HSA Fundraising, Solicitation and Grant Writing

Fundraising, Solicitation and Grant Writing Policy

Introduction

Generating public and private support for South Plains College is one of the major institutional priorities of the College. Planning and coordination are essential to successful fundraising efforts and for avoiding duplication in approaching potential donors in the name of the College. South Plains College maintains an institutional advancement program coordinated by the Division of Institutional Advancement. Institutional advancement is directly related to the College’s purpose and goals and is largely achieved through the efforts of the office of the President, the office of Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the Office of Development, and the Office of College Relations.

Purpose

An integral component of strategic planning, the resource development program facilitates the coordination of and acquisition of external funds for projects and activities which support the purposes of the College. South Plains College seeks to identify and pursue all potential sources of internal and external funding which can further the achievement of its purpose and goals. To be most effective, fundraising efforts must be related to the purpose of the College, be carefully coordinated to serve the best interests of the College and be aligned with the College’s annual planning and evaluation process.

Responsibility

Responsibility for the coordination of all fundraising and solicitations of private support from individuals, foundations, businesses, corporations and organizations rests with the Division of Institutional Advancement. The Office of Development has been designated by the President to be responsible for the planning, evaluation and initiation of all philanthropic activities for the College and the South Plains College Foundation. Other faculty and staff members are encouraged to assist in fundraising and solicitation activities as appropriate. Solicitations of private contributions and gifts-in-kind made by anyone for the benefit of South Plains College require the prior approval of the President through the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and/or the Director of Development.

The Director of Athletics is responsible for coordinating all fundraising activities that benefit the intercollegiate athletics program at South Plains College. Fundraising done on behalf of the athletic department must have the approval of the Director of Athletics and the President of the College.

The intent of this policy is to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of fundraising programs and to avoid confusion on the part of donors and prospective donors.

Definitions

Fundraising and solicitation activities referred to in this policy statement may include, but are not limited to requests for pledges, cash, corporate sponsorships, securities, items of property, donated services, gifts-in-kind, deferred or planned gifts, and grants designed to support College programs, scholarships, student activities, endowments, faculty development and capital expansion.

Fundraising and Solicitations

The following applies to all South Plains College fundraising activities:

1. The College shall accept gifts and grants for the implementation and support of accepted programs which are consistent with the purpose and goals of the College, its educational programs and services and which are deemed consistent with the laws, regulations, and policies of the State of Texas and the federal government.

2. The purpose for which funds shall be sought shall be cleared in advance of any solicitation of any potential donor by the Office of Development.

3. No individual or unit of the College shall solicit funds in the name of or on behalf of the College until and unless authorized to do so by the President or his designee. College personnel shall not benefit personally through commission or other benefits that may be related to any gifts, sponsorships or grants received by the College.

4. Any individual, employee or unit of the College wishing to undertake fundraising, solicitation of contributions or acceptance of gifts-in-kind in the name of the College shall complete a Fundraising Activity Approval Form and submit the form to the Office of Development. Completed forms with required signatures must be on file at least two weeks prior to the commencement of any fundraising activity.

5. Gifts and grants can only be accepted by the President or his designee.

6. All requests for gifts or grants shall be made within ethical business, professional and philanthropic promotional practices to avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in present or future relationships.

7. All donors shall be treated fairly and equitably with respect to credit and recognition for gifts or grants accepted by the College.

8. All fundraising shall be conducted with a view toward maximizing the college’s philanthropic potential with each constituency – individual, civic organization, business, industry, foundation, government agency, etc.

Gifts

The college routinely seeks gifts from a wide variety of donors to include business, industry, foundations, civic organizations, college employees, alumni and other individuals. Prospective donors may be approached individually to solicit major gifts or as part of a group identified to participate in a directed fundraising campaign or special event.

Gifts will be solicited for and accepted by the South Plains College Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization established for the purpose of acting in partnership with the College to serve the educational purposes of the institution. The South Plains College Foundation shall not accept any gifts which may jeopardize its tax exempt status with the State of Texas or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Federal IRS regulations applicable to a donor may mandate that the College accept a gift directly.

Gifts to the Foundation may take one or more of the following forms: 1) cash; 2) stocks, bonds, securities, or other negotiable instruments; 3) real property; 4) gifts-in-kind, such as equipment, supplies, professional services, furniture, books, artwork, etc.; 5) annuities and life insurance.

