UAlbany Foundation Policies and Procedures

Foundation Policies and Procedures

The University at Albany Foundation staff is here to assist Foundation fund managers with policies and procedures. Below you will find the most current information, policies, guidelines and forms you will need to establish and maintain your Foundation accounts. If you have any questions, please contact the University at Albany Foundation office at 518-437-5090.

History, Mission and Governance of the University at Albany Foundation

The University at Albany Foundation (Foundation) was established in 1967 as the State University of New York at Albany Foundation to encourage philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations in support of activities and programs of the University at Albany. In 1991, the Foundation merged with the University at Albany Fund, Inc. and the name of the surviving corporation became the University at Albany Foundation.

The Foundation is the principal mechanism for the receipt and administration of charitable contributions and philanthropic grants for the benefit of the University at Albany, State University of New York. It is a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the state of New York and is classified by the IRS as a public charity under sections 509 (a) 1 and 170 (b) 1 (A) (iv) of the Internal Revenue Code and meets the requirements of section 501(c) 3. Gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible.

The mission of the Foundation is to receive, hold, invest, manage, use, dispose of and administer property of all kinds, whether given absolutely or in trust, by way of agency or otherwise. The Foundation will make expenditures to or for the benefit of the University at Albany, its mission and programs, or for any or all of the educational and support activities that may be conducted by the University.

The Foundation receives and administers contributions of gifts and grants of money, property, works of art, historical papers and documents, and museum specimens of educational, historical, or artistic value to the University at Albany. The Foundation establishes and maintains endowments and other funds to support the faculty, their academic research and scholarship, to provide fellowships, scholarships, and all forms of student financial aid, to hold and exploit patents, to subsidize publications, and to support the programs, activities or services of the University at Albany.

Responsibility for governance of the Foundation is vested in a Board of Directors, comprised of alumni and University representatives and others in the community who have shown an interest in furthering the missions of the University and the Foundation. The Directors provide financial support, advice and counsel to the Foundation management and the University on a broad range of issues, leadership for the Foundation’s fund-raising activities, and help interpret the needs of the University to the larger political and business communities. In addition, the Board of Directors elect the officers of the Foundation, establish the Foundation’s operating and investment policies, and approve all budgets and major expenditures.

Foundation operations are managed by the Executive Director, who is also the Vice President for University Advancement. He or she is responsible for all fundraising, alumni relations and related matters in addition to the management of all funds and is committed to ensuring ethical stewardship of the Foundation’s resources.

The University at Albany Foundation is exempt from Federal and State income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Some advantages of tax exempt status are:

  1. Eligibility to receive tax deductible contributions
  2. Exemption from federal unemployment taxes
  3. Reduced postal rates
  4. Exemption from state sales tax. The Foundation has completed the exemption process for New York and Florida, and may seek additional exemptions if a business reason to do so exists.

The federal tax exempt ID number for the Foundation is 14-1503972

The NYS sales tax exempt ID number is 133750

The Florida sales and use tax exemption number is 85-8013799525C-8

Investment Policy Statement

This Investment Policy Statement (IPS) details the oversight and management of the Investment Portfolio of the University at Albany Foundation (Foundation). For clarity, this IPS applies only to those assets within the Foundation’s investment portfolio and excludes those assets within the Foundation’s Gift Annuity Portfolio, which operates under its own IPS.

Read the Foundation's Investment Policy Statement.

Fundraising Activity for the Foundation

I. Development Policy and the Role of the Vice President

The Vice President for University Advancement will provide leadership and cohesion for all development initiatives and programs, and will work collaboratively with individual University units to further University priorities and the unit’s fundraising efforts.

The Vice President for University Advancement is responsible for approving the design and ensuring the implementation of all fundraising activities. Any effort to solicit philanthropic support from any source must include the prior approval of the Vice President for University Advancement or their designee.

Use of The University at Albany Foundation’s logo/image, or the University’s logo/image, for any fundraising initiative or project requires the express approval of the Vice President for University Development or his/her designee.

