Prospect Clearance

Category: Operations
Number: OPS-140-005
Audience: All University employees
Issued: September 13, 2005
Revised: November 21, 2013
Owner(s): AVP (External Relations), Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Approved by: President and Vice-Chancellor
Contact: Associate Vice-President (External Relations) - 306-337-3264

Introduction

This policy provides members of the University community a clear approval process to be followed by Faculties, Schools and other academic units when seeking charitable or sponsorship funding to support institutional priorities (including capital, research and programming).  The purpose is to optimize fundraising efforts by ensuring an ideal match of donor interests and University priorities, and to avoid the uncoordinated approaches to donors that constitute the single greatest threat to successful University fundraising.

Two specific matters are addressed:

  1. The approval required for initiatives such as those identified above
  2. The role of External Relations in helping Faculties develop resources through charitable or sponsorship support

These guidelines are intended to ensure that when seeking and securing donor funding to support major Faculty initiatives, there is clarity with respect to the following points:

  • Securing necessary approvals
  • Scope of the project to be supported by the funding raised
  • Locus of responsibility for all funding and support required to complete the project beyond that provided by the donor
  • The ability of the University to meet the expectations of the donor

These guidelines do not apply to applications to granting agencies or corporate or foundation competitions in support of teaching or research initiatives, or the securing of research or teaching contracts.  For the most part these are the responsibilities of researchers as managed by the Office for Research, Innovation and Partnership and its policies and procedures.

Policy

External Relations is mandated by the University to be its central fundraising office.  As such it is accountable for donor identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.  To optimize opportunities, secure support for University fundraising priorities, align with overall institutional priorities and represent the University effectively, it is critical that all University members work with External Relations before entering into discussions with a donor, whether that donor is an individual, a corporation, a community organization or a foundation (with the exception of applications to advertised programs-these being supported through Office for Research, Innovation and Partnership).

Before any steps are taken to seek charitable or sponsorship support, External Relations must be consulted. Gifts accepted by the University of Regina are outlined in the University’s Gift Acceptance policy.

Consequences for Noncompliance

If proper approval is not obtained before charitable or sponsorship support is sought, the University’s interests and reputation could be harmed, and the University’s ability to raise funds in support of its teaching and research mission could be negatively affected.

If a matter cannot be resolved according to this policy and in consideration of the need to match donor and University priorities, the matter will be forwarded to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) for final decision.

Processes

Fundraising Priority Setting

As part of its long-term planning, External Relations scans Faculties for their fundraising priorities. These are submitted to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the Vice-President (Research) for institution-wide prioritization before final approval by the President.  Projects requiring support through fundraising must be endorsed by the relevant Dean and forwarded to the Provost or Vice-President (Research) for approval.  External Relations will not engage in formal discussions with a donor until such approval has been received.  This is done to bring Deans into full participation within the University’s Development program, and to avoid under-funded projects.

Prospect Identification

Should External Relations identify a prospect with interests in a particular academic or research area of the University outside the approved fundraising priorities, they will first consult with the Dean of the relevant Faculty to determine possible interest, and then the Provost or Vice-President (Research), if necessary, to secure approval to move discussions forward.  An analysis must be undertaken of the expected annual costs of entailments associated with the project of interest.  For instance, annual funding from an endowment and from other sources must adequately address annual costs particularly related to infrastructure such as space, personnel, equipment, supplies and maintenance, intellectual property costs, licenses, etc.

Prospect Relationship Management

Should a member of the University community identify a prospect with interest in donating to the University via charitable or sponsorship support, the prospect’s name must be forwarded to External Relations who will undertake to facilitate the donation, working closely with the respective Faculty that could benefit from the donation.

The Dean and External Relations will work together to prepare content related to the argument for charitable or sponsorship support and what could be achieved through the project as well as the impact at various funding levels.  It is essential that there is a clear understanding of what can be accomplished to ensure there is no confusion between the Faculty’s (and the University’s) ability to deliver and the donor’s expectations.   It should also be made clear as to what will happen when funding expires.

In the case of interdisciplinary opportunities more than one Dean may be consulted.

Gift Agreement

Individual reporting requirements will be outlined in the gift agreement signed between the donor and the University. The purpose of a gift agreement is to establish a mutual understanding of the purposes of the gift, the management of the donor’s funds, the terms of the pledge, and the University’s responsibility to report the results of the donor’s gift (e.g., construction of a new space, research conducted, scholarships, awards, etc.). It forms the basis of an ongoing relationship between the University and donor and begins a stewardship process that should occur with each donor.

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