University Advancement

Giving FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - IS MY GIFT TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

You should consult your tax-adviser or financial planner to learn if you can
Tennessee Tech University Foundation is a 501(c) 3 entity.
Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Q - WHAT CONSTITUTES A GIFT TO THE UNIVERSITY?

A gift is defined as funds or property that has value for the University’s mission and is voluntarily bestowed upon the TTU Foundation or the University without expectation of return or compensation on the part of the donor. (Unlike a grant, which is recorded/reported through the Research Office, where the sponsor retains rights or/and control of the funds usage, and may stand to benefit from the results generated by funds expenditure.)

Various types of gifts are received:

  • Cash/Check/Credit Card (one-time gift)
  • Stock
  • Gifts in kind (e.g. computers, uniforms, land, etc.)
  • Payroll deductions
  • Electronic Funds Transfer
  • Periodic Credit Card Payments (agreement to make multiple payments)
  • Matching Gifts
  • Pledges
  • Trusts
  • Bequests (wills)
  • Life Insurance Policies
Q - SINCE TTU IS A STATE UNIVERSITY WHY DOES THE UNIVERSITY NEED PRIVATE SUPPORT?
The state provides approximately 50 percent of needed revenue. The remaining funding required to support TTU's endeavors must be met through tuition, fees, grants, and private gifts.
Q - DOES MY GIFT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

YES! Many of our programs would be much less without the private support from our donors. In addition to the cumulative effect of many gifts, private support is an important indicator of the health of the university. The percentage of alumni giving is used by US News and World Report as a component for determining TTU’s rank among other universities. The Tennessee Board of Regents uses the same percentage to help determine TTU’s amount of performance funding.

Q - WHY ARE UNRESTRICTED GIFTS IMPORTANT?

Unrestricted gifts allow flexibility to address shortfalls as they occur and to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Q - HOW DO I KNOW THE UNIVERSITY HAS RECEIVED MY GIFT?

A receipt and acknowledgement for every gift is mailed shortly after the gift is received and processed.

Q - MAY I GIVE TO A STUDENT CLUB/ORGANIZATION/FRATERNITY/SORORITY?

You may always make a monetary contribution to student organizations; however, we are not always able to process the contribution as a gift. Please call (931) 372-3055 for assistance in making such gifts.

Q - MAY I MAKE MY GIFT ANONYMOUSLY?

Yes, we will honor your request to remain anonymous.

Q - MAY I SPECIFY HOW MY GIFT WILL BE USED, AND HOW CAN I BE SURE MY GIFT WILL BE USED AS I REQUEST?

You may direct your gift to a specific purpose within certain guidelines. IRS regulations prohibit contributions made directly to a specific student or family member to be processed as gifts for income tax purposes. TTU is required by federal, state, and university regulations to use gift money as directed by the donor. We are audited annually to verify compliance.

Q - WHAT IS AN ENDOWMENT FUND AND HOW DO I DESIGNATE MY GIFT TO AN ENDOWMENT FUND?

When making a gift, it is important to note the use of the term; ‘endowment’. An endowment fund is an investment fund that makes consistent withdrawals from invested capital. Including the term ‘endowment’ when designating a gift, places the money with the investment capital to grow the principal. When the term ‘endowment’ is not used, the money is made available for immediate use.

Q - HOW WILL I BE RECOGNIZED FOR MY GIFT?

Please refer to Donor Recognition.

Q - MAY I MAKE A GIFT OF MY TIME OR SERVICES?

Yes, we encourage and appreciate gifts of services. However, we are prohibited by IRS regulations from issuing a gift receipt for such services as donation of professional time (lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc.) or loan of equipment, etc. Please contact the Office of University Development if you have specific questions.

Q - IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO A DECEMBER 31ST DEADLINE?

The IRS requires that a gift be made before midnight, December 31st in order to be credited as a gift for the current year. TTU closes for the Christmas holidays so we encourage donors to send in their gifts early. We issue gift receipts based on the day gifts are processed. It is ultimately the donor’s responsibility to declare his/her gifts for tax deduction purposes.

The Tennessee Technological University (TTU) Foundation is a tax-exempt corporation under Subsection 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Tennessee Technological University was established under the State University and Community college System of Tennessee under Chapter 838 of the Tennessee Public Acts of 1972. Contributions to the University are tax deductible as provided under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue code. All gifts to the above entities are approved deductions according to the schedules established under income tax regulations.

A great number of gifts are made to charitable institutions in December. The University/Foundation usually shows "process date" on gifts receipts. Since the offices close for an extended period in December, the receipt's process date would be many days different from the actual gift date. Therefore, during the first 10 days after the holidays, process date will not be listed on receipts. For gifts of cash/check that are postmarked on or before December 31st, the date will be entered as the postmark date.

While a donor should be advised to consult with their tax preparer to determine the tax consequences of a donation, the date delivered or mailed is generally recognized as the gift date. For items sent via third parties, like FedEx and UPS, the gift date is the date the donee organization signs for the package, not the date it was sent (a donor can recall items "mailed" this way until the donee has signed--thus the item is still in their control). For gifts by check, postmark rules apply despite the fact that taxpayers could hypothetically stop payment on the check and negate the actual gift. {Caution: postdated checks are not deductible when hand delivered or mailed. A postdated check is a promise to pay in the future and, thus, not deductible at time of delivery.}

Gifts by credit card are deductible in the year when the charges are made on the card-owner's account (transaction must be posted by the credit card company). This is true even if the credit-card bill is not paid by the donor until the next year. The date of a credit card gift is the date shown on the donor's credit card statement; therefore, donors should either notify the University/Foundation by mid-December if they want to authorize a credit card gift before year end; or they may choose to go to TTU's secure website and enter their gift by December 31st.

The date of gift for stock or other securities is the date that the donor relinquishes control of the stock. The date printed on a stock certificate reissued in the TTU Foundation's name at a donor's direction would be the gift date. If the donor mails a certificate the gift date is the later of two postmarks for the certificate and stock power. If DTCed (electronically transferred), it is the date of DTC and not the date the donor told their broker to transfer the gift. For the gift to be consummated the stock must be registered in the donee's name or in the control of the donee's legal agent. {Possible stock electronic transfer issue: Stocks are frequently transferred by electronic delivery. For instance, stocks are usually held in "street accounts" with financial services firms. While a taxpayer may irrevocably instruct his or her broker to transfer the stock to a charity, the gift is not complete until the stock is delivered to the charity's account. This means that the gift date for tax purposes may be days and possibly even weeks after the taxpayer's instructions to transfer. This poses a potential problem to last minute charitable contributions.}