Foundation Accounting Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions regarding Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation accounts.
“M&E” (or “State”) accounts, which start with 21xxxx, are set up by the University to pay for the basic needs of the institution, such as office supplies, research equipment, University Dining Services to cater a University event, etc.
Funding for Foundation accounts comes from donor contributions and investment earnings. There are three different types of Foundation accounts:
- “Expendable” (or “discretionary”) Foundation accounts, which start with 335xxx, exist to pay for activities and items that directly benefit the institution, such as salaries, wages, stipends, benefits, travel, goods and services, etc. Expendable accounts cannot pay for staff parties, office coffee, or any other activity or item that doesn’t directly benefit the institution in accordance with its mission.
- “Endowment” accounts, which start with 055xxx or 057xxx, are invested by the Foundation and the interest earnings are used as per donor intent, often for annual scholarship awards.
- “Quasi-endowment” accounts, which start with 0557xx, are also invested by the Foundation. Both principal and interest earnings are used as per donor intent, often for building projects. Quasi-endowments are more liquid than endowments.
My department received a memorial gift and the donor wants to set up a new scholarship account. What next?
Start by contacting the Development Officer for your College or area or reach out to Advancement Services at 507-389-6832.(+) More Information (-) Close
Wherever you start, you’ll be guided through the process.
Every account has a project manager, typically the department chair or the director of an area or unit, who is assigned to manage the account.(+) More Information (-) Close
Project managers must be University staff or faculty. Students cannot be named as managers.
Monthly reports are sent to project managers after all previous month's activity has been processed. If you are not receiving these reports or need a current balance for your account, call the Foundation Accountant at 507-389-5595.
M&E accounts require contracts for purchased services. Do I need a contract to purchase services with a Foundation expendable account?
Yes. If you are intending to use Foundation funds to engage a consultant or speaker or other type of service provider, you will need a contract.(+) More Information (-) Close
Sample contracts and staff contact information are on the Finance and Administration Contracts web page.
No. Foundation accounts exist to pay for activities and items that directly benefit the institution, such as salaries, wages, stipends, benefits, goods and services, etc.Full Story + Show Less –
Expendable accounts cannot pay for staff parties, office coffee, or any other activity or item that doesn’t directly benefit the institution in accordance with its mission.
Not if the pizza is for a routine staff meeting, or an employee party (including holiday parties).(+) More Information (-) Close
For specific guidelines see Minnesota State Board Procedure 5.20.1, Special Expenses and Chancellor/Presidential Expense Allowances.
The Foundation will send flowers on behalf of the University upon the passing of a member of the Purple & Gold Society (lifetime giving), Legacy Society (planned giving), or a current/former Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation board member.(+) More Information (-) Close
Other requests will be considered for approval by the University President. Please contact the Director of Stewardship and Foundation Relations at 507-389-1905 with further questions.
Can I use funds from a Foundation account for my spouse/partner's admission to events that I have to attend for my job at the University?
No. Foundation expendable account funds may not be used for expenses of a purely personal nature; any personal benefit must be clearly incidental to the primary purpose of benefiting the University.(+) More Information (-) Close
Partner/spouse attendance at events staffed or attended by employees is the responsibility of the employee (even if your partner/spouse also happens to be a University employee). Detailed guidelines are available in PDF Format.
Gifts such as plaques or other appropriate items for faculty and staff in recognition of outstanding achievement, retirement or distinguished service are reimbursable, but cannot exceed $75.00 per person.(+) More Information (-) Close
Gifts of cash, including gift certificates, or gifts for birthdays, weddings, non-retirement departures, etc. must be funded by the individuals giving the gifts.
My department wants to have a silent auction and put proceeds into our Foundation account. What next?(+) More Information (-) Close
As early as possible, talk through your plans with the Foundation Accountant at 507-389-5595.