All donations must be acknowledged. Those that are routed through UW Foundation will automatically be acknowledged by UW Foundation, but a thank you letter from the department is encouraged. Donations deposited directly into a 233- account must be acknowledged by the department. A copy of the department's donation acknowledgment letter can serve as documentation for a gift deposit into a 233- account.
Gifts Deposited at UW Foundation: Thank You Letter RecommendedAll donations that go through UW Foundation are acknowledged/receipted by UW Foundation, and that correspondence is sufficient for tax purposes for the donor. In other words, the department is not required to produce a gift acknowledgment letter for tax purposes because it is already taken care of by UW Foundation. It is still a good idea, and good donor relations, for the department to send thank you letters to all donors.
Gifts Deposited Directly into a 233- Account: Gift Acknowledgment Letter Required All donations that are deposited directly in a UW 233- account without passing through UW Foundation need to be acknowledged by the department because UW Foundation will not have knowledge of these deposits and will not generate a letter. The department must provide the gift acknowledgment or the donor will not have the appropriate documentation for tax purposes. A gift acknowledgment letter template is attached for department use (GiftAcknowledgementLetterTemplate.doc).
Using Gift Acknowledgment Letter as Gift Documentation for 233- DepositIf there is no official donor statement that the money is a gift, like a letter, email, or notation in the memo field of the check, then a copy of the gift acknowledgment letter from the department to the donor should accompany the gift check routing form sent to the Dean's office. In those cases, the gift acknowledgment letter is our only documentation that the money is being accepted as a gift.
Thank You Letters to Donors: A Best PracticeThe department should send a thank you to all their donors, big and small, whether or not the UW Foundation has sent a gift receipt to the donor. These letters should simply thank the donor, and not ask for further donations. A personal note or an example of how the gift will be used by the department are thoughtful additions to thank you letters. In most cases, you need not share the thank you letter with the Dean's office. As mentioned directly above, L&S only needs a copy of the gift acknowledgment letter in the case of a gift check deposit to a 233- that doesn't have any other donor statement. If you have questions about best practices with donors, contact the L&S Advancement Team.
UW FOUNDATION: 1848 University Avenue, 263-4545
ACCOUNTING SERVICES: 21 N. Park St. Suite 6101, 262-1214
http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/acct/acct.html Gifts: http://www.bussvc.wisc.edu/acct/gifts/gifts.html
RSP: 21 N. Park St. Suite 6401, 262-3822
L&S: Ben Ball, 201 South Hall, 265-1170, email@example.com