Fundraising and Philanthropy Acceptance Policy

Responsibility for policy: Audit and Risk Committee
Approving authority: Council
Last reviewed: October 2017
Next review date: October 2020

Print Version


  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles and processes that apply to University of Waikato fundraising and the acceptance of philanthropic gifts, bequests and grants.


  1. This policy applies to fundraising undertaken on behalf of the University and philanthropic gifts and bequests accepted on behalf of the University; the Gift Acceptance Policy applies to gifts offered or presented to staff members in the course of University business.

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy:

    bequest means a gift of money, property or other assets derived from a person’s estate and given through their Will into the possession of the University

    fundraising means the act of soliciting money for a particular purpose; it includes the solicitation of grants, sponsorships and endowments from philanthropic trusts, foundations and community organisations but excludes income generated through research contracts, research grants and bulk funding which form the University’s ordinary source of income

    gift means a donation, whether solicited or unsolicited. A gift may be monetary (i.e. the donation of cash or funds readily convertible to cash) or non-monetary (i.e. an item of intrinsic value such as an artwork or a gift-in-kind)

    naming rights means the exclusive licence to assign a name to a physical space, academic entity or position for a defined period of time in recognition of a significant financial gift, sponsorship or commercial transaction.


  1. The University encourages fundraising and the acceptance of philanthropic gifts and bequests which recognise and enable the delivery of high quality teaching, research and other scholarly activity.
  2. Gifts and bequests will only be accepted by the University if they:
    1. reflect the University’s core objectives and values
    2. align with the University’s strategic objectives
    3. align with the ethical principles set out in the University’s Financial Ethics Policy
    4. preserve or enhance the University’s reputation, and
    5. are practical to accept.


  1. All fundraising activities of the University must align with the University’s strategic fundraising priorities.
  2. No fundraising activity (including but not limited to events, appeals, campaigns, the solicitation of gifts or bequests, crowdfunding, or the submission of applications for grants) may be commenced on behalf of the University without the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor or delegated authority.
  3. Any person proposing to undertake a fundraising activity on behalf of the University must submit a written proposal outlining the purpose, goals and implementation plan of the initiative to the Director of Development and Alumni Relations.
  4. All applications for grants, sponsorships and endowments from philanthropic trusts, foundations and community organisations on behalf of the University must be made through the Director of Development and Alumni Relations.
  5. All fundraising activity, including telephone calls, letters, emails, text messages and in-person conversations must be documented in the University’s customer relationship management database, Raiser’s Edge.

Gifts and bequests

  1. The University Council has delegated to the Vice-Chancellor authority to accept gifts and bequests to the University, either on trust or otherwise; the Vice-Chancellor may delegate this authority as appropriate.
  2. All gifts and bequests accepted by the University must be notified to the Director of Development and Alumni Relations for reporting to the University of Waikato Foundation; the Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Trustees which has a fiduciary duty to ensure that all funds donated to the University are managed, invested and disbursed in accordance with the terms under which the gifts or bequests of funds are made, or, in the absence of such terms, in accordance with the University’s strategic objectives.
  3. The terms under which any gift or bequest are made must be specified in writing; both the source of a gift or bequest and any obligations that a benefactor may seek to place on a gift or bequest must be acceptable to the University.
  4. Where a benefactor seeks to impose certain requirements on the use or management of their gift or bequest, the following must be applied:
    1. the principle of academic freedom, especially with respect to methods of research, conclusions and findings, and the dissemination and publication of research
    2. the University’s strategic fundraising priorities
    3. ensuring that any legal obligations and restrictions do not affect the University, any individual staff member or any student
    4. all applicable University policies.
  5. In considering acceptance of a gift or bequest the Vice-Chancellor or delegated authority must be satisfied that:
    1. the proposed gift or bequest is adequate to achieve the intended purpose, or the University agrees to meet any additional costs that will arise from accepting the gift or bequest, and
    2. any obligation that a benefactor wishes to impose upon the University in relation to the management or administration of the gift or bequest is reasonable to meet.
  6. The acceptance of any gift or bequest of artwork for the University’s art collection is subject to the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor in accordance with the Art Collection Policy.
  7. Where the value of a non-monetary gift accepted from an external party is estimated by the Director of Development and Alumni Relations to exceed $100, the details of the gift must be recorded in the University Gift Register; where several non-monetary gifts have been accepted from the same external party at one time, they must be treated as one gift and the collective value calculated and recorded accordingly.
  8. Where a decision has been made either to accept or decline a gift or bequest, the intended recipient must ensure that the provider is appropriately informed and acknowledged.
  9. The acceptance of a gift must not result in preferential treatment being given to a person or organisation in any way.

Naming rights

  1. The granting of naming rights may be a condition of a significant gift or bequest.
  2. All requests for naming rights must be made through the University of Waikato Foundation; in the first instance, requests will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Authority to grant naming rights rests with the University Council.


  1. The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for setting the strategic fundraising priorities of the University of Waikato Foundation.
  2. The Director of Development and Alumni Relations is responsible for:
    1. overseeing and coordinating the University’s fundraising activities
    2. administering all monetary gifts and bequests on behalf of the University and the University of Waikato Foundation, and
    3. ensuring that all monetary gifts and bequests are appropriately processed and recorded with Financial Services.


  1. Any person who believes that this policy has been breached is encouraged to advise the Chief Financial Officer, who will investigate the matter; alternatively, the complainant may follow the procedures set out in the Fraud and Corruption Policy or Protected Disclosures Policy.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and for reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor and the chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee.
  2. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

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