Gifts to Non-Employees

Gifts of cash or non-cash items to non-employees may only be given where there is a valid business purpose, such as business development, recognition of an individual's efforts in support of the University, and the like.  These gifts should be appropriate to the individual circumstances and in keeping with the University's mission.

For info about gifts to employees, click here.



As a rule, gifts of cash or non-cash items to non-employees should not exceed an aggregate value of $600 in a calendar year. In the rare instances where a gift or gifts to a non-employee likely exceeds this level, please contact Accounts Payable to discuss potential taxation issues pertaining to these gifts and for information on acknowledging such gifts to the recipient.

The fair market value of non-cash items is the cost of that item in the marketplace. Please note that the engraving of plaques, bowls, trays and other non-cash items may change the fair market value of an item, arguably lowering the fair market value in many, although not all, cases.

Although it should be rare, a gift to a non-employee with a value greater than $600 requires Supplemental Approval.  Gifts exceeding this threshold (by more than 50%) or any requests not listed as eligible for Supplemental Approval, still require a formal written exception request approved by a Senior Departmental Officer for documentation and evaluation of approval by Accounts Payable. 

Gifts of cash to non-employees (i.e. honoraria) should be processed on a Check Request, and not reimbursed on a Business Expense report form. 

Gifts to vendors are not reimbursable.

Documentation Required

The original receipts/invoices for gifts must include:

  • the date
  • the items purchased
  • the total amount of the purchase
  • proof of payment
  • the recipient’s name, home address and Social Security number (if over $600) for Form 1099 reporting.  If $600 or less, please note that gifts do not exceed $600 for the calendar year.

The approved business purpose of the gift must be clearly documented