Recognizing that the relationship between alumni and friends of the University is likely to be life-long, both the University and the Foundation will engage donors and prospective donors in an ethical and courteous manner. Philanthropy is voluntary and the Development staff will educate philanthropists to the needs of the University, and make every reasonable attempt to match the interests of those who are being asked to provide vital support with the interests and needs of the University.

All solicitations should clearly indicate that a donor’s support is sought for the benefit of the University at Albany through The University at Albany Foundation. In addition, all solicitations must include the following language:

The University at Albany Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation established in 1967 for the purpose of encouraging philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations in support of the activities and programs of The University at Albany. A copy of the Foundation’s Annual Report is available upon request at The University at Albany Foundation, UAB 226, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222 (and is also accessible through the internet at or from the NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines

The University at Albany Foundation (Foundation) is the designated 501(c)3 organization for charitable gifts supporting the University at Albany (University). All contributions must be reported through the Foundation. The following policies and guidelines govern the acceptance of gifts made to the Foundation for the benefit of the University at Albany.

Read the Foundation's Gift Acceptance Policies and Guidelines.

Gift Handling, Reporting and Stewardship
Program Fund Information

Program Fund Establishment (20 account)

Program Funds (AKA “20 account” or “spending account”) may be established for either restricted or unrestricted purposes. To establish a new program or spending account not tied to an endowed fund, a minimum gift of $1,000 is required. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Controller or Chief Financial Officer of the Foundation.

  • If a program fund has a donor stated restriction, the Foundation is legally required to limit expenses charged to the account by the specific instructions of the donor. Expenses that do not fall within the donor’s stated restriction cannot be charged to a restricted account.
  • If a program fund is unrestricted, it may be used for expenses directly relating to the general purpose of the fund as set forth in the description, subject to any Foundation policies.

A Program Fund not tied to an endowment will be established upon receipt of a Request to Establish a Fund form and minimum deposit of $1,000 gift or contribution. Any documentation supporting the request, such as pledge forms or letters from the donor, should be attached to the form.

Program Fund accounts do not earn interest. Program Fund accounts are assessed a one-time expense Recovery Fee (9 percent as of 7/1/10) when funds enter the account. The recovery fee is reviewed annually by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Whenever funds are transferred from the Undesignated Major Gifts account to a newly established fund, the Foundation must advise the Office of Development Data Entry to adjust related gift transactions.

Fund Managers

Responsibility of Fund Managers

Generally the Fund Manager of an account will be the Dean of the appropriate academic unit, the Vice President of a University Division, or other similar academic or administrative leader who is responsible for an area of the University. Fund Managers may designate other staff to oversee their fund(s), but the Foundation will still consider the Fund Manager the responsible party for the fund.

Fund Managers, or their approved designee(s), are responsible for ensuring that all deposits and disbursements to Foundation accounts are in accordance with the account guidelines and the donor's intent. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing all forms requiring the Fund Manager's signature and submitting them to the Foundation Office for processing on a timely basis;
  • Abiding by Foundation policies and procedures;
  • Ensuring that any accounting reports and statements issued to third parties accurately reflects the activity of the account;
  • Reviewing balances, especially of endowed accounts, to ensure appropriate management of the funds;
  • Ensuring that the funds available for expenditure each year, especially of endowed accounts, are spent (or have a spending plan), before the end of the fiscal year for the appropriate purpose;
  • Ensuring that any discrepancies are rectified in a timely manner;
  • Ensuring that any funds, including grants, administered through the Foundation are utilized in an appropriate manner;
  • Ensuring adequate funds are available in the spending account to cover requested disbursements. Fund Managers should be aware that disbursements may not be made by the Foundation if adequate funds are not available in the account;
  • Ensuring any proposals, contracts, or other documents in which the Foundation is a party, be sent to the Foundation for review and approval.
  • Fund Managers may never sign a document on behalf of the Foundation. Fund Managers and other University personnel do not have authority to endorse checks or enter into contracts on behalf of the Foundation. The Fund Manager’s signatory authority is limited to the time completion of the Deposit Transmittal For and Request for Disbursement Form from the accounts they manage.

Demonstrating Donor Impact

Fund Managers are responsible for ensuring that accounts remain in good standing and should understand that it is highly recommended that the funding available, especially from endowed accounts, is spent (or are part of a spending plan) each fiscal year.

