UCorp’s policy for gifts conforms to ICSUAM Section 1300.01. Gifts allowed under the Hospitality policy have a separate set of guidelines. Generally, gifts are presented when tradition, commonly accepted institutional practice, or social custom dictates gift giving.  To prevent the appearance of favoritism, gifts presented to a particular individual or entity shall be given infrequently, based on objective criteria.  Furthermore, no officer or employee should present a gift that appears to be offered because of the position held by the recipient.

Non-cash gifts may be allowed when a benefit to SF State or UCorp can be demonstrated, or if it helps UCorp meet its goal as a good community citizen.

Allowable Gifts and Gift Recipients


  • Promotional gifts, including tangible personal property bearing the logo of SF State, not exceeding $50 in value
  • Gifts for appreciation or recognition of service to SF State or UCorp, including tickets to cultural event, non-negotiable gift certificates, mementos (such as plaques, watches, or items bearing the SF State logo), not exceeding $250 in value
  • Incentives offered to study participants, not exceeding $75 per/participant, per/study.  Per/participant total cannot exceed $599 during any one calendar year
  • Gifts to donors offered as an expression of sympathy, including flowers, candy, books, not exceeding $100 in value


  • Donors and potential donors
  • Visiting dignitaries and scholars
  • Volunteers (including students)
  • Study participants
  • Members of the local community
  • SF State employees (see “Non-Cash Awards to Employees” below for specific criteria)

Disallowed Gifts and Gift Recipients

Disallowed Gifts

Awards that are considered taxable by the IRS are not allowed.  This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gifts of cash
  • Negotiable gift certificates
  • Parking permits in excess of $175
  • Transit passes in excess of $65
  • Recreation memberships
  • Season tickets to cultural or sporting events
  • Work-related awards in excess of $400
  • Tobacco or tobacco-related products

Disallowed Recipents

Gifts may NOT be given to:

  • Any individual or organization associated either directly or indirectly with a political party, campaign, or candidate
  • Any group engaged in an attempt to influence legislation, elections, or referenda
  • Any person with whom a presenter has an outside business relationship, where a conflict of interest exists

Non-Cash Awards to Employees

Non-cash awards with a cost not exceeding $250 may be given to SF State’s academic and staff employees marking the following occasions:

  • Length of Service: For service 5 years or greater, award may be given once every five years.  Award must be given at a meaningful ceremony, and not be determined by classification
  • Work accomplishment: For “Employee of the Month (or Year)”, Distinguished Faculty Awards

Other Considerations:

  • Awards must be occasional and infrequent, and selection must be made in accordance with an established process.
  • No employee award may exceed $400 in value, under any circumstances.

Exceptions to the Hospitality Policy

  • One-time exceptions to standard hospitality policies and rates may be addressed on page 3 of the hospitality form, “Authorization for Exception to the Hospitality Policy”.
  • Exceptions include amounts that exceed the normal allowable rates, receipts submitted after 90 days, or any other exception that might have occurred.  All original (or certified) receipts must be attached to the package, and a justification for the exception must be clearly stated.
  • The completed form must be submitted to the appropriate VP for approval.  (Note: the Provost also requires the Dean’s signature on the claim form.)   The form is then submitted to UCorp for further processing, including obtaining the signature of the CFO.  UCorp will only issue payment after all appropriate signatures are obtained.

Completing the Hospitality Form

  • Chartfield: The Account Number for Hospitality is 660950. 
  • Make Check Payable To: Complete as indicated
  • Description of Activity: Be sure to complete all fields in this section, including the Business Purpose.
  • Participants: If the event included 25 gift/award recipients or fewer, each recipient must be listed on the form.  The first three (3) may be listed on page 1 or 2, and the remaining participants can be listed on page 2 of the form.  If there are more than 25 recipients, state the exact number of participants on page 1- this is required information and the payment will not be processed without it.  If participants are part of a confidential study, see Study Participants policy.
  • Certifications: The payee will sign as “Claimant”.  This signature is not required for direct payments to vendors; it is only required for reimbursements.  The Authorized Signature cannot be the same as, or a subordinate of, the Claimant.  This means that reimbursements to the Project Director must be signed by the Dean, and reimbursements to the Dean must be signed by the appropriate VP.
  • Exceptions: See above.


This page was last updated on August 23, 2016.