Gifts are voluntary, irrevocable, gratuitous transfers of money or other property to support Columbia programs or activities. Gifts can be unrestricted or restricted. Generally, funds from private, nongovernmental sources (including foreign governmental agencies) are to be administered as gifts when the funding source neither expects nor requires consideration in return for the transfer of funds to Columbia.
Grants (or funds for Sponsored Projects)
Sponsored projects include research, instruction and training, public service, fellowships and other scholarly and creative activities conducted under the direction of Columbia faculty and staff and funded by an outside source in accordance with award instruments containing very specific provisions, restrictions, and reporting requirements.
Regardless of the type of funding, the transfer of funds from another country to Columbia could carry requirements or trigger taxes that should be considered before any agreement for the gift or grant is accepted or signed.
For more information regarding the differences between gifts and sponsored projects, individuals should refer to the relevant section of the Sponsored Projects Handbook and the guidance on Distinguishing Gifts from Sponsored Projects in the Administrative Policy Library.
Where assistance is required in making a determination as to whether a particular source of funds is a gift or a sponsored project, University departments should contact their assigned Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) Project Officer (link here to the Assigned SPA Project Officers). SPA will work with the Office of Alumni and Development (OAD) in making the determination.