The complexity of laws governing gifts makes it necessary that all solicitation and acceptance of gifts be approved by the President or the Director of Development. Faculty and staff members who are approached by prospective donors who wish to make an unsolicited gift to the College should refer all such donors to the Office of Development.

Donors may designate how a gift is to be used by the Foundation. The Office of Development shall be responsible for receiving, acknowledging, managing, accounting for, and using gifts in accordance with the purpose designated by the donor. The categories of funds generated through gifts are as follows.

Unrestricted Gifts. These gifts may be applied by the Foundation in any manner deemed best for the College.

Restricted Gifts. These gifts must be used for the designated purpose, such as to provide student scholarships, endowed scholarships, library materials, capital improvements, etc. Acceptance of a restricted gift imposes a legal obligation to comply with the terms established by the donor. Therefore, it is necessary that the nature and the extent of this obligation be clearly understood. For this reason, the terms of each restricted gift will be reviewed with care to ensure the gift retains its original usefulness and beneficial qualities. If a gift is deemed unacceptable because of the restrictions the donor has placed on its use, the donor will be counseled to remove or modify the restrictions. Gifts will be refused or returned under the following circumstances: 1) the purpose of the gift is inappropriate or not conducive to the purpose and best interests of the College; and 2) the gift obligates the College to undertake responsibilities, financial or otherwise, which it may not be capable of meeting for the period required by the terms of the gift.

Deferred/Planned Gifts. These gifts provide the college benefits in the future through such forms as annuities or life insurance. Proceeds from deferred or planned giving may be unrestricted, designated or restricted as the donor may stipulate.

Gifts-in-Kind. The South Plains College Foundation accepts gifts-in-kind, as described above, intended by the donor to benefit the College. Such gifts are reviewed with care to ensure that acceptance will not involve financial commitments in excess of budgeted items or commit the College to other obligations disproportionate to the usefulness of the gift. Donors must complete a Gift-in-Kind Form provided by the Office of Development. When gifts-in-kind are given to the College with the intent of the donor to receive a tax deduction, it shall be the responsibility of the donor and a requirement of the IRS that the donor, not the College, obtain an independent appraisal of the gift for tax purposes. Neither the College nor the South Plains College Foundation shall become involved in establishing the value of an in-kind gift of property or service for the donor’s purpose, including any aspect of the appraisal process. The College and the Foundation may independently seek advice as to the value of a non-cash gift in order to determine its future disposition. The College and/or the South Plains College Foundation may elect not to accept a gift-in-kind for any of the following reasons: 1) the equipment is obsolete; 2) the intended gift would involve a high level of projected maintenance or operating costs not covered as part of the donation; 3) installation costs, in the case of a gift of equipment, would be prohibitive.

Deposit of Private Funds. It is official College policy that private funds contributed to any unit of the College must be deposited with the South Plains College Foundation to be used at the discretion of the unit in accord with the requirements of the donor. Deposit of such funds in private bank accounts in the name of the unit or faculty and staff involved is prohibited under State and College fiscal policy. Restricted contributions for scholarships or other purposes must be deposited with the South Plains College Foundation.

Acknowledgment and Recording of Gifts. It is the responsibility of the Office of Development to officially record and acknowledge receipt of gifts made to the College through the South Plains College Foundation, including cash, pledges, securities, real estate, and other gifts-in-kind. Major gifts shall be acknowledged by the President of the College.

The Office of College Relations is responsible for the preparation and distribution of all public statements, in the form of media releases and other publicity, regarding gifts to the College. Donor anonymity will be protected whenever desired by the donor. Approval for the release of information about gifts to the public must be granted by the Director of Development before any publicity action may be taken.

Guidelines for Evaluating Potential Gifts

South Plains College and the South Plains College Foundation are legally obligated to adhere to the terms and conditions of every gift. Therefore, the person(s) soliciting or approached regarding gifts should exercise care in considering the terms of each gift to be certain that they are feasible, do not hamper the usefulness and desirability of the gift, and are in conformity with College policy and IRS regulations.

The following guidelines will be used in evaluation of gifts to the College.

* The purpose for which the gift is given must be consistent with the stated purpose, goals, objectives and educational philosophy of South Plains College.

* All gifts must be within IRS regulations governing charitable contributions and cannot be restricted for the donor’s direct benefit.

