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External Prizes Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) To ensure coordinated management of externally supported prizes at La Trobe University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to

  1. all Colleges, campuses, divisions and organisational units of the University;
  2. all prizes (and bursaries) funded by external donors to the University, whether for undergraduate or postgraduate students, whether monetary prizes or gifts-in-kind.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) External prizes are often part of a broader relationship for staff in Colleges and on campuses. However, they are also a critical element in the University’s philanthropic agenda as they are an entrée to fundraising for more significant support.

(4) External prizes are smaller gifts which must be managed appropriately and the donors stewarded well so that they can be encouraged to increase their level of giving. 

(5) Therefore, the management of prizes is a critically important activity and responsibility for it must be undertaken as follows:

  1. All prizes must be established using formal agreements (in addition to Academic Board proposals)
  2. All prizes must be a minimum of $500 or an equivalent in value for a gift-in-kind. There can be no split prizes consisting of a portion of external funding, supplemented by University operating budget to reach the $500 minimum
  3. Management of the prize agreements and the gifts relating to the prize is the responsibility of the La Trobe University Foundation and the Alumni and Advancement Office
  4. Management of the relationship with the donors (and potential donors), is the responsibility of the relevant staff member(s) in the department, school, College or campus associated with the prize (supported by the Alumni and Advancement Office)
  5. Management of all prize ceremonies is the responsibility of the Marketing and Recruitment Division, through the University Events team, working with the Colleges and Campuses and the Alumni and Advancement Office.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Overview

(6) The Alumni and Advancement Office is responsible for the co-ordination, assignment and management of donations, donors and prospective donors to La Trobe University.

(7) Externally supported prizes are often part of a broader relationship for staff in Colleges and on campuses. However, they are also a critical element in the University’s philanthropic agenda as they are an entrée to fundraising for more significant support. Prizes are smaller gifts which must be managed appropriately and the donors stewarded well so that they can be encouraged to increase their level of giving.

(8) Externally supported prizes to the University, regardless of source or value must be established by the Alumni and Advancement Office in conjunction with the relevant department, School, College or campus.

(9) Externally supported prize gifts must be processed through the La Trobe University Foundation so that donors of monetary prizes can be issued with an official receipt for tax purposes and all donors of gifts-in-kind can be issued with an acknowledgement letter which states the advised value of the gift.

(10) The University reserves the right to refuse any prize if any of the grounds outlined in the Gift Policy are recognised.

Establishment of an Externally Supported Prize

(11) Staff in Colleges and on Campuses are responsible for advising the Alumni and Advancement Office of potential external prize donors.

(12) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be responsible for:

  1. Drafting a formal agreement to cover the terms of the prize – including:
    1. Prize value (minimum of $500) Prize duration (preferred minimum of 3 years)
    2. Prize criteria
    3. Prize citation
  2. Providing an acknowledgement to the donor of their pledged gift
  3. Managing the payment of the gift
  4. Advising the College of the approaching expiration of the agreement
  5. Working with the College to renew or revise the agreement, and
  6. Working with the College/campus to develop the relevant School/College Board and Academic Board pro-forma required to establish the prize as a University award.

Management of the Relationship with the Donor

(13) Staff members in the Colleges or on Campuses in the area where the prize has been established have an obligation to develop and maintain positive relationships with donors of all relevant prizes.

(14) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be responsible for overseeing the on-going relationship with the donor of the gift, working in conjunction with the staff in the College or campus, thus ensuring stewardship commensurate with the level of the gift is offered to the donor.

(15) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be responsible for recording and maintaining information on the donor and the gifts in the Alumni and Advancement Office database.

Gift Processing

(16) It is the responsibility of the Alumni and Advancement Office to request payment of prizes each year, in accordance with the terms of the formal agreements established.

(17) All payments for prizes must be processed through the La Trobe University Foundation and all philanthropic income derived from prizes must be directed through the Foundation. The Foundation shall be responsible for issuing the official tax receipt to the donor.

(18) Prize payments should never be requested to be sent directly from the donors to the recipients as this means the donor cannot claim a tax deduction for their gift. It also prevents the University from carrying out appropriate donor stewardship.

Prize Recipients

(19) The College/campus is responsible for identifying the recipients of their externally supported prizes.

(20) The Alumni and Advancement Office is responsible for initiating the process to distribute the prize money/gifts-in-kind to students.

Stewardship of Donors

Alumni and Advancement Office responsibilities

(21) The University has established a Donor Relations Plan which outlines appropriate levels of stewardships for donors, depending on the level of their gifting, the duration of their gifting and the total value of their gifts over time.

(22) The Alumni and Advancement Office is responsible for managing the stewardship of al prize donors in accordance with the Donor Relations Plan.

On-going Communication

(23) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be expected to determine a suitable form of on-going communication for the donor, which will be commensurate with the nature of the gift and the relationship with the institution. This communication may take the form of:

  1. Adding the donor’s details to the Raiser’s Edge database for regular communication on events and relevant activities.
  2. Adding the donor’s details to the Raiser’s Edge database for additional personalised communication.

Management of the Prize Ceremonies

(24) The Prize Ceremonies are an important element in the stewardship program for prize donors. Therefore, a consistent approach is required to ensure that the events are offered at a high standard across the organisation and provides a consolidated model of prize event administration.

(25) The University Events office will have primary responsibility for coordinating and managing all Prize Ceremonies on all Colleges and Campuses, whether they are stand-alone celebrations or part of other events. 

(26) The University Events team will work collaboratively with the Colleges, Campuses and Alumni and Advancement Office to ensure that each event has a look and feel that meets that needs of the host area.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(27) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Prize: monetary or other gift given as a reward to the winner of a competition or in recognition of an outstanding achievement
  2. Externally Supported Prize: money or a gift-in-kind offered to the University in the form of a prize from a source outside the University’s own funds to recognise and support La Trobe students
  3. Stewardship: ensuring that the needs of the donor are met, the gift is well managed and records kept up to date.
  4. Gift: a voluntary donation, which may be monetary or in-kind, which is given with charitable intent, with no expectation of direct benefit to the donor.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Associate Director, Services and Support, Alumni and Advancement.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Director, Alumni and Advancement.