Donor Policy

1.    The University is committed to operating in an ethical, socially responsible and sustainable manner in all activities, including its relations with donors and sponsors.

2.    Proposed donations should safeguard and enhance the University's reputation and fit with its strategic vision. 

3.    The University will take all reasonable steps through its due diligence procedures to ensure that all sponsorship and donations are from benefactors that have demonstrable ethical and social responsibility values.

4.    The University will retain the right to refuse the offer of a gift.  It will not accept donations from organisations or individuals whose activities and practices pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups or whose activities are inconsistent with the core values of the University[1].

5.    When deciding whether to accept a gift, the following questions will be considered:

·         Would the gift fit with the University’s strategic vision?

·         Would its acceptance make the University liable to any additional costs?

·         Is there evidence that the gift is offered in exchange for material benefit?

·         Is there evidence that the financial performance of the company could jeopardise receiving the full value of the gift?

·         Is there evidence that the gift would:
    > seriously damage the reputation of the University?
    > harm the University’s relations with other stakeholders?
    > create an unacceptable conflict of interest?

6.    Acceptance of any major gifts (those greater than £50,000) will be subject to approval by the Gift Acceptance Panel based on due diligence reports compiled and submitted by the External Relations Team.

7.    When making its decision, the Gift Acceptance Panel will examine whether there is published or other credible evidence that the proposed gift will be made from a source that arises in whole or in part from an illegal activity or which contradicts the University’s core values and corporate social responsibility framework in any way.

8.    The University retains the right to return a gift and remove recognition rights as appropriate if, after a gift’s acceptance, evidence becomes available which conflicts with the University’s core values or the principles of this policy.

9.    The policy and mechanisms for donor relations that serve the interests of the University over time, will be subject to regular review and evaluation of its terms and processes by the Gift Acceptance Panel.  

Stewardship Policy

10.  The External Relations Department will endeavour to have in place gift agreements for any gifts larger than £10,000 to reflect the purposes for which the gift has been made, recognition and minimum communications with the donor.

11.  Where gifts are designated for a specific purpose, donors must be able to rely on the University’s commitment that funds have been applied to that purpose. 

12.  The University recognises that the donation process does not stop once a gift is made. Donors capable of leadership gifts can have considerable influence on the University’s public and government relations, as well as on the philanthropy of friends and colleagues.

13.  Through the Giving Group membership, the University cares for and protects its philanthropic support – its gifts and those who give them – in a way that responds to donors’ expectations and respects the act of giving. It entails accountability for and recognition of charitable support the University receives.

14.  The University will acknowledge the donor for individual contributions through continued recognition and stewardship as part of the Giving Group membership[2]. By keeping donors informed and involved, the University endeavours to build life-long constructive relationships.

15.  The University will provide public recognition for donors (other than those who have requested anonymity) and therefore encourage the generosity of others towards the University.

16.  In both its cultivation and stewardship activities, the External Relations Department adheres to the important ethical and professional codes and principles upheld by the University[3] and the professional associations to which we belong. 

17.  Accepted donors will have the right through negotiation to designate a donation to any use that reflects their wishes, University policies and priorities, and the interests of departments concerned: Accepted gifts may be made in memory of another individual/s, in honour of another individual/s, in the donor’s name, or anonymously.

18.  Donors should expect the University to be able to show the output of the gift, where it has benefitted or been spent (for example, by providing a cost breakdown for a building, identifying a scholarship holder, or where the gift is vested).

19.  This Policy is also informed by the ethical standards and principles of practice developed or endorsed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education[4].

Naming policy

20.  The naming of academic posts and student scholarships or studentships will be proposed by the External Relations Department and agreed upon by the Gift Acceptance panel, ensuring that the value of the gift is recognised relative to the gift size and fundraising objectives.

21.  Other than in exceptional circumstances, it is recommended that the minimum duration for external funding of a post should be three years. Annual payments should ideally adjusted to account for inflation and agreed in advance with the donor.

22.  Gifts to fund posts for a fixed-term have implications for the long-term continuation of the post in the event that funding is not renewed after the initial term. In such cases, the University will need to take a decision prior to appointment as to whether it will continue to fund the post after the expiry of the gift, or whether the appointment of the post of for the gift’s duration.

23.  Gifts to fund the cost of a building or refurbishing an existing space provide naming opportunities for donors. For the rights to name of a building, the donor must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs or, make a donation that makes the project possible as the lead gift (possibly not as much as 50% but a crucial major contribution).

24.  Gifts to fund the naming of a room within a building requires a minimum donation of £100,000.

25.  The duration for which a building or space retains its name will be agreed upon between the donor and the External Relations Department as part of the signed gift agreement document.

The University’s Court of Governors retains the authority to approve specific names to be placed on designated building projects.