B.5. Memorial Gifts January 1989 Development Policy and Administration Manual Chapter IV. Gift Administration Procedures Section B. Documenting Gifts ************************************************************* MEMORIAL GIFTS From time to time, the family or friends of a deceased person may announce that contributions may be sent to The Regents in lieu of other remembrances. Such gifts are specifically excluded from The Regents' Policy on Fund-Raising Campaigns. There are several aspects to memorial gifts that require special attention. Original Contributions. The circumstances surrounding the cre- ation of memorial funds vary widely. In some cases, contribu- tions are made solely on the basis of word-of-mouth; in other cases, an obituary notice announces that donations may be made to the University for a particular purpose in memory of a deceased person; and in rare instances, a formal, written solicitation is made. While contributions may have been generated on a very informal basis, it is important to document how the fund came into exis- tence. Who first proposed that the fund be established? What did donors know about the fund and its purpose at the time they made their contributions? If the fund will be an endowment or fund functioning as an endowment, Development Policy and Adminis- tration, Office of the President, should be sent a copy of the obituary or solicitation or, if the fund arose by word-of-mouth, a letter that explains the circumstances surrounding its cre- ation. This information will be incorporated into the Endowment Record Sheet (see Section VI: C). Chief Donor. Frequently one donor with a particular interest in the fund will act as a representative for all donors, particu- larly in determining the fund terms if these were vague at the outset. The representative will usually be a family member or someone who was instrumental in the creation of the fund. While it is recognized that the other donors may have intended only to make a donation to the fund as a gesture of sympathy, care should be taken that the proposed final terms do not contradict what the other donors understood to be the fund's terms at the time they made contributions. Potential Problem Areas. There are several problems that may arise in the creation of memorial funds. One common problem is that the total amount of funds actually received from such soli- citations are insufficient to carry out the purpose identified in the solicitation or are less than the University's preferred minimum amount for the creation of an endowment to be held in perpetuity (see Section VI: B, Management of Endowed Funds). Another common problem is that communications with donors (acknowledgements as well as solicitations) represent or imply that a fund will be used in a certain way, even though the fund terms have not yet been settled upon. The result can be that the University may have a legal obligation to use the funds for a purpose which neither the family (or other principal donor) or the University would prefer. To the extent the campus has the opportunity to comment or par- ticipate, it should attempt to assure that the representations to donors are not premature and contain language reserving the discretion to be able to establish fund purposes that are both beneficial to the University and realistic in terms of fund size.