PHILANTHROPIC FUNDRAISING, GIFT ACCEPTANCE AND RECOGNITION POLICY
Date first approved:
7 December 2012
Date of effect:
7 December 2012
Date last amended:
Date of Next Review:
29 September 2018
First Approved by:
Custodian title & e-mail address:
Director of Advancement
Director of Advancement
Responsible Division & Unit:
Supporting documents, procedures & forms:
Please contact the Advancement Division to request copies of the following:
Authority to Fundraise
Gift Acceptance Agreement
Cash Receipting and Banking Procedures
Relevant Legislation &
Public – Accessible to anyone
- 1 Purpose of Policy 3
- 2 Definitions 3
- 3 Application & Scope 5
- 4 Background 6
- 5 Policy Approvals 7
- 6 Principles for the Acceptance of Gifts 8
- 7 Confirming and Documenting the Terms of a Gift 9
- 8 Naming and Recognition of Gifts 10
- 9 Responsibility for Applying Gifts Once Accepted 11
- 10 Reporting 11
- 11 Roles & Responsibilities 12
- 12 Version Control and Change History 13
- 1. The purpose of this Policy is to provide a framework for philanthropic fundraising priorities, acceptance and refusal of gifts, naming conventions and recognition. The purpose of the Policy is to ensure consistency, accountability and transparency in the University of Wollongong’s consideration and processing of gifts.
Definition (with examples if required)
Affiliates are: clinical title holders; adjunct, conjoint and honorary appointees; consultants and contractors to the University; holders of offices in University entities, members of Boards of University Foundations, members of University committees; and any other non-University employees appointed or engaged by the University to perform duties or functions on its behalf.
A bequest is a gift of real or personal property made by will.
Deductable Gift Recipient
As per the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), organisations that are entitled to receive income tax-deductible gifts and tax-deductible contributions are called deductible gift recipients (DGRs).
An officer of, or body of, the University granted authority to accept gifts on behalf of the University under the Delegations of Authority Policy.
A donation is a gift.
A person, body corporate or other organisation making a gift.
An endowment is a sum of money where the principal is managed in a way that seeks to preserve (usually in line with inflation) or grow its value in perpetuity. Income from endowments is normally applied for a specified purpose. Examples include but are not limited to support an Academic Chair, scholarship or to undertake capital works. An endowment can be as a result of a gift or other sources of income.
The process of soliciting or receiving gifts on behalf of the University through a strategically aligned effort, whether solicited or unsolicited.
Fundraising activities may include, but are not limited to, events, appeals and campaigns.
A gift means any grant or transfer of property or assets to the University where there is:
a. an intention to give (which is evidenced either in writing or through another act);
b. a transfer of all right, title and interest in the property to the University; and
c. no material benefit received in return for the making of the gift.
d. For the purposes of this policy, a gift includes contributions for endowments, bequests and all other donations.
e. If there is a material benefit given to the donor or its nominee by the University, then the grant or transfer does not constitute a gift.
f. Gifts may be classified as financial or non-financial.
g. Financial gifts include any gift of money (whether by cash, cheque or credit card) and whether or not it is received unsolicited or as a result of solicitation.
h. Non-financial gifts are donations of real or personal property or goods other than money. Non-financial gifts may be:
i. cultural (for example, artworks, rare books, artefacts, antiquities, scientific specimens and instruments); and/or
j. items of historic significance to the University including records (any document or source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or on film, or by electronic process or in any other manner or by any other means, but not State Records).
Gift Acceptance Agreement
A ‘Gift Acceptance Agreement’ is a document which can be one of a Scholarship Agreement, a Bequest Plan, a Deed of Gift, or a Gift Proposal which are relevant to gifts with conditions attached, signed by the Donor and the University, which as a minimum records:
a. the amount or description of the gift;
b. if the gift is to be made by instalments or otherwise over time, the schedule for the payments or transfers of the gift;
c. the purpose of the gift; and
d. any restrictions or requirements placed on the use or management of the gift.
e. Gift Acceptance Agreement templates can be sourced from the Advancement Division.
Gift Acceptance Principles
The Gift Acceptance Principles contained in this policy are a series of ‘tests’ that must be applied by a delegated authority when considering each offer of a gift covered by this policy.
There is material benefit if, in return for a gift, the University is obliged to provide something of substantial value to the donor or its nominee. For example, public recognition of a donor’s gift does not of itself constitute a material benefit, but the provision of substantial free advertising to a donor in return for a gift would constitute a material benefit.
