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Gift Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The University receives gifts in many forms and of varying value and the University is committed to providing all donors with the same level of respect and stewardship for their gifts.

(2) This Policy is therefore designed to ensure the University is compliant with legislation in receiving gifts and to ensure the appropriate management of gift giving to La Trobe University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all Colleges, campuses, divisions and organisational units of the University

(4) This Policy applies to all cash gifts of greater than $2 and to all gifts in-kind to the University.

(5) Named Gifts are also subject to additional requirements (see Named Gift policy).

(6) Gifts made to individuals are subject to the Staff Conduct and Compliance Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Gift Acceptance

(7) While the University appreciates the financial support and goodwill of donors, special care is required to ensure that the acceptance of a gift will not involve a continuing financial commitment or other obligation on the part of La Trobe University that is disproportionate to the usefulness of the gift.

(8) While donors may wish to specify the general purpose for which a gift is given, La Trobe University may not accept gifts which the Alumni and Advancement Office deems are too restrictive in their purpose or which do not support the University’s overall Vision and Mission.

(9) The University values its independence and academic integrity and therefore will be careful in accepting gifts:

  1. When a condition of such acceptance compromises its fundamental values or
  2. Where the offer and acceptance of financial contributions (due to its source – specifically proceeds from gambling, drugs, tobacco, arms or prostitution) may:
    1. expose La Trobe University to adverse publicity
    2. extend University resources beyond reasonable limits
    3. involve the University in new and unplanned activities beyond the scope of its Strategic Plan.

(10) The Alumni and Advancement Office is responsible for determining the source of a gift and its likely impact.

(11) La Trobe University will not accept a gift which is contrary to any current prevailing legislation, for example tax, finance, equal opportunities etc.

Donor Stewardship

(12) The success of the University’s fundraising programs in the future will be directly determined by its ability to steward its donors and strengthen affinity.

Acknowledgment of Gifts

(13) All gifts to the University that meet the acceptance policy provisions and are over $2 in value must be processed by the Alumni and Advancement Office, who will acknowledge the gift promptly.  A gift receipt must be issued to the donor by the University and the gift must be acknowledged in writing by the Alumni and Advancement Office.

(14) Donors will be acknowledged in accordance with their wishes in proportion to the size of the gift in accordance with the Donor Rights Policy of the Alumni and Advancement Office.

(15) All donations of gifts-in-kind will be acknowledged by letter from the Alumni and Advancement Office which will provide a description of the gift but not a value.  If a valuation is required, the onus is on the donor to obtain an independent valuation to the satisfaction of the ATO or the cultural gifts program and they should seek appropriate advice on obtaining this.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Overview

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

(17) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be the central co-ordinator for all University fundraising activities, also acting as an advisory service, a repository of information on all donors and prospective donors and as a clearinghouse for all fundraising campaigns, appeals, submissions and approaches.

(18) All gifts to the University, regardless of source or value must be registered with the Alumni and Advancement Office.

(19) All monetary gifts will be issued with an official receipt for tax purposes. All gifts-in-kind will be issued with an acknowledgement letter which states the advised value of the gift.

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

Acknowledgement of Gift – Alumni and Advancement Office Responsibilities

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

  1. Registering the receipt of the gift
  2. Providing an acknowledgement to the donor  of the gift in a timely fashion
  3. Issuing a tax receipt to the donor by the University.

(22) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be responsible for managing the on-going relationship with the donor of the gift, in conjunction with the donor’s area of interest at the University (if appropriate).

Gift Acceptance

Consideration of Gift

(23) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be expected to consider each gift offered to the University in light of the Gift Policy Acceptance conditions.

(24) If the gift is found to contravene the policy, the Alumni and Advancement Office is required to write to the donor and refuse the gift, specifying the grounds for the refusal.  All attempts should be made to treat the donor with respect and cordiality in these circumstances and efforts should be made not to offend the donor.

(25) If individuals receive offers of gifts and are unsure of the interpretation of the policy, they must refer the matter to the Alumni and Advancement Office.

Appropriate Stewardship

(26) Gifts which are considered to be acceptable in the light of the Gift Policy are to be acknowledged according to the Gift Policy (Gift Acknowledgement) and the donors offered appropriate stewardship for their gift according to the Gift Policy.

Gift Refusal

(27) Individuals or groups (such as a campus, college or division) outside the Alumni and Advancement Office should not under any circumstances respond directly to the donor to advise them that their gift is being refused.  All matters relating to gifts to the University are to be referred through the University’s Alumni and Advancement Officee.

Stewardship of Donors

Alumni and Advancement Office Responsibilities

(28) The Alumni and Advancement Office will be responsible for managing the on-going relationship with the donor of the gift, in conjunction with the donor’s area of interest at the University/existing University contact (if appropriate).

On-going Communication

(29) 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.

Stewardship of Gifts

Reporting Timeframe

(30) When a gift is received, the Alumni and Advancement Office will determine a suitable reporting timeframe for the donor, whether they be individuals, a foundation, a corporation or any other organisation as required.   This timeframe will be recorded on the Alumni and Advancement Office.

Financial Reporting

(31) The Alumni and Advancement Office will develop a report which includes a financial statement and a narrative description of how the funds have been used and what has been accomplished.

(32) Narrative descriptions are to be provided by the recipient College  and financial statements provided by the Finance Division or derived from the Raiser’s Edge Database as appropriate.

(33) The report will be sent to the donor with a covering letter from the Vice-Chancellor (prepared by the Alumni and Advancement Office).

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Section 5 - Definitions

(34) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Donor:  alumni, individual, corporation or foundation who has provided a money, sponsorship or a gift-in-kind to the University.
  2. Stewardship:  ensuring that the needs of the donor are met, the gift is well managed and records kept up to date.
  3. 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 – Head, Services and Support.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Director, Alumni and Advancement (for policy approval).