Gift Policy

1. Background 

1.1 VinUniversity recognises corporate fundraising as a legitimate source of funding for VinUniversity. This policy sets out VinUniversity’s practice and applies to the solicitation and acceptance of donations and bequests by, or on behalf of, VinUniversity; and is intended to ensure that the source and proposed purpose for any philanthropic support is aligned with its vision, mission and values. 

1.2 This policy applies to all members of VinUniversity who are raising funds for the University and in this context “member” shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all members of University staff (including permanent, fixed term and temporary staff), Council members, students, secondees, volunteers, agency workers, interns, agents, sponsors and any others engaged in the business of VinUniversity in Vietnam or overseas. 

1.3 This policy should be read in conjunction with the following University policies: Bylaws and Transparency Regulations. Just as VinUniversity will not ‘invest directly into organizations whose values do not reflect those of VinUniversity with regards to social, environmental and humanitarian concern. These would for example include but not limited to: human rights abuse; discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, age, or religion; serious and persistent environmental damage; arms trading.’, so it will not accept donations from such organizations. 

2. Donations

2.1 For the purposes of this policy “donation” includes (but is not necessarily limited to) a financial donation; a gift of land or real estate; shares; artwork; collections of books; a legacy or bequest; and equipment. 

2.2 Donors must understand that philanthropic support will not influence VinUniversity’s academic freedom. VinUniversity will operate its standard policies and procedures, including (but not limited to) recruitment, admissions, procurement, management and governance for all research, teaching and other activities irrespective of any donations received. 

2.3 VinUniversity will maintain a register of donations received and this will be presented to University Council for review annually.  

3. Responsibility for the Acceptance or refusal of Donations

3.1 Friends of VinUniveristy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit non-stock organization and will at all times observe the requirements of charity law and its constitution, in relation to the acceptance of donations. Relevant guidance suggests that there is a presumption that, in general, it would be in the best interests of a charity to increase the resources at its disposal; as such, any decision to refuse a donation must be made following careful consideration.

3.2 The University Council is ultimately responsible for VinUniversity’s policy on the acceptance and refusal of donations; and must be able to assure itself that decisions have been made in the best interests of VinUniversity in each case. The operational responsibility is with the Board of Directors of VinUniversity Office of Development. 

3.3 VinUniversity, having considered a range of information and undertaken due diligence procedures, will accept donations which are in the best interests of VinUniversity, including those where: 

3.3.1 The source and proposed purpose of the donation are consistent with, and would not be detrimental to, its strategic and charitable objectives, in particular its vision, mission and values; 

3.3.2 Any conditions linked to the support are regarded as reasonable in relation to the nature of the support in terms of its size or impact on the work of VinUniversity; 

3.3.3 All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that VinUniversity is aware of the source of funding for each donation and is satisfied that the funds do not derive from activity that was, or is, illegal; and 

3.3.4 Due regard has been taken of any reputational risk for VinUniversity which may derive from the acceptance of any particular donation. 

3.4 All proposed donations to VinUniversity must be brought to the attention of the Director of Marketing and Communications and the Director of Finance prior to solicitation; they will jointly determine whether a donation agreement is required and what due diligence may be necessary. Proposals should set out clearly the purpose of the donation, the source of the donation and whether the intention is for the donation to be restricted or unrestricted 

3.5 Due diligence will be undertaken by the Director of Finance at the point of proposal/solicitation, as opposed to acceptance. The purpose of due diligence is to evaluate the proposed donation and present an unbiased recommendation, which takes all known facts into consideration. Due diligence should be approached in a transparent manner and should not be influenced by personal judgement. 

3.6  Due diligence will be co-ordinated by the Director of Finance and will seek to identify: 

3.6.1 The identity of the donor/organisation; 

3.6.2 The source of funding and the activities in which the donor/organisation engage in; 

3.6.3 Any possible conflicts of interest; and 

3.6.4 The purpose of the donation. 

3.7 The results of due diligence will be presented to the Board of Directors, and together with the University Council will make a decision on acceptance or refusal of the donation will be made. If a donation is to be refused, the Board of Directors will consider all the available due diligence information and make a recommendation to University Council. 

4. Complaints and Return of Donations

4.1 VinUniversity will not normally return a donation which has been accepted in good faith and in accordance with this policy; the circumstances in which a donation may be returned are extremely limited by law. However, exceptional circumstances may give rise to the need to review the acceptance of a donation. Any decision to return a donation shall be a matter for the University Council on the recommendations of the Board of Directors. 

4.2 VinUniversity will endeavor to respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor about any matter addressed in this policy. The Director of Marketing and Communications will attempt to resolve the complainant’s concern in the first instance. 

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