Office of Research Gifts from Industry - Office of Research

Gifts from Industry


UC Davis receives philanthropic funding from individuals, non-profit foundations and corporations. This support is crucial to bridging the gap between funding provided by the State of California and the cost of maintaining and expanding the excellence of UC Davis.

Types of Gifts

Gifts from industry can be for such specific purposes as research, construction of new and updated facilities, equipment, student support, programs or endowed chairs. Corporations most frequently give cash and equipment but may also donate securities, real estate and intellectual property.

Research gifts are a common type of industry support. These are appropriate when a company wishes to support an individual researcher or type of research. If a company provides support to a researcher to be directed at the discretion of the researcher, it is called an “unrestricted gift.” If such gifts are for a particular type of research but generally not a specific project, they are considered “restricted gifts.”

Definition of a Gift

A gift is the transfer of an asset (such as cash or gifts-in-kind) made without consideration. This means that, in order for the university to accept a gift, the company must give the asset irrevocably (e.g., funds cannot be returned) and also the company may not receive anything substantive in return (i.e., no “quid pro quo”).

There are specific guidelines regarding what is considered acceptable versus substantive benefit to the corporation. The degree of expectation by industry will determine whether it is a gift or not (it may be a grant or contract). Such expectation will also determine which university area and documentation will govern the transaction and what the gift fee or indirect fees will be. Gifts to UC Davis are subject to a one-time administrative fee of 6%. This fee is deducted at the time the gift is received (and does not apply to gifts-in-kind).

Help with Attracting and Receiving Gifts

Development and Alumni Relations (DEVAR) is responsible for private gift support at UC Davis. Development officers work in most of the schools/colleges and unit dean’s or executive offices to support fund raising for academic priorities, including providing counsel to faculty regarding gift support. Contact your department, dean’s or executive office to identify a development officer assigned to your area. An additional resource for information is campus Foundation and Corporate Engagement.

If a company wishes to give support with the potential to revoke the support or receive more substantive benefits, please visit the Office of Research Sponsored Programs web site or email them at [email protected] to receive counsel on the appropriate procedures with industry.