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Memorial University of Newfoundland

  Memorial University of Newfoundland

Donor Prospect Clearance

Approval Date: 2008-12-11

Effective Date: 2008-12-11

Review Date: 2020-12-11


The President


To ensure the coordination and appropriate assignment of prospective donors


Applies to all members of the University community who have an interest in fundraising for Memorial University, including Separately Incorporated Entities (SIEs). The solicitation of sponsorships, including sponsored research funds, does not fall under the terms of this policy.


Applicant — Head of a faculty/school/department/unit (including SIEs) or specific staff member who is requesting clearance to cultivate and solicit a charitable gift from a particular individual or organization on behalf of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Clearance Period — The period of time for which a prospective donor is assigned to an Applicant for purposes of cultivation and solicitation.

Cultivation — A plan of activities undertaken to build a relationship with an assigned donor prospect for the ultimate goal of soliciting a philanthropic gift.

Database — Office of Development (OD) maintains a database that stores and tracks prospect information and clearance approval. Relevant information from the database is accessible to select Office of Development employees.

Donation — A charitable gift, according to Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

Donor — An individual or organization who has made a charitable gift to Memorial University.

Major Gift — A gift of ten thousand dollars or more payable over a period of up to five years.

Project — The purpose for which funds are being solicited.

Prospect — An individual or organization capable of making a charitable gift to the University.

Prospect Clearance — An assigned opportunity for a faculty, school or unit to cultivate a prospect without competing solicitation from other units during an approved time period. Clearance is required for cultivation of all gifts as described in this policy.

Relationship Management — A focused process of major gift prospect identification, research, clearance, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship whereby enduring relationships with donors are nurtured in order to advance Memorial.

Solicitation — The current, accelerated, active interaction between a prospective donor and the University that has the expectation of leading to a successful funding request within the designated clearance period.

Solicitor — The individual or team of individuals assigned to directly ask the prospective donor for a gift.

Sponsorship — The provision of financial support in exchange for marketing/promotional or other benefits to the contributor.


It is the responsibility of the Executive Director of Development to ensure the coordinated assignment and management of donors and prospective donors and the maintenance of accurate and timely donor and prospective donor records for Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Any members or units of the University community who have an interest in fundraising activities on behalf of Memorial University of Newfoundland, are required to contact the Executive Director of Development prior to contacting donor prospects with the intention to solicit gifts at the levels described in this policy.

In those cases where a prospective donor has made the initial inquiry about making a donation to the University or a member of the University, such information should be immediately conveyed to the Executive Director of Development so that professional guidance and stewardship can be provided.

All cultivation and solicitation must be cleared through the Executive Director of Development before any actions are undertaken. All solicitations must be subsequently coordinated by the AA&D so that prospect records can be appropriately maintained.

Related Documents

Terms of Reference for the Prospect Clearance Committee
Donor Prospect Clearance form
Call Reports


For inquiries related to this policy:

Office of Development, 709-864-4044,

Sponsor: The President

Category: External Relations

Procedure for Donor Prospect Clearance

Approval Date: 2018-06-14

Responsible Unit: Office of Development

1. When to Obtain Donor Prospect Clearance
Any unit wishing to solicit prospective donors, on behalf of Memorial University, for a philanthropic gift valued at $1,000 or more during a major campaign or for $5,000 outside of a campaign, must submit the names of the prospects (whether individuals, foundations, corporations or other organizations), and apply to AA&D for clearance to proceed with cultivation and solicitation. See Gift Acceptance policy.

In addition, solicitation of groups of 100 or more individuals (e.g., professional associations) must be cleared in order to avoid multiple solicitations of the same individual Deans, Directors, Heads of Departments, etc. involved in fundraising initiatives will regularly consult with members of the development division within the Office of Development.

2. The Donor Prospect Clearance Process
Requests for Prospect Clearance may be submitted at any time using the Donor Prospect Clearance form and forwarded to the designated contact indicated on the form, in accordance with the Procedure to Apply for Donor Prospect Clearance.

