For more information contact:
Finance and Administration
Before agreeing to use a state resource in connection with a charity or a charitable purpose, the responsible director or unit head obtains the prior approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee.
Prior to seeking approval the administrator should contact the Internal Audit Office for advice and review. The administrator should also consider state ethics statutes and requirements. See BPPM 10.21, 10.22, and 20.37.
A charity is defined, for purposes of this policy, as a gift for humanitarian, philanthropic, or other purposes beneficial to the public. Also a charity may be an institution or organization founded by such a gift.
A charitable purpose results in humanitarian or philanthropic assistance, or is otherwise beneficial to the public.
The University cannot provide University resources for non-University purposes unless it receives consideration in exchange for those resources.
Such consideration is to be documented in a signed agreement between the University and the particular charity or organization involved in a charitable purpose, and approved by a University officer with authority to sign contracts (see BPPM 10.11).
University employees may use state resources for the benefit of a charity or charitable purpose without consideration when the level of use is de minimis and the use promotes organizational effectiveness or enhances the employees’ job-related skills.
Promoting organizational effectiveness includes the following:
- A relationship to the University’s mission and encompasses activities that enhance or augment the University’s ability to perform its mission.
- Participation in activities that are not necessarily official duties but support a collegial work environment.
- Participation in charity support activities that are part of official University duties. Such support may incidentally support a private organization.
Such activities may not involve a University endorsement or promotion of a commercial activity, such as in advertising or selling products.
De Minimus Use
“De minimis use” occurs when all of the following conditions are met:
- There is little or no cost to the University.
- Any use is brief in duration, occurs infrequently, and is the most effective use of time or resources.
- The use does not interfere with the performance of the officer’s or employee’s official duties.
- The use does not disrupt or distract from the conduct of University business due to volume or frequency.
- The use does not disrupt other University employees and does not obligate them to make personal use of University resources.
- The use does not compromise the security or integrity of University property, information, or software.
Charitable activities meeting these requirements are permissible when approved by the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee. Employees with questions regarding a particular proposed de minimis use of state resources for charitable purposes should contact the Internal Audit Office.
An example of an impermissible activity would be an employee sending a broadcast e-mail selling a product or attempting to raise funds that will generate a personal benefit to the employee who sent the email. This does not prohibit employees from posting notices of charitable solicitations or fundraisers on bulletin boards or in break areas.
An example of a permissible activity would be coworkers volunteering to help raise funds for a local charity or a charitable event. An e-mail or broad announcement to notify employees of the activity would be considered a limited use of resources. Prior approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee for the limited use of resources in connection with the charitable purpose. If the activity requires additional state paid time or use of resources, the additional use may exceed the de minimis use guidelines and no longer be permissible.
The administrator completes a written approval request which includes the following information:
- The circumstances of the charitable activity
- An explanation of how the charitable activity relates to or promotes a University mission
- The specific amount and type of state resource to be used
- The consideration to be provided by the charitable entity
With the written agreement of the appropriate chair or director, the administrator submits the written request to the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee; mail code 1045. The written request may be submitted by e-mail. The Vice President or designee notifies the administrator of his or her determination regarding the request.
With the approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee, a University unit may co-sponsor an event with a charity. Any co-sponsorship of an event would require the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee to determine that the University’s participation in the event would enhance the University’s ability to perform one of its missions (education, research, or public service). The responsibilities of the co-sponsoring parties must be explained in a signed agreement prior to the event.
An example of a co-sponsored event might involve an agreement between a local charitable organization and a self-sustaining University unit to co-sponsor a fun run. The co-sponsorship agreement must explain the relationship and duties of the parties. The terms of the co-sponsorship agreement could also permit the co-sponsoring charitable organization to independently pursue specified collateral charitable fundraising efforts in conjunction with the fun run. Such fundraising efforts must be clearly identified.
Combined Fund Drive
The Combined Fund Drive is an exception to the above rules. Since the Combined Fund drive was established by the state legislature, the University can assign employees to work on the Combined Fund Drive as part of their official duties.
Combined Fund Drive coordinators should confine the time and effort spent conducting the drive to those official duties assigned by the University. University employees not officially assigned to participate in the Combined Fund Drive must observe the de minimis rule when working on the Combined Fund Drive.