Solicitation of Gifts and Pledges

Policy number: 5.2

Policy section: Development and External Affairs

Revised Date: January 2, 2019


1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

  1. At the direction of the Vice President for Development and External Affairs (“the Vice President”) or his/her designee, the Division of Development and External Affairs (“DEA”) shall have sole authority for conducting and/or coordinating the solicitation of Gifts and Pledges in support of SMU from Prospective Donors. This authority extends to Gifts and Pledges solicited for any university purpose, of any type, and any size. All solicitations must be approved in advance, following this policy as well as guidelines maintained within the Office of the Vice President for Development and External Affairs.
  2. The Vice President may authorize other University representatives to solicit Prospective Donors in support of pre-approved Funding Initiatives. This authority is revoked at such time as the scope of the Funding Initiative and/or its viability materially changes. In such cases, re-authorization by the Vice President of the relevant Funding Initiative is required, following DEA guidelines.
  3. The solicitation of a Prospective Donor in support of a new Funding Initiative triggers a review of the new Initiative, including but not limited to consideration of the obligation of University resources, and the necessity of other philanthropic support to ensure the Initiative’s success. If, upon review, the new Funding Initiative is approved by the Vice President, the solicitation will be authorized to go forward.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Prospective Donors are solicited in a coordinated manner, and in support of the University’s highest priority Funding Initiatives.

4.  Applicability

All faculty, students, staff, volunteers, and contractors are expected to comply with this policy.

5.  Questions

Questions regarding this policy are to be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Development and External Affairs.

6.  Department Administrative Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines

Development and External Affairs will create and maintain guidelines and procedures related to this policy.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Prospective Donor” refers to any private, non-governmental entity, including alumni/alumnae, friends, parents, foundations, corporations, associations, etc.

“Gift” refers to any item of value, given outright to the University. Gifts include cash, securities, real estate, equipment, artwork, trusts, bequests, and all other forms of asset transfers. Gifts need not be 100% tax deductible under IRS guidelines to fall within this definition.

“Pledge” refers to any Gift or portion thereof promised to be provided at a future date.

“Funding Initiative” refers to the intended University purpose for which a Gift or Pledge is solicited.


Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: June 1, 1994