Gifts vs Grants


GENERAL DEFINITION: “Sponsored programs” refers to scholarly, professional, and creative activities that personnel conduct with support from external funding instruments such as grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements.

SPECIFIC DEFINITIONS: A. In addition to the general definition above, any one of the following conditions is sufficient to define a sponsored program:

Conditions Concerning the Nature of the Agreement/Activity

  1. A formal proposal exists requiring the endorsement of an authorized official.
  2. Progress, technical, final reports, and/or other exchanges are required. The proposed activity binds the university to a specific delivery of work including service to a sponsor.
  3. The activity has a specified performance period or completion date.
  4. The agreement for the activity contains compliance terms and conditions.
  5. The agreement for the activity contains provisions for confidentiality.
  6. The testing/evaluating of proprietary products is involved.

Conditions Concerning Financial/Institutional Involvement

  1. Initial pricing, expenditures, financial reporting, and/or performance may be subject to external audit.
  2. Billing, separate accounting procedures, and/or report of expenditures are required.
  3. Reimbursement/payment is contingent on completion of specified exchanges.
  4. Unexpended funds must be returned to the sponsor at the end of the activity.
  5. Cost sharing/cash matching is involved in the performance of the activity.
  6. The activity includes budgeted indirect costs.
  7. The activity involves disposition of property, whether tangible or intangible, that may result from the activity (e.g., equipment, inventions, copyrights, or rights in data).

A sponsored program is NOT:

  1. A voluntary donation — i.e., the donation transmittal information does not include any of the conditions defining a sponsored program.
  2. A voluntary donation of funds given irrevocably.
  3. A voluntary donation of personal property (e.g., cash, securities, books, equipment) provided by a donor without expectation of tangible or economic (except tax) benefit.
  4. The transfer of property with no implied responsibility on the part of the university or the foundation to provide the donor a product, service, technical or scientific report, intellectual property rights, or any other exchanges.
  5. Donations of real estate.
  6. Funds received directly by a faculty member (e.g., summer fellowships or travel grants).
  7. A project conducted as an external professional activity for pay.
  8. Honoraria — funds given directly to a faculty member by agreement not requiring administrative endorsement.
  9. Testing and service agreements processed through re-charge centers having an established fee for service.
  10. Teaching and professional services provided by university personnel to the public at large on a fee-for-service basis which do not meet any conditions for a sponsored program.
  11. Non-technical services to external organizations (e.g., lodging and food service to groups on campus; meeting facilities; sporting events).
  12. Fellowships and/or scholarships without a service component or other restrictions.


Last updated: 9/7/2018

Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs • PO Box 8005 • Statesboro, GA 30460 •