In the context of higher education, a material benefit might include any of the following:
a. naming an event after a donor
b. exclusive display of a donor’s name and/or logo
c. participating in a donor’s promotional activities
d. allowing a donor use of the University’s name and/or logo
e. granting of exclusive rights or priority booking rights.
f. The only instance in which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) considers corporate support not to be subject to GST (and therefore eligible for reporting providing none of the exclusion criteria above apply) is where the advantage or acknowledgement is considered to be minor or non‐material.
g. The ATO has indicated that the value of the right or the goods or services (the benefit) to be received by the donor must not exceed the lesser of $150 or 20 per cent of the value of the gift, or it will be considered to be material.
h. Examples of benefits which would be regarded as minor or non‐material are as follows:
a. recognition via membership of the University/ Vice-Chancellor’s donor circle;
b. a small gift such as a calendar, pen, bookmark;
c. invitations to university outreach events;
d. naming the donor in a list of supporters;
e. naming a building or academic chair, lectureship etc. after the donor (without the use of a logo); or
f. attaching the donor’s name to an item at the University i.e. chair in a lecture theatre.
a. the process of determining and approval of University philanthropic fundraising priorities;
b. the process of gift acceptance, that is, from the point that a prospective donor makes an offer of a specific gift to the University, the consideration of that offer, through to recording the gift on an appropriate register of gifts;
c. the initial transactions involving the gift; and
d. recognition of donors.
- 2. This policy applies to all bequests and all other gifts to the University covered by the definition of Gift (see section 2). It does not include personal gifts offered to individual employees or affiliates of the University, for example by companies, international dignitaries or collaborators. The University’s policy on the acceptance of such gifts is contained in other University policies such as the Conflict of Interest policy.
- 3. This policy does not apply to the donation of bodies for medical and scientific research. For information on this program, refer to the University of Wollongong Body Donation Program.
- 4. This policy does not apply to scholarships, grants and the donation of prizes, as per the Undergraduate Student Scholarships and Grants Policy, which are instead managed by the Scholarships and Grants Governance Committee. However, the Scholarships and Grants Governance Committee is to adhere to the principles and values set out in this policy in particular with regards to structure and naming.
- 5. For information and guidance on political gifts and donations, refer to the Political Donations Procedure.
Entities and Individual
- 6. This policy applies to all staff and affiliates of the University and to entities or groupings that form part of the University including all Faculties, Departments, Schools, Colleges, Museums, Libraries, Institutes and Centres not separately incorporated.
- 7. This policy does not apply to gifts made to the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI), which has its own deductible gift recipient number. Gifts made to individual researchers in IHMRI which are committed to further areas of research are subject to this policy as they remain employees of the University.
- 8. This policy does not apply to the UniCentre or the University Recreation & Aquatic Centre (URAC).
- 1. The acceptance of gifts in a higher education context is a complex area. While the University appreciates and relies upon the generosity of alumni and friends to support its mission and activities, the consideration of gifts can sometimes involve an array of academic, ethical, legal, taxation, estate planning, investment, strategic alignment, feasibility, policy and reputational issues.
- 2. The University strives to ensure that all gifts offered to it are considered carefully and processed professionally. Gifts accepted on behalf of the University must serve to enhance the University’s reputation and must not compromise its core objects and values.
- 3. The Philanthropic Fundraising, Gift Acceptance and Recognition Policy has been developed to set high standards for the University’s consideration of gifts in order to protect the interests of donors and the University. The Gift Acceptance Procedures are designed to assist University staff and affiliates who deal regularly with offers of gifts. The procedures contain many contact details where further information and advice can be obtained about any aspect of the University’s requirements for the acceptance and processing of gifts.
- 4. The University of Wollongong is registered as a deductible gift recipient by the Australian Taxation Office. To maintain this status, the University must satisfy a number of regulatory requirements and have high standards of accountability in relation to gift acceptance.
- 5. This policy has been developed to uphold the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AVCC) Code of Practice for Australian Philanthropy.
- 6. UOW is obliged to comply with relevant provisions of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW) and the Charitable Fundraising Regulation 2015 (NSW).
- 7. The University encourages fundraising activities which enable the delivery of high quality research, teaching and scholarly activity. Fundraising activities will be strategic and contribute to the achievement of the advancement of the University and its mission.
- 8. No fundraising activity may be commenced on behalf of the University or its affiliates without the written approval of the Director of Advancement.
- 9. Any faculty, unit or individual proposing to undertake a fundraising activity on behalf of the University must complete a written Authority to Fundraise, outlining the purpose, strategy, implementation and budget, and submit that Authority to Fundraise to the Director of Advancement for approval. A written response on whether the activity is approved will be provided, noting any relevant conditions placed on the fundraising activity. The Director of Advancement may seek further approval from the Vice-Chancellor regarding a fundraising proposal.
- 10. Any fundraising activity may be stopped at any time if the activity does not fit with the University’s values and priorities, does not adhere to the approved Authority to Fundraise or is unsustainable.
