You are here

Student Sponsorship Guidelines

Student Sponsorship Guidelines – 2012-13


These guidelines have been developed for student groups and individuals interested in approaching organizations or individuals for sponsorship or other fundraising support. In addition to outlining processes that must be followed, an ongoing education component has been developed to foster student understanding of sponsorship and fundraising best practices.


  1. To ensure that students are aware of the processes involved at the University of Waterloo concerning solicitation of organizations and individuals for sponsorship and other fundraising.
  2. To encourage information sharing between students and professional Advancement staff in Faculties, Colleges, and other units.
  3. To provide guidance and training to enable student groups and individuals to maximize success in their sponsorship and fundraising efforts.


  1. A sponsorship and fundraising seminar for students will be organized on an annual or bi-annual basis by the Office of Advancement.
  2. Office of Advancement staff in the central office as well as in Faculties, Colleges and other units will be available on an ongoing basis to provide guidance to student sponsorship and fundraising initiatives.
  3. A student sponsorship website will be launched with best practise examples, links, UW contacts, and guidelines in 2014

Advantages of Prospect Clearance Guidelines

Because there are multiple, complex relationships with many organizations and individuals associated with the University of Waterloo, it is vital that appropriate “clearance” procedures are followed before approaching anyone for support. This process ensures that “the left hand knows what the right hand is doing” and is how professional Advancement staff and volunteers at UW operate. By following clearance procedures, and discussing your proposal with a professional fundraising staff member on campus, a number of advantages are realized.

  • Coordinated approach - multiple, uncoordinated approaches are avoided. Sponsors have told us directly that they do not want multiple, uncoordinated approaches.
  • Improved information – you will gain improved intelligence about prospective sponsors, their funding priorities, and the likelihood of support.
  • Strategic approach – following a clearance process will help determine if your project  is this the right “fit” for the sponsor, or if there are other sponsors you may not have thought of.
  • Leverage – discussing your project with a staff member may uncover other opportunities and cross-affiliations across campus to strengthen support for your project.
  • Professionalism – the clearance process will help you determine if your presentation is up to the professional standards expected by organizations and individuals.
  • Likelihood of Success and Support – following these procedures, and consulting with professional fundraising staff will increase your likelihood of success, and provide you with efficiencies in your approach.


  1. Donation/Gift: is a voluntary transfer of property without valuable consideration. In order to be characterized as a donation it must satisfy the following conditions: (a) property is transferred by a donor to a registered charity; (b) the transfer is voluntary; and (c) the transfer is made without expectation of return. No benefit or advantage may be provided to the donor or to anyone designated by the donor, except where the benefit is of nominal value. Gifts may be in the form of cash, marketable securities, gifts-in-kind and deferred gifts.
  1. Sponsorship: Corporations and other organizations often give money to institutions to sponsor activities, events or projects and in return receive recognition on campus, at the event or in accompanying publications.  If a corporation or other organization receives the same level of recognition as all other donors, with no special treatment, and the recognition is nominal (market value of $75 or 10% of gift, whichever is the lesser) it is considered a ‘donation’ and a charitable tax receipt may be issued for the full amount of the gift.

However, while a simple "thank you" is not an advantage, advertising is. If a business receives special recognition, or if it receives more than nominal recognition (for example, banners, advertising of products), this constitutes sponsorship and a charitable receipt will not be issued.

Next Steps

  1. Complete a brief summary of your event and include a list of organizations and individuals you plan to approach, what you are asking for and clarify if it is a donation or sponsorship request.
  2. Send your summary to the Advancement contact in your unit (faculty or school).
  3. Schedule a meeting with them to get their advice. Where clearance is required (see below), they can help facilitate it.

Funding requests less than $5,000

Approval or clearance is not required for any individual funding request less than $5,000 unless specifically noted for certain organizations (e.g. some organizations require that you have a UW Advancement staff member  review and sign-off on your request before they will review your funding request).

Note: if there is an issue or an opportunity with your project and the list of funders you plan to approach, an Advancement staff member will contact you to discuss.

Funding requests more than $5,000

Funding requests of more than $5,000 from an individual sponsor must receive clearance approval from an Office of Advancement staff member.

Note: some organizations require your request to have been vetted and signed-off by a university representative before they will agree to review your proposal.


Initial contact should be with unit Advancement Offices:

  • Faculty of Applied Health Sciences: Wanda Deschamps
  • Faculty of Arts: Kim Bardwell
  • Faculty of Engineering: Nenone Donaldson
  • Faculty of Environment: Maryam Latifpoor-Keparoutis
  • Faculty of Math: Ingrid Town
  • Faculty of Science: David Timms
  • School of Accounting and Finance: Sheilaah Guthrie
  • School of Optometry and Vision Science: Andrea Carthew
  • School of Pharmacy: Mary Stanley
  • St Jerome’s University: Viola Poletes-Montgomery
  • Renison University College: Caroline Tanswell
  • St Paul’s University College: Kelly Deeks
  • Conrad Grebel University College: Fred Martin

Here is a complete list of Office of Advancement staff

If your project or event is not associated with a specific academic unit (e.g. Athletics), please contact Cathy Wessels