Donor Recognition and Stewardship

Policy number: 5.5

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 establishing Donor recognition and stewardship programs, including the minimum financial levels Donors must meet to receive the associated recognition.
  2. This policy applies to the establishment of named endowments; funding of facilities and components contained within; non-facility campus improvements and tangible assets, such as equipment and artwork; gifts for current uses; etc. Components of Donor recognition and stewardship may contain, among other items, special events, published/posted donor lists, media releases, web sites, documents, publications, signage, plaques, etc.
  3. Any new Donor recognition and/or stewardship program proposed by a School or Unit must receive in advance the approval of the Vice President. Any School or Unit recognition and/or stewardship program pre-existing this policy may remain in force.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide incentive for Donors to provide financial support for the University, to express sincere gratitude for such support, to identify the meaningful impact of the same, and to ensure accuracy of donor recognition and reporting.

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.

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

“Donor” refers to a private entity providing financial or other valuable support, given outright or pledged to be given in the future.

“School” refers to SMU’s six schools and one college, and departments and programs within.

“Unit” refers to established entities other than Schools, such as the Office of the Provost, Central University Libraries, Department of Athletics, Division of Students Affairs, etc., and departments and programs within.


Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: June 1, 1994