Gifts, Gift Card/Certificate & Flower policy

Gifts/prizes for students or Non-employees:

A gift, prize or award to a student or non-employee that is not related to student work employment services (e.g. student organization prizes, survey incentives, etc.), should not exceed $25 in value and should be issued as Ole$ or tangible property gifts (e.g. T-shirt, mug, St. Olaf logo items, etc).  Ole$ are to be used for students instead of gift cards for tax tracking purposes.  Contact  the Business Office  (507) 786-3296 for Ole$ procedures.  If there is an extenuating circumstance where a gift card needs to be issued as a prize or survey incentive, contact the Business Office at (507) 786-3502 to determine if a Gift Card Form is needed for tax tracking purposes.

If an Org hosts a speaker or performer, an entertainment contract should be completed in advance.  It is not appropriate to give a presenter gift cards.  Contact the Office of Student Activities for assistance.

Sometimes orgs want to give College staff or employees gifts:

College funds are not to be used for the purchase of gift cards or certificates of any amount, as they may create a taxable event for the employee (TAM-108577-04).

  • Gift cards/certificates to employees are now disallowed, because they are considered taxable income to the employee.
  • All purchases of flowers for employees (births, funerals) are to be made through the Human Resources Office – not directly by individual offices or departments.
  • The gift policy provides guidance on when gifts are appropriate and when they are disallowed.
  • The gift policy also provides guidance on using College funds to honor an employee who is leaving the College.

Link to College Gift Policy