Authority to Accept or Decline Gifts
- 11. Authority to accept or decline gifts on behalf of the University of Wollongong (the University) is delegated by the University Council to senior officers of the University through the Delegations of Authority Policy. This policy shall be read subject to the requirements for gift acceptance contained in the Delegations of Authority Policy.
- 12. Any gift accepted outside of the requirements of these delegations may be deemed invalid and may be returned to the donor by the University.
- 13. The University reserves the right to decline any gift.
- 14. The principles and processes for gift acceptance set out below and in the Gift Acceptance Procedures apply to any person or body to whom the Delegations of Authority Policy authorises to accept a gift on behalf of the University.
Process for the Acceptance of Gifts
- 15. In support of this policy and the principles for acceptance of gifts, the separate Gift Acceptance Procedures set out the processes to be followed by the Advancement Division before accepting a gift on behalf of the University, and provide access to document templates for use at different stages of the gift acceptance process.
- 1. The following Gift Acceptance Principles apply to gifts covered by this policy.
1.1. Gifts must only be accepted by the University if they reflect the University’s objects and core values, align with the University’s strategic objectives, and preserve or enhance the University’s reputation.
1.2. An object of the University is the ‘promotion, within the limits of the University's resources, of scholarship, research, free inquiry, the interaction of research and teaching, and academic excellence.’
1.3. Prospective donors sometimes seek restrictions on the use of funds or seek undertakings from the University or researchers in return for gifts, and these restrictions are at odds with the University’s objects and core values of the University. Such restrictions are not acceptable to the University.
1.4. In other cases, while potential donors may not seek restrictions on the use of gifts or undertakings that are at odds with the University’s objects or core values, it is important to consider the likelihood of the gift achieving the donor’s wishes; and the degree to which acceptance of the gift is consistent, and seen to be consistent with, the University’s objects and core values, strategic direction and reputation.
1.5. UOW will not accept funding from the tobacco industry for any purpose.
Requirements for Gifts
- 2. Donors sometimes wish that certain requirements are placed on use or management of their gift. For a gift to be accepted in such circumstances, these requirements must be consistent with the following principles:
a. the principle of academic freedom, especially with regard to methods of research, conclusions and findings, and the dissemination and publication of research;
b. the University’s objects and core values including its educational purpose;
c. ensuring that any legal obligations and restrictions do not affect the University, any individual student or member of staff;
d. maintaining the good reputation of the University;
e. all applicable University policies; and
f. the University’s strategic priorities (See the University’s Strategic Plan).
Sources of Gifts
- 3. The source of a gift must be, and must be seen to be, consistent with the University’s objects, values, strategic direction and reputation. The source:
a. must be legal;
b. must not arise in whole or part from any activity which suppressed or falsified academic research or limited freedom of inquiry; and
c. must be consistent with all applicable University policies.
Feasibility of Gifts
- 4. The feasibility of a gift achieving the donor’s objectives is an important consideration. In exercising their delegated authority, officers of the University must satisfy themselves that:
a. the proposed gift is adequate to achieve the intended purpose, or the University agrees to meet any additional costs that will arise from accepting the gift;
b. any obligations that a donor wishes to impose upon the University in relation to the management or administration of the gift are reasonable and able to be met; and
c. acceptance of the gift would not lead directly or indirectly to a net decline in the asset base of the University.
- 5. A further factor in assessing feasibility of a gift that is not cash will include whether:
a. the University will convert that gift into cash after vesting, which is its preference, or
b. retaining the gift in its non-cash form is more beneficial considering the nature and purpose of the gift.
Testing a Gift against the University’s Gift Acceptance Principles
- 6. In support of this policy, the separate Gift Acceptance Procedure provides further detail about the criteria to be applied by a delegated authority when assessing a potential gift against the Gift Acceptance Principles, and information about the University officers that should be contacted for advice on issues that may arise during this assessment.
- 7. If a delegate or other person is uncertain about whether a potential gift satisfies the University’s Gift Acceptance Principles, the advice of the Advancement Division should first be sought. The Advancement Division may then liaise with senior University officers as appropriate, including: Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer; and Director, Governance and Legal Division.
Accepting or Declining a Gift
- 8. In support of this policy, the separate Gift Acceptance Procedures set out the steps that must be taken before a gift may be accepted or declined.
- 9. In addition a gift should be declined if it violates any one or more of the Gift Acceptance Principles contained in this policy, or otherwise at the discretion of a Delegated Authority.
- 10. If declined, the donor must be advised. If accepted, the University must confirm and document as outlined below.
- 1. Once a decision has been taken by a Delegated Authority to accept a gift, the University must ensure that the donor is appropriately advised and acknowledged, that there is clarity about the terms of the gift, and that these are documented properly.
- 2. Any donor requirements in relation to a gift must be documented clearly in (a) writing in a will, (b) Gift Acceptance Agreement or (c) letter from the University to the donor confirming the University’s acceptance of the gift and its terms.
