Donation Acceptance - Managerial Policy

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Donation Acceptance - Managerial Policy


Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Director, Development Office
Last amended
20 January 2010
Review date
1 December 2018
Related documents
Incoming Sponsorship - Managerial Policy
Library Collection Development - Academic Policy
Naming - Governing Policy
Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes - Governing Policy
Staff Gifts and Benefits - Managerial Policy
Staff Gifts and Benefits - Procedures
Related legislation / standards
Constitution of the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation
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Part A: Preliminary

1. Overview

The purpose of this policy is to govern the acceptance of gifts and to provide guidance to donors and their professional advisors in making gifts to the University of the Sunshine Coast. Donors may be individuals, foundations, associations, businesses or corporations.

2. Application of policy

The policy applies to the receipt of gifts whether cash, in kind, bequests, shares and some grants where there is an intention to give and the transfer of all right, title and interest in the property is to the University.

This policy applies to all staff and entities within the University.

3. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, gift and donation have the same meaning.

Part B: Policy

4. Adequacy for purpose

The University encourages donations which support the advancement of its mission and goals.

5. Types of donations

Donations may be in the form of:

5.1 Outright gifts

5.1.1 Cash and cash equivalents

These gifts may take the form of currency, cheque, or credit card contribution. Cash gifts are reported as at the date the gift is received by the University. If the gifts are transferred electronically, the date the funds are transferred into the University’s bank account is reported as the receipt date of the gift.


The value of the shares is determined on the recognised gift date which is established when the donor relinquishes control of the shares.

5.1.3 Real Estate

Real Estate may include improved or unimproved land, personal residences, commercial property, rental property, or rural land. If it is the intention of the donor that the University not immediately dispose of the real estate, an agreement between the University and the donor must be in place before the University may accept such a property. A gift of real estate must be tested with state and commonwealth laws, including EPA regulations, and the donor must provide satisfactory evidence of environmental compliance.

5.1.4 In kind

The University may accept gifts of personal property, including but not limited to works of art, furniture, rare books, manuscripts, or any other item that is determined as being of value.

The University may sell or otherwise dispose of all gifts in kind unless the items can be used by the University to support its mission. The University’s intention at the time of acceptance of the gift to either resell or use the gift in kind is to be communicated to the donor in writing.

5.2 Pledges

Pledges are commitments to give a specific dollar amount according to a fixed time schedule. All pledges or changes to a pledge must be made in writing.

5.3 Bequests

A charitable bequest involves the donor’s transfer of money or property to the University at the donor’s death through either the donor’s will or trust.

5.4 Endowment

Donations may be directed to a donor identified account or a general endowment account.

The minimum amount to establish a donor indentified endowment account is $10,000 over three years. Distributions from the endowment account will be reinvested until the minimum amount is met or unless advised otherwise by the donor.

6. Acceptance of donations

6.1 The Vice-Chancellor and President or delegate will be responsible for the review, acceptance or refusal of gifts to the University. The Vice-Chancellor and President may also establish a Donation Acceptance Advisory Committee to advise on gift acceptance.

6.2 Core to the acceptance of gifts is the maintenance of the University’s academic freedom.

6.3 Gifts for Chairs and Scholarships must comply with relevant University policies.

6.4 While a donor may place some restrictions on the use of a proposed gift, the donor will maintain no influence over the money or property once transferred to the University.

6.5 The University will not accept gifts that require it to provide any valuable consideration to the donor or anyone designated by the donor, such as employment in the University, enrolment in a University program, or a University procurement contract.

6.6 The University will not accept gifts that would involve unlawful discrimination.

6.7 The University Foundation is responsible for ensuring that staff are aware of their responsibilities relating to soliciting and managing gifts for the University under this policy.

6.8 Where a donation might be subject to the purchase of equipment, it should be made clear to the donor that the University’s processes relating to purchase of equipment prevail.

6.9 Some gifts may not be kept by the University in the form in which they are donated. For example, shares may be sold as soon as they are received by the University. In such instances this should be communicated to the donor before the gift is made.

6.10 Once a gift has been accepted, the Foundation Office is responsible for recording and acknowledging it.

7. Non acceptance of gifts

7.1 Gifts which do not support the University’s mission and goals, or which could damage the University’s reputation will not be accepted by the University.

7.2 In rare circumstances the University may deem it necessary to refund gifts because it is in the best interest of the University or because the conditions agreed to in accepting a gift cannot or will not be met.

8. Stewardship

Stewardship or the reporting to donors on the impact of their gift is a vitally important part of the responsibility in accepting a gift. Timely acknowledgements will be sent to all donors and, where appropriate, special recognition of certain gifts will be given. This acknowledgement demonstrates the University’s commitment to maintaining long term donor relations and thereby maximising support to the University.

9. Gift naming

Certain gifts may be acknowledged with a naming opportunity as outlined in the University’s Philanthropic and Honorific Naming – Governing Policy.

10. Management of donations

10.1 Management of donations will be as detailed in the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation Constitution.

10.2 The spending of donations must be consistent with the requirements of the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998.

11. Legal and tax counsel

11.1 The University encourages donors to seek legal and tax advicel before making a gift. The University is not able to provide such advice to donors.

11.2 The University will inform the donor of circumstances which require the University to use legal counsel to assist with a gift, for example to review transactions with potential conflicts of interest or to assess any tax or other legal implications in accepting a gift.

12. Review

Review of the Donation Acceptance – Managerial Policy will be consistent with the University’s Policies and related procedures – Governing Policy.

13. Ethical standards

The Foundation will work within the Universities Australia (previously AVCC) Code of Practice for Australian University Philanthropy.


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