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Employee Prizes and Other Gifts

Read guidelines for awarding employees with prizes and gifts.

As an incentive for employee participation, departments occasionally hold raffles for door prizes or present gifts for employee participation in events and surveys. Employee prizes and gifts cannot be used to reward an employee for performance.

Prizes and gifts must be:

  • Tangible, personal property
  • Ticket to a sporting or cultural event (season tickets excluded)
  • Non-cash or non-cash equivalent (such as a non-negotiable gift card or gift certificate)
  • $75 or less in cost


 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 more restrictive than UCSD policy, the fund policy prevails.


Note: Prizes provided by an outside vendor to an employee must be reported by the vendor on Form 1099 if the amount is $600 or more.

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.