2226 Gift Suspense Policy

Document purpose

When a donor makes a restricted gift to the University but does not immediately communicate the specific restriction, the University will hold the contribution in suspense until it has received notice of the restriction or one year, whichever is earlier. The purpose of this policy is to set the procedure for moving such contributions from suspense to the properly designated fund.


September, 2006


January, 2016


May, 2022

Responsible Office





The Office of Gifts Accounting & Administration (“Gifts Office”) reports suspense activity monthly to all schools and centers. The report is directed to both Development and Business Office Officers for their review and action. 

 After review, the school/center should notify the Gifts Office of the gifts to be moved from suspense and should provide the information regarding the appropriate fund as designated by the donor and agreed to by the University.  If a new fund is to be created, the school/center should refer to Policy #2216 -Creating a New Fund.  

When the gift has been held in suspense for 9 months, the Gifts Office will require the school/center to initiate a formal written request to the donor to designate a purpose for the gift, indicating that if one is not received by the one-year deadline, the fund may be transferred to a fund that the school/center Dean determines is a close as possible to the intention of the donor, to the extent that is known.  The school/center may suggest a purpose or purposes in the letter if that is appropriate.  At the end of the one year period, if the donor has not designated a purpose, the Dean shall direct the transfer from suspense to the new fund he or she has so designated.

It is the responsibility of the school/center designee to determine when to invoke the transfer to the Dean designated purpose.