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4.4.1 Fundraising Approval and Priority-Setting

Last updated on:
12/19/2018
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
44

This Guide Memo sets forth University fundraising policy, outlines the procedure for requesting fundraising approval and priority, and describes the procedures by which fundraising requests are reviewed for academic merit, evaluated for fundraising potential, and, if approved, assigned priorities for fundraising. The aim of this Guide Memo is to establish a systematic and orderly approach to private funding sources, to maximize support from them, and to assure that support is directed toward University priorities.

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. Policy

Requests to raise gift funds are subject to review and approval under the procedures set forth in this Guide Memo. The procedure for obtaining clearance to approach and solicit specific prospective donors is set forth in Guide Memo 4.3.1: Operating Policies for Development.

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2. Applicability

a. Applicability
The procedures detailed in this Guide Memo apply whenever approval is sought to raise gifts from individuals, foundations, associations or corporations to support a project. Projects are defined broadly to include any program or activity of the University and/or its schools and units. Gifts are defined in Guide Memo 4.1.1: Gifts to the University. These procedures do not apply to the following:

(1) Certain small projects
Projects for which the total fundraising requirement over the life of the project is less than $1,000,000 require only decanal or directorial approval if all of the fundraising will be handled within the school or unit by the faculty and/or school's or unit's development staff without assistance sought from the central Office of Development. However, (1) clearance to approach each specific prospect is still required under Guide Memo 4.3.1[2]: Operating Policies for Development; and (2) the proposed gift should be reviewed with central development staff if there are any unusual terms or circumstances relating to a particular gift, such as if the prospect has no prior relationship with Stanford, if the gift is to fund a new program or project or if any of the gift terms are unusual.
(2) Facilities
Requests for approval to raise funds for facilities projects are handled as part of the Provost's Capital Plan process. Approval of a facilities project, including new construction and renovation projects, will include a careful consideration of potential funding sources. Facilities projects will be assigned a fundraising priority by the Provost after consultation with the Office of Development about those sources. Clearance to approach each specific prospect is still required under Guide Memo 4.3.1: Operating Policies for Development.
(3) Sponsored Projects
Policy and procedures with respect to the preparation, review, and submission of sponsored project proposals are set forth in the Research Policy Handbook 14.1. Consult Research Policy Handbook Document 13.1 for the distinction between gifts and sponsored projects.
(4) Industrial Affiliates Programs
Principles, guidelines, and procedures for the establishment and operation of industrial affiliates and related membership-supported programs are set forth in the Research Policy Handbook 13.4.
 

b. Specific Requirements for Certain Activities
Gift solicitations for activities involving human subjects, laboratory animals, radiological hazards, biologically infectious agents, or recombinant DNA techniques are also subject to review by the Sponsored Projects Office for compliance with University policies and external requirements.

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3. Application and Review Procedures

a. Request
The Requestor initiates the process by completing the on-line Request for Fundraising Approval and Priority Form. Once the Requestor has completed the Form, it is automatically routed to the cognizant Development Officer.

b. Development Officer Review
Based on the information provided by the Requestor, the cognizant Development Officer completes the next section of the Form, including an assessment of fundraising feasibility and a recommendation regarding fundraising priority. When the Development Officer has completed the Form, it is automatically routed to the School Dean or cognizant Cabinet Officer.

c. School Dean/Cognizant Cabinet Officer Review
Based on the information provided by the Requestor, and the cognizant Development Officer, the School Dean or cognizant Cabinet officer completes the next section of the Form. At this point, the School Dean or cognizant Cabinet officer may (1) approve the Request and provide a recommendation regarding fundraising priority, (2) return the Request and ask for additional information, or (3) deny the Request. If the Request is approved, the Form will be automatically routed to the Office of the Vice President for Development. If the Request is denied or returned for additional information, the Form will be automatically routed back to the Requestor.

d. Office of the Vice President for Development Review
Based on the information provided by the Requestor, cognizant Development Officer, and School Dean or cognizant Cabinet Officer, the Vice President for Development (or his or her designee) completes the next section of the Form, including his or her own assessment of fundraising feasibility and recommendation regarding fundraising priority. When the Office of the Vice President for Development has completed the Form, it is automatically routed to the Office of the Provost.

e. Provostial Review
After a Request has been approved by the School Dean or cognizant Cabinet officer, and the Office of the Vice President for Development, and forwarded to the Office of the Provost, the Provost or the Provost's designee, in consultation with such individuals and/or committees as the Provost may designate, will review the Request using the following criteria:
(1) Academic justification
How closely does the project relate to the academic plans of the department, the school, and the University?
(2) Budgetary impact
Would funding the project by means of gifts offset existing demands on general funds budgets? Would the project require general funds support, cost sharing, or other immediate financial obligations? Would the project place future financial obligations on the University once the gift or grant funds have expired?
(3) Fundraising potential
How many prospective donors exist for the project and to what extent would it compete with other projects of interest to such donors?

f. Provostial Decision
After weighing these factors the Provost or the Provost's designee will (1) approve the Request with an assigned priority, (2) return the Request and ask for additional information, or (3) deny the Request. The designation of a priority determines the level of effort expected from the Development staff. Such priority designations will also assure that donors are presented with the University's most important projects.
(1) Approved with High Priority
Funds for projects awarded this priority will be actively sought, both by school and unit development staff and by the central Office of Development. The Office of Development will work with school and unit development staff to identify and solicit prospects for high priority projects and will enlist volunteers and faculty support as needed, taking into account other project(s) in which prospects may also be interested. Clearance to approach specific prospects is required under Guide Memo 4.3.1: Operating Policies for Development.
(2) Approved with Standard Priority
Fundraising for projects with this priority must be in the form of specific proposals to particular prospective donors or on a noncompetitive "target of opportunity" basis. Fundraising, including identification and solicitation of prospects, will primarily be handled within the school or unit, subject to clearance of prospect access under Guide Memo 4.3.1: Operating Policies for Development. The central Office of Development may, at the discretion of the Vice President for Development, initiate further activity and provide assistance in identifying additional prospective donors.
(3) Approved with Minimum Priority
Fundraising projects with this priority must not compete with fundraising for other projects. In most cases, this will mean that fundraising will be limited to corporations and foundations that have an identified programmatic interest in the project, and except in the most unusual cases must not include approaches to alumni, parents, and friends. Fundraising must be handled exclusively by the school or unit, without any assistance from the central Office of Development. As always, clearance to approach any specific prospect is required under Guide Memo 4.3.1: Operating Policies for Development.
(4) Denied
No gifts may be solicited for projects for which fundraising approval has been denied. Requestors may wish to consider other funding sources as outlined in Guide Memo 4.5.1: Funding New Programs.

g. Development Action
After a project has been approved and assigned a priority, the Provost will send the Request for Fundraising Approval and Priority form describing the project to the Office of the Vice President for Development for distribution to the fundraising staff. At the discretion of the Vice President for Development, a fundraising coordinator for the project may be appointed. The Development Office will periodically review its list of approved and rated projects in order to recommend changes to the Provost based on fundraising results.

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