When planning events/activities, units often solicit financial support by offering sponsorship packages. Sponsorship packages are opportunities for an entity to monetarily support an event/activity and often include return benefits for the sponsoring entity. 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, or name and logo recognition.
Planned events/activities or programs can have a variety of names: fundraiser, conference, symposium, academic competition, non-credit course, 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 depending on the nature of the sponsorship. Units should contact [email protected] with questions or for review of sponsorship packages.
The University has the right to and will refuse sponsorships from unacceptable sources, and/or with an unacceptable message. Units must decline a sponsorship that
- is in conflict with University policies;
- adversely affects the University’s reputation;
- appears to create an endorsement by the University of a particular company, product, political candidate or position regarding public policies;
- is considered to contain obscene, indecent, or profane material; or
- ridicules, exploits, or discriminates against persons on the basis of their social identities, including but not limited to: ability, faith, race, ethnicity, cultural identity/language, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, socio-economic status, and national origin, etc.
Contact the Policy Owner if there are concerns related to accepting a sponsorship.
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 in accordance with this policy.
- Revenue from Gift Eligible sponsorships is directed to and deposited by the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF). Units must review and reconcile the activity between the UMF fund and the University Chartfield String.
- Revenue from Non-Gift Eligible sponsorships is directed to and deposited by units of the University.
Units must review and reconcile the activity in the University Chartfield String 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 (PDF), Administrative Policy: Accepting and Managing Gifts and to ensure that sponsorship activity complies with federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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.