Holiday Spending Reminder

gift wrapped box

Published November 28, 2017

With the holiday season comes the natural desire to provide gifts, cards and other social amenities. Business Services reminds departments of UB’s guiding principles for appropriate and reasonable expenditures.


UB receives funding from diverse sources ranging from taxpayers, students and benefactors. Regardless of the source, UB and its employees have an obligation to practice conscious and wise stewardship of these funds. We want to ensure that the spirit of generosity isn't publicly financed, not drive out the holiday spirit. Guidance for holiday expenditures is as follows:


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. 

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: $15 for breakfast, $16 for lunch and $28 for dinner. 


Decorations cannot be purchased with either state or RF funds. If using UBF funds, the costs should be modest and reasonable.


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