A SPONSORED PROJECT (aka sponsored program funding, award, grant, contract) is a transaction in which there is a specified statement of work with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value. The agreement would formalize the transfer of money or property from a sponsor to an institution in exchange for specified services (e.g. research). It may require specific deliverables including financial and/or technical reporting by the recipient. The agreement is enforceable by law and performance is usually to be accomplished within a specified time frame. Payment is subject to revocation. A “request for proposal” from a sponsor is a strong indicator the funds are meant to be provided as a sponsored project. (See Table)
A GIFT is a voluntary contribution with no reciprocal benefit to the donor. No contractual requirements are imposed other than possible recognition and disposition of the gift in accordance with the donor's wishes. The gift may be for a stated purpose, with the use of the funds restricted to that purpose. The award is typically irrevocable. There is no formal fiscal accountability beyond periodic progress reports and reports of expenditures. These reports may be thought of as a requirement of good stewardship, rather than a contractual obligation. (See Table)
*The presence of any single factor does not represent the condition of a sponsored project or gift. All factors should be considered simultaneously.