleaned from a variety of sources. The Activity Reports are an important stewardship tool that provides donors with a comprehensive understanding of how their financial support specifically and positively impacts the entire St. Edward’s community.

Gift/Bio Administration, Compliance, and Ethics: University of Colorado Foundation - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The University of Colorado implemented electronic desktop deposit and electronic transmittal logging for staff processing gifts at multiple campuses and the foundation. The project resulted in improved donor satisfaction, increased operational efficiency and improved audit controls.

Sweet Smell of Success
CURRENTS Article The 2007 CASE Circle of Excellence grand gold and gold medal winners profiled in this article have taken their advancement publications, events, and programs to a higher level. These featured winners, however, are a small sample of the 319 winners from 195 institutions.

What Is "A" Transaction?
CURRENTS Article Development officers count the total number of gift transactions as part of their performance measures. However, a single transaction can take a few minutes or days or even weeks. It depends on whether it's just a check or a mysterious transfer of stock.

IRS Rules and Regulations: What You Need to Know to Stay Out of Trouble
Alison L. Paul
Excerpt This chapter from John Taylor's Advancement Services: A Foundation for Fund Raising, 2nd ed. (CASE, 2007), discusses IRS rules and regulations for a variety of gift types, as well as filing and recordkeeping requirements for advancement services operations.

Present and Accounted for
CURRENTS Article The new climate of accountability has left many institutions scrambling to demonstrate to donors that their gifts are valued, are doing what donors intended them to do, and are continuing to have an impact on the institution’s long-term success. This article chronicles the development of Donor Direct, an online endowment-stewardship tool developed by the University of Texas at Austin to reassure donors that their gifts are being managed properly. In addition to providing standard financial reporting, Donor Direct allows donors and their beneficiaries to connect directly online, building what UT Austin hopes will become lifelong relationships across generations of supporters.

AdvanceWork: Stuck in Neutral?
CURRENTS Article The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 altered the tax rules pertaining to charitable gifts of used vehicles. As of Jan. 1, 2005, donors can only claim the gross proceeds from the sale of their gift as a tax deduction, rather than its fair market value. This article explores the implications of this change both for donors and for the campus development officers who must process and steward such gifts.

Price Check
CURRENTS Article Many in development say measuring and reporting the cost of fund raising is a vital issue, while others contend it's overblown--that donors don't care about the return on investment of the money they contribute. This article explores why the cost of fund raising is so difficult to measure and compare among institutions, why it matters, and what factors campuses are counting in their expense totals.

Standards Practice
CURRENTS Article Revisions to CASE's management and reporting standards clarify gift counting and reporting guidelines, address new gift types, and ensure greater consistency in reporting annual and campaign results, says CASE President Vance T. Peterson.

Mining for Gold
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 CASE Circle of Excellence 2003 winners. Member institution nominees were judged on the creativity of their alumni relations, communications, and development initiatives, including alumni publications, reunions, constituency giving, stewardship, and alumni relations programs. Profiled winners include Brigham Young University/University of Utah; Columbia College Chicago; Georgia Tech Alumni Association; Goucher College; Imperial College London; the Institute for Shipboard Education; Lehigh University Alumni Association; Monroe Community College Foundation; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Chicago; the University of Iowa Alumni Association; and the University of Miami.

Tech Support: The Buzz on Bar Coding
CURRENTS Article Bar-code technology can help streamline gift processing by increasing data-entry speed and accuracy. Pederson describes types of bar-code software and explains how the equipment fits into an office computer setup.

AdvanceWork: Receipting Year-End Gifts
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

AdvanceWork: Take It or Leave It?
CURRENTS Article Legal Issues: What to consider when accepting gifts of foreign real estate

AdvanceWork: Deutsche Marks to Dollars
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to the question of counting gifts received in foreign currencies.

AdvanceWork: Giving Through Umbrella Agencies
CURRENTS Article John H. Taylor responds to a question about sending a receipt or acknowledgement to donors who give through the United Way.

AdvanceWork: Return to Donor?
CURRENTS Article Legal rights of unhappy contributors

AdvanceWork: On This Date in History
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer
CURRENTS Article AdvanceWork: A Stock Answer

AdvanceWork: Double-Checking?
CURRENTS Article Advancement Services with John H. Taylor

Your Noncash Gift Questions Answered
CURRENTS Article Duke University director of alumni and development records Taylor creates and answers some sample questions that address some common concerns about noncash gifts. He tackles questions such as on what date do gifts of stock become the property of the institution; how to value gifts of art; whether gifts should be valued at the retail or wholesale price; how to value gifts of advertising; and how to value gifts that have no history of valuation. A list of guides on noncash gifts is included.

End Notes: Psst! Want a Match?
CURRENTS Article As institutions struggle to increase their numbers of matching gifts, staff need to be aware that over-zealous donors may go to great lengths to have their gifts matched. Staff must adhere to the matching gift guidelines established by participating companies, and be mindful of whether to recognize the gift as coming from the employee or the company, among other issues. Several problem areas related to the acceptance and recording of matching gifts are described.

Having Double Trouble?
CURRENTS Article If matching gift programs are to succeed, colleges and universities must institute procedures that make it clear which donor gifts are eligible for matches and make it easy to go after them. First, it is important to spread the word about your matching gift program, using volunteers if necessary. Other ways to announce your matching gift program include: 1) highlighting potential matching gift donors before a phonathon and training callers to ask for employer information; 2) sending information with pledge reminders; 3) mailing leaflets, such as those available through CASE; and 4) promoting the program in donor newsletters. Another approach is to focus on several companies that employ large numbers of your alumni and establishing a corporate agent program.

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