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Philanthropic Fundraising Policy




Policy statements

Policy ownership and support


Approval information

PDF version


1. Purpose

1.1 The Philanthropic Fundraising Policy (the policy) provides a framework for the management and coordination of the university’s fundraising and external relationship activities.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy governs the university’s fundraising activities undertaken by or on behalf of UTS. This policy applies to all individuals involved in these activities.

2.2 The following activities are out of scope of this policy:

3. Principles

3.1 A strategic and collaborative approach to fundraising will be implemented across UTS to better serve the needs of the university, its donors and the community.

3.2 Relationships with supporters will be appropriately managed for the long term to avoid repetitive, multiple, conflicting, or inappropriate cultivations. The university should work collaboratively to ensure relationships are managed in a coordinated manner.

3.3 Fundraising activities will be conducted ethically, in line with the university’s strategies, values and policies (see Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy). UTS staff engaged in fundraising activities must conduct themselves as ambassadors for the entire university in line with the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy and the Code of Conduct.

3.4 All fundraising activities will be managed via written agreement.

3.5 Gift agreements will not permit donors to influence any decision or behaviour of UTS.

3.6 The university reserves the right to reject funds from any source based on their alignment with the university’s values and potential impact on reputational risk.

4. Policy statements

Relationships, reputation management and collaboration

4.1 The Advancement Unit will provide guidance to the university community to ensure collaborative, effective and considerate donor and prospective donor relationship management, providing the basis for a coordinated approach.

4.2 It is the collective responsibility of all university staff engaging in seeking incoming funds to take a holistic approach to donor relationship management and seek to collaborate internally where possible.

4.3 The Advancement Unit is responsible for developing and overseeing a donor relations program outlining appropriate engagement strategies and developing appropriate procedures for engaging current, past and prospective donors.

4.4 In managing relations with donors, the university will adopt a ‘donor-centric’ approach to requests for philanthropic support, acknowledging and working to accommodate the donor’s interests as well as the university’s needs. This should be done in line with the Donor Management Procedures (staff only).

4.5 In line with the Research Management Policy, any funds from the tobacco industry are prohibited. Outside that industry, all prospective donors will be assessed through a due diligence and risk assessment process by the Advancement Unit.

Fundraising projects

4.6 Fundraising projects may be approved at a local-level or at a university-level in line with this policy and the procedures approved and published by the Vice-President (Advancement) from time to time.

4.7 Fundraising projects must be approved following the development of an appropriate proposal or business case in advance of any cultivation taking place.

4.8 Members of UTS staff authorised to approve fundraising projects and cultivation of donors are outlined in the UTS Delegations.

4.9 Donor cultivation must be undertaken in a planned and co-ordinated manner in collaboration with the Advancement Unit to avoid overlapping, conflicting or otherwise inappropriate approaches to donors.

4.10 Donors should seek independent legal and financial advice as required with regard to their gift or agreement.

4.11 The Office of the Vice-President Advancement (Advancement Unit) is responsible for developing and maintaining a list of approved fundraising projects for the university. Staff with approval authority for fundraising projects are responsible for ensuring project inclusion on the Advancement Unit list of projects in line with the Data Governance Policy.

Donations management

4.12 The university accepts donations in cash, in-kind, by bequest or in any other manner deemed appropriate by the donor and the university in line with this policy.

4.13 Donations to the university must be accepted and managed in line with the relevant donation procedures and the Delegations.

4.14 The university may decide at its absolute discretion to decline a donation. A record of all declined donations will be kept by the Advancement Unit.

4.15 In accepting or declining a donation, the relevant staff member with delegated authority should ensure that appropriate risk reviews are undertaken as part of the approval process.

4.16 All accepted donations to UTS will be processed and managed via the UTS Foundation and in accordance with the Donation Management Procedures (staff only).

The UTS Foundation

4.17 The UTS Foundation, established by Council, pursuant to the UTS Foundation Charter, accepts donations made to the university, seeks to encourage and promote philanthropy and other charitable activity.

4.18 The Advancement Unit is responsible for managing and maintaining records of all donations received by the UTS Foundation and for issuing appropriate tax-deductible receipts for all donations.

4.19 UTS must ensure, through proper fund management, that the entire donated amount goes to support the project(s) for which it was given. Where this is not possible, every effort will be made to adhere as closely as possible to the original wishes of the donor.

4.20 All donations (other than endowment) will be disbursed in full via the UTS Foundation to the relevant local-area in accordance with the agreed purpose. These donations should be disbursed and spent within a reasonable timeframe.

