Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
University Development


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Fundraising Policy

SLT 8.3

Policy Statement

University Development helps Grand Valley State University fulfill its mission and realize its aspirations in three ways: (1) securing, stewarding and increasing financial support; (2) building meaningful partnerships with external and internal constituents; and (3) communicating the university’s character, quality, priorities and goals.

Accordingly, University Development must strive at all times to ensure that its policies and procedures and those of the university are in compliance with local, state and federal regulations in regard to the solicitation and acceptance of gifts. Any deviation from the Internal Revenue Code could result in fines, public embarrassment and/or the loss of the University’s tax-exempt status.

For these and many other reasons, all fundraising requests made in the name of the University must be approved in advance by the Vice President for Development. In addition, only the Vice President for Development or their designee is empowered to issue the University’s official receipt that qualifies a donor’s charitable contribution as deductible for tax purposes.

Any fundraising activity that employs the name, image or reputation of the University, in an effort to secure financial gifts will be considered fundraising in the name of the University and is subject to this policy. In the area of “sponsored research”, University Development may work with the Office of Sponsored Research to determine the most appropriate fit for the project.

Any potential fundraising activities on behalf of an University program or initiative must first be approved by the appropriate dean and/or the divisional vice president before a request for assistance is directed to University Development. In all decisions related to funding, the priorities of the University, as approved by the Board of Trustees, shall guide the decision making process.

University Development will not share lists of donors or other constituents with individuals and organizations not affiliated with approved university fundraising activities.

This policy shall apply to any and all members of the University community, as well as to any other individuals or organizations who may represent themselves as members of the University community or who claim to be acting on behalf of the University. This policy does not apply to members of the University community when they are engaged in fundraising activities for other organizations and/or when they have explicitly stated that their fundraising activities are unrelated to the university.

Today’s donors have more outlets for their philanthropic desires than ever before. As competition for the philanthropic dollar has increased, donors now receive numerous appeals from multiple non-profit organizations. Consequently they are likely to become annoyed by multiple requests from the same organization. To ignore this is to risk reduced support, an outright refusal, or perhaps even permanent discontinuation of support.

Grand Valley State University can be at the forefront of a donor’s choice if we are clear in our intent, focused on the university’s highest priorities, and present exciting opportunities for support. Coordination of university-wide fundraising activities is imperative.

Prohibited Activities

Members of the University community are prohibited from engaging in the following tactics and activities for purposes of fundraising:

  • Use of home addresses from the university telephone directory to compile calling or mailing lists.
  • Use of the Grand Valley State University Alumni Directory to compile calling or mailing lists.
  • Using one’s status as a Grand Valley State University employee or student to secure a gift commitment unless specifically authorized to do so.
  • Using “mass e-mails” on the campus intranet system to solicit gifts unless specifically authorized to do so by University Development.
  • Conducting lotteries or similar games of chance, which the State of Michigan defines as gambling. Raffles may be conducted with prior approval from the Office of Student Life. For procedures and protocols implementing this policy please contact the Development Office.