Skip Navigation

Donations and Fundraising Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the main navigation (grey) bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Donations, bequests and fundraising activities form an important role in the University of Western Sydney fulfilling its mission and goals. This policy outlines the University's requirements for the effective and ethical acceptance and management of donations and the conduct of fundraising activities.

(2) The University welcomes donations from its graduates, staff, individuals, governments and agencies, the business community and other organisations which support its Mission.

(3) Donations may be used to support any endeavour consistent with the mission and goals of the University including scholarships, prizes, research, staff positions and community outreach, or to acquire equipment or fund capital works. The funds may be expended completely or maintained as an endowment.

(4) This policy applies to all donations, bequests and fundraising activities (be they in cash or kind) and to anyone who is involved in the raising or receipting of funds donated for University purposes.

(5) This policy does not apply to sponsorship. The University may establish a policy on sponsorships in due course. Grants to the University by the Australian Government, state and local governments, are not covered by this Policy.

Section 2 - Definitions

(6) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy:

  1. Bequest means a donation of property by will or codicil. See Will.
  2. Donation means a voluntary contribution or gift, whether in cash or kind. Donations will have the following characteristics:
    1. There is a payment of money or a transfer of the beneficial interest in property;
    2. The payment or transfer is made voluntarily;
    3. The payment or transfer arises by way of benefaction;
    4. No material benefit or advantage is received by the donor.
  3. Donor means any person or organisation making a donation to the University.
  4. Endowment is a donation made with the intention that funds are invested to ensure ongoing support for beneficiaries from the investment earnings.
  5. Fundraising Activity means all activities undertaken by or on behalf of the University with the aim of soliciting or receiving donations.
  6. Foundation means the University of Western Sydney Foundation Ltd
  7. Grant is the provision of financial assistance from a grant-making entity (such as a charitable foundation) to the University. Grants may be treated as donations if the grant does not involve the return of any material benefit to the grant maker.
  8. Pledge means a documented commitment to make a donation within a specified period of time.
  9. Prospect means a prospective donor, ie. an individual or organization with both the financial capacity and the likely inclination to support the University via a major donation (as may be defined by the University from time to time) or a bequest.
  10. Recognition means actions taken by the University to recognise the generosity of donors, individually or collectively.
  11. Sponsorship means a transfer of money or property to the University in a transaction where the sponsor receives certain specified material benefits in return.
  12. Tied donations refer to any donation given and received for a specified purpose that cannot normally be used for any other purpose without the donor's approval. For example, to specifically fund the salary of a professorial chair, the purchase of equipment, or to fund a named annual student prize or scholarship. Tied donations may have an end date.
  13. Untied donations refer to any donation given and received for no specified purpose that can be used at the discretion of the UWS Foundation.
  14. Will refers to a legal declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposition of their property after death.

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(7) The principles underpinning this Policy are:

  1. transparent and ethical processes for the acceptance and management of donations and fundraising activities
  2. Protecting the confidentiality of donors and sponsors consistent with their wishes and to the extent provided by law
  3. adequately identifying funds and using them for the purpose which they were provided
  4. compliance with all relevant legislation governing fundraising
  5. there will be a strategic, uniform and coordinated approach for the seeking and acceptance of donations

(8) All donations in cash or kind (with the exception of library materials or works of art which are subject to separate policies - see Section 4 Part C below) are made to the University or the UWS Foundation Trust with the intention of supporting UWS's mission and goals.

(9) UWS Development is the University office responsible for managing the University's relationships with donors and prospective donors.

(10) No member of the University or its associated organisations may make formal approaches for fundraising purposes unless coordinated with, and approved through, UWS Development which must approve all fundraising activities including appeals, events, and private requests.

(11) The University only accepts donations where they are ethical in nature and they are consistent with the mission, goals and policies of the University. The University reserves the right to refuse an offered donation.

(12) The solicitation of donated funds for the University must be for University purposes generally and not for specific individuals or their projects (such as PhD research projects).

(13) Employees must complete a Gift Manageability Assessment and seek advice from the Chief Financial Officer or the Director, Office of Development, with regard to the potential impact on the University prior to accepting any in-kind donation.

(14) No person representing the University or the Foundation is to engage in speculation about the taxation implications or legal status of donations with respect to the potential impact on the donor. Donors should seek their own independent advice about these matters (refer Part E).

Part A - The UWS Foundation

(15) The UWS Foundation Ltd is a not-for-profit company established to act as Trustee for the University of Western Sydney Foundation Trust and for encouraging donations to the Trust.

