Academic Catalog


VII.Community Standards and Policies: L. Policy on Fundraising Activities

Whether Denison is involved in a formal capital campaign or simply pursuing ongoing efforts to enhance available resources, we must ensure that our efforts, both individual and collective, are carefully coordinated if we are to achieve optimal results. This policy sets forth the fundamental principles of Denison's fund raising programs and a description of responsibilities.

The following is a description of the different kinds of fundraising activities:

1. Institutional

These are programs, plans, and needs which generally are broad in nature. The focus and effect may range from the departmental level to the entire University community. Examples are endowed funds, general faculty development programs, departmental programs, facility enhancement or renovation, or any solicitation of parents, alumni, and friends for any purpose.

2. Individual

These are programs and projects which clearly belong to and focus on the individual. They include such things as individual research grants, sabbatical grants, Fulbright fellowships, etc. An important point here, however, is that although programs at this level focus on individual rather than institutional objectives, it cannot be assumed that such activity has no broader implications. The fact that several grants had been made to individual faculty members by Research Corporation or the National Science Foundation, for example, could very well be an important factor in our receiving a major institutional grant from the same agency or from a private foundation.

These descriptions are illustrative only. Fundraising is a complex process and, in most cases, will overlap these two categories. For example, in its exploratory stages a proposed project may seem to be an example of individual fundraising, yet in the final analysis the impact of the project could have University-level priority and budgetary implications. Moreover, such activity may involve potential funding sources with whom Denison is already negotiating for other support. For these reasons, thorough coordination is essential from the very first stages of project development, well before any external inquiries are made.

3. Gifts-in-Kind Donations

Gifts-in-kind are donor contributions to Denison in the form of goods, property, or services, as opposed to gifts of cash or securities. They include gifts of equipment, art, instruments, furniture, etc.

a. Denison accepts gifts-in-kind on a limited basis and they must be approved by Institutional Advancement (IA) in advance of accepting any such gift. 

b. Institutional Advancement will help provide the tax receipt needed by the donor.

Contact for support through this process.

4. Procedures

a. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement is charged by the President with planning and directing all fundraising in support of institutional goals. Any institutional fundraising initiatives, whether directed at organizations or individuals (alumni, parents, or friends) must be approved by the Vice President or their designee.

b. For proposed programs which may overlap the individual and institutional boundaries, individuals or departments seeking outside funds should consult with the Provost before any preliminary external inquiries are made. It is important at this stage that extensive coordination be maintained, and in many cases Institutional Advancement may assist in identifying potential funding sources, developing appropriate strategies, and writing proposals. No request for funds may be sent without the approval of the Provost and Institutional Advancement.

c. Individual initiatives in seeking funds are desired and encouraged; indeed, they help ensure that Denison continues to be an active and stimulating academic community. At the same time, individual fundraising activity, including planning and preliminary inquiries by telephone or mail, must be coordinated with institutional fundraising and public relations activity to ensure that the best interests of both the individual and the University are served. Individuals seeking support on their own should, at a minimum, confer with the Provost before initiating inquiries with external sources. The Provost will consult with Institutional Advancement, as appropriate, to ensure that individual and University activities are in concert.

d. Proposals requesting funds from external agencies or from individual donors represent the University. Accordingly, they should be approved at a minimum by the Provost and Institutional Advancement, if appropriate, for form, wording, and intent. In some cases, the President will grant final approval. Please note: requests from external agencies (i.e., National Science Foundation) or foundations in which the funds go to Denison and then are disbursed by the accounting office, must be approved through a process. For more information, please contact the Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations at

e. Institutional Advancement will maintain a complete file of all gifts and grants received and pending proposals for institutional objectives. Any information related to such activity (correspondence, reports of personal visits, etc.) should always be shared with Institutional Advancement.

f. Institutional Advancement also collects and maintains general information on corporate and foundation charitable giving policies and trends, and this information is available for use by the Denison faculty and administration. By the same token, similar information received by individuals and departments should be shared with Institutional Advancement.

g. For gifts and grants applied to programs other than individual projects, acknowledgment letters as well as interim and final reports will be coordinated by Institutional Advancement. Any such correspondence must be approved by Institutional Advancement before it is sent.

h. In the event a proposed program is judged by the Provost to have broad impact on the curriculum, to impose obligations on the faculty, to divert significant resources from present programs, or to require modifications in the current academic program structure, the Provost will consult with the Academic Affairs Council and/or other appropriate governing bodies on curricular and other substantive changes required by the proposed program.

i. The President and Senior Administrative Staff retain final approval authority with regard to seeking funds from external sources. They also have the responsibility to ensure that financial resources are available to carry out proposed programs.