Financial Awards

Financial Awards

Financial awards are generally given for achievements linked to the "Infinite Mile" program.

Guidelines for designing financial award programs:

  • Cash awards should be part of a clearly defined and publicized departmental recognition program.
  • Criteria should be clearly defined and communicated to all employees within the department.
  • There should be a clearly communicated nomination process through which eligible staff are recommended and a committee selects the recipients.
  • The dollar value of the award should be pre-determined and publicized.
  • Awards should be presented at a public event by the senior leader of the department/organization.
  • Financial awards that are given to individual employees in a private, one-time occurrence are considered bonuses and should not be funded through Recognition.

Cash award distribution through Payroll

  • Award amounts should be commensurate with the scope of the achievement and should not exceed $2,000.00.
  • Any time an employee is given cash, no matter the amount, it is considered compensation and it must be taxed through Payroll.
  • Tax withholdings on awards include federal, state, social security, and medicare.
  • Grossing up is not allowed.
  • All awards payments will be added to the employee’s regular weekly or monthly direct deposit pay.


MIT's Recognition Program is funded by the Employee Benefits pool, which also funds health insurance, tuition assistance, the MIT retirement plan, and other employee benefits. Regulations which govern spending from Employee Benefits accounts restrict these benefits for MIT employees and for this reason, Recognition funds can only be used to award MIT employees. Subcontractors, consultants, outsourced, and temporary agency workers may not receive cash awards-processed either through Payroll or through Accounts Payable-that are funded by Recognition. If a department wishes to acknowledge a non-MIT individual with a cash award, the department must cover the expense of the award from the appropriate departmental account.

Pre-printed MIT Award Certificate and Letter Paper Stock

In lieu of giving an award recipient a paper check, DLCs may choose to give the recipient a certificate and/or a congratulatory letter that includes information on the award payment. To help departments produce these materials, Procurement and the Publishing Service Bureau have developed professionally-designed awards presentation materials. For more information, contact the Sourcing and Procurement team at VPF.

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