Is Ball State University eligible to receive funding designated for charitable organizations?


While Ball State University has not applied for exemption under section 501(c)(3), as a governmental unit, the University is not a private foundation for the purposes of the taxable expenditure rules for grants made by private foundations.

Occasionally supporting documentation may be requested from a potential grantor as to the University's status as a charitable organization. The Internal Revenue Service provided a determination letter to the University many years ago which should satisfy such requests.

Since Ball State University is an integral part of the State of Indiana for federal tax purposes, contributions to or for the use of the University are contributions to or for the use of a state. Accordingly, contributions to or for the use of the University are contributions to or for the use of an entity described in section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and are for exclusively public purposes and are therefore generally deductible under section 170(a)(1) as contributions to a “governmental unit” described in section170(b)(1)(A)(v). Furthermore, bequests and gifts made to the University are deductible for federal estate and gift tax purposes under section 2055(a)(1) and section 2522(a)(1), respectively.  

Does the University accept charitable gifts directly?

Generally, no.

While the University does receive funding from outside organizations directly to fund research and other sponsored projects, the Board of Trustees has designated the Ball State University Foundation as the central administrator of gifts for the benefit of the University. While the University will accept gifts made directly to the University, absent unique circumstances making a direct gift to the University more appropriate, donors shall be requested to make gifts to the Foundation. The Ball State University Foundation has the responsibility to see that all gifts are receipted and recorded in accordance with federal tax law. More information on giving can be found here.

Are student organizations allowed to raise funds using the University's tax identification information?

Generally, no.