New Mexico Anti-Donation Law
(Article IX, Section 14 of the State of New Mexico Constitution)
In general, the New Mexico Anti-Donation Law prohibits the University from "spending," “giving away” or “allowing free use of” University resources to benefit other organizations or individuals. University resources can consist of University-owned financial assets (Cash), University-owned Property (Supplies/Equipment/Furniture, etc) University-provided services or University employee paid work time.
- Applies to everything the University owns (money or property), or services it provides.
- Most commonly applies to unallowable, non-business use of University funds or Property (i.e Personal Benefit)
- MUCH BROADER than just “donations to charity“
Specific Language from the New Mexico Anti-Donation Law:
“Neither the state, nor any county, school district, or municipality ... shall directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit, or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association, or public or private corporation ....”
Donations vs. Exchange Transactions
In general with regards to the New Mexico Anti-Donation Law, Donations/Non-Exchange Transactions are prohibited, but Exchange Transactions are allowable.
- Donation (Non-Exchange Transaction) – One Party receives something of value from the University without directly giving value back in exchange – PROHIBITED.
Example: A University Department wants to make a donation to an organization to support the organization’s hosting of an event – Donation/Non-Exchange Transaction, PROHIBITED by Anti-Donation Law.
- Exchange Transaction – Each party receives or sacrifices something of approximate equal value – NOT A DONATION - ALLOWABLE.
Example: The University pays an organization that is hosting an event a fee and receives back at least approximate fair value in exchange. Fair Value could be in the form of a Booth Rental, Advertising, Conference Admission, etc – EXCHANGE TRANSACTION - ALLOWABLE
Prohibited by the New Mexico Anti-Donation Law – Other General Examples:
Prohibited Uses of University Funds:
- Gifts (Congratulatory, Farewell, Sympathy, Bereavement, Retirement, etc)
- Expenses without a clear University business connection
- Personal Entertainment expenses (i.e. Golf, Tickets to Concerts/Sporting events, recreation, etc)
- Holiday Parties, Retirement Parties, Holiday Decorations, etc
- Donations whether to individuals, organizations or charities - even if they might appear to support a University Department’s mission
- Fundraising Expenses - Meals, gifts to donors or potential donors (The UNM Foundation can pay for these, but the University cannot).
- Home Office Expenses – Purchasing furniture, equipment, headphones for an employee to keep as their own personal property.
- Important distinction – UNM can issue work equipment/supplies to an employee (computer, headphones, etc), but the University owns these items. The employee must return these items upon end of employment.
- General Rule - IF UNM Buys it, UNM Owns it.
- Fines and Penalties - Fines and other penalties incurred by an employee in violation of public policy. ex parking and traffic fines
- Repairs and maintenance to equipment or facilities NOT owned by the University
- (ex Repair to Employee/Student owned laptop or vehicle, etc, even if used at times for UNM Business).
- Purchases of supplies for equipment NOT owned by the University (Battery or Case for Employee/Student-owned Phone/Laptop, etc).
- Travel Expenses for Spouse, family members or other individuals accompanying a University employee on Official Business.
- Forgiveness of debts owed to the University
- Employee bonuses (unless specifically included in an employment contract)
Prohibited Uses of University Property
- Giving away University Property (supplies/furniture/equipment, etc) to individuals or other organizations.
- Using a University-owned vehicle or other equipment for non-UNM Business use (personal use, use of another organization, etc)
Other Examples Prohibited by the Anti-Donation Law
- Allowing free use of University facilities (i.e SUB Ballrooms, Meeting Rooms, Athletic & Entertainment venues, Laboratories, etc) to individuals or organizations
- Allowing free use of University Resources (Personnel, financial systems, etc) ex - to act as an unpaid Fiscal Agent for another organization
Other General Info - Anti-Donation Clause of New Mexico Constitution (Art.IX, Sec. 14)