The Office of Donor Relations will request that Fund Managers provide information regarding how funds are spent during the fiscal year, particularly the spending generated by endowed funds. This information may be included in Donor Impact Reports that are prepared for donors after each fiscal year closes. It is important to demonstrate the impact and positive effects of donor philanthropic contributions on students, programs and initiatives occurring at the University.


The Foundation will always follow any and all regulatory requirements in its endowment management. Whenever there is a question about the endowment policies of the Foundation, it should be resolved in a donor-centric manner.

Read the Foundation's Endowment Policy.

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

The endowment of chairs and related positions provides a means by which the University at Albany can recruit and retain, on a competitive basis, outstanding leaders, teachers, scholars, researchers, and creative and performing artists. The following policies are applicable to such endowments.

Selection Criteria

Unless specified in the MOU, all endowed positions will be administered through the Office of the Provost or his/her designee.

The Provost, in consultation with the Vice President for Development and the appropriate leadership, grants endowed chairs and professorships to those already on the faculty or during recruitment for new faculty as part of their offer.

Use of the Endowment Income

Income made available to holders of endowed positions shall be used to support their teaching and research activities, in accordance with University at Albany Foundation policies; and according to a budget recommended annually by the position holder and approved by the appropriate Chair/Dean/or by the Provost in the normal budgetary process.


Deans are the visionary leaders responsible for maintaining and enhancing the quality of the colleges or divisions they oversee. No two have the same responsibilities due to varying needs of faculty and students. An endowed deanship provides discretionary funding to help a dean realize his or her vision and address emerging college priorities.

Minimum Gift for Named Endowed Dean: $3.5 million

Distinguished Chair or Vice President

Carrying great prestige within the academy, a distinguished endowed chair represents the highest honor the University can confer on prominent and exceptional faculty members. A named distinguished chair or vice president represents reward, recognition, opportunity and incentive.

Minimum Gift for Distinguished Chair: $3 million

Named Endowed Chair

Endowed chairs serve as an effective tool with which to attract and retain scholars of proven brilliance. Named academic chairs represent reward, recognition, opportunity and incentive. By providing specially dedicated resources for innovative research and teaching opportunities, these celebrated positions enable the most gifted faculty members, deans, directors and department heads to excel in their scholarly activities.

Minimum Gift for Endowed Chair: $2 Million

Named Endowed Professorship

Typically used to support the most accomplished senior scholars, professorships are used both to recognize current faculty members who have established national reputations in their disciplines and to attract distinguished scholars to the faculty.

Minimum Gift: $1.5 Million

Named Excelsior Professorship

Named Excelsior Professorships allow the University to recruit faculty from around the world who show great promise and to encourage them to expand their careers at Albany. This permits the University to continue building a thriving intellectual community by helping attract and retain promising scholars early in their careers.

Minimum Gift: $500,000

Student Financial Aid and Prizes

Types of Student Financial Aid

Donors may contribute gifts for various types of student financial aid. These are:

  1. Undergraduate Scholarship: to a matriculated undergraduate student who may have financial need or may exhibit academic merit, or any combination of need and merit. The minimum for an endowment is $35,000, and the minimum to establish a Temporary Named Fund is $10,000. An undergraduate scholarship provides support up to a student’s cost of attendance.
  2. Graduate Scholarship: to a matriculated graduate student who may have financial need or may exhibit academic merit, or any combination of need and merit. The minimum for an endowment is $35,000 and the minimum to establish a Temporary Named Fund is $10,000. A graduate scholarship provides support up to a student’s cost of attendance.
  3. Research Fund: to a matriculated undergraduate or graduate student to use in pursuing their own academic research or who will assist a member of the faculty with academic research. The minimum threshold for an endowment fund is $35,000 and the minimum threshold for a Temporary Named Fund is $10,000.
  4. Fellowship: to a matriculated graduate student who may have financial need or may exhibit academic merit, or any combination of need and merit. The minimum for an endowment is $250,000 and the minimum to establish a Temporary Named Fund is $10,000. These minimums may be increased at the request of the academic unit, depending on what degree or subject area the student is pursuing their degree. A fellowship provides support toward a student’s cost of attendance.

The Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid should always be the Fund Manager for a scholarship, fellowship, or other form of financial aid. This ensures the coordination of all financial assistance to a student, assists the University in meeting its legal obligations, and prevents over-awarding aid to students.

In the limited instances where the Office of Financial Aid is not the Fund Manager for an award of student financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid will be advised by the Foundation or College/School/Department of the recipient(s). The Office of Financial Aid will include the aid awarded into the student’s record, which may impact other financial aid determinations.

The Office of Financial Aid must be consulted by academic units or other interested divisions of the University in selecting recipients designated for financial aid. Recipients should be selected by June each year to receive financial aid for the following academic year.

Financial Aid Disbursements

To award a scholarship, fellowship, or other form of financial aid to a student, the Fund Manager must submit a disbursement request form or spreadsheet to the Foundation. The Foundation will disburse all financial aid funds to the Office of Student Accounts to be deposited to the student’s account. Generally, no funds will be disbursed directly to a student.

Prize or Award Funds

Donors may establish funds to give a student a prize for a competitive activity related to their academic career or studies. The Fund Manager for a Prize or Award fund will generally be the Dean of the academic unit most involved with the area of the competitive activity being rewarded. Recipients of prizes should generally be selected by March of each year so they can receive their award by the time of Commencement at the end of the year.

Prizes and awards are amounts received primarily in recognition of charitable, scientific, educational, artistic, literary, civic achievement, or as the result of entering a contest. All prizes and awards (with the exception of qualified scholarships) are includible in gross income (IRS code Sec.74(a); Re. § 1.74-1(b)) unless all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The recipient was selected without any action on his or her part to enter the contest. 
  2. The recipient is not required to render substantial future services as a condition to receive the prize or award.
  3. The prize or award is transferred by the payer to a government unit or tax-exempt charitable organization as designated by the recipient. All three of the above conditions must be met in order to exempt the prize from taxation.

IRS Reporting Requirements

Awards or prizes to employees and students are taxable if they are in recognition of achievements. Selection criteria and documentation are required in order to process the payment. Payments for services rendered are taxable and reportable on Form 1099 if the total paid in a calendar year exceeds the regulatory amount.

For US and resident aliens, all prizes and awards in the amount of $600 or greater must be reported by the Foundation to the IRS on Form 1099-MISC. It is the responsibility of all prize and award recipients, regardless of the amount of the prize, to report the taxable amount received to the IRS on their personal income tax returns.

For non-resident aliens, the Foundation is required to withhold 30% tax on the amount. The amount will be reported to the IRS and to the student on form 1042-S. The withholding rate may be reduced or eliminated if applicable treaties are in place.

Fellowships and scholarships generally are not taxable under Section 117A of the Internal Revenue Code unless services are required to be performed as a condition to the grant. Then they are taxable to the extent of the fair market value of such services and are reportable on a form W-2, and subject to withholding taxes. FICA will be applied, depending on the nature of the employment.

The scholarship must be used for tuition and related expenses. Any part of the scholarship used for room and board is taxable. The burden of proof is on the recipient. Student scholarships are non-taxable if no services are required or there is no action on the part of the student as a condition to the award.

Recognition Opportunities

The University at Albany and The University at Albany Foundation may recognize gifts by naming facilities, academic units or endowments. Naming opportunities can recognize donors, families, friends, colleagues, or others in accordance with university policies. Other recognition opportunities can include projects funded from current gifts provided over a fixed period of time.

Read more about UAlbany Foundation recognition opportunities.

Governance and Internal Controls

The Foundation fully embraces the need for an appropriate level of corporate governance and internal controls and understands that a successful internal controls depends on the participation of all employees at every level.


The Foundation’s board will meet regularly and maintain minutes showing the items discussed and actions taken. The board (or designated committees) will approve the Foundation’s annual budget, periodic fiscal reports, and audited financial statements and the independent auditor’s management letter, as required.

