8.12.1 Soliciting and Publicizing Gifts

Last Revised Date
Friday, October 2, 2020 - 8:16 am

The University follows a structured assignment-based protocol when interacting with any existing or prospective donors. These procedures are designed to assure strategic, donor-centric solicitation efforts and to maximize the philanthropic impact for the University. These procedures must be followed when soliciting or publicizing a contribution to or on behalf of the University.

  1. Solicitation of an individual person or organization:
    1. Before contacting a prospective donor, it is required that you first consult with the development officer assigned to your unit. The development officer is responsible for the college/unit’s fundraising priorities, development strategies and plans as set forth by the dean/director of the unit. If no development officer is assigned to your unit, please contact the UADP Development Office for guidance on how to proceed.
    2. After contacting the development officer or Development Office, the development team will consult the Foundation’s Gift Database to ensure that your proposed activity will not jeopardize existing development work already happening with a prospective donor.
    3. Throughout the course of the planned development activity including the solicitation and any recognition, the development officer, working with the appropriate UADP college/unit leadership, must first approve all planned steps and review all written materials before they are provided to a donor or any external audience.
    4. Major vendor contracts may contain a gift element. To protect the vendor's tax deduction and allow for proper coordination, clearance, and stewardship, vendor contracts require consultation with the Foundation General Counsel office before the contract can be officially accepted and signed by the University.
    5. A donor may make a gift promise as either a legally binding Pledge or as a Gift Commitment. An approved form must be used to record a gift promise to the Foundation or the University by submitting a Pledge Form or Gift Commitment Form. For further information contact your unit’s development officer or the Foundation Financial Services Office.  For additional information, please refer to the Gift Commitment or Pledge Agreement Guide.
  2. Solicitation of more than one person or organization:
    1. The Annual Giving Office is responsible for coordinating mass solicitations, which are defined as direct donation requests to more than one constituent. These include, but are not limited to, donation appeals for University or Foundation fund accounts conducted through mail, telephone outreach, e-mail, crowdfunding, social media and other digital channels.
    2. The Annual Giving Office is charged with creating and implementing a comprehensive year-round calendar of fundraising efforts that achieves the following objectives:
      1. Donor-centric communications that strive to match funding priorities with the philanthropic goals of constituents 
      2. Balance the wide range of university and unit funding priorities with emphasis on appeals that support the university’s strategic initiatives
      3. Strengthen the university’s brand by upholding graphic standards and brand guidelines
      4. Maximize resources through economies of scale and strategic allocations to reach the widest possible audience of constituents
      5. Honor donor communication preferences
    3. All mass solicitations for donations to benefit the University must be approved and coordinated through the Annual Giving Office.
      1. The Annual Giving Office works directly with unit development offices in the UADP on annual, fiscal year strategies for solicitations. All approved mass solicitations will be implemented either by the Annual Giving Office or with its assistance.
      2. If your Unit is not part of the UADP or you are unsure, contact the Annual Giving Office to submit your request. If approved, the Annual Giving Office will produce your mass solicitation or assist you in sending the solicitation.
  3. Coordinate all publicity about gifts and donors with the Foundation's Marketing and Communications Office. A gift announcement protocol, maintained by University Marketing and Communications and Foundation Marketing and Communications, outlines requirements that must be met in order for University Marketing and Communications to issue a press release with a presidential quote.
    1. The following criteria must be met:
      1. Gifts of $1 million or more or other gifts of extraordinary significance.
      2. The gift amount must be known and properly documented, with a gift or grant agreement finalized (as determined by the Foundation).
      3. Qualifying donations are gifts from individuals and charitable grants from foundations and corporations.
      4. Bequests or other planned gifts must be realized before publicizing.
    2. Factors not affecting eligibility:
      1. Donor anonymity (although donor preferences are honored in whether and how to publicize a gift)
      2. Whether the gift is made outright or pledged

There are many channels to celebrate gifts to the University. When the gift protocol threshold is not met, contact the Foundation's  Marketing and Communications Office to discuss options.