Submissions will be reviewed regularly by the Donor Prospect Clearance Committee, who will assign a maximum of 20 prospects to an Applicant, typically for a 180 day period. The Prospect Clearance Committee will also assign a Development/Campaign staff member as liaison to Applicants at that time, if the Applicant is not a Development/Campaign Staff member. Being assigned more than 20 prospects will require the Executive Director's approval.

The Applicant will inform the assigned Development staff member of any activities involving assigned prospects during the clearance period and the results of these activities. Meetings with Applicants and assigned Development staff will be held regularly to review cultivation/solicitation progress on assigned prospects.

3. Clearance Period
Applicants will be notified of the decision of the Prospect Clearance Committee normally within one week of the meeting in which the submission is considered. In the case of a favourable decision, the Applicant will be advised of the duration for which clearance has been granted and the projects for which a donor may be solicited. If, as a result of the original cultivation or solicitation, the donor indicates a preference for other projects, the Applicant is required to notify the assigned Development staff member so that a solicitation targeted to the donor's stated preference can be constructed. Upon expiration of the Clearance Period, or if the Applicant has been unsuccessful in securing a donation commitment, the prospective donor will be returned to the prospect pool.

4. Reporting and tracking progress of donor cultivation and solicitation
A catalogue of the contacts that have been made with each prospect and the results of these contacts is maintained in the OD database. It is expected that all individuals working with cleared prospects will report on activity through regular submission of action reports and updates.

5. Requests for Extension of the Clearance Period
At the end of the Clearance Period, a request for an extension of Prospect Clearance may be submitted to the Prospect Clearance Committee. The decision to grant an extension, and the duration of any extension, will be assessed based upon the cultivation progress that has been made, or the status of discussions with the prospective donor. In addition, the Prospect Clearance Committee, in extenuating circumstances, may need to change the status of any Prospect Clearance after consultation with appropriate parties.

Procedure to Apply for Donor Prospect Clearance

Approval Date: 2018-06-14

Responsible Unit: Office of Development

The Development staff will facilitate the provision of appropriate background information and content for each request prior to its review by the Donor Prospect Clearance Committee. Before any prospective donor can be cleared to be approached, the Applicant must complete the Donor Prospect Clearance form and ensure that the following criteria are met:

1. Project Approval
Before an Applicant can seek approval of a prospective donor from the Prospect Clearance Committee, the Applicant's project must be approved by an appropriate member of (e.g., Dean, Vice-President, President) senior administration. Applicants should first approach the Head of their faculty, school or unit before submission to the Prospect Clearance Committee. Written approval of the proposed project must be included as part of the application for Prospect Clearance.

2. Project Definition
The Applicant seeking Prospect Clearance must provide an outline of the project/purpose for which funds will be solicited.

3. Identification of Funding Level
The Applicant shall demonstrate the total potential funding requirements of the project, the solicitation goal for the prospect and the time period for the particular project.

4. Provision of Rationale for Requesting Assignment of Specified Prospects
The Applicant must provide a rationale for why the prospect should be a good fit with the specific project, including any prior history or connections with the prospect or other reasons this prospect would consider the project to be a high priority. Applicants uncertain as to which potential prospects to approach should contact the Office of Development prior to formal submission for Prospect Clearance.

5. Provision of Cultivation/Solicitation Strategy
When submitting prospect names for clearance, the Applicant must provide an anticipated cultivation/solicitation strategy including actions and timeline, intended solicitor(s) and proposed solicitation amounts.

The Applicant must also describe the specific method of solicitation (e.g., proposal, in person, by mail, by phone, other). If the Applicant is uncertain as to the appropriate strategy, Development staff will assist with establishing a strategy.

6. Requests for Extension of the Clearance Period
To extend the clearance period, the Applicant must submit another Donor Prospect Clearance form to the Prospect Clearance Committee, indicating activity accomplished in the first 180 days and a rationale for the extension. A revised strategy and timeline(s) should be included.

Procedure to Request Reconsideration of Donor Prospect Approval Decision

Approval Date: 2008