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Prospect Clearance

Category: Operations
Number: OPS-140-005
Audience: All University employees
Issued: September 13, 2005
Revised: October 10, 2019
Owner(s): AVP (University Advancement and Communications), Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Approved by: President and Vice-Chancellor
Contact: Associate Vice-President (University Advancement & Communications) - 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 and administrative 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 University Advancement & Communications (UAC) 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 Research Office and its policies and procedures.

Policy

University Advancement & Communications (UAC) is mandated by the University to be its central fundraising office.  As such, UAC 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 UAC before entering into discussions with a potential 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 the Research Office).

Before any steps are taken to seek charitable or sponsorship support, UAC must be consulted and engaged. Gifts accepted by the University of Regina are outlined in the University 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. Moreover, multiple approaches by various areas of the University to the same donor could result in donor frustration, lost opportunities, or lower than optimal gifts being received. Working through UAC enables an overarching strategy with donors in order to optimize the University's relationship with the donor and the gift size requested and received.

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, UAC consults with Faculties, Schools, and other academic and administrative units 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 appropriate Dean and forwarded to the Provost or Vice-President (Research) for approval.  UAC will not engage in formal discussions with a donor until such approval has been received.  This is done to ensure Faculty, School, academic and administrative unit needs are understood and presented in the context of the University’s overarching Development program, and to avoid under-funded projects.

Prospect Identification

Should UAC 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 UAC who will undertake to facilitate the donation, working closely with the Faculty or unit that could benefit from the donation.

The Dean and UAC 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 is fully expended.

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 activity, 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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