Gifts of Grain | CAHNRS Alumni and Friends | Washington State University

Gifts of Grain


Grain has sustained you and your family – it has sustained generations before you and will for generations to come. For over a century we have been partners with farmers – developing new crop varieties, solving problems from kernel to storage, and teaching the next generation to be leaders, thinkers and global citizens. Your gift will ensure we can continue our great work in support of the farmers of Washington. Areas of greatest need are the “Excellence” accounts for the Cook, Lind or Spillman Farms, but you can direct your gift to any area at WSU such as 4-H, agricultural scholarships, “Bushels for Butch,” or the WSU department of your choice.

How the Process Works:

There are two ways to make a gift of grain to WSU:

  • If you are NOT an active, self-employed farmer using cash basis accounting (IE you are a landlord), at the warehouse, you can designate a share of your crop sold and gift the proceeds to WSU. Under IRS guidelines, this will be considered a cash sale and a cash donation since you don’t give up control of the commodity.


  • You must be an active, self-employed farmer using cash basis accounting be sure to follow these specific steps to receive the intended tax benefits from a gift of grain.  If you don’t, then the IRS may treat the transaction as a sale by the farmer – resulting in a contribution of cash, rather than as a contribution of grain.  You must closely follow these steps to ensure that ownership of the gifted grain is transferred prior to sale and you receive recognition for your gift:

If there isn’t already an account established, ask your elevator or co-op to create an account in the name of:

Washington State University Foundation

Town Centre Building, 3rd Floor
255 E. Main Street, Suite 301
PO Box 641925
Pullman, WA 99164-1925

Phone: 509-335-6686 or 800-GIV-2-WSU (448-2978)
Fax: 509-335-8419

By making this contribution of grain to the elevator account that benefits Washington State University, you warrant that the gift of grain is free of any liens, garnishments of other encumbrances. Transfer or deposit grain to that account, so that the WSU Foundation is shown on the warehouse receipt as the owner of the grain.

  1. Tell the elevator or the WSU Foundation what area or program you would like your gift to benefit at WSU.
  2. The local elevator will promptly sell the grain on behalf of the WSU Foundation, and send a check with the original warehouse and sales invoice. They will send us your name, contact information and number of bushels contributed to the WSU Foundation. Those funds will be transferred into an account that benefits the area you chose to benefit (i.e. Spillman, Cook or Lind Farm Excellence Funds, Scholarships, 4-H, etc.) or explore more giving options at
  3. You should avoid advising the WSU Foundation as to when to market the grain, as the IRS could consider this as “retaining control,” which can cause problems! The IRS expects there to be a “passage of risk” to the WSU Foundation, when they assume all responsibility for storage, marketing, transportation and loss risk.
  4. The WSU Foundation will retain appropriate documentation in their files, including:
    • The Warehouse receipt or storage ticket in the Foundation’s Name.
    • The original sales invoice showing the WSU Foundation as the owner and seller
    • If the gift of grain is stored somewhere other than in a warehouse or cooperative (on the farm storage) a notarized letter of transfer can be used instead of a warehouse receipt.