- 3. Where appropriate, donors should also be made aware of relevant University policies that may affect the administration of their gifts, and that University policies covering gift administration may change over time.
- 4. The Gift Acceptance Procedures provide further guidance or the steps that must be taken to document gifts properly. The Advancement Division should be contacted if further information is required.
- 1. The University may recognise individuals or organisations who contribute significantly to the University, by naming a building, sections of buildings, other campus spaces, professorships or other programs and events after that person, where deemed appropriate by the University Council or UOW delegate.
- 2. This is a significant honour, and the University must ensure that this honour is only given in appropriate circumstances to worthy recipients. The University seeks to ensure that those so honoured are worthy and that the purposes of the gift being recognised are consistent with the University of Wollongong’s values and strategic direction.
- 3. On the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor, the University Council may choose to so honour someone who has given the University outstanding service or whose gift has met the prescribed level.
- 4. The Advancement Division maintains a recognition framework as approved by the Vice-Chancellor which details the Naming and Recognition Standards. Should any naming or recognition activity need to occur outside of the preapproved framework, approval will need to be sought as defined below.
General Naming Policy
- 5. Ultimate authority to approve any significant naming request (such as by naming a building, sections of buildings, other campus spaces, professorships or other programs and events after a person or organisation) at the University rests with the University Council.
- 6. The University Council reserves the right to revoke any naming decision if it constitutes a significant and continuing impairment to the University’s reputation or if the agreed philanthropic contributions are significantly reduced.
- 7. Naming is for an agreed period of time, the University reserves the right to rename the entity on the expiration of the defined period.
- 8. When a named space is proposed for renaming in line with a change of purpose etc. reasonable efforts will be made to inform the original honouree/ donor in advance. If the honouree/donor is deceased, reasonable efforts will be made to inform family members in advance of renaming.
- 9. Naming of academic units shall not impede the University from altering its academic and research priorities and shall conform to all University policies and guidelines governing the establishment of such units.
- 10. Recommendations for the naming of a new building or major segment of it should flow from:
10.1. A sense of very broad support in the University community for the naming in recognition of the person’s leadership contribution to the growth and reputation of the university, or
10.2. An individual (or corporation’s) significant financial or in-kind contribution towards the capital or continuing operating cost of the facility within the context of the University’s development strategy. Normally, ‘significant’ will be interpreted to mean 50% or more of costs. Naming as a result of future gifts (bequests etc.) will not normally be granted until such time as the gift is realised.
- 11. Naming suggestions may originate from any member of the University community.
- 12. Individuals contemplating a significant naming opportunity to recognise outstanding service and/or philanthropic donations may consult with the Advancement Division for information and advice on alignment with philanthropic naming.
- 13. The Advancement Division will submit significant naming requests in writing to the Chief Administrative Officer for review.
- 14. The Chief Administrative Officer, once satisfied that the significant naming recognition conforms to this policy and deserves support, will forward their recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor for consideration and recommendation to Council if appropriate.
- 15. The Vice-Chancellor will then submit recommended names to the University Council for approval.
- 16. If the University Council does not approve the recommendation it will be returned to the Advancement Division, who will inform the submitting party.
Plaques and Naming Signage
- 17. Plaques or other signs recognising donors and named spaces shall be of a generally uniform design and consistent with the University’s branding guidelines. The Advancement Division should be consulted on all named space recognition signage.
- 1. Once the University accepts a gift, it undertakes to carry out the donor’s wishes or instructions (unless expressly made non-binding) as expressed in the will, Gift Acceptance Agreement or other document and is bound by that undertaking.
- 2. Gifts must not be used for a purpose that is contrary to the donor’s wishes. The failure to apply a gift in the way agreed with the donor is a failure to carry out the terms of the gift.
- 1. The Advancement Division is responsible for processing a gift and must ensure that the gift is appropriately acknowledged, processed and recorded on the appropriate gift registry.
- 2. The Gift Acceptance Procedures set out the documentation and reporting requirements for gifts covered by this policy.
- 1. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for setting the strategic fundraising priorities for the University.
- 2. The Director of Advancement oversees the fundraising strategy for the University and is responsible for co-ordinating the University fundraising activities.
- 3. The Advancement Division has been designated by the Vice-Chancellor to administer all donations to the University as per the requirements and processes outlined in this policy and the associated procedures.
7 December 2012
27 July 2013
Finance & Resources Committee
Minor amendments and updated references.
28 September 2015
Finance & Resources Committee
Major amendments and updated references to position titles.
29 June 2017
Chief Administrative Officer
Inclusion of clause identifying the University’s obligations to comply with relevant provisions of the Charitable Fundraising Regulation 2015 (NSW).