(16) The Foundation is a wholly controlled entity of the University.

(17) The Foundation does not employ staff. The University, through UWS Development, employs staff responsible for providing administrative support to the Foundation and strategic support to the University and its Schools, Divisions, and other units within the University.

(18) The Foundation has Deductible Gift Recipient status under the Income Tax Assessment Act and is the holder of the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing's 'Authority to Fundraise' on behalf of the University. Only authorised representatives of the Foundation may undertake fundraising activities on behalf of the University. The Whitlam institute is an exception.

(19) The University, through the Foundation, will use a tied donation in the manner in which it was intended. Where this is not possible, the University will contact the donor or their representative and discuss alternative arrangements.

(20) Where the University receives an untied donation (through the UWS Foundation), the UWS Foundation Board in consultation with the University will determine where the donation is to be allocated.

The Whitlam Institute

(21) The Whitlam Institute may undertake its own fundraising activities in accordance with the principles set out in this policy.

Section 4 - Procedures

Part B - Solicitation of Donations to the UWS Foundation

(22) Solicitation of donations may be undertaken through various approved methods including, but not limited to, direct mail or face-to-face appeals. Approval to solicit donations must be obtained by Director, Office of Development.

(23) Staff including the Alumni Services and students wishing to undertake the soliciting of donations or fundraising activities for the University must apply in writing for approval from UWS Development. Applications should include who they will be approaching and the methods they intend to use.

Part C - Acceptance of Donations to the UWS Foundation

(24) The University accepts donations through a variety of means including: cash, cheque, credit cards, direct deposit, money order, shares, property and approved forms of in-kind donations.

(25) The University will process donations in a timely manner, and in accordance with relevant legislation, will issue a receipt upon acceptance of a donation.

(26) The Foundation does not accept the donation of artwork on behalf of the University, as these are given directly to the University. Where in-kind donations include the offer of art works to the UWS Art Collection, the University will accept or decline the donation in accordance with the UWS Art Promotion and Collection Policy.

(27) Where in-kind donations include the offer of books or other material to the UWS Library Collection, the University will accept or decline the donation in accordance with the UWS Library Collection Development and Access Policy.

(28) Where an offer of a donation is not accepted, the Director, Office of Development, in consultation with the UWS Foundation, will determine the appropriate manner in which to convey to the donor the University's decision.

(29) Certain fundraising activities are not regarded as philanthropic, and do not generate donations. Such activities include the sale of raffle tickets or tickets to attend a fundraising event. However, the donor may require specific acknowledgement of their support. Staff should liaise with UWS Development in every instance to ensure consistency in acknowledging donors.

(30) Donors are encouraged to provide written advice to the University with details of their donation, including identifying the amount, purpose, and if appropriate, pledge period of time.

(31) No employees or students engaged in activities resulting in or relating to receipting of donations (eg. fundraising, donor liaison) on behalf of the University will grant or accept favours for personal gain, and will avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest. Refer to the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Part D - Recording and Management of Donations

(32) UWS Development will receive, bank and process all donations on behalf of the University and the UWS Foundation. All Schools and other units of the University are responsible for ensuring that all donations received by the University by any means are forwarded immediately to the Foundation through UWS Development along with copies of any accompanying documentation such as letters, cards, notes, and agreements.

(33) UWS Development is responsible for ensuring that all monetary funds received by the University or Foundation are deposited to the correct Trust Fund. UWS Development must ensure that the funds are:

  1. deposited within 48 hours in the Foundation account;
  2. the donor is issued with an official receipt for tax purposes; and
  3. an appropriate acknowledgement is organised to be sent to the donor.

(34) UWS Development will maintain a secure fundraising database that will record sufficient information in order to manage the donation with regards to the donor's intent. Each record may contain:

  1. the name and contact details of the donor or their legal representative;
  2. the type of donation (cash, in-kind, bequest etc);
  3. a description of the donation (cheque, money order, shares, property, pledge, in-kind services);
  4. the amount or value of the donation, including pledge period, if appropriate;
  5. the conditions of the donation (if applicable) including if the donation is to be endowed and the terms of the endowment;
  6. the purpose to which funds/goods/services are to be used;
  7. the receipt details;
  8. the recognition provided to the donor by the University;
  9. the history of contact with the University;
  10. who was responsible for soliciting the donation and who is to be responsible for nurturing the donor.

(35) In the case of donations made in-kind the amount of the donation recorded will be that amount stipulated through independent valuation (see Part E below).

