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Sponsorships and Memberships in External OrganizationsVPE-02


All university units.

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Policy Statement

Units may use university funds or Indiana University Foundation account funds to participate in sponsorship or membership activities with external community-oriented, charitable, or business-related events and organizations that enhance the unit’s mission or image.  Planned participation with such external organizations, within the scope of this policy, must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Engagement in advance of the participation. The Office of the Vice President for Engagement will review all requests and coordinate participation with units expressing similar interests. The Office of the Vice President for Engagement will also maintain membership and sponsorship lists in order to extend opportunities for participation to more university units and to comply with federal lobbying regulations.

The following purchases must also be approved by the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (VP & CFO):

  • Sponsorship participation and/or event purchases by a unit with a total cost of more than $2,500.
  • Memberships with a cost of $10,000 or more.

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Reason for Policy

Indiana University strives to maximize the benefits received from sponsorship/ membership funding not only for individual university units but for the overall reputation and image of the university. Review and coordination of external sponsorship/ membership event purchases and funding will facilitate partnerships among units and help ensure the university is utilizing public and private funds to the maximum extent in any public outreach effort.  Cohesion of the university presence is critically important to the overall reputation and protection of the university image. Units are encouraged to continue public outreach efforts through sponsorship and membership and, by adding a central point of review, units may realize greater benefit for equal or lesser financial expense. In addition, federal lobbying laws require that IU review all memberships in external organizations and disclose those memberships if the organization participates in federal lobbying.

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Before purchasing a sponsorship, event ticket, or membership (for an individual, unit or institution); or before a contract or agreement within the scope of this policy is signed, units must complete the Sponsorship/Membership Data Collection Form and submit it to the Office of the Vice President for Engagement  no less than 7 days prior to event sponsorship deadlines. Units are encouraged to make submissions earlier if at all possible.  Information provided on the form will be used to identify possible collaboration among university units so that any university monies can be best used to maximize negotiated levels of participation.

After the Office of the Vice President for Engagement review of the sponsorship/membership request, an electronic copy of the form will be sent back to the requesting unit and can be forwarded to the appropriate fiscal officer in order for payments to be processed. Any requests needing approval by the VP & CFO will be forwarded to that office and the requesting unit will be notified upon approval.

University approved images/artwork for use by the external organization will be provided by the Office of the Vice President for Engagement on the behalf of the sponsoring university unit by the time of sponsorship/ membership deadline.

All sponsorship or membership purchases should be coded appropriately so that they can be reviewed by the Office of the Vice President for Engagement in order to comply with federal lobbying regulations (Sponsorships– 4802, Memberships– 5050). IU Foundation will also track requests for lobbying compliance.

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Donation/contribution – financial gift to an external organization. Donations and contributions are not permitted using university funds. (See Policy FIN-ACC-I-80.)

Membership – financial or in-kind support to an organization, group or society, possibly in the form of dues or subscription, that grants participation as a member.

Sponsorship – financial or in-kind support to an event, organization or activity that is given in exchange for acknowledgement, recognition or promotion.

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Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Purchasing Deb Richards (574) 520-4580
IU Foundation Sheila Decker (812) 855-9391

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Prior to 2009, units were not asked to coordinate with other units within the university to maximize the university presence or image. This resulted in concerns related to the best use of university funds related to public outreach and the need to reduce duplication by multiple university units sponsoring the same events and activities.

Policy number updated June 2014 to reflect the shift of responsibility from the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations to IU Communications.

Policy updated March 2015 to reflect shift in responsibility from PAGR to the Vice President for Engagement.

Previous Versions:

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