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Gift Acceptance and Naming Policy

Policy statement: gift acceptance

1. Ultimate responsibility for the acceptance – or otherwise – of gifts to the University rests with the Council of the University. Operational responsibility is however delegated to the Gift Acceptance Committee (GAC) and the Director of Advancement.

2. All actual or potential gifts to the University must be notified to the Research Manager: Advancement Operations in the Advancement Team at the earliest opportunity. In any event, members of staff must not solicit a gift – or accept an unsolicited gift – with a value of £75,000 or more (cumulative over a five-year period in the case of a sequence of gifts) without the agreement of the GAC or the Director of Advancement in accordance with this policy. The Research Manager: Advancement Operations will serve as a point of contact for both. All gift thresholds are exclusive of Gift Aid or any matched funding that might be applicable.

3. Gifts will be rejected which are judged not to be in line with the University’s strategy and values and its charitable status. For example, a gift will be rejected if it is not wholly consistent with the precepts of impartial, independent research, scholarship and learning. Similarly, no gift will be accepted from a tobacco company. Where gifts in kind of art or other special collection items are offered or donated, the relevant University Collections Development Policy shall also be consulted prior to accepting the gift.

4. Donations above the agreed thresholds will be accepted only after due diligence, including, as appropriate, consideration of any strategic, financial, legal, ethical and reputational issues. In particular, for any single gift or proposed gift with a value of £75,000 or more, and for any series of gifts or proposed series of gifts with a value of £75,000 or more over a five-year period, an assessment will be made to confirm insofar as reasonable endeavours enable:

(a) that the source of funds is clear;

(b) that the gift is in line with the University’s strategy and values and its charitable status;

(c) that there are no material conflicts of interest;

(d) that there are no financial or legal obstacles to acceptance of the gift;

(e) that any significant known reputational risks for the University are considered; and

(f) that the gift is consistent with other clauses of this policy.

Judgements will be based so far as possible on firm evidence; a clear distinction will be drawn between confirmed fact or legal finding on the one hand, and, on the other, rumour or speculation.

5. In the case of charitable trusts and foundations, the decision to accept or reject the gift will be made after successful solicitation; similarly, in the case of legacy gifts, the decision will be made after the monies are offered.

6. Records will be kept to confirm the decisions made by the GAC and the decision-making process. Records may be destroyed after seven years of a gift being made.

7. The extent of enquiries made under point 4 of this gift acceptance policy statement will be proportionate to the value of the gift, within the following framework:

(a) the solicitation or acceptance of gifts with a value of £75,000 or more (or a series of gifts with a value of £75,000 or more over five years) will require the approval of the Director of Advancement, who may consult the GAC as necessary;

(b) the solicitation or acceptance of gifts with a value of £150,000 or more (or a series of gifts with a value of £150,000 or more over five years) will require the approval of the GAC, which may consult the Ethics and Values Committee as it considers necessary;

(c) all gifts of real property, and donations which take the form of non-publicly traded securities, will require the approval of the GAC and;

(d) other gifts may be referred, at the discretion of the Director of Advancement, to the GAC for approval.

8. Due diligence will be refreshed every five years where an ongoing donor relationship exists and any changes of note will be reported to the GAC. Where a subsequent gift takes a donor over the £150,000 gift threshold, the case will be updated and presented to the Committee.

9. The University will provide a gift agreement for all gifts over £75,000 detailing how the gift will be used and the agreed payment schedule.

10. Where appropriate, donors will be offered opportunities for continuing engagement with the activities they have funded. Donors will not however receive any preferential treatment in respect of the University’s academic activities or business affairs. In particular, no donation will lead to any departure from standard policies and procedures in respect of the recruitment and admission of students, the appointment or promotion of staff, honorary appointments, procurement or governance and management (including the governance and management of any activity or facility funded by a donation).

11. If subsequent events (including the availability of new information) require, the University may, at the discretion of the GAC, review and reconsider previous decisions to solicit or accept particular donations. The response to such circumstances will be transparent and proportionate.

Policy statement: naming

1. Subject to points 2 to 4 of this naming policy statement, facilities, posts and activities funded by a donation may be named after the donor if the donation covers the full cost of the facility, post or activity in question.

2. The naming of any facilities (including buildings, rooms and equipment), posts or activities funded by gifts over £150,000 will be subject to the approval of the GAC, which may consult Ethics and Values Committee at its discretion.

3. A donor’s support may also be recognised by naming a space or facility which is not directly related to a donor’s gift, providing:

(a) that the naming opportunity is commensurate in value and prominence with the support being recognised;

(b) that, when calculating the value of support, other named gifts are not taken into account;

(c) that the offering of such naming opportunities is agreed by the GAC, regardless of the value of the support.

4. All named gifts over £150,000 will be reported to the Council.

5. Deviations to the principle at point 1 of this naming policy statement, may be agreed by the GAC but in no circumstances may the Committee set aside the provisions of points 2 to 4.

6. The decision to name a facility, post or activity may be revoked, if circumstances warrant, through the process indicated at point 11 of the Policy statement: gift acceptance.