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Statement on Donations

McMaster’s Statement on Donations

McMaster University is grateful for the generous support from private donors – individuals, corporations, foundations and friends of the University, who help support our mission. Our Statement on Donations provides a framework for how we manage the academic principles associated with accepting gifts from philanthropic donors.

The statement on donations was approved by PVP in November 2013.

Donation guidelines

The following guidelines reflect academic principles that shape our relationships with our donors.

  • At McMaster our purpose is the discovery, communication and preservation of knowledge. In our teaching, research and scholarship, we are committed to creativity, innovation and excellence. We value integrity, quality, inclusiveness and teamwork in everything we do. We inspire critical thinking, personal growth, and a passion for lifelong learning. We serve the social, cultural, and economic needs of our community and our society.
  • The University’s Policy on Gift Acceptance will be used to guide all decisions when determining the appropriateness of accepting a gift/donation. In addition, the University’s Mission and Vision statement along with the McMaster Statement on Academic Freedom will inform decisions on gift acceptance. Donations should not reflect negatively on the University’s public image.
  • The University’s solicitation of gifts is informed by and consistent with academic priorities established by appropriate University processes. Undesignated gifts must be used for such purposes as the University judges will best advance its mission and academic priorities. Designated gifts are used solely for the purposes for which they were given.
  • Gifts to create Chairs, Professorships or other academic appointments and programs must be in full compliance with all relevant University policies, practices and procedures.
  • Naming in recognition of donors will follow the University’s Policy on Naming.
  • McMaster University considers gift agreements to be public documents.
  • Where agreements contain a provision for the creation of gift boards or committees, the University will create these boards for the express purpose of providing updates to the donors on the status of the gift as per the terms of the gift agreement as appropriate. All gift boards will be created with the agreement of the President and academic units as appropriate.

Donor rights

As stated in our Donor Bill of Rights, McMaster University aspires to gain the respect, trust and confidence of the University’s alumni and friends, and declares that all donors and prospective donors have the following rights:

  • To be fully informed, upon request, of McMaster’s mission and vision, and the way in which their gift will become an integral part of fulfilling the mission and vision while also meeting the intent of the donor.
  • To be fully advised, upon request, of the membership of the various boards and committees that govern McMaster and to expect the Board of Governors to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  • To be provided upon request, with a copy of McMaster’s most recent financial statements and investment policies as approved by the Board of Governors.
  • To be assured that their donations and all forms of charitable gifts are used effectively for the purposes as specified by the donor, or, where such purposes are no longer practicable or appropriate, that the University promises to use the gift in a manner consonant with the intention of the donor and the spirit in which the gift was given.
  • To be given appropriate acknowledgement and recognition for their generosity.
  • To expect that their request for anonymity is strictly observed.
  • To expect that all information about their donation or intended donation is handled with professionalism, respect and confidentiality and in a manner in compliance with applicable laws.
  • To be provided with prompt, truthful and forthright answers about any aspect of their gift.
  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers or employees of McMaster University.
  • To have the opportunity for their names to be removed from mailing lists that the University may intend to share.