When planning events/activities, units often provide sponsorship packages. Sponsorship packages are where the expectation of return benefits becomes an incentive for the entity to make a payment for an event/activity. Examples of return benefits include any item of value, such as: a booth or table at an event/activity; tickets to an event/activity; advertising; and name and logo recognition.
Planned events/activities or programs can have a variety of names: fundraiser, conference, symposium, academic competition, non-credit courses, program, lecture series, etc.
Sponsorships are beneficial to both the University community and the state of Minnesota when conducted in a manner consistent with the University’s mission of teaching, research and outreach. Units may solicit sponsorships for a variety of reasons that support their mission. The accounting for sponsorship payments differs by the nature of the sponsorship.
The university has the right to and will refuse sponsorship from unacceptable sources, or with an unacceptable message. Units must decline a sponsorship that (1) is in conflict with university policies; (2) adversely affects the university’s reputation; (3) appears to create an endorsement by the university of a particular company, product, political candidate or position regarding public policies; (4) is considered to contain obscene, indecent or profane material; or (5) ridicules, exploits or demeans persons on the basis of their ability; faith; race, ethnicity, and cultural identity/language; sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; and socio-economic status.
Units, on all campuses, that engage in planning events/activities or programs that involve soliciting sponsorships, paid registrations, and recognition activities must follow the classification requirements (see Appendix: Job Aid for Sponsorship for University-Hosted Events/Activities) and process set forth in this policy. Units must determine when a sponsorship is Gift Eligible and when it is Non-Gift Eligible.
- Revenue from Gift Eligible sponsorships are handled by the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF).
- Revenue from Non-Gift Eligible sponsorships are handled by units of the University of Minnesota (University)
Units must review and reconcile the activity between the UMF fund and the University chartstring in accordance with Administrative Policy: Reconciling and Verifying General Ledger Accounts and Other Financial Information
Reason for Policy
To support Board of Regents Policy: Gift Solicitation and Acceptance, Administrative Policy: Accepting and Managing Gifts and to ensure that sponsorship activity complies with federal Internal Revenue Service regulations. The policy assists units in identification and classification of sponsorships, streamlining the process for handling sponsorship revenue and accurately recording the revenue as either Gift Eligible or Non-Gift Eligible.