Gift in Kind

Corresponding Policy: See ‘Gift Acceptance’ policy. 
Corresponding Forms: Gift Acceptance Contribution, Gift in Kind Contribution Acknowledgement Letter Template
Process: Discovering the Purpose of Rule Codes and Knowing the Different Types

The following information is intended to complement and support existing policies and procedures in place at Portland State University (“PSU”) and the Portland State University Foundation (“PSU Foundation”)

What is a gift in-kind?
Gifts in-kind (GIK) are a non-cash donation of materials or long-lived assets, other than real or personal property.  Per IRS regulations, any item the donor values over $500 requires the donor to complete and sign IRS Form 8283; any item the donor values over $5,000 requires that Form 8283 be completed and signed by the donor and the charity and that a written appraisal be provided by the donor. Once the donor has completed this form for the item valued over $5,000 it should be routed to the Chief Financial Officer who will sign on behalf of PSU Foundation and the Executive Director for Financial Services and Controller will sign on behalf of PSU. 

It is the responsibility of the university representative accepting the gift to consult with development staff prior to acceptance. It is important that the representative, department, program, or office consider the value of the gift to the University or the PSU Foundation.  

Please consider the following before accepting a gift:

  1. Is it relevant to the work of the University? As a general rule, accept only gifts that further the work of departments and programs at the University.
  2. Will accepting the gift jeopardize the reputation of the donor or the University? Does the donor’s intent match the interests of the University?
  3. Will the gift cost money in the future, such as maintenance, repair, or preservation costs?
  4. Are there any risks associated with accepting the gift?
  5. Will the gift require a special facility in which to house it?
  6. Are there any special conditions the donor may impose?
  7. If the property cannot be used in University programs, will the donor allow it to be sold?  If the donor places a condition on the gift that it is not to be sold, the University and the Foundation should not accept the gift.

UNIVERSITY OR FOUNDATION? For ease of processing, Portland State University and the Portland State University Foundation have created a comprehensive form that can be filled out by any Department. To determine where a department should route the completed form, see the definitions below:

Acceptance of Gifts in-Kind-PSU
PSU accepts gifts in-kind (non-cash gifts) that will be retained for the University’s operational use, such as equipment and furniture. These items are to be donated directly to the University if the intent is to retain the property for a period of three years or more.  Once determined that this is a gift to the University, the PSU department receiving the gift is required to send a gift acknowledgement (if the gift is greater than $250) letter and attach a copy to the completed “Gift In-Kind Contribution Form.”  Final approval for accepting and receipting gifts in-kind rests with the appropriate Dean or designee.  The department is responsible for coordinating with University Financial Services to ensure the gift in-kind property is appropriately inventoried, if applicable.  Gift and administrative fees are not imposed on gifts in-kind accepted by PSU.

Acceptance of Gifts in Kind- PSU Foundation
For donated property that is to be retained for less than three years or to be sold upon acceptance, the donation should be made directly to the PSU Foundation.  When the donation involves a sellable asset, the PSU Foundation determines whether a decision is needed by the Gift Acceptance Committee.  Unless other arrangements have been made, tangible personal property donated to the PSU Foundation will be liquidated as soon as possible and proceeds used to benefit the University.  Gift and administrative fees are imposed on gifts in-kind donated through the PSU Foundation when the property is liquidated.  Once determined that the gift is to the Foundation, complete the “Gift In-Kind Contribution Form” and the Foundation will prepare/send a gift acknowledgement to the donor.

Once the destination of the gift is determined, the form can be completed in the same manner, no matter where it is being routed.  

Procedure: The following procedures should be followed when a department, college, or program representative intends to accept a GIK.

  1. Consult with development staff in your unit.  If there is no development staff member, contact the Director of Annual Giving.
  2. Determine the purpose of the gift. (as per above)
  3. Determine the value of the gift. (see Fair Market Value below)
  4. Complete the Gift In-Kind Contribution Form located on the University Financial Services and Portland State University Foundation website.
  5. Gather the University signatures required on the form and forward completed document to University Financial Services or the PSU Foundation. 

Fair Market Value (FMV):
Refers to the value placed on the gift for donor stewardship and property control purposes.  GIK are recorded at FMV.  The methodology used for determining fair value should be documented.  Fair market value may be determined by:

  • A written appraisal by an independent, qualified appraiser, or
  • Documentation obtained from a qualified expert on the faculty or staff if he or she is considered to hold special knowledge or expertise related to the property being donated, or
  • Documentation obtained from a qualified outside source such as ‘blue book’ or a knowledgeable dealer, or
  • Identifying what it would cost the university if it were to purchase the gift outright from a vendor or an original bill of sale for new equipment.

Documentation that supports the gift’s value should be submitted at the time the gift is to be booked by the receiving organization.  University departments are encouraged to pay for appraisals if they deem it necessary and appropriate for proper insurance and inventory, but NOT to substantiate the value for the donor.

Please note that neither the University nor the Foundation should ever pay for an appraisal for a donor.  Both entities will never certify the value of the gift to the donor.

Detailed procedures and forms for acceptance of gifts at the Foundation may be found at

If you have any questions please contact University Advancement at 503-725-4478