Policy: Fundraising & grants
First issued March 2005
Revised and Reissued September 2006
Trinity seeks to develop its revenue base through conducting a broad variety of fund raising and grant-seeking activities for specific projects and for unrestricted revenues. This policy statement covers the authority for fund raising, the process for proposal development, and the responsibilities of grants management for individual project directors. Separate policy statements cover gift policies, acknowledgments, stewardship, and other gift and grant issues.
1. Fund Raising Authority
Trinity’s by-laws empower the Board of Trustees to accept gifts and to direct all fund raising activities. The routine management of this authority is vested in the President of the university, who delegates this authority for particular purposes to the Vice President for Development, the Vice President for Financial Affairs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and other individuals as circumstances warrant. No other persons have authority to approve fund raising activities or to receive gifts in the name of Trinity or any of its subordinate units, programs or personnel.
2. Types of Fund Raising Activities
Trinity conducts the following types of fund raising activities:
- the Annual Fund solicits and receives unrestricted and restricted gifts from alumnae and alumni, parents, friends, and institutional sources every year; the proceeds from the annual fund support the current operating budget;
- Major and Special Gifts are usually larger than annual gifts, usually one-time gifts, and most often designated for particular uses, e.g., scholarships, library, etc. During a capital campaign period, Trinity does not usually solicit these kinds of gifts except for the designated priorities in the campaign. However, from time to time, a donor may wish to make a gift to a non-priority function that Trinity is willing to accept;
- Capital Gifts are solicited for the specific purposes of a capital campaign, most often for endowment development or facilities support;
- Grants come from private corporations or foundations, or governmental sources. Grants function more like contracts than traditional charitable gifts. Grants are for specific purposes for which a proposal has been generated, and the contract requires exact fulfillment of the grant conditions and terms of the proposal and subsequent correspondence.
- Bequests and planned gifts from individuals are a special category of gifts that may or may not be known to Trinity before receipt. As a matter of practice, where at all possible Trinity treats bequests greater than $10,000 as quasi-endowment.
3. Special Fund Raising Projects with Individual Donors
From time to time members of the campus community wish to conduct fund raising projects aimed at alumnae, parents, or other individuals including students, faculty and staff.
Before any such project is conducted, the persons responsible for the project must make a request in writing to the Vice President for Development to obtain specific clearance for the project and its purposes. Trinity reserves the right to refuse permission to conduct fund raising of any kind on campus, or targeted to the college’s constituents. Trinity will not share constituent lists with any person or organization for any purpose. If Trinity approves a particular kind of fund raising involving alumnae and friends, Trinity will manage the mailings directly through the Development Office in order to project the privacy of the lists.
This rule does not apply to student clubs and organizations who wish to sell T-shirts, baked goods, or conduct other kinds of modest fund raising activities on campus so long as those activities have been approved by the Dean of Students.
From time to time members of the faculty and administration of Trinity wish to seek grants from governmental sources, or private corporations or foundations.
Any grant seeking activity must follow these steps:
- Initial Approval: The project for which funds are sought must have the written approval of the vice president responsible for the area in which the proposed project director and ultimate program manager work, as well as the immediate department head; all academic projects must have the approval of the academic vice president and the dean of the school that is the base of the projects; proposals that involve multiple schools require approval of all deans involved
- Concept Paper: The initiator of the proposal should prepare a short, one-page concept paper stating the nature of the project, proposed sources of funding, and plan to manage the project. This paper, along with the RFP or grant guidelines, should be submitted to the vice president in charge (and the appropriate academic dean) with copies sent to the vice presidents for development and finance, and the president. The vice president in charge should pursue discussion with the other senior executives to be sure that the project is in line with Trinity’s goals and priorities, and that Trinity has the capacity to manage the grant successfully. This conversation should occur before any further work gets done on the proposal, or before any approval is given.
- Development Clearance: Clearance is required to be sure that Trinity does not have another proposal pending (or planned for submission) at the same time before the same funding source. ALL funding sources, including governmental agencies, must be SPECIFICALLY APPROVED in writing by the vice president for development. Just because a project is approved for funding does not mean that a particular funding source, project or proposal is approved. Clearance to approach a funding source must be obtained in writing before any cultivation, inquiry or solicitation activities ensue.
- Proposal Review and Approval: Formal grant proposals must go through an approval process. Accordingly, the project director must allocate a sufficient amount of time for all parties to review the proposal as follows:
- the basic text of the proposal, and the budget, should be drafted and submitted to the vice president in charge (and appropriate academic dean) at least three weeks or longer before the due date, and the vice president may send the draft back with requests for revision or questions that must be resolved before the proposal can go forward; the RFP and grant guidelines should accompany the proposal;
- simultaneously with (a) above, the text and budget materials should be submitted to the vice president for finance, and the CFO will direct the timetable for budget preparation ; the vice president for finance must receive a copy of the program statement and the RFP to which the proposal is responding in order to be sure that the budget submission aligns with the program requirements and grant guidelines;
- the proposal must clearly identify the responsible Program Manager, and if this person is different from the Project Director, that distinction must be identified and the Program Manager must also be identified; if the position will not be filled until funding is received, then the proposal must be specific about interim program management responsibilities;
- the president must receive the final proposal for approval, including all relevant materials, no later than five days before the due date . The president may reject any proposal that does not meet this deadline.
- Grant Management: If the grant is received, the Project Director and Program Manager have a serious responsibility to fulfill the expectations for accountability within the grant guidelines. All federal grants are subject to A-133 audits, and the CFO will work closely with the Project Director and Program Manager to be sure that the appropriate procedures are followed for compliance.
The vice president (and, in academic projects, appropriate dean) responsible for the area that received the grant is also accountable to supervise the Project Director and Program Manager to be sure that all programmatic components of the grant are fulfilled in a timely manner. Immediately upon receipt of a grant, the vice president (and dean) and Project Director should develop a work plan and timetable that will ensure timely fulfillment of the grant terms, and this document should be submitted to the CFO and president for their records.
A Project Director or Program Manager who does not satisfy the terms and conditions of a grant in a timely manner, according to all compliance expectations, may incur disciplinary action, and will not receive authorization for any future proposals.