Administration of External Funding Policy

Op8.28 Administration of External Funding Policy

I. Introduction

Missouri State University and the Missouri State University Foundation receive support from a wide variety of sources and for many different purposes. In accordance with the Delegation of Contracting Authority Memorandum (Op8.05), all proposals for grants, contracts and/or sponsored research agreements entered into by the university must be processed through the Office of Research Administration. However, in certain cases, external funding can be processed through the Foundation office of Corporate and Foundation Relations as a gift. This policy sets forth the guidelines for when externally funded projects are processed through Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR), as a “gift,” or through the Office of Research Administration (ORA), as a “grant.” Using the following definitions and determining factors, the university and the foundation work together to assist the university community to correctly identify the administrative avenue most appropriate for processing and oversight of external funding in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding opportunity. Any analysis must take the intent of the donor/sponsor into consideration.

II. Definitions

Recognizing that the university receives external funding by numerous mechanisms, the following definitions will institutionally define the terms “gift” and “grant,” which will take precedence over any terms used by a funding source. The language used by the donor should not in and of itself determine the classification of the funds.

Gift: A gift or donation (hereinafter referred to as “gift”) is a voluntary transfer of money, services, property or anything of value from a donor without any expectation or receipt of direct economic benefit or provision of goods and services from the recipient. The donor may receive a tax deduction for charitable contributions. Gifts:

  • May be for a stated purpose, with the use of funds restricted to that purpose;
  • May not bear any relation to the total cost of the program or activity;
  • Bear no formal fiscal accountability beyond progress reports;
  • May be comingled with funds from other sources within the same account;
  • May require matching fundraising;
  • May include payments over time (pledges); and/or
  • Are irrevocable when managed in accordance and compliance with the intent of the donor.

Grant: A grant, contract, cooperative agreement, subaward, subcontract, consortium agreement, purchase order, consulting agreement or memorandum of understanding (hereinafter collectively referred to as “grant”) is an agreement formalizing the transfer of money or property from a funding source in exchange for specified services or programs (e.g., outreach, research, training, development, instruction), and will require specific deliverables such as documentation of itemized expenditures or technical reporting. Grants normally contain the following elements:

  • A specific statement of work to be executed with the provided funding;
  • A required timeline and budget (unless it is a fixed-price contract);
  • Deliverables required, such as programmatic/technical reports, goods, services, and detailed financial accounting of funds spent;
  • Funds that are kept separate from other funding sources;
  • Reimbursements from the funding source dependent on the expenditure of funds for approved purposes, or the delivery of goods or services as stated in the funding agreement; and
  • Are revocable.

III. Administration

The university and the foundation delineate responsibility for the acceptance and administration of external funding via the following determinations:

ORA administers externally funded activities per federal, state and university regulations when the terms and conditions of the activity define requirements, such as:

  • Execution of a legally binding agreement containing terms and conditions in order to receive funding;
  • Performance reporting (fiscal or technical);
  • Recorded/reported project cost match;
  • Audit;
  • Research-related compliance, such as human subjects, vertebrate animals, radioactive materials, etc.;
  • Direct payment of university salaries;
  • Publication restrictions;
  • Intellectual property or proprietary language; and/or
  • Specific deliverables.

CFR administers external funding if the intent of the donor and purpose of the specific funding is charitable and philanthropic in nature:

  • No goods, services or deliverables of monetary value offered or exchanged; and
  • Detailed financial reporting or accounting not required, although a donor may request progress and final reports about utilization or impact of the external support, including general expenditures and fund balances.

Under no circumstances are gifts assignable or transferable by an individual, program, or other unit to another university, agency or other entity.

IV. Exceptions

Corporate funds and funding from foundations can be recorded as gifts or as sponsored projects. At times, a donor or funding agency will require foundation 501(c)(3) submission and receipt for an activity that meets the definition of a grant. When this occurs, CFR and ORA will work together to manage the submission of the proposal/application for funding and to ensure oversight as appropriate. In the event of an award of this nature, CFR will also work with Grants and Contracts to ensure that the funds are expended according to applicable state, federal, agency and/or university guidelines.