FAQ - Restricted Funds

  1. What is a quasi endowment?
  2. What is an endowment?
  3. Why are accounts classified as "restricted"?
  4. What is the Gift Assessment Fee?
  5. Who do donors make checks payable to when they want to donate to the university?
  6. I have a donation check made payable to "Rutgers University", how do I get it deposited?
  7. What types of expenses are not typically allowed on restricted accounts?
  8. How do I find my available balance to spend in my restricted account?
  9. What are standard allowable sub codes to use when depositing revenue to restricted accounts?
  10. Can I charge alcohol expenses to a restricted account?
  11. Whom do I call to find out information about my restricted account?
  12. Does Rutgers University keep donor information on all the gifts/donations we receive?
  13. How do I find out who gave gift money to my restricted account?
  14. Do restricted account balances rollover from year to year?
  15. I know someone who wants to give money to Rutgers, what should they do?
  16. Why can't donors just give money directly to Rutgers University and not involve the Rutgers University Foundation?
  17. Is it OK for my department to go out on its own and solicit funds from donors without involving the Rutgers University Foundation? What could be the harm in that?
  18. Who do I contact to open a restricted account?
  19. Is it OK for my account to be overspent?

1. What is a quasi endowment?
A quasi endowment is, in most cases, established by the university to be used for university designated purposes. There are no donor restrictions on the uses of the funds and the principal of the quasi endowment may be invaded to cover operating deficits.

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2. What is an endowment?
An endowment represents funds received from donors, organizations or other outside sources held in perpetuity (true endowment) or for a specified period (term endowment), which are invested by the university. The income generated from the investment activity is made available to the university to be spent as directed by the donor. The university may also choose to set aside funds to be invested and used for university designated purposes (quasi endowment).

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3. Why are accounts classified as "restricted"?
They are restricted by the donor’s intent for use of the money. For example, if a donor gives money to buy soccer balls, then we are restricted to only buying soccer balls with their donation.

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4. What is the Gift Assessment Fee?
A Board of Overseers approved a fee that is assessed on all gifts and grants, with certain exceptions, that helps cover the costs associated with the fundraising efforts of the university. Effective October 1, 2006, a 5% assessment is levied on all gifts of $10,000 or more received after that date by Rutgers University or the Rutgers University Foundation. All gifts below $10,000 - primarily those raised by the Annual Fund - is now subject to a 10% fee. Please see the Gift Assessment Policy [PDF] and Revision to the Gift Assessment Policy [PDF].

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5. Who do donors make checks payable to when they want to donate to the university?
Checks related to donations should be made payable to the “Rutgers University Foundation”.

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6. I have a donation check made payable to "Rutgers University", how do I get it deposited?
Donation checks should be made payable to the “Rutgers University Foundation”. If a check is made payable to “Rutgers University”, then send the check to the Restricted and Endowment Funds department. A memo must accompany the check with instructions as to which account should be allocated the donation. Do not deposit the check yourself, because it would not be properly handled as a donation.

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7. What types of expenses are not typically allowed on restricted accounts?
Holiday parties, gifts to employees, and flowers to employees are some examples of expenses that are not allowed on restricted accounts. For more details, refer to the Policy 40.2.12, Gratuities, Guests, Gifts, and Use of University Resources [PDF].

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8. How do I find my available balance to spend in my restricted account?
In the Online Financial Information System (OFIS), refer to the “BA” (Balance Available) screen in the current fiscal year for your 5-3XXXX account.

OFIS is the legacy Rutgers system that provides online access to financial accounting, budget, and payroll data to authorized users. OFIS will continue to house historical financial data and support Budget System functionality after the Oracle General Ledger is implemented.

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9. What are standard allowable sub codes to use when depositing revenue to restricted accounts?
Sub code 0950 - “Other Income” may be used on cash transmittals for non-gift related deposits submitted by the departments. Otherwise, gift sub codes will be used by the Restricted and Endowment Funds department after the departments forward any gift checks it may receive.

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10. Can I charge alcohol expenses to a restricted account?
Some accounts allow the purchase of alcohol. It depends on the restrictions placed by the donor (e.g., a scholarship account cannot be used to purchase alcohol, nor an account that is intended for the purchase of soccer balls).

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11. Whom do I call to find out information about my restricted account?
Please refer to the “AI” (Account Information) screen in the Online Financial Information System (OFIS) to identify the accountant assigned to the restricted account. This accountant will be able to assist with any information and possibly provide more contacts of relevance.

OFIS is the legacy Rutgers system that provides online access to financial accounting, budget, and payroll data to authorized users. OFIS will continue to house historical financial data and support Budget System functionality after the Oracle General Ledger is implemented.

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12. Does Rutgers University keep donor information on all the gifts/donations we receive?
No, the Rutgers University Foundation handles fundraising responsibilities and can provide donor information.

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13. How do I find out who gave gift money to my restricted account?
Identify the journal entries or cash deposits in question. Then, contact the accountant assigned to the account (by using the ‘AI’ screen in OFIS) to learn what Rutgers University Foundation check number was used to forward the university the donation. Finally, contact the Rutgers University Foundation with their check number to obtain the donor information.

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14. Do restricted account balances rollover from year to year?
Yes. If you have $5.01 at year-end, then that same $5.01 will be available starting the next fiscal year. Restricted accounts do not close like state budget accounts or have project end dates, like many grant accounts.

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15. I know someone who wants to give money to Rutgers, what should they do?
Contact the Rutgers University Foundation.

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16. Why can't donors just give money directly to Rutgers University and not involve the Rutgers University Foundation?
Rutgers University Foundation, being the fundraising arm of the university, must account for every dollar received as a contribution. In addition, the Rutgers University Foundation maintains contribution histories and submits acknowledgement letters to donors. Please see the letter from Janine Purcaro, the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Treasurer of the Foundation, for more details.

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17. Is it OK for my department to go out on its own and solicit funds from donors without involving the Rutgers University Foundation? What could be the harm in that?
The Rutgers University Foundation should be involved in the fundraising/donor solicitation process. Improper wording or terminology when soliciting donations (like using “endowment” or “scholarship” when the account should be something else) can cause significant problems when opening a new account.

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18. Who do I contact to open a restricted account?
The Restricted Senior Accountant in the Restricted and Endowment Funds department.

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19. Is it OK for my account to be overspent?
Restricted accounts need to maintain a positive balance to cover their expenses. Restricted accounts cannot have overdrawn balances at fiscal year-end.

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