Gift-giving Options and Guidelines

Giving a gift to a foreign colleague may be appropriate, or even expected, but can also run afoul of U.S. anti-bribery laws - especially if your colleague qualifies as a foreign official.  Listed below are some practices to help keep you on the right side of the law: 

  • Stick to gifts of nominal value (e.g., $100 or less):  safest are those tied directly to Yale and its mission, such as a copy of a book by a faculty member, a scarf bearing a Yale insignia, or a photograph of the Yale campus.
  • Be mindful of why you are giving a gift and how it may be interpreted by the recipient (or a regulator):  U.S. laws prohibit the giving of gifts in exchange for influence, advantage or action.
  • Present the gift publicly:  make it clear that it’s an expression of conventional hospitality or a token of appreciation in the context of a visit; highlight Yale and the work being done with Yale.
  • Understand who qualifies as a foreign official:  not just government officials, but also employees of any state-run entity such as hospitals and universities.
  • Follow University policy:  review Yale Policy 3303, Gifts from University Funds, section 3303.4, Institutional Gifts.

A gift that has the Yale name on it will ensure a lasting memory of the Yale experience. To find a list of approved vendors offering licensed insignia merchandise, contact Yale Licensing