* No gift shall be accepted with an intent so restrictive as to make the gift’s use unnecessarily difficult.

* The nature of the gift, the identity of the donor, and the kind of program which the gift is intended to support shall be carefully evaluated in order to avoid placing the College or the Foundation in an undesirable position.

* Policies established by the College and the Foundation concerning accounting procedures and funds designation must be adhered to.

* The cost of accepting a non-cash gift must be considered in advance. Generally, the unit planning to use the gift will be responsible for delivery, storage, permanent installation, operation and maintenance. If Foundation or general College funds are needed to secure, store and/or install, operate or maintain the gift, these funds must be requested and obtained before accepting the gift.

External Grants and Contracts

External grants and contracts are available to community colleges from a number of sources, both public and private, to fund a variety of programs and purposes. South Plains College shall identify and pursue those sources from which it may be eligible and competitive for the award of a grant. All external grants and contracts must conform to the purpose and goals of South Plains College, maintain a balance between grant/contract activities and instruction and institutional controls.

Grant funds include those monies or services sought and/or acquired through any grant-solicitation process, in addition to state funds, used in the required ongoing operation of the College. This policy excludes external grant funding for federal and state student financial aid programs.

The Executive Council is the body responsible for coordinating the grant-seeking and application process for state and federal grants. All grant proposals must receive approval from the Executive Council prior to recommendation to the President for final action. All grant applications must be approved by the President.

The Office of Development and/or the South Plains College Foundation are responsible for coordinating the grant-seeking and application process for private grants from foundations, corporations and other philanthropic organizations

To support grant-seeking and application activities the Office of Institutional Advancement shall provide the following:

* Maintain a library of periodicals and other materials on funding agencies and proposal preparation;

* Develop a college profile that matches the purposes for which the college might apply for a grant with potential funding agencies;

* Circulate promising grant announcements to appropriate members of the faculty and staff;

* Assist faculty and staff members with the proposal development process, as needed;

* Act as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of all grant proposals submitted by the College;

* Serve as the centralized repository for the recording and reporting of all grant proposals and award notices.

All proposed projects which seek funding through external grants/contracts that are developed and entered into or accepted by the College require thorough review by the divisional personnel in the grant/contract, the Executive Council, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the President of the College. A Grant Approval Form must be completed and forwarded to the appropriate vice president for review and approval.

South Plains College is a teaching institution, not a research institution. The institution allows for academic freedom and faculty and staff have the option to engage in research. Investigation, reporting and publishing findings or results must not diminish or detract from their primary responsibilities as specified in their employment contract.

Care must be taken to assure that the grant/contract does not threaten financial support for general institutional activities, create an imbalance between grant activities and instructional priorities, or jeopardize the control exercised by the College over grant or contract activities. Before a staff or faculty member develops a grant or contract proposal, he/she must discuss the proposal with the appropriate dean, vice president and Director of Development to ensure that provisions of this policy are met.

The President makes the final decision to accept or refuse terms and/or conditions of externally funded grants or contracts. All contracts must have the signature of the President of the College or the Vice President for Finance and Administration for approval.

With the exception of South Plains College Foundation acquired grants, the grant program’s designated Project Director shall be the negotiator for grant awards; however, the President shall be designated as the appropriate college official for award notifications.

Grant requests are submitted directly to governmental agencies on behalf of the College unless the grantor requires a 501 (c) (3) agency. In this case, the grant proposal will be submitted through the South Plains College Foundation and require the appropriate Board of Directors action and signatures as necessary.

Fiscal Management of Grants and Contracts

The Vice President for Finance and Administration shall be responsible for the review and fiscal impact determination of all external grant and contract awards. Recommendations shall be made to the Executive Council and the President.

Fiscal management responsibility for grant awards shall be handled by the Business Office through the Grant Accountant in coordination with the Project Director.

All contracts with outside agencies may be reviewed by an attorney for proper legal form and proper protection of the interests of the College prior to application. The legal review may be made by the college attorney or any other attorney selected by the college.

Acceptance of externally funded grants, contracts or other sponsored programs is accompanied by the College’s commitment to fiscal and programmatic accountability. Funds are awarded to the College and not to individuals.

