Gift Funds


CALS Business Services mandates that all gifts be deposited into a Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) account unless there are extenuating circumstances that necessitate the gift being deposited directly into a 233 account at the University. Even if the gift funds are intended for immediate use, the funds must first be deposited in a WFAA account. Seek prior approval from CALS Business Services in order to deposit into a University 233 fund.

Policies and Procedures

Accounting Services’ Gifts page
Includes: UW Gift policy & procedures, Gift in Kind policy & procedures, links to other forms, contact information, etc.

A gift is defined as a donation of money that meets the following criteria:

  • The gift must provide funding for activities, such as professorships, scholarships, building projects, fellowships, and other activities in support of the research, instruction and service mission of the University. The donor may restrict the use of funds to a specific program area or purpose.
  • No detailed technical or fiscal reports are required as a condition of the gift. The unit or faculty member involved may provide the donor with a brief summary of the results of supported activities and a statement that expenditures were made in accordance with the intent of the gift. If detailed fiscal or technical reports are required, the payment is deemed to be a payment for research or other services performed by the University and must be awarded to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, rather than to the WFAA.
  • The gift does not grant the donor with rights to, or impose any restrictions with respect to patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights that result from activities supported by the gift.
  • The gift contains no restrictive provisions, such as delays or advance notice concerning publication or dissemination of data and information derived from activities supported by the gift.
  • The gift is irrevocable by the donor.

Receiving Foundation Gifts Check Process and Depositing Gift Checks to UW Gift Fund (233) Process

  • Donors are encouraged to make gifts to the Foundation by visiting the WFAA website and clicking “Give Now.”
  • Departmental Check Deposit Procedure
    1. Department representative will receive check, determine as a gift, verify that the check is written out to “University of Wisconsin Foundation” and is accompanied with a gift letter.
      • WFAA will not accept checks made out to any variation of “UW Board of Regents.”  Please contact donor for a new check.
    2. Write WFAA fund number in the memo line of the check.
    3. Stamp or write “for deposit only” on the back of the check.
    4. Department Chair/Director (or representative) will complete and sign a WFAA Gift Deposit Form.
    5. Signed deposit form, endorsed check, and required gift letter can be mailed in a sealed envelope to:

      University of Wisconsin Foundation
      US Bank Lockbox
      Box 78807
      Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807

      Do not mail cash donations. Please see Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association Cash Processing procedure.

    1. Department sends acknowledgement letter to donor.
    2. Department must maintain records and reconcile the deposit at WFAA by logging in to the Advancement Resources ( website.

Depositing Gift Checks to UW Gift Fund (233) Process

  • Important Note – All checks normally should be routed to WFAA. There are a few scenarios that allow for direct deposit processing to a 233 fund, and the checks are typically issued by the Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) or Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
  • To deposit, use the campus 233 gift check routing form (
  • Send form and support documentation (award letter, reason for deposit, etc.) to CALS Business Services, 240 Ag Hall.

Using Gift Funds

  • Most gift funds will be expended by routing the funds to a 233 account. Once gifts are distributed from a Foundation account and deposited into a 233, those funds are governed by all State of Wisconsin and Board of Regents requirements and restrictions regarding expenditures.
    • Negative balances in 233 accounts that are associated with a Foundation account should be cleared annually. If funds are not available to clear a negative balance, contact your CALS Business Services accountant.
  • Funds can be directly expended from the Foundation account three ways:
    • E-Reimbursement – most commonly used for expenses not covered by the Official Functions policy.
    • Under rare circumstances, the Foundation will pay a vendor directly.
    • Events held for the sole purpose of fundraising – registration fees collected and some expenses related to the event can be processed directly through the Foundation. It is recommended that the department begins working with the Foundation several months in advance for these events.

WFAA Check Request Process
(all requests should be emailed to CALS WFAA Requests:

  • Monies to be withdrawn from a Foundation account
    • Placed into a UW 233 fund
    • Spending from Endowment Principal – CALS has an obligation to ensure gift funds are spent according to donor wishes. Temporary, or quasi, endowment funds are established by donors who have an interest in providing income long into the future. For this reason, we want to be sure that requests for funds that will reduce the principal of a temporary endowment at WFAA are being made thoughtfully, because, while spending from the principle is allowed, the donor intended for that portion of the gift to continue to accrue interest to support the program into the future.
      • Provide justification on the linked document and submit with the check request and routing form.
    • To directly pay a vendor for costs the University cannot pay for (i.e. alcohol)
      • Documentation needed – invoice, attendee list, ad/flyer for event