Gifts for Non-employees

These individuals and organizations are eligible to receive non-cash gifts on behalf of the University:

  • Donors, to acknowledge a contribution, recognize service, or express sympathy in the event of the death or major illness of a family member
  • Potential donors, to promote the University’s programs or to express the University’s goodwill toward the community
  • Visiting dignitaries and scholars, to express appreciation
  • Volunteers, including students, to honor the contribution of time or other resources
  • A civic or cultural organization or member of the local community, to promote goodwill
  • A foreign dignitary or university official, to promote goodwill
  • A client, to promote good customer relations.

These non-cash gifts are allowable – value limits don’t include incidental costs (engraving, packaging, sales tax, mailing, gift wrapping):

  • Promotional items – gifts of tangible personal property that bear the University or Berkeley Law logo, limited to $75 per individual.
  • Appreciation or recognition – gifts of tangible personal property, a service (tickets to a sporting, theatrical or musical event), a meal, a non-negotiable gift certificate (cannot be redeemed for cash), and mementos (plaque, watch, logo item, book), limited to $600 per individual.
  • Sympathy gifts – gifts of tangible personal property (flowers, candy, book) presented as an expression of sympathy in the event of the death or major illness of an individual or member of the individual’s family or household, limited to $200 per individual. Alternatively, this policy allows for a cash contribution to a charity in lieu of a gift of tangible personalproperty. Such contributions must be accompanied by a transmittal letter on official University letterhead which states that the donation was made on behalf of the University.


Include the following documentation when you submit your payment request, bluCard reconciliation, or Bearbuy Catalog/Non-Catalog Order:

  • A statement that includes:
    • Description of the gift
    • Description of the business purpose of the gift
    • Name, title, and occupation of the recipient (if the recipient is a person)
    • Name of the organization (if the recipient is an entity)
  • An original receipt if you are seeking reimbursement.  Electronic receipts are acceptable provided that the receipt contains the same information as a paper receipt such as the name of the payee, the amount of the charge, the transaction date, and the form of payment.
  • A copy of the transmittal letter, card, or memo stating the department presenting the gift
  • A copy of the approval letter if the request was an exception to policy


  • Gift to a University employee, please see BFB-G-41
  • A gift to a near relative of a University employee;
  • A gift to any elected official, candidate for public office, organization, or committee, when thegift is a contribution to a political campaign or referendum; or
  • A gift to any person person with whom a presenter has an outsider business relationship (i.e., where any conflict of interest exists).