Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

Revised 11-03

For more information contact:
   Gift Accounting
   Controller’s Office


Gift Accounts


Many University colleges and departments administer gift accounts for collection and expenditure of cash gifts and gift-related revenues.


Gift accounts may be established to support a variety of University activities. The following activities are frequently supported by gift accounts:

  • Scholarships, fellowships, and student loans
  • Research
  • Lectureships
  • Capital improvements
  • Distinguished professorships and chairs

Revenues to gift accounts may include the following:

  • Gifts to the University. See BPPM 30.70 for a definition.
  • Revenue from the sale of donated properties.
  • Revenue from the rental of donated properties.

Revenues to gift accounts may not include the following:

  • Money from the sale of University-owned supplies, services, or equipment.
  • Revenue from the sale or rent of any property originally purchased with state of Washington or federal funds.
  • Revenue from University self-sustaining operations and service centers.
  • Recoveries of expenditures (unless the original expenditure was from a gift account or the recovery is specifically permitted by University policy, e.g., third-party travel reimbursements).
  • Monies from grant or contract sponsors. See BPPM 40.04 to establish a sponsored account.
Types of Accounts

A gift account may be one of three types: expendable, endowment, or quasi-endowment.

Endowment, Quasi-Endowment

Endowment and quasi-endowment accounts rely upon income derived from invested principal to support University functions. Contact the Gift Accounting division of the WSU Foundation for more information regarding these accounts.

Expendable Accounts

Expendable accounts may be restrictive or discretionary.


The donor defines allowable uses of a restrictive account, e.g., scholarships for specified groups, research for stated purposes.


Discretionary accounts may be used for a broad range of purposes. Allowable uses of discretionary accounts are explained in BPPM 70.33.

Gift Accounting

Gift Accounting establishes gift accounts and processes the receipt and acknowledgment of gifts.

WSU Foundation

The Washington State University Foundation promotes, accepts, and manages private gifts to the University.

Establishing a Gift Account

The Office of Gift Accounting and the Controller’s Office establish gift accounts in program 17A.

A new expendable gift account must have a minimum balance of at least $5000 and evidence of continued funding.

Establishment of Fund Form

The Establishment of Fund defines the types of expenditures that are allowable from the account.

To establish a gift account, the dean or departmental administrator contacts the college development officer. The college development officer provides the administrator with the appropriate Establishment of Fund form. The administrator completes the Establishment of Fund form, entering the following information:

  • Name of department or college.
  • Proposed name of the fund or account, e.g., Harry Fletcher Scholarship Fund.
  • Uses and purposes of the fund as defined by the donor. Include all pertinent correspondence from the donor.
  • Name of the administrator of the fund. Usually this is a vice president, college dean, or a department chair. Additional departmental personnel may be delegated expenditure authority for the fund (see BPPM 70.02).

The administrator routes the form to Gift Accounting at campus mail code 1927.

The President of the WSU Foundation or designee reviews and approves the document.

Form Distribution

The Office of Gift Accounting retains the original and routes copies to the donor, the Controller’s Office, the WSU Foundation, and the administrating department.

Gift Transmittal

See BPPM 30.70 to report or transmit a gift to the Office of Gift Accounting.

Gift Report

A college may obtain a Gift Report from the Gift Accounting donor alumni database for the college’s development office. The report summarizes all gifts to the college processed by Gift Accounting for the specified date range. Direct questions regarding this report to Gift Accounting.


See BPPM 70.33 to make purchases supported by discretionary accounts.