When, in the execution of grants and contracts, it is necessary to employ individuals to carry out the terms of the grant or contract, said individuals will be employed for the term specified. Grant or contract employees will be employed under the same employment conditions and salary schedule as for comparable positions in the College. Such part-time employees will be required to complete and submit time and effort reports monthly to the appropriate supervisor.

The Business Office exercises fiscal control of all externally-funded grants, contracts and other sponsored programs. Separate accounts are established for each grant, contract or sponsored program. Financial statements are prepared and distributed monthly to the appropriate dean, vice president and the individual(s) responsible for carrying out the program. Financial statements are prepared according to generally accepted accounting practices. Purchasing and contracting subordinate to grants will be conducted to meet the sponsoring agencies guidelines, but will always meet the requirements of the College’s and State’s purchasing and contract policies.

Externally funded grants and contracts are audited annually by the college’s independent auditing firm. Grants and contracts are also made available for audit on demand by the sponsoring agency.

Student Organizations and Employee Fundraising

When student or employee groups plan to solicit gifts or raise funds on behalf of the College and their particular group or organization, they are to avoid duplication and repetitious requests of potential contributors in the community and to assure the integrity of the institution by completing the following arrangements.

All student fundraising projects must have the approval of the faculty/staff advisor and the Director of Student Activities. Any solicitations of local businesses, foundations or community organizations must then be approved and coordinated through the Director of Student Activities and the Director of Development.

All employee groups must also have the approval and coordinate efforts with the Director of Development concerning projects which involve solicitation from local businesses, foundations or organizations or which involve a campaign targeting community residents.

Students, employees, organizations and groups on campus that wish to engage in a fundraising activity or solicitation must complete a Fundraising Activity Approval Form and submit it to the Office of Development at least two weeks prior to the proposed activity. This form is available from the Office of Development.

Use of the Fundraising Activity Approval Form is not required for the sale of tickets or sale of small items or services, such as a bake sale or car wash, to individuals on or off campus.

The name and address of any business or entity that donates items valued at more than $50 is required within 10 days of receipt of the gift.

The Development Office staff will record all names of companies groups are planning to solicit or have solicited within the last year.

Prior to the development of solicitation plans, student or employee groups engaged in fundraising or solicitation activity should consult a recent list of entities already contacted by groups on campus. This list is available from the Office of Development.

If the fundraising activity or solicitation is deemed to be in conflict with the fundraising program and activities of the Office of Development or South Plains College Foundation, the Director of Development will meet with the group or individuals to resolve the conflict and reach a mutually agreeable solution. If a conflict arises that cannot be resolved between the student group, employee group and Office of Development, the President will consider the issue and make a final decision, in a timely manner and will notify the parties involved of the decision.

All funds raised through the approved activity must be deposited in the appropriate college account within 48 hours of the conclusion of the event.

Fundraising and Solicitations by External Groups

Solicitations, sales and fundraising by external groups in of South Plains College’s facilities are strictly prohibited unless official permission is authorized by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. External groups who sell merchandise as part of their activity must disclose what items will be for sale. Sales by vendors doing business with appropriate college staff in support of college operations are exempt from this policy.

Solicitations for support of community non-profits on a college-wide basis must have the approval of the President.

South Plains College employees are permitted, within reason, to solicit for other non-profit, charitable causes or on an individual basis, but no SPC employee is obligated to personally support any solicitation.

South Plains College personnel who rent facilities to external groups for fundraisers should consult with the Office of Development before agreeing to rent the facility to confirm that the fundraising effort of the external group is not in competition or conflict with the College’s fundraising efforts and goals.

Athletic Department Fundraising

The Director of Athletics is responsible for coordinating all fundraising activities that benefit the intercollegiate athletics program at South Plains College. Fundraising done on behalf of the athletic department must have the approval of the Director of Athletics and the President of the College.

Fundraising conducted for the purpose of supporting the intercollegiate athletic program must conform to College policies as stated in this section.

Gifts will be accepted by the Texan Club, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization established for the purpose of acting in partnership with the College to serve the educational purposes of the institution. The Texan Club shall not accept any gifts which may jeopardize its tax exempt status with the State of Texas or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Federal IRS regulations applicable to a donor may mandate that the College accept a gift directly.

The Director of Development and the Director of Athletics shall work together to coordinate fundraising activities and programs to maximize effectiveness and minimize duplication of donor solicitations.


Approved: Executive Council
November 2002

 


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