4.21 Endowment funds will be managed in the UTS Foundation’s accounts.

4.22 The beneficiary must report on expenditure of the donation to the Vice-President Advancement in accordance with the Donation Management Procedures (staff only).

The UTS donation register

4.23 The Advancement Unit will manage and maintain a donation register as the university’s sole repository of information relating to donations. This will be managed (and access granted) in line with the Privacy Policy, Records Management Policy, Data Governance Policy, Donor Management Procedures (staff only) and Donation Management Procedures (staff only) as approved by the Vice President (Advancement).

4.24 A report outlining gift register acquittals will be provided annually to Council via the Finance Committee.

Disputes and breaches

4.25 Any concerns or disputes in relation to the management or approval of fundraising projects, or the decision to approve or disapprove of donations will be referred to the Vice-President (Advancement) for decision or resolution.

4.26 Breaches of this policy will be managed in line with the Code of Conduct, Enterprise Agreements and/or relevant legislation as appropriate to the nature of the breach.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Vice-President (Advancement) is responsible for this policy, its enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed. The Vice-President (Advancement) is also responsible for the approval and publication of any associated university level procedures.

5.2 Policy contact: The Chief Advancement Officer is responsible for the day to day implementation of this policy, acts as a primary point of contact for advice on fulfilling provisions relating to fundraising projects and for the management of donations.

6. Definitions

The following definitions apply for this policy and all associated procedures.

Beneficiary means the recipient of a donation (eg university/faculty/department/project or academic).

Bequest means a donation of assets or cash by will.

Cultivation (also donor cultivation) means, for the purpose of this policy, the act of approaching prospective donors via university approved mechanisms, to build relationships with a view to requesting funding or support for the university.

Donation means a voluntary transfer of money or property to the university by way of benefaction where no material benefit is received by the donor from UTS in return. Donation includes the terms ‘gift, grant, bequest, devise’ as used in section 18(1)(a) of the University of Technology Sydney Act 1989 (NSW) and for a fundraising project or pledge (whether or not completed).

Donors means any individual or organisation that makes, has made or wishes to make a donation to UTS.

Endowment means a donation for a specific purpose made with the intention that the provided funds are invested to ensure ongoing support for beneficiaries resulting from the investment earnings.

Fundraising means all activities undertaken by or on behalf of the university with the aim of seeking or receiving money or property through donation.

Fundraising project means an approved and defined activity undertaken by or on behalf of the University with the aim of soliciting or receiving donations including community fundraising for a specific purpose(s).

Gift – see donation.

Gift agreement means the written record of the terms of the donation as executed by the university and the donor.

Donation register means the register containing the details of terms and conditions, income and expenditure of the university’s gifts managed by the Advancement Unit.

Grant is the provision of financial assistance from a grant-making entity (such as a charitable foundation). As UTS is a non-profit body, grants may be treated as donations if the grant does not involve the return of any material benefit to the grant-maker. This is separate from federal, state and local government grants which are not philanthropic and are therefore out of scope.

In-kind means a donation made in a manner other than a donation of money. This can include goods, or property as valued by the Australian Taxation Office, in-kind services such as mentoring or time and expertise (including service on an advisory board).

Local-level (also local-area) means faculties, units, centres and other educational or business areas involved in raising funds.

Pledge means a documented commitment to make a gift within a specified period of time.

Sponsorship means a transfer of money or property to the university in a transaction where the sponsor receives certain specified material benefits in return. Sponsorships can take the form of financial transfers, events, scholarships, internships, projects, services or activities undertaking by or on behalf of UTS It should be noted that all sponsorships (financial and ‘in kind’) attract GST. For guidance and information, contact the Corporate Relations Centre.

Tobacco industry is defined in the Research Management Policy.

Approval information

Policy contact Chief Advancement Officer
Approval authority Council
Review date 2023
File number UR20/959
Superseded documents Fundraising Policy 2009 (UR09/555)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Council (COU/20-2/31) 15/04/2020 25/05/2020 New policy.
1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit under Delegation 3.14.1 03/06/2020 03/06/2020 Minor amendment to clarify a due diligence and risk assessment process in statement 4.5.

PDF version

Philanthropic Fundraising Policy (PDF 179KB)



Code of Conduct

Commercial Activities Policy

Data Governance Policy

Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy

Donation Management Procedures (staff only)

Donor Management Procedures (staff only)

Honorary Titles and Awards Policy

Research Management Policy

Privacy Policy

UTS Delegations

Privacy Management Plan (PDF) (available at privacy regulations)

UTS Foundation Charter (staff only)

UTS Gifts and Benefits Vice-Chancellor's Directive (under review)


University of Technology Sydney Act 1989 (NSW)

Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW)