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Advancement Guidelines

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Section 1 - Overview & Scope

(1) These guidelines support the Advancement Principles and guide the University of New England (UNE) in providing a consistent, whole-of-institution approach to advancement-related activities.

(2) These guidelines apply to:

  1. all UNE staff, faculties, schools, groups, research centres, directorates, controlled entities and residential colleges, and the advancement, fundraising, alumni and engagement related activities and events held by the University;
  2. all donations, grants and sponsorships by corporate and individual philanthropy, accepted for or on behalf of the University, the UNE Foundation, and entities of UNE, including donations for scholarships and prizes but excluding:
    1. human anatomy donations;
    2. government funded or non-philanthropic scholarships or prizes; and
    3. private sponsorships and scholarships for Higher Degree Research students from external parties unaffiliated with UNE;
  3. cultural donations including donations of cultural, literary, heritage, scientific, research, archival or artistic material to the Dixson Library, Archives and Heritage Centre, Art Collection, and other UNE museum and specialist collections such as the NCW Beadle Herbarium, Earth Sciences and Zoology Collections.

(3) These guidelines do not apply to gifts or benefits offered to or received by UNE Representatives. Such gifts and benefits are covered by the Gifts and Benefits Rule. 

(4) Advancement, Communications and Events oversees and coordinates all advancement-related activities at UNE. Within these guidelines:

  1. Part A deals with the solicitation of donations;
  2. Part B deals with the criteria and process for the acceptance of donations; and
  3. Part C deals with the processes for recognising donors.

Part A - Solicitation of Donations

(5) To ensure UNE meets donor and stakeholder expectations, the University must maintain a coordinated and consistent approach to contacting potential donors and managing donors who offer support. 

(6) Only authorised staff, faculties, schools, groups, research centres, directorates, controlled entities and residential colleges may be involved in advancement-related activities. However, all UNE Representatives, faculties and schools must notify, and seek the advice of, Advancement, Communications and Events on any planned advancement related activity or strategy (including fundraising campaigns, in person contact, direct mail outs, telephone or email contact and crowdfunding). Advancement, Communications and Events will advise if an activity requires the approval of the Director, Advancement, Communications and Events prior to any activity being conducted. All UNE Representatives, Faculties and Schools must also notify Advancement, Communication and Events of any enquiries or approaches from individuals or corporations about a potential donation.

(7) All UNE Representatives involved in solicitation, (and all advancement-related activities) must exercise prudent judgement in accordance with UNE’s Code of Conduct, Conflicts of Interest Policy, Records Management Rule and Privacy Management Plan.

(8) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for setting UNE’s fundraising priorities. All fundraising campaigns must align with those priorities and all-organisation wide fundraising activities must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

Part B - Criteria and process for acceptance of donations

(9) UNE may be offered and receive donations in a number of categories, including: 

  1. Money through bank transfer, cheque or credit card*;
  2. Personal property;
  3. Intellectual property;
  4. Real estate;
  5. Securities (stocks or bonds);
  6. Royalties, distribution rights or alternative  assets;
  7. Partnership interest;
  8. Insurance (policies where UNE is named a beneficiary); and
  9. Cultural donations either gifted during the donor's lifetime or made via a bequest.
*No physical cash donations will be accepted. 

(10) Where practicable, the UNE Foundation is the preferred recipient of all donations. The UNE Foundation is a controlled entity of the University of New England and acts as the trustee of the UNE Foundation charitable trust. The UNE Foundation Board decides how to invest trust funds and on advice of the University approves the distribution of funds and determines their purpose.

(11) Donations to UNE and the UNE Foundation are tax deductible under Australian law and must comply with the requirements set by the Australian Taxation Office. Potential donors are encouraged to seek independent professional advice about the taxation status and any other business or legal implications of their donation or potential donation. Advancement, Communication and Events may work with such advisers to assist with donation arrangements.

(12) UNE will generally accept donations where their purpose or requirements align with the strategic objectives and responsibilities of the University as outlined in UNE’s object and functions under the UNE Act 1993 and Strategic Plan. A donor may express a preference as to how a donation is used and UNE prefers that this preference be agreed in writing at the time the donation is provided. All donations are treated in accordance with the donor's preference, to the extent consistent with the letter and spirit of the law.

(13) UNE reserves the right to decline a donation for any reason. A donation may be refused with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor or their delegate. However, in general, UNE will not accept donations from:

  1. individuals and entities involved with criminal activities, slavery, tobacco, illicit drugs, or pornography; 
  2. individuals or entities associated with breaches of human rights, use of child labour, anti-competitive practices, or lack of environmental responsibility; and
  3. countries or states listed under the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011.

(14) The value, marketability and nature of any donation offered and the proposed purpose(s) to which the donation is being directed must be considered in a determination on accepting a donation. Additional specific requirements for determining the acceptance of donations include:

  1. Donations that could be classified as a University Collection must be dealt with under the University Collections Principles and University Collections Guidelines.
  2. Non-cash donations are considered having regard to UNE’s capacity to use the donation effectively, the benefits it may bring, and any ongoing costs associated with its ongoing use and maintenance.
  3. Donations with a value under $25,000 may be considered and approved by the Director, Advancement, Communications and Events.
  4. Donations with a value over $25,000, where a donation may attract special interest, attention or adverse comment, or where there is any doubt as to the ability of the University to utilise a donation or meet any requirements or associations that acceptance may impose upon it, must be considered by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) and escalated, as required, to the Vice-Chancellor for consideration and approval or non-acceptance.

(15) The Director, Advancement, Communications and Events will notify the donor of the decision on the donation and ensure all documentation is recorded in UNE’s Records Management System. If the donation is for the establishment of a prize or scholarship, Advancement, Communications and Events will establish the prize or scholarship in accordance with the Prizes and Scholarships Rule.

(16) UNE reserves the right to broaden the purpose of a donation should it be determined by the Vice-Chancellor and the Director, Advancement, Communications and Events that the purpose of the donation no longer best serves the mission of the University. The re-purposing will be discussed with the donor. The UNE Foundation Board will make decisions regarding the use of donor funds on behalf of UNE, in the event that donors and/or their representatives cannot be contacted by the University.

Part C - Donor Recognition

(17) UNE acknowledges the important role that donors play in the success of UNE and will ensure that appropriate recognition of donors occurs.

(18) The Advancement, Communications, and Events Directorate manages the University’s donor recognition strategies and any donor recognition will be at the discretion of the Director of Advancement, Communications and Events.

(19) UNE may recognise persons who have either supported the University through distinguished effort or substantial financial endowment by naming facilities in their honour. This will occur in accordance with the University’s Naming of Facilities at UNE Policy.

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer
Sets UNE’s fundraising priorities and approves organisation-wide fundraising activities.
If escalated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations), considers and decides on donations with a value over $25,000, where a donation may attract special interest, attention or adverse comment, or where there is any doubt as to the ability of the University to utilise a donation or meet any requirements or associations that acceptance may impose upon it.
UNE Foundation
Receives and invests donations.
Distributes donations to UNE for use in line with the wishes of donors.
Makes decisions regarding the use of donor funds on behalf of the University of New England, in the event that donors and/or their representatives cannot be contacted by the University.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations)
Considers and decides on donations with a value over $25,000, where a donation may attract special interest, attention or adverse comment, or where there is any doubt as to the ability of the University to utilise a donation or meet any requirements or associations that acceptance may impose upon it.
Responsible for establishing annual operational priorities and resources available for Advancement, Communications, and Events, in accordance with the UNE Strategic Plan and any specific priorities determined by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.
Director, Advancement, Communications and Events
Approves certain advancement-related activities and strategies.
Considers and decides on donations under $25,000.
Notifies donors of decision on donations.
Decides on appropriate donor recognition.
Monitors and reports on compliance with guidelines and Advancement Principles to Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations).
Advancement, Communications and Events
Oversees advancement related activities and strategies, including appeals, solicitation and donor communications and recognition.
Overall management, stewardship, and development of external stakeholder relationships, including alumni, sponsors and donors.
Establishment and management of new prizes and scholarships
Advise UNE Representatives, Faculties and Schools if an advancement-related activity requires the approval of the Director, Advancement, Communications and Events.
UNE staff, faculties, schools, groups, research centres, directorates, controlled entities and residential colleges
Seek advice from Advancement, Communications and Events on any planned advancement related activity or strategy.
Notify Advancement, Communication and Events of any enquiries or approaches from individuals or corporations about a potential donation
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Section 2 - Authority and Compliance

(20) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer makes these guidelines.

(21) UNE Representatives must observe these guidelines in relation to University matters. The Director, Advancement Communications and Events will regularly monitor and report to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) on the operation of, and compliance with, these guidelines.

(22) All information relevant to alumni, potential donors, donors and donations must be maintained and handled in compliance with the Privacy Management Plan and Records Management Rule.

(23) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date. Previous procedures on Advancement are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of these new Guidelines.

(24) Notwithstanding other provisions of these Guidelines, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to these Guidelines where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of these Guidelines would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 3 - Definitions

“Cultural Donations” are items of cultural or community significance which may enhance UNE’s collections for research or teaching and can include:
  1. Indigenous arts
  2. Cultural artefacts
  3. Natural and scientific materials
  4. Film and social history pieces
  5. paintings
  6. manuscripts
  7. books
  8. antiques
  9. jewelry
Donations” refer to an intention to give (which is evidenced in writing or through another act) by an individual or corporation who does not receive any material benefit or advantage as a consequence of the donation and transfers all rights, titles and interest in the property to the University. A donation may be made during the lifetime of the donor (an ‘inter vivos gift’) or after the death of the donor (a ‘bequest’). The terms of the donation determine whether the University holds the donation as trustee or otherwise absolutely. 
Sponsorship” is a relationship with a business, corporation or industry group that involves offering recognition for support towards a program, exhibition, event or activity. The sponsorship is to be covered by an agreement between both parties that includes information about payment schedules, recognition/acknowledgement and joint activities, marketing and promotions.
"University Collection" - A University Collection is a coherent group of items that have historic, aesthetic, cultural, scientific, research or social significance to the University or its teaching program, where ownership is clearly vested in the University, and which has been approved for entry on the University Collections Register.