(36) Tied donations will be managed separately and in accordance with the donor's intent. Wherever possible the University will use the donation in accordance with the original specified purpose and conditions. Where this is not possible, the University will contact the donor, or their representative, to discuss alternative acceptable purposes.

(37) The University will inform the donor (or their legal representative) of the use to which donations have been disbursed, the amount of the disbursement, and if appropriate, the recipient (in the case of scholarships and prizes for tied donations).

(38) The University is bound by the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. Information gathered by the University about its donors in the normal course of receiving donations is subject to the University's Privacy Policy.

(39) All information pertaining to a donation is confidential and as such is to be protected from inappropriate distribution and/or publication. Distribution and publication of such information will be consistent with the donor's wishes and to the extent provided by law.

(40) Donors may request from UWS Development copies of the UWS Annual Report, which includes UWS financial statements.

Part E - Fundraising Activities

(41) The UWS Foundation Ltd is the holder of the Department of Gaming & Racing's 'Authority to Fundraise' on behalf of the University, and is thus the only authorized fundraising authority for the University. Accordingly all fundraising activities will be conducted through the Foundation via UWS Development.

(42) Fundraising activities must be free from unethical practices and consistent with the mission, goals and policies of the University.

(43) Only authorised representatives of the Foundation may conduct fundraising activities. Parties wishing to raise money on behalf of the Foundation must contact UWS Development prior to commencing these activities in order to complete an endorsement process in line with the Fundraising Act 1991.

(44) All materials used in advertising an approved fundraising activity must state the intended use for any money raised.

(45) Recognition should be given to donors in fundraising activities consistent with Part F of this policy.

(46) It is the responsibility of UWS Development to coordinate and manage the University's structured fundraising programs. This includes, but is not limited to, Alumni Appeals, Workplace Giving, Bequest Development programs, Project Campaigns, Scholarships and Prizes Program.

Part F - Taxation

(47) There are differing taxation provisions and requirements applicable to various types of donations (whether the donation is in cash or kind). These may impact on the donor and/or the University.

(48) Donors are encouraged to seek independent professional advice about the taxation status and any other business or legal implications associated with their donations.

(49) For taxation purposes, an independent valuation of the goods or services is required where a donation is made in-kind. The donor is responsible for arranging and paying costs associated with the valuation of the goods.

(50) The UWS Foundation is the University entity that holds Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status for the purpose of taxation. All donations that are eligible for tax-deductibility shall be credited to the UWS Foundation Trust. All non-tax deductable contributions and payments, such as the purchase of tickets or auction items, must not be banked into the UWS Foundation Trust but shall be banked through the University.

Section 5 - Guidelines

Part G - Donor Recognition

(51) The University will manage its relationships with its supporters and prospective supporters in a coherent and collaborative fashion.

(52) Donors or prospective donors may have multiple affiliations and interactions with different parts of the University, and the University's management of such relationships should seek to acknowledge this. Institutional collaboration and dialogue are essential for a coherent and coordinated approach to maximising donor support.

(53) A decision to make a philanthropic donation to an area of the University will be dictated by the donor's decisions and interests. The University will therefore adopt a donor-centric approach to requests for philanthropic support, based on an understanding of the donor's interests as well as the institution's needs.

(54) The University will ask for donations (including major bequests) in a planned and co-ordinated way, to maximise potential success and to discourage inappropriate, ill-considered, or multiple approaches to potential donors.

(55) Donations should be sought for the project(s) and area judged most likely to receive a donation from a prospective donor, based on an understanding of the prospective donor's interests.

(56) Once a donation or pledge has been received, effective management of donor relations encourages donor loyalty and provides a compelling case for the donor's continued support.

(57) Donor relations consists of three distinct elements:

  1. Acknowledgement - All donations to the University will be promptly and properly receipted
  2. Recognition - The University may publicly demonstrate its appreciation for the support given by donors through donations and pledges in a number of ways including:
    1. "Thank you" functions held with University Executive and/or the UWS Foundation Board members, including the Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor. Note: all UWS events involving donors must be approved by and organised in consultation with UWS Development.
    2. Acknowledgement of support on Honour Boards or similar.
    3. Naming rights (approved in accordance to the UWS Naming Policy). Note: Australian Taxation Office Rulings indicate that mere public recognition does not constitute a material benefit to the donor.
  3. Stewardship - The University accepts responsibility for advising donors on the use of funds donated and the impact of their donations to the University.