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Foundation FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about Foundation accounts can be found below. Clicking on a question's text will display the corresponding answer. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact a member of Foundation Accounting.

1. How do I set up a new account?

To establish a new gift account in the Foundation, a new gift agreement is required. Paperwork for the new account must be processed through and approved by the VP for University Advancement Office.

2. What is the minimum contribution needed to open a new gift account?

To establish a current-use gift account, the minimum contribution level is $5,000 on the Athens Campus or $3,000 on a Regional Campus. To establish an endowed account, the minimum contribution level is $25,000 on the Athens Campus or $15,000 on a Regional Campus.

3. Can I transfer money from/to a Foundation account from/to a University account? If so, what form do I use?

Private and public money cannot be commingled. Therefore, transfers cannot occur between Foundation and University accounts in general. You may, however, move expenses between Foundation and Ohio University accounts if they were processed to the wrong account. This is done by preparing a Journal Entry Template (for JET application). Policy requires the correction to be done within 90 days of the posting of the expense to GL. More information regarding transferring to a Foundation account [PDF] is available.

4. What form do I use to transfer money between Foundation Accounts?

If you are correcting an expense, or charging a Foundation account for goods or services that were provided, a Journal Entry Template (for JET application) would be used.

5. I need to transfer money to/from a student organization to/from a Foundation account. What form do I use to do that?

Foundation funds may NOT be transferred to student-funded (Entity 80) Student Organization accounts. If an Ohio University department wants to use a Foundation discretionary account to support a student organization, the following process should be followed:

  1. Use the Journal Entry Template (for JET application) with the Transfer-Funding/Investment Journal Category
  2. Use transfer code 620100 “Funding Transfer – Across Units” on both sides of the JE, since funds are being allocated from a University planning unit to a Student Organization.
  3. Debit the Foundation discretionary account that’s providing the funds. For example, 50-421xxx-xxxxxx-0000-00-620100 or 50-431xxx-xxxxxx-0000-00-620100.
  4. Credit the appropriate ORG segment for the Student Organization that is receiving the funds, but otherwise use the same account used for the Debit side of the journal entry. For example, 50-42xxxx-79xxxx-0000-00-620100 or 50-43xxxx-79xxxx-0000-00-620100.

Following is an example of a populated journal entry template


This process provides visibility that allows student organizations to receive and use funding within their own ORGs, but also maintains visibility into how donor gift funds were spent directly from the original gift source that provided the funds.

Note: All Student Organization expenditures against Foundation gift accounts must be allowable under the Foundation expenditures policy and within the parameters of the gift account that provided the funding.

However, if you are correcting an expense, or charging a Foundation account for goods or services that were provided, a Journal Entry Template (for JET application) would be used.

6. Can I spend money out of the endowment side of my account?

Money can never be spent out of the endowed side of an account unless the donor has provided for an exception in the guidelines of the account.

7. What is the balance in my spending account?

Spending account balances can be obtained by querying the account in the GL Funds Available Dashboard in OBI. To query on a specific spending account balance enter the 42XXXX or 43XXXX source value for that account in the source field. To query on all Foundation spending account balances for your area, select the planning unit's Foundation Entity (typically 50, but WOUB uses 51 and ICA uses 53), then enter the appropriate planning unit or department organization value(s)

8. My Foundation account currently has a negative balance. Can I roll the negative balance into the new fiscal year?

A Foundation account cannot end the fiscal year with a negative balance. Please use an accounting correction form to transfer expense to a different allowable account. Policy requires the correction to be done within 60 days of the posting of the expense.

9. How can I see the guidelines that have been established for my Foundation account?

Guidelines for a Foundation account can be obtained by clicking on the blue Source value within Segment Lookup Dashboard Page in OBI. The Quick Reference Guide for instructions on how to do this can be found here: Accessing Gift Agreements (pdf)

10. My college would like to organize a fund raiser and deposit the money into our Foundation account. Where do I begin?

All fundraisers must be approved annually before the event is promoted publicly. Approval is obtained through submission of a Fund Raising Clearance Form (PDF).

11. May I sell t-shirts or other merchandise and deposit the sales revenue into my Foundation gift account? Why or why not?

No. The Foundation exists for the purpose of raising and administering philanthropic funds on behalf of the University. Departmental merchandise sales are not philanthropic transactions and may not occur through the Foundation. Only charitable contributions (i.e. donations) may be deposited into Foundation gift accounts. Non-charitable income (e.g. merchandise sales, event registration fees, etc.) may not be deposited into a Foundation gift account. Accounting standards require that the Foundation record revenue based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions. Buyers of merchandise are not donors, so revenue from these transactions is not a gift and may not be deposited into a Foundation gift account. Commingling merchandise sales with restricted gifts creates financial reporting errors that may lead to audit findings.

12. Where can I go to deposit a check for a Foundation account, and do I need any special forms?

Foundation deposits can be made between 8-4 in Claire Oates Ping Cottage. If the building is not staffed, there is a secure mail slot in the front door for after-hours deposits.

Claire Oates Ping Cottage is located in the East Green, at coordinates H-5 and I-5 on the campus map. It is marked as # 64 on the map. The facility is located directly behind Konneker Alumni Center

When possible please include a Deposit Transmittal Form (EXCEL) with the deposit. 

If you are not close to the Athens Campus, you can mail checks to:

The Ohio University Foundation
P.O. Box 869
Athens, OH 45701

Please ensure the fund is designated on the memo line on the check.

13. I received a gift to support my department’s travel expenses. May I deposit the gift into my department’s Foundation discretionary fund?

No. The Foundation follows FASB accounting standards, which require that gifts are recorded based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions. In order to comply with that requirement, the Foundation establishes a unique gift account for each specific gift purpose. The Foundation does not deposit gifts that are donor-directed to a specific purpose (e.g. travel) into an account that allows for broader spending (e.g. general support for a department or program, including but not limited to travel), because after the deposit is made, the specific gift becomes part of the broader account balance and the financial system no longer reflects the account balance that is donor-restricted to support the specific activity (e.g. travel) vs. the broader, discretionary purpose that can support the entire department or program.