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Premium Seating Counting

  • 1.  Premium Seating Counting

    Posted 06-10-2021 08:25 AM

    In July 2018 – CASE issued an update to the Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines regarding counting athletic premium seating .  The updated stated that CASE would allow institutions to continue counting 80 percent of athletic seating contributions on the CASE VSE and Campaign surveys until a new Reporting Standards and Management Guidelines was approved.  I can't find anywhere in the new guidelines where athletic premium seating is addressed and if counting 80 percent is still allowed.  Section 3.1.5 3. Seating Considerations is confusing and doesn't really state one way or the other.  Is there somewhere else that this addressed?






    Colleen Hobson

    Senior Director of Advancement Services

    Utah State University

    Tel: 435-797-1285  Fax: 435-797-1364


  • 2.  RE: Premium Seating Counting

    Posted 06-10-2021 08:31 AM
    This is covered in detail in the new standards.  It is expanded to address ALL seating situations including the arts.  The short answer is that you must calculate the value of the benefit and subtract that and count only the difference.

    John H. Taylor 
    919.816.5903 (Cell/Text)

    Big Ideas; Small Keyboard

  • 3.  RE: Premium Seating Counting

    Posted 06-10-2021 09:06 AM
    Sorry for the abbreviated reply earlier - I have not memorized the new standards (only 325 pages) yet :-), and I was not at my desk.

    CASE shifted away from a specific reference to athletics as that was only a US thing.  And, so, "seating considerations" is what you read about in the new book on pages 27, 269, and 270.  I do not disagree that it's a bit confusing.  That's a result of making it "global."  And it does, now, put the responsibility on us to come up with a value.  However, that has always been the IRS rule for non-athletics.  The IRS only, originally (the 1980s) came up with a "special" rule for athletics.  And then changed that rule to make it completely non-deductible a few years ago.

    What CASE is doing is leveling the playing field for counting and apply seating consideration rules for all seating applications - regardless of what the IRS says.  Here's a brief synopsis:

    Preferential Seating

    As this is largely a US issue, to make this topic more inclusive of the global audience, the new edition calls this "seating considerations" for arts and athletic events.

    Preferential seating is a big issue for those schools that have large sports programs.  Changes in the tax law in 2017, made these gifts no longer charitable deductions.  At the time, the CASE Board of Trustees decided to leave this to the new Standards Working Group to figure out.

    New Edition:

    Included as a part of section 3.1.5: Tangible Donor Benefits/ Quid Pro Quo Contributions.

    "3. Seating Considerations

    "Some institutions provide donors with special access to seating as a result of their gifts.  Examples include the opportunity to purchase preferential entrance or seating for arts or
    athletics events.

    "While the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the general public or in a more favorable location has some intrinsic value, it may not be clearly or easily quantifiable. In such cases the gift may be counted.

    "When the value of benefits is known, institutions should reduce the value of the gift accordingly. Benefits may include the following: the fair market value of meals, reserved
    parking, access to special events, advertising, or seat licenses. A donor may refuse all benefits when making the gift to avoid any reduction in value."


    John H. Taylor
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987