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4.3.1 Operating Policies for Development

Overview of Stanford Campus and Hoover Tower
Last updated on:
03/27/2019
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
43

The Vice President for Development is entrusted with the overall management of Stanford's fundraising programs in order to maximize gift support from alumni, parents, friends, corporations, associations, and foundations. This Guide Memo outlines principles, policies, and procedures that will help assure the wise deployment of University resources, consistency in written communications, and coordination of access to volunteers and prospects.

Authority: 

Approved by the President.

Applicability: 

These policies apply to all gift procurement activities of the University and/or its schools and units. Gifts are defined in Guide Memo 4.1.1: Gifts to the University.

1. Background

For more than five decades, the Office of Development has represented all of Stanford, conveying to alumni, parents, friends and institutions the needs and aspirations of the entire University. Our volunteers, in particular, have responded by working enthusiastically for the University as a whole although they may individually affiliate with and support one or more schools or units. This cooperative and collegial relationship has set Stanford apart from most of its peers.

During the 1990s, we encouraged intensified fundraising programs within the schools/units, many of which conducted individual campaigns. These successful specific initiatives culminated in the Campaign for Undergraduate Education —the largest capital campaign ever launched specifically for undergraduate education. While these individual efforts have been quite successful in developing new and more engaged donors, it is imperative that we continue to nurture a broad understanding and commitment to Stanford University.

Because the majority of the University's most generous donors have multiple interests, the advent of unit based campaigns also has created more intense pressure on the prospect population. We need to reinforce the spirit of cooperation that has characterized Stanford's development activities for more than 50 years. That cooperation is based upon open and regular communication between the schools/units and the University development office, and among the schools/units.

The ultimate responsibility for securing new gifts for the University rests with the Board of Trustees. The trustees have delegated those responsibilities to the Office of the Development through the President of the University. The Vice President for Development is entrusted with the overall management of Stanford's fundraising programs. Obviously, while many of the fundraising activities may be delegated and carried out at the school/unit level, major development activities, decisions, and solicitations are ultimately managed and coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Development.

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2. Operating Policies

a. Prospects with Multiple Affiliations
All activities with any Stanford prospect with multiple affiliations must be coordinated with all the interested parties. This is especially true for all major rated prospects—$250,000 or more. All prospects rated at this level or higher will be given a primary staff assignment. Any and all solicitation activity on these prospects must be coordinated through the primary staff person.

b. Prospects Rated at $1,000,000 and Above
All prospects with a rating of $1,000,000 and above are, by definition, University prospects. Unless a request to such prospects is for a previously approved annual solicitation, all solicitation activity–even if the solicitation is significantly less than $1,000,000–must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Development through the Prospect Clearance System (PCS).

c. Authority of the Vice President for Development
If an agreement cannot be reached on assigning or approaching multiple-interest or "University" prospects, then the Vice President for Development will determine prospect assignment and access by taking into account priorities set by the President and Provost. The dean or director of a school or unit may appeal the Vice President's decision to the Provost.

d. Sharing and Storage of Information
It is imperative that all pertinent information regarding major gift prospect activity be available across the development enterprise. This is particularly true for $1-million-plus rated prospects. University development staff and school/unit development officers share a responsibility to keep others informed of prospect activity, both formally (by updating the prospect tracking system and sending written communications to Post Grads) and informally (through regular communication). These updates should be entered in a timely fashion to ensure real-time quality to the prospect information.

e. Volunteers
Schools and units may form volunteer organizations to support major fundraising initiatives with the approval of the Vice President for Development. Chairs of volunteer groups supporting major fundraising programs will be asked to coordinate their activities through the Board of Trustees' Committee on Development and to work together with University-wide volunteer groups. Enlistment of volunteers, whether for fundraising or for advisory boards and councils, must be coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Development.

f. Written Communications
To assure consistency and coordination among various fundraising efforts, final drafts of written communications describing major fundraising initiatives must be shared with the Vice President for Development or designee. Additionally, the Office of Planned Giving must review all agreements of $100,000 or more (and all agreements establishing new endowments) prior to submission to the donor and/or acceptance by the University.

g. Staffing
School and unit staff and budget plans for fundraising must be reviewed and approved by the Provost. Decisions regarding classification and compensation of development staff rest with the dean/director and the Vice President for Development who share responsibility for assuring that fairness is maintained across the University. In addition, the Vice President for Development must review and approve any requests to hire external fundraising consultants.

h. Priority Setting Process
Development priorities will be established in accordance with Guide Memo 4.4.1: Fundraising Approval and Priority-Setting.

i. Annual Giving
The following policies govern annual giving at Stanford:
(1) Stanford Fund
The Stanford Fund exists to provide the President and Provost with sustained, discretionary gift support for undergraduate education and undergraduate student life. All undergraduate degree holders, including those with a Stanford graduate degree, professional school degree, or credits earned toward such degrees, are solicited by the fund. The Stanford Fund also solicits non-degree holders with credits earned toward a Stanford undergraduate degree and parents of current undergraduates and non-alumni ("friends") with a prior history of giving to the fund.
(2) School Funds
The school funds may solicit their graduate and professional degree holders, including those who also have an undergraduate degree from Stanford. The school funds are also able to solicit non-undergraduate degree holders with credits earned toward a Stanford graduate or professional degree. Departments and programs may not solicit their graduates. Other solicitable populations include non-alumni ("friends") with a prior history of giving to the school and parents of Stanford professional or graduate degree holders.
(3) Athletics
The Department of Athletics may solicit any current or former annual donors to athletics, former student-athletes, and Stanford season ticket holders.
(4) Medical
Subject to any applicable restrictions imposed by law, alumni who are treated as patients at Stanford Medical Center may be solicited by medical development.

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