Gift or Grant?

Defining Awards

Most grants or awards from a foundation qualify as sponsored projects. Sponsored awards need to be approved and managed by the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP). The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations can assist in coordination with OSP in order to ensure that the proper university processes and checks are in place.

Grants have many more terms and conditions than gifts. For instance, grant funding typically has detailed financial reporting requirements, return of unused funds language, and other conditions. Gifts are less restrictive in nature and typically do not require detailed financial reporting. Gifts and grants are administered differently at GW.

Please contact the CFR office for assistance with both gifts and grants from corporations and foundations.

What Is Considered a Sponsored Activity at GW?

As defined in GW’s Categorization of External Funding Policy, Sponsored Activities are defined as those activities, sponsored in whole or in part, by sources external to GW for which there is a stated expectation on the part of the sponsor for performance and/or reporting beyond good stewardship.

For example, grants meeting any of the following criteria are treated as a Sponsored Project and must be reviewed and endorsed by OSP before submission to a sponsor:

  • The awarding entity requires progress, technical, milestone, or final reports or other deliverables, excluding stewardship reports on gifts or routine updates.
  • The award requires line-item financial reports to the grantor/sponsor at any time during the life of the project and/or the right to perform a detailed financial audit of the award expenditures.
  • The award includes funds that will be re-granted or subcontracted by the university to non-university entities.
  • The proposal contains the use of animals, human subjects, or hazardous agents requiring the review of Office of Research Integrity and Compliance within OVPR;
  • The award or solicitation contains intellectual property provisions, indemnification, hold harmless, provisions containing restrictions on publication of research results and other contractual provisions that place risk on the University.

What Is Not Considered A Sponsored Project At GW?

Proposals not meeting any of these criteria may be considered requests for Gifts. Gift proposals are coordinated through GW’s Development and Alumni Relations Office.

For Assistance with OSP Procedures

For general information about GW’s grant processes, the Office of Sponsored Projects offers training sessions and other resources to help. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the required steps for the university’s system for proposal and budget development and the approval process.