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What to do with research gift when researcher leaves the institution?

  • 1.  What to do with research gift when researcher leaves the institution?

    Posted 19 days ago

    We received a gift in support of a faculty member's research. A year later the faculty member is leaving the university and has asked that we transfer the remainder of the gift to their co-researcher at another university (there is not another faculty member who is going to "pick up" this research in the original researcher's absence). We have contacted the donor to determine what their wishes are for the remainder of the gift and to see if they are amenable to us transferring the balance to another institution.

    We've had an increase of gifts in support of specific researcher's work and I would like to minimize the number of times we go through this circumstance.  More often than not, these gifts are received with a letter from the institutional donor describing how they are to be used - meaning the university is not negotiating the gift terms "up front". What can we do to minimize the need to go back out to a donor due to these sorts of circumstances?



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    Patrick Hunt
    Director, Data Services
    University of California, Merced
    phunt@UCMERCED.EDU
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  • 2.  RE: What to do with research gift when researcher leaves the institution?

    Posted 19 days ago
    I would include language in the grant agreement, making it clear what will become of the funds if the researcher leaves before the end of the project.

    It is not uncommon for unexpended funds to follow the researcher to their new post - assuming the research will not continue at your institution.  At the same time, the agreement must make clear that the funds must flow to another qualified nonprofit organization to protect the original tax deduction.

    And if the researcher leaves the profession or field, the agreement should be clear to you and the donor what becomes of the unexpended funds.

    The key to avoiding these issues is to address them upfront - before your institution accepts the grant - and in writing in the agreement.  This is no different from what you likely already do with all major gifts.  All such agreements should have a savings clause directing the use of unexpected funds should the original purpose or use become invalid.

    John

    John

    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard





  • 3.  RE: What to do with research gift when researcher leaves the institution?

    Posted 18 days ago
    We see grant agreements that stipulate that any unused portions of the grant be returned to the granting organization should the project/research be discontinued.  In those circumstances, the burden of getting the money to the researcher's new place of employment falls to the researcher and the granting organization.  All we have to do is return the remaining grant dollars to the granting organization.


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    Nancy Randazzo
    Director of Gift and Fund Administration
    University of Montana Foundation
    nancy.randazzo@SUPPORTUM.ORG
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