Columbia University is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt institution, categorized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) (3) organization. The IRS permits contributions from one 501(c) (3) to another 501(c) (3) in some circumstances, but not to other types of legal entities.
To accept a gift of donation, a memo must be submitted to the SIPA Business Office in IAB Room 408. The memo should indicate that a prospective donor would like to make a gift to support your group, and should contain the following information:
- The amount of the gift.
- What activities the gift is intended to support.
If the gift is a donation “in kind” (meaning goods or services rather than cash) and the donor wants to receive a receipt for tax purposes, the Business Office will contact the SIPA Development Office for approval and guidance on how to precede.
After review of the supporting documentation, the Business Office will advise whether Columbia can accept the gift. If the gift is accepted, the University will acknowledge the gift but the student group should also send a thank you letter to the donor confirming receipt of the gift.
Please note: No SIPA faculty, staff or students can accept a donation or gift without authorization.
Business Manager will contact the group with an account number and provide wire transfer information, if necessary.
A personal thank you from the group receiving the gifts is usually appropriate. Examples of thank you letters are available upon request.