Requests for payments to purchase equipment or any fixed asset, renovate facilities, engage consultants, etc. can be based on either oral or written agreements. However, in order to process a disbursement request where the total payment to the vendor will be $5,000 or greater, the USM Foundation requires a written contract. The contract can be with the institution if the disbursement will be paid by the institution and reimbursed by the Foundation. If the disbursement will be paid by the Foundation then the contract must be with the USM Foundation. If the contract is with the institution, then an authorized person per institution policy must sign it.
If the contract is with the USM Foundation, we require that it be reviewed and signed by the President, CFO or Director of Business Operations, the only authorized USM Foundation signers. If the contract is non-routine, complex, requires more than a year’s commitment, or has liability exposure, legal review may be required, so please allow sufficient lead time for the process.
Though not required, we strongly advise a written contract for any exchange of promise between two parties. A written contract has many advantages: it formalizes the promises exchanged between the parties, and it details the other terms affecting the performance such as start and end date and payment schedules. It also details each party’s rights and provides tangible proof of the parties’ agreement.
We have provided a sample Independent Contractor Agreement, which can also be found on the Business Forms & Agreements page. It is most suitable for agreements with individuals, but the basic format can be used for agreements with companies. The contractor’s document, subject to review, is acceptable.