Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a donation?
A: A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. It is voluntary and is made without getting or expecting to get anything of equal value. (IRS Publication 526)

Q: What is NOT considered a donation?
A: If the donor gets any goods or services in return for their contribution it is not a donation. Example: A donor gives $200 in exchange for an event ticket with a fair market value of $75. The donor’s tax deduction is $125.

Q: Is the value of a person’s or organization’s time or service considered a charitable contribution?
A: No. Regardless of whether the individual/organization assists as a volunteer or as a professional providing a specialized service, it is not considered a charitable contribution. They are encouraged to bill the department they provide the service to, accept payment, and then make a cash gift to the college or specific department.

Q: What types of credit cards are accepted?
A: We can process Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Q: Can money from a foundation's Donor Advised Fund (e.g. Charitable Gift Fund) pay a donor's pledge?
A: No. The money is from the foundation, not the donor. The donation may not be used to satisfy any pledge or other personal financial obligation of the named donor. Donations from a Donor Advised Fund are also not eligible for matching gifts.

Q: A donor wishes to make a donation for someone else, and the donor wants the other person to receive the receipt. Is this possible?
A: No. The receipt is always issued to the person whose name is on the check or credit card. The other person can receive soft credit but no receipt. This is a legal/IRS requirement.

Q: What are matching gifts?
A: Matching gifts are corporate contributions that match the gifts made by employees. Often a gift will be matched on a one-to-one, two-to-one, or three-to-one ratio. Matching gifts count toward an individual's membership in SJSU's Recognition Societies. Matching gifts are also an important source of funds for educational institutions. They are an increasingly important way for companies to allow employees a means of directing a portion of monies earmarked for charitable contribution.

Q: How does the matching gift process work?
A: Matching gift procedures can vary. An employee completes a matching gift form from their human resources department and then sends the form and the donation to the educational institution. That institution’s matching gift coordinator certifies receipt of the original gift, and that it has met the company's eligibility rules for a corporate matching gift. The coordinator then returns the form to the company, which verifies eligibility of the employee. San Jose State receives a check according to the payout schedule of the matching company. The check is then disbursed to the donor’s original gift intent. Get more information about matching gifts.

Q: What if I have questions about matching gifts?
A: Contact your company's human resources department. You can also email SJSU's matching gift coordinator or call 408-924-1134.

Q: What are the advantages of participating in the matching gifts program?
A: As a donor, you will be recognized with a total contribution, including the corporate match. Not only does the size of your gift increase, but your gift could also make you eligible for one of the Recognition Societies. Contact your human resources department for instructions on requesting matching gifts.

Q:If I want to contact the university concerning any biographical changes, can Advancement Services help?
A: Yes. Send your updates via email or call us at 408-924-1799.

Q: My department recently sent a mass mailing to our alumni and friends. What do we do with all the change-of-address returns we receive from the U.S. Postal Service?
A: Since Advancement Services relies on change-of-address information supplied by the U.S. Postal Service for the majority of address updates, you should forward your returned mailing pieces via campus mail to Advancement Services, 0184.