Acquisition of Gifts-In-Kind, including Works of Art

Approved Board of Governors 71.110



1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that gifts-in-kind to the University are managed properly and that internal and external regulations are respected.

2. To appraise donations properly and to recognize donors appropriately, the Development Office must be advised of all gifts-in-kind, prior to the receipt of the gift, using the Gift-in-Kind Donation (PDF) form (see University of Ottawa Procedure 41-1 ). The Development Office will inform the Office of Risk Management to ensure appropriate insurance coverage.

3. The University may elect to accept or decline any gift. Final decision rests with the Administrative Committee (see University of Ottawa Procedure 41-1).

4. This policy should be read in conjunction Policy 41 Permanent Inventory of University Furniture and Equipment and Office of Risk Management regulations regarding insurance coverage.


5. Gift-in-Kind: These are gifts of property other than cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Gifts-in-Kind include gifts of supplies, equipment, books and artwork.

6. Official Charitable Receipt: The official charitable receipt is a statement issued by the University to donors that includes the business number issued to the University by Canada Revenue Agency, a declaration as to the value of the gift, date of the gift and name of the donor. Receipts are normally accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency to support the calculation of the allowable "non-refundable tax credits".


7. In accordance with Revenue Canada Agency standards, the Development Office will determine the appraisal process.

8. The appraisal is to be obtained by the donor or the Faculty, Service or section accepting the gift. The appraisal will determine the fair market value of the gift at the time the donation was made. The donor or the Faculty, Service or section accepting the gift must pay for the appraisal.

9. If the gift-in-kind is to be used as part of a research program (especially as part of an externally funded research proposal under programs such as the Ontario Centre of Excellence and Canada Foundation for Innovation), the Faculty, Service or section accepting the contribution must also inform the Office of the Vice-President, Research to determine eligibility of the donation for research programs. These gifts-in-kind may also qualify for government research matching programs, but must be properly appraised and accounted for to be eligible.


10. As per ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Principles’ a gift-in-kind may qualify as a charitable gift if it is “a voluntary transfer of money or property for which the donor expects and receives nothing of value in return.” Canada Revenue Agency regulates the receiving and receipting of such gifts.

11. Only the Development Office has the authority to issue an official charitable receipt to the donor of the gift-in-kind. This receipt must indicate the donation's fair market value, to meet the above requirements. In addition, it must include the donated object's official date of transfer, as required by Canada Revenue Agency.

12. The University cannot be held accountable for the appraisal obtained or the use of receipts issued to the taxpaying donor.

ACQUISITION OF WORKS OF ART(whether donated or purchased)

13. On January 8, 1997, under Resolution 1398.3, the Administrative Committee created the Advisory Committee on the Acquisition of Works of Art (ACAWA) for public display on campus; the ACAWA terms of reference are published separately.

14. The ACAWA prepares specific recommendations for each proposal in terms of acceptability, display locations, maintenance requirements, insurance coverage, security measures, etc.

15. The University reserves the right to distribute according to its priorities any work of art acquired for the good of the university community. For example, certain works could go to the Visual Arts Department for the study of preservation methods, different art styles, or any other learning objective.


16. The University may decide to accept eligible works of art, even if it has not yet chosen locations for them. These works will constitute an Art Bank collection, which will eventually be displayed or held for future use.


17. The ACAWA cannot commit the University of Ottawa to acquire works of art for public display on campus without first obtaining the Administrative Committee's approval.


18. In order to make an informed decision, capital and operating costs must be identified and budgeted prior to the acquisition of a gift-in-kind (includes works of art, whether purchased or donated).

  • a) Capital costs - Capital costs, ie. costs associated with the acquisition of gift must not exceed the planned and authorized expenditure for each item, unless prior approval has been given by the Administrative Committee.
  • b) Operating costs - Maintenance, security and other operating costs must be established in advance, as accurately as possible, and must be budgeted as a recurring annual expense in the appropriate operating account.

19. Capital and operating cost estimates must cover all costs associated with the acquisition of purchased or donated items, including installation and maintenance fees.


20. There can be no exceptions to this policy without the written approval of the Administrative Committee.

Revised January 12, 2010

(Office of the Vice-President, External Relations)