Administrative Fee Disclosure

Beginning July 1, 2011, a 2.5% administrative fee may be applied to gifts.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is this fee necessary?

The OHSU and Doernbecher Foundations are proud to raise philanthropic contributions for OHSU. Our goal is aggressive: to raise $100 million per year by 2014—a doubling of our sustainable funding capacity. In order to do so, increased operating funds to support development, finance, donor relations and other vital efforts are required. At this time OHSU is unable to provide direct support for foundation operations, so we must identify revenue from other sources. An administrative fee on gifts raised was the recommendation of a task force on this topic made up of both OHSU and foundation leaders.

An administrative fee on new gifts magnifies the impact of philanthropic contributions by increasing our capacity to reach out to donors who can help advance OHSU’s vital missions.

How does the proposed fee compare to similar fees assessed by other Oregon universities?

PSU, OSU, and the University of Oregon all have gift fees of 5%. Many other schools including UCLA, UCSF and Stanford University have long implemented similar approaches.

What will the foundations do with the additional funds?

Funds generated by the fee will enable the foundations to employ additional skilled fundraisers and other staff, to reach out to new philanthropic partners, and to create the premier donor experience for friends of OHSU.

How do the foundations currently fund operations?

With the exception of a one‐time investment this year, OHSU does not directly fund its development operation, unlike most of our peers. The OHSU Foundation is funded through a management fee on the endowment (1.6%), the interest earned on the current fund (100%) and additional small revenue sources. The Doernbecher Foundation Board has directed the foundation to use a portion of their unrestricted gifts to underwrite operations.

Does this change the donor’s tax write‐off?

No. The entire gift supports OHSU and is considered a charitable gift.

The local non‐profit organizations I support don’t charge gift fees. What’s the difference?

The difference is primarily one of terminology. All community organizations have operating costs. In general, revenue from contributions helps in part to support them whether or not a formal gift “fee” is identified. The United Way, for example, typically charges fees of 15 percent or more.