Holiday Spending Reminder

gift wrapped box.

Published November 9, 2020

“Like much of 2020, we ask you to reimagine your holiday plans with an eye toward safety and mindful spending. ”
Laura Hubbard, Vice President for Finance and Administration

The holidays are often a time to celebrate our accomplishments or express gratitude to those that help us throughout the year. Like much of 2020, we ask you to reimagine your holiday plans with an eye toward safety and mindful spending.


To protect our community from COVID-19, the traditional in-person holiday celebrations will not be permitted. The cost of any virtual celebration should be minimal and will remain at the discretion of the unit if budget dollars are available. As always, remember that all expenses must be reasonable and appropriate and comply with the Allowable Use of Funds policy where applicable.

Holiday Parties

Holiday parties cannot be paid for with state and RF funds. If using UBF funds, the costs should be modest and reasonable. Costs would be restricted to per diem rates on General Services Administration (GSA) website: $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $28 for dinner.


It is often the custom during the holiday season to express appreciation through gift-giving, however, holiday gifts cannot be purchased with state and RF funds. UBF funds can be used for items sent to donors. Costs should be modest and reasonable. 

Greeting Cards

State and RF funds cannot be used to purchase holiday cards. UBF funds can be used only if the cards are being sent to individuals or entities external to UB, who have a business relationship to the university, including donors and prospective donors. Consider using e-cards as a way to promote the university’s sustainability efforts as well as reduce costs. 

Accepting Gifts From Vendors

As stewards of a public institution, it is inappropriate to accept a vendor’s personal gifts or gratuities.

Personal Mail and Shipments

Do not ship personal shipments to work addresses via United States Postal Services (USPS). UPS and Federal Express shipments are allowed only if mailed directly to the individual in the department and not to UB’s Campus Mail department. 


Contact the appropriate business office with questions about allowable and appropriate expenditures.