As a 501(c)(3) public charity, contributions to the university are deductible for federal income tax purposes as provided under the Internal Revenue Code. A donor should consult his own tax advisor regarding the deductibility of a charitable contribution.

Contributions of $250 or more to the university are not deductible unless the donor substantiates the contribution by a contemporaneous written acknowledgment of the contribution by the university. The acknowledgment must include (1) the amount of cash and a description (but not value) of any property other than cash contributed, (2) whether the university provided any goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for the cash or property received, and (3) a description and good faith estimate of the value of any such goods or services provided. Advancement Services provides this acknowledgment, with appropriate notification.

Donations of Non-Cash Goods (Gifts in Kind)

Goods may be donated and generally will be accepted, provided that the university has a need and use for the donation. Non-standard gifts-in-kind are generally not accepted. A non-standard gift-in-kind is one that does not satisfy or further the university’s exempt purposes of education, research or patient care. Other characteristics may be that there is no ready market in which to sell the item and or the value of the item is highly speculative or difficult to ascertain. Acceptance of a non-standard gift is subject to review by University Advancement and by the Office of General Counsel.

Donors wishing to make a gift-in-kind and employees wishing to accept a gift-in-kind should contact the Planned Giving Office at (314) 935-5373.

How to Make a Donation of Gift-In-Kind

  1. Request a Gift-in-Kind form from Advancement Services at (314) 935-5800.
  2. For gifts of artwork, rare book collections, and similar collectibles, contact Ellen Soule for artwork at (314) 935-7381 and Rebecca Wagner for books at (314) 935-9680.
  3. For gifts of real estate, the receiving department should also contact the Planned Giving Office at (314) 935-5373 to complete a property and environmental questionnaire. In addition, approval of this type of gift is needed by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Real Estate (Steve Condrin) and/or Director of Real Estate (Rachel Siegert).
  4. For gifts of other tangible assets such as lab or office equipment, please contact Karl Norton at (314) 935-4388.
  5. For gifts of intellectual property, please see Intellectual Property link at the bottom of this page for additional requirements.
  6. For gifts of vehicles including automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats and airplanes please see Donated Vehicles link at the bottom of this page for additional requirements.
  7. For general information on giving to Washington University, please review information on this website,

Value of the Gift

It is the donor’s responsibility to determine the value of the gift-in-kind. For a gift with a value of $5,000 or more, a qualified appraisal and a completed IRS Form 8283 is required in order for the donor to receive a tax substantiation receipt. (Form 8283 is not required if the donor does not wish to report a charitable gift deduction on their tax return.) The donor arranges, obtains, and pays for the appraisal. The donor is also responsible for completing, signing, and obtaining the appraiser’s signature on the IRS Form 8283. A copy of the appraisal and completed IRS Form 8283 should be provided to the University within thirty days of the donation in order to process the gift.

For gifts which the donor values at more than $500, but less than $5,000, the donor needs to complete and sign an IRS Form 8283 in order for the donor to receive a tax substantiation receipt. An appraisal is not required and the appraiser does not need to sign an IRS Form 8283. A copy of this form should be provided to Washington University within thirty days of the donation in order to process the gift.

To obtain the IRS Form 8283 (Non-Cash Charitable Contributions), the donor should visit the IRS web site, (Also see IRS Publications 526 (Charitable Contributions), 561 (Determining the Value of Donated Property), and 1771 (Charitable Contributions-Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements).

Processing of the Gift Paperwork

Upon receiving the gift and donor forms, the receiving School/Department completes the Gift-In-Kind form with information from the donor and attaches any appropriate tax information if the donor wants a tax substantiation receipt. This includes the IRS Form 8283 and if $5,000 or more, a signed appraisal. The Gift-In-Kind form, copy of the acknowledgment letter, IRS Form 8283 and appraisal, if applicable, is forwarded to Advancement Services (MSC 1082-414-2555) for processing of the gift. If the donor stipulates the gift must be held by the university for a period of no less than three years, that condition must be noted on the Gift-in-Kind form.

Acknowledgment of the Gift

The School/Department creates an acknowledgment letter to the donor thanking them for the gift. No value should be noted in the letter to the donor.

Processing of the Gift

A copy of the appraisal and Gift-in-Kind form with the original IRS Form 8283 are sent to the Assistant Controller (MSC 1299-414-355) who will sign the form on behalf of the university if the value is $5,000 or greater and return it to the School/Department to return to the donor. This signature constitutes acknowledgment of receipt by the university of the gift on the applicable date. The university does not endorse the value of the gift or the appraisal.

Accounting Processes

Gift & Endowment Accounting notifies Asset Accounting of all gifts-in-kind received. A monthly journal is prepared to transfer all gifts to a general asset account.

Asset Accounting provides the School/Department with a detailed list of the assets currently held.

As part of its acknowledgment of non-cash gifts of $5,000 or more, the University agrees that if it disposes of the donated property within 3 years of the date of receipt, it will file Form 8282 (Donee Information Return) with the IRS and the donor.

Donated Vehicles

Special reporting requirements

Intellectual Property

Donor and donee responsibilities

Quid Pro Quo Contributions

Definition and requirements