Receiving Gifts

Tax-Deductible Donations

There are two options for receiving tax deductible donations:

  1. If a student organization is a registered 501c(3) charitable organization and has an IRS determination letter, it can directly confer tax deductibility to donors  (Note, this is rare and seeking 501c(3) status is not recommended.) 
  2. Organizations can open Harvard College Gift and Endowment accounts for the purpose of receiving tax deductible donations via the University. 

Please Note: If an organization has neither 501(c)3 status nor a Gift/Endowment account, then it must clearly state to donors that their gifts will not be tax exempt.

Maintaining Financial Records

It is particularly important for organizations to keep scrupulous records of all contributions and income received, and the purposes for which the money was donated. The Office of Student Life will provide financial training in the fall and spring semesters as well as advise organizations on recommended financial procedures

See the Financial Management section of the website for more information.

Acknowledging Gifts

Gift receipts are sent to all donors by the Recording Secretary’s Office as an acknowledgment of gifts to student organization gift accounts or endowment funds and as their tax receipt for the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to this tax receipt provided by Harvard, student organizations are encouraged to thank donors directly in a more personal way through a thank you letter or card.  It is important for donors to hear how their money was spent and how it helped the organization achieve its goals.