Gifts Versus Grants

​​​​​​​​What is a gift?

  • In general, gifts are given with no expectation of anything tangible or intangible in return.

  • Gifts are motivated by philanthropic intent, i.e., the donor intends to make the donation.

  • While a donor can give to a specific purpose, including a research project, gifts to research should not include a line item budget and/or the requirement for detailed financial accountability back to the donor.

  • Research gifts are assessed a 13% research administrative fee (effective 2/1/2024). See below for more detail on research gifts. 

  • Research gifts agreements are reviewed and approved by Fund Management in UDAR. Fund Management reserves the right to edit externally generated agreements, as needed, to ensure all language is acceptable to the University of California.

UDAR is the only unit on campus who can accept and sign gifts on behalf of Berkeley.

Read more about who can sign gift agreements.

What is a grant?

  • Both gifts and grants may be given for specific research or operating support. However, grants often mandate a very detailed scope of work and time frame, and have expected outcomes.

  • Grants often also include a line-item budget that the campus must adhere to when spending funding, as well as detailed financial reporting back to the funder.

  • A funder may require that monies not expended during the timeline of the project, be returned to them.

  • Finally, a grant may specify that the funder will receive specific material, training, a report, or product in return that might be intellectual property, patent rights, copyright, or technical reports.

  • Grants are given by federal and state entities, as well as non-profit institutions. Grants are not given by corporations. Grants are negotiated by the Sponsored Projects Office.

How do I distinguish between a gift or a grant?

Only SPO and IAO may accept and sign grant agreements on behalf of Berkeley.

For an outline of the Grant Life Cycle, please visit the Vice Chancellor of Research page here.