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Philanthropy and Fundraising Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy provides an ethical and professional framework for philanthropic fundraising at RMIT, and seeks to optimise the effectiveness of strategies and initiatives across the RMIT Group.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This policy applies to the management of all philanthropic fundraising activity across all RMIT campuses, and controlled entities.

(3) The following are not philanthropic gifts, and are excluded from this policy:

  1. Government funds
  2. Commercial income including sponsorships (whereby the organisation contributing the income receives a material benefit)
  3. Services provided at no charge (pro bono services)
  4. Personal gifts or benefits offered to staff (see RMIT Conflict of Interest guidelines)
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Section 3 - Policy

Responsibilities

(4) The Director, Alumni and Philanthropy, is responsible for:

  1. Formally receiving, registering, receipting and acknowledgement of all philanthropic income on behalf of RMIT University. 
  2. Providing consolidated reporting on all philanthropic activity income across the RMIT Group
  3. The alumni and fundraising database, including access permissions and changes to functionality
  4. Managing relationships with donors and prospective donors
  5. Optimising a university-wide approach, providing support, assistance and advice on strategy and initiatives to Colleges and Portfolios.
  6. The processes for naming and recognition of philanthropic gifts.
  7. Appropriate and timely acquittal of gifts and confirmation of gifts to donors.

(5) Financial Services Group, in consultation with the Director, Alumni and Philanthropy, is responsible for:

  1. the financial processing and reporting of all philanthropic income, including annual reporting to donors with endowment funds.

Fundraising Appeals and Acceptance of Gifts

(6) Appeals and approaches for major gifts greater than $25,000 will be authorised by the Alumni and Philanthropy Office prior to commencement.

(7) Gifts, or endowments to be invested over time, may be for general or specific purposes. The University will seek to honour the intentions of donors. 

(8) Gifts must be adequate for the intended purpose and be agreed to by relevant business unit. RMIT will determine if a gift is sufficient to meet that purpose prior to its acceptance.

(9) RMIT will not accept gifts it knows to be the proceeds of criminal activity, gifts obtained by illegal means or gifts which do not align with RMIT’s values.

(10) Cash gifts are not accepted at RMIT University except in exceptional circumstances.

(11) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Development has final authority on the acceptance or rejection of donations or fundraising campaigns

Policy Processes

(12) Policy processes are approved by the Director, Alumni and Philanthropy.

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Section 4 - Resources

(13) Refer to the following documents which are established in accordance with this policy:

  1. Gift Administration Process
  2. Donor Relationship Management Process
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Section 5 - Definitions

Bequest A gift made under a Will. In legal terms it is a testamentary gift. Although testamentary gifts are not covered by ATO obligations, bequests arise out of benefaction to RMIT and fundraising for bequests is to be conducted consistent with this RMIT policy.
Cultural gift A cultural gift is a gift which covers culturally significant items or property made under the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program, with associated tax incentives for the donor.
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) An organisation or fund that is entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts. RMIT University is endorsed as a DGR item 1 ‘public university’. Gifts of money and property to RMIT of $2 and over are tax-deductible.
Donor or Prospective donor   An individual or organisation that has made, or has the potential to make a gift to RMIT.
Endowment An investment fund in which the capital is preserved and annual disbursement is restricted to all or a portion of the income from the investment, as defined by their Deed of Gift constitution.
Gift A voluntary transfer of money, items or property to RMIT from a donor where no material benefit is received by the donor from RMIT in return. To be tax-deductible, a gift must be covered by one or more of the following gift types: Money  -  $2 or more Property valued by the ATO at more than $25,000 Property purchased during the 12 months before the gift was made Listed shares valued at $25,000 or less, and acquired at least 12 months before the gift was made. Trading stock disposed of outside the ordinary course of business. Cultural gifts approved by RMIT made under the Cultural Gifts Program. Heritage gifts.  Places approved by RMIT and included in the national Heritage List, the Commonwealth Heritage List or the Register of the National Estate.
Philanthropy   The practice of giving valuables (money, security, property and other items) for public purposes.