Classifying and Recording Sponsorships for University-Hosted Events/Activities
Frequently Asked Questions
- We have three levels (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) of sponsorship packages for our event. In looking at the Job Aid for Sponsorship for University-Hosted Events/Activities, the Platinum sponsorship package falls into the Non-Gift Eligible section. Do we direct the Platinum sponsorship payments to the University and the Silver and Gold sponsorship payments to UMF?
No, all the sponsorship package payments should be directed to the University.
- A sponsorship organization contacted me and needs a W-9 form, which W-9 should I send?
It is important to understand where the funds will be going (University or UMF) prior to sending or completing a W-9 form. If funds are going to UMF, then the UMF W-9 form should be obtained from UMF. If funds going to the University, then the University’s W-9 form should be sent.
- What type of events/activities does this policy apply to?
Planned events/activities can have a variety of names, such as: fundraiser, conference, symposium, programs, etc. This policy applies to all types of planned events/activities, except for Membership or Consortium type arrangements. Membership/Consortium arrangements are classified as External Sales. See definitions section for event/activity definitions.
- A sponsorship organization is requesting our bank routing information and/or completion of a form, what should I do?
For funds going to UMF, forward the request to UMF. For funds going to the University, forward the request to Accounts Receivable Services.
- How do I determine the fair market value of a sponsorship package?
See definition of fair market value. General internet searches can be helpful.
- My sponsor wants me to send them an invoice. How do I do this?
The sponsorship form should have enough detailed information on how to submit a payment. If the payment is going to UMF, the sponsorship form should act as the invoice. If the payment is directed to the University, invoices should be created through the accounts receivable system (Enterprise Financial System).
- An outside entity wants to co-host an event/activity with my unit, does this policy apply?
Yes, this policy applies for co-hosting entity. This policy applies if the event/activity includes sponsorship packages for other entities.
- What is the difference between a sponsorship and a membership?
Sponsorships are typically offered as a component of a single event/activity and 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. Memberships are typically offered for a longer duration of time (for example, annual memberships) and the return benefits are different in nature as they often provide access to faculty, students, labs, experts, committee involvement, or academic programming that is specific to the membership population or is individual in nature dependent on the need/discipline. Memberships are classified as external sales or sponsored projects.
- In the past, my department has hosted an event where we have solicited support from local businesses in exchange for them to setup displays and distribute promotional items with their business logos. We have decided to include additional "add-ons" to our agreements that allow local businesses access to our faculty and staff experts for the full academic calendar year. Will the new agreement with the "add-ons" as described still constitute a Sponsorship?
No, this no longer qualifies as a Sponsorship. This is effectively considered a Membership, which falls under different policy. The change is due to the substance of the agreement offering return benefits beyond just the single event where the length spans a full academic year by providing access to faculty and staff experts.
- Can another University of Minnesota department sponsor my event/activity?
Yes. Even though the target situation for the policy is when organizations outside the University are sponsoring University hosted events/activities, University departments can choose to participate in other University department hosted events/activities by selecting a sponsorship package offered to external organizations. In the case of an internal sponsorship (between departments), sponsorship payment or reimbursement may be processed via a journal entry, or in some circumstances, a journal voucher in A/P Module may be allowed per https://policy.umn.edu/finance/internalsales-faq. Revenue accounts indicated in the policy procedure are not applicable to internal revenue generating transactions and should be classified under the appropriate 5001xx account value.
- How do I handle sponsorships packages for events hosted by student organizations?
If the student organization is an approved campus life program, determine if the sponsorship is gift or non-gift eligible and follow this policy.
If the student organization is a registered student organization, gifts or non-gifts should be made payable and sent directly to the registered student organization. The Foundation does not accept gifts and the University doesn't accept non-gift sponsorships for registered student organizations.
- Can sponsorships include opportunities where a sponsor is allowed to hire student interns or direct a student project as part of a class curriculum, and if allowable, is this gift or non-gift eligible?
Yes, a sponsorship package may include opportunities to engage with students through recruitment or directing class projects. This type of opportunity would be a return benefit to the sponsor, thus, non-gift eligible.
- Can I display a sponsors slogan along with their name and logo and consider the transaction gift-eligible?
No, for gift-eligible activity, the recognition must consist of name and logo only. It is good practice for the unit to retain editorial control over any content being used. The IRS does provide an exception for slogans that are an established part of the sponsor’s identity. Please consult with the Tax Management Office.
- What if I want to offer a sponsorship package with a naming opportunity for something other than a University-hosted event/activity?
Refer to Board of Regents Policy: Namings section 5 subd 3 “Other namings associated with gifts or sponsorships”
- What if I have a sponsorship opportunity that is not related to an event?
The Job Aid for Sponsorships for University-Hosted Events/Activities can be used to determine gift eligible and non-gift eligible sponsorships packages as the same principles apply.
- Can a faculty or staff member provide funds to the University in support of their own work or to control its use at the University?
Yes, however it is not a charitable donation and is not accepted by a recognized Foundation. The funds are directed to the University of Minnesota and should be treated like a non-gift eligible sponsorship. The responsibility for how funds are allocated for use rests with the Dean of the College.