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Employee and on Behalf of an Employee Sympathy Gift

Learn about sympathy gifts from departments to employees or employees' families.

A sympathy gift can be given to an employee or a member of the employee's family in the event of a major illness or death. These gifts must be:

  • Tangible, personal property (non-cash)
  • $75 or less in value

Examples of sympathy gifts

A cash contribution to a charitable organization, not to exceed $200, can be made in lieu of a tangible gift. The contribution must be accompanied by an official transmittal letter stating the donation was made on the behalf of the university.


Department heads have the authority to approve transactions.


When UCSD policy is followed, non-cash awards and gifts are not taxable to the employee. See limits.

Funding sources

Use non-state and non-federal funds. For any non-state or non-federal funds used, the individual fund guidelines must allow prizes and incentive gift expenditures. If a fund's guidelines are are more restrictive than UCSD policy, the fund policy prevails.


For either reimbursement or direct payment, use MyPayments - payment type Awards, Gifts, Prizes; sub-type Sympathy.

Notice: UCSD's non-cash award policy is derived from UC Policy and Regulations. Published policy is decisive as it has been adapted to UCSD's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, and chart of accounts.