MIT welcomes gifts of all types in support of its research and educational activities.

By definition, a gift does not come with the expectation of a return of commensurate value from the recipient. The transfer from the donor is not motivated by economic gain, and the gift recipient does not provide goods or services to the donor. Benefits to the donor also are available to the public. Under these circumstances, the donor may deduct the transfer as a charitable contribution.

In contrast to this “disinterested generosity,” when the transferor does expect to receive more than incidental benefit from the transfer, the donation does not qualify as a charitable gift.

Most gift donors are individuals or charitable foundations, but corporations may sometimes make gifts to MIT.

Reference: MIT’s gift policy

Gifts vs. Grants; Implications for Indirect Costs Presentation [PDF] - December 7, 2017
Presenters: Claude Canizares, the Bruno B. Rossi Distinguished Professor and former Vice President for Research; Richelle Nessralla, Office of General Counsel; Lorry Spitzer, Office of General Counsel; and Shawna Vogel, Director of Grant and Contract Administration in OSP.

Gift status is determined and gifts are acknowledged by the Office of the Recording Secretary.

Gift Documents

Acknowledgment Letters

Where to get help:

Letters acknowledging gifts are issued by the Office of the Recording Secretary.

Gift Agreements

Agreements directing the use of gifts or setting conditions for the use of gift funds must be reviewed to ensure that they do not convert the gift into a grant.

Where to get help:

To confirm a gift’s charitable classification and to ensure a gift agreement complies with MIT policies, gift agreements are reviewed by the Office of the Recording Secretary; gifts from charitable foundations are reviewed by the Office of Foundation Relations.

If a gift agreement must be amended to ensure the gift retains its charitable classification, or to comply with MIT policies, the Office of Foundation Relations will ask the Office of the General Counsel to assist in negotiating any needed changes.