FundSvcs Community

Expand all | Collapse all

Gift assessment fee or gift tax

  • 1.  Gift assessment fee or gift tax

    Posted 08-20-2020 12:18 PM

    Good afternoon,

     A colleague and I are doing some research on the number of colleges and universities out there who may have a gift assessment fee or gift tax on restricted donations. If your school has or has had one, I'd appreciate it if you would share the following with me:

    1.  Is the assessment permanent or related to a capital campaign?
    2.  What is the percentage taken of each restricted donation?

     Thank you very much for your replies. Feel free to reply to the group or email me directly at

    Thank you,


    Diane Frick
    Director of Advancement Operations
    St. Bonaventure University

  • 2.  RE: Gift assessment fee or gift tax

    Posted 08-20-2020 01:15 PM
    Good afternoon, Diane - 

    CUA instituted a 5% gift assessment for any new transaction in support of a restricted fund [including endowments] where the pledge or outright gift amount is greater than $25K and the commitment was negotiated on or after 1/1/2020. For new pledges greater than $25K, the pledge is tagged for eligibility and the assessment is applicable to all of the subsequent payments even where those fulfillment transactions fall below the $25K threshold. Special review must be requested for any potential exception and that can only be approved by our VP. This board approved assessment is not tied specifically to our current capital campaign and will be applicable until such time - if any - the board chooses to terminate it. 

    With best regards,


    Amy J. Phillips
    Director of Advancement Services, Gift Acceptance
    Division of University Advancement
    The Catholic University of America
    620 Michigan Avenue, B016 O'Connell Hall
    Washington, DC 20064
    Phone: 202-319-6919

  • 3.  RE: Gift assessment fee or gift tax

    Posted 08-21-2020 09:47 AM

    Lehigh has had a non-campaign related gift administration fee for a number of years. Here's the explanation we provide to donors on our website:

    In accordance with Lehigh University's Board of Trustees approved policy, a portion of your contribution may be used to fund further advancement efforts on behalf of Lehigh University. Financial resources supporting the university's fundraising efforts are critical to the ongoing growth and reputation of Lehigh.
      • Gifts of more than $100,000 made in support of capital construction are subject to a three percent fee.
      • Gifts made in support of restricted operating purposes are subject to a three percent fee.
      • Gifts made to establish and increase restricted endowment funds are subject to a fee of the initial three months of earnings.
      • Gifts made to establish and increase unrestricted endowment funds are subject to a fee of the initial 12 months of earnings.
    Contributions not matching these descriptions are not subject to the Lehigh Gift Administration Fee Policy.

    We have a standing exception for any foundation that has a charter that prohibits paying such a fee. We also grandfathered in existing gift agreements when this was implemented. Any other exceptions, which are almost nonexistent, must be approved by the VP.

    Hope that helps.


    Sean Shappell
    Asst. Vice President, Information Services
    Lehigh University