The Foundation should file all required reports in a timely manner including Forms 990, 1099, W-2, and 941 (Internal Revenue Service), CHAR500 (New York State Attorney General), and any other required reports. Foundations that are writing CGAs must register with the NYS Insurance Department as required by Section 1110 of NYS Insurance Department code and must also meet the annual filing requirements in certain cases.

Written Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures will be developed and kept current for key business functions:

  • Introduction
  • Investment Policy Statement
  • Fundraising Activity for the Foundation
  • Gift Acceptance Policies
  • Gift Handling, Reporting and Stewardship
  • Program Fund Information
  • Fund Managers
  • Endowments
  • Endowed Chairs and Professorships
  • Student Financial Aid and Prizes
  • Recognition Opportunities
  • Governance and Internal Controls
  • Procedures for Depositing Funds
  • Policies and Procedures for Disbursements
  • Policy and Procedures for Equipment

Record Retention

The Foundation maintains a record retention policy over all hard copy and electronic documentation. A copy of the policy can be reviewed upon request at the Foundation’s administrative offices.


Foundation staff are reminded that the information used to do one’s job should be treated as confidential. Never share information with those who do not need to know the information, and protect the information assets of the University and the Foundation from misuse.

Foundation and Development staff are reminded of a few simple procedures to ensure confidentiality:

  • Do not share computer passwords or post passwords in an obvious place.
  • Always shut off your computer at the end of the day.
  • Establish a timed screen lock when computer is not in use
  • Shred any documents containing confidential or sensitive data.
  • Keep documents containing confidential or sensitive data in secure filed locations.

Social Security Numbers and Personally-identifiable Information

The Foundation will follow all applicable federal and New York State laws and regulations regarding the security of social security numbers and personally-identifiable information. In general, this means that social security numbers and personally identifiable information will not be provided to outside organizations.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
(as related to UAF awarded scholarships, awards & prizes)

The Foundation follows the University policy of limiting the personally-identifiable information it will provide to non-employees or to employees who do not need the information to pursue their responsibilities. The University at Albany has determined that the following is directory information within the meaning of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and can be released (except if there is a FERPA block on student’s record):

  • Name
  • Address
  • Academic status (Undergraduate, graduate, general studies)
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degree completed
  • Program of study
  • Honors and Awards
Procedures for Depositing Funds

Check Payee

The University at Albany Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. This means that the Foundation is eligible to receive tax deductible contributions from donors. In order for donors to deduct their contributions, all checks must be made payable to The University at Albany Foundation.

Handling of Checks / Completion of Deposit Transmittal Forms

Checks should never be sent via interoffice mail.

Any Checks (gift or miscellaneous receipts) to a department or program should be hand carried on the day received to the Foundation Office, UAB 226, along with a completed Deposit Transmittal Form. The transmitting office should keep a copy of the Deposit Transmittal and all attached paperwork. University and Foundation staff should lock all checks away in a secure manner. Never leave a check in the open.

All documentation or letters of transmittal indicating the intent of the donor must accompany all gifts. It is important that this documentation accompany the deposit transmittal so that the gift can be credited to the proper account and the donor's wishes can be substantiated. Only the donor or the Board of Directors can place a restriction on a gift. The Foundation is required to maintain documentation that stipulates the donor’s wishes in its records.

Checks over 90 days old generally will not be accepted.

Required Documentation for Deposit Transmittals

All Contributions Require:

  1. Letter or other documentation (including the postmarked envelope) from the donor indicating the intent and purpose of the gift
  2. Name of development officer involved in cultivating the gift, if applicable
  3. Valid address of donor or Colleague #

Event Revenue

Income received which reflects part payment and part gift for event attendance. The procedure for event revenue is:

Prior to event contact the Foundation for review and approval of:

  • Determination of gift amount and payment amount of event – these must be set at fair market value.
  • Preparation of announcement/invitation to reflect IRS compliance

After the approved event, deposit funds using a split Deposit Transmittal and include:

  • Copy of announcement/invitation
  • Breakdown of each donor by gift amount and payment amount
  • Valid address for each donor

Other Receipts

Prior to collecting non-gift revenue the Foundation should be contacted for approval. The Foundation may not be the proper University entity to accept non-gift revenue.

