Overview of the campus
People walking on Lone Mountain
Negoesco soccer field at the University of San Francisco     
Golden Gate Bridge at noon  

Non-Cash Gifts, Awards and Incentives Procedures




Expenditures for gifts and awards must be authorized in advance by the Business Manager who is responsible for determining that budgeted funds are available for the gift or award expenses and that the expenses are in compliance with this Policy and other University policies.

Sponsored Projects and Other Restricted Funds
Sponsored project funds and other restricted funds may not be used for gift and award expenses unless specifically authorized in the contract or grant agreement or other document governing the use of the funds.


Purchasing Card
The preferred method of payment for gift and award expenses is the University Purchasing Card. This card is issued to certain employees for making business-related purchases on behalf of the University. Departments are responsible for reconciling all Purchasing Card charges made through the Concur Reporting System. See Purchasing Card Policy.

Payment Request
If a Purchasing Card is not an acceptable form of payment, the department should submit a Payment Request to Business Services via the Concur Reporting System. A payment will be issued within 10 business days after Business Services receives the properly approved Payment Request.

Employees should not use their personal funds to make gift purchases or request reimbursement on behalf of another individual. The Payment Request payee should be the merchant selling the goods or services purchased for distribution as a gift or award.


Departments are responsible for providing sufficient documentary evidence to support the business purpose of all gift and award expenses. Documentation for both Purchasing Card and Payment Request transactions should be in the form of an original bill or receipt and should include the date, vendor name and location, description of the items purchased, and total dollar amount. 
Receipts for Purchasing Card transactions should be faxed or scanned for submission to the Concur Reporting System. In addition, the name, title, and business relationship of the individual receiving the gift or award must be included with the request for payment. The gift or award category should also be clearly indicated, as well as the business reason for the gift or award.


Gift cards and certificates may be presented to an employee, student, or non-employee if purchased from a University department (e.g., USF Bookstore, One Card Office, Koret Health and Recreation Center, etc.) for the purchase of tangible personal property and services sold on campus. Such gift cards and certificates are subject to the per-person dollar limits and other restrictions governing the gifts and awards allowable under this Policy. In addition, the gift card or certificate must:

  • Be inscribed with the recipient’s name,
  • Not be transferable to another person, and 
  • Not be redeemable for cash or include a cash-back feature or be used to reduce the balance due on the recipient’s account with the University.
If a gift card cannot be inscribed with the recipient’s name, the department should inform the individual that the card should not be transferred to another individual.




Departments may purchase quantities of gifts to have on hand for employee recognition awards, to present to guests speakers, for distribution at an auction or raffle, or for other purposes allowable under this Policy. However, quantity purchases of 20 or more items require prior approval by the President or applicable Vice President.

The following controls should be established to safeguard such purchases:

  • Departments should institute appropriate controls to ensure that all gift items are kept in a secure place and that a record documenting the distribution of the items is maintained. See Forms.
  • Departments should be careful to purchase only the number of gifts expected to be awarded during the current fiscal year.
These procedures also apply to quantity purchases of gift cards and certificates intended for use as gifts or awards.



Gifts made in accordance with this Policy are not reportable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with the exception of a gift made to a nonresident alien who is not employed by the University. Any cash award or bonus provided to an employee must be paid as taxable wages through the payroll system.  A cash award paid to a student employee must also be paid through the payroll system unless the payment qualifies as financial aid.

Questions concerning the taxability of a gift or award should be referred to the Office Internal Audit and Tax Compliance.



A violation of any portion of this Policy may result in disciplinary action, up to an including termination of employment and/or legal action. In addition, an employee may be personally liable for any amount expended in violation of this Policy.