Credit Cards

The Foundation accepts various credit cards for gifts and event revenue. The Foundation does not process credit cards on-site. All credit card transactions are required to be processed via the online giving web page or mailed to the Foundation’s lockbox.

Policies and Procedures for Disbursements

A Request for Disbursement Form must be completed for all payments. Forms should be submitted within 30 days of the vendor due date. Reimbursements should be submitted within 30 days of the expense. Reimbursements for expenditures more than one year old may not be accepted. Any disbursement request more than one year must be accompanied by an explanation of time lag and submitted to the Foundation Executive Director or CFO for approval.

Read the Foundation's Policies and Procedures for Disbursements.

Policies and Procedures for Equipment

When obtaining equipment through purchase or donations, a New Equipment Receipt Form must be completed and sent to the Foundation.

The Foundation policy is to transfer equipment with a value greater than $1000 to New York State unless the Fund Manager applies for a waiver. Reasons for retaining the equipment in the Foundation include the expectation of a future sale or trade or appreciation in value.

Valuation of donated equipment is the responsibility of the donor and should be provided in a letter of transmittal which should also state the purpose of the gift and any restrictions placed upon the gift by the donor. It is imperative that gifts of property, like other contributions, be immediately communicated to Development or a Foundation staff person so that the gift may be properly recorded and acknowledged.

The subsequent sale of property donated to the UA Foundation within a two-year period is required to be reported to the IRS. The subsequent sale of tangible personal property donated to the Foundation within a three-year period is required to be reported to the IRS. In some instances, sale of tangible personal property within the three-year period may trigger a recapture of various taxes by the IRS.

Appendix I: The University at Albany Foundation Governance

Board of Directors

The directors are selected for their distinguished achievement in business, industry, and the professions along with their commitment to the advancement of the University at Albany. While many are from the Capital Region area, an increasing number of directors reside in other parts of the country.

The directors provide advice and counsel to the Foundation on a broad range of issues, and help interpret the needs of the University to the political and business communities. In addition, the directors appoint the officers of the Foundation, establish the Foundation's operating and investment policies, and approve all budgets and major expenditures of the Foundation.

The Board of Directors consists of 57 directors:

  • Seven ex-officio directors
    • President of the University
    • Chairman of the University Council
    • President of the Alumni Association
    • President of the Benevolent Association
    • Vice President for University Advancement
    • Vice President for Finance and Business
    • Executive Director of the Foundation
  • 50 directors elected from the following groups:
    • Alumni Association Board (5)
    • University President (10)
    • Benevolent Association Board (1)
    • University Faculty (3)
    • University student body (1)
    • At-large members (30)

Committees and Councils

The following are the standing committees of the corporation:

  • Executive Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Finance Committee (Investment Sub-Committee, Real Property Sub-Committee)
  • Nominating Committee
  • Campaign Development Committee.

Their membership consists of representatives selected from the Board of Directors. The Foundation Councils consist of the Community Council and the Economic Outreach Council.

In carrying out its mission, the Foundation concentrates its activities in the following areas:

A. Fund Raising
The Foundation supports the University's development efforts to attract philanthropic commitments and provides advice and counsel on University fundraising goals, objectives and strategies.

B. Financial Services
The Foundation provides financial management for University-related projects, programs, and organizations including the activities of other University affiliated corporations.

C. Real Estate Development
The Foundation owns and operates the following properties.

  • University at Albany Bioscience Development Corporation
    d/b/a Bioscience Development Properties
  • Brubacher Hall, Albany, NY - The Foundation, by virtue of a ground lease with the University also holds Brubacher Hall in its real property portfolio. The Foundation sub-leases Brubacher Hall to the College of St. Rose.

D. Investments
The Foundation manages a substantial investment portfolio for the benefit of the University at Albany. The investment objective for the portfolio is to preserve its real (inflation-adjusted) purchasing power while providing a relatively predictable, constant and stable (in real terms) stream of earnings for University endeavors.

Foundation Financial Overview Documents

Visit the Financial Overview page for the Foundation's Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Mission, Accreditation and IRS Determination Letter.

Appendix II: Forms and Instructions

Visit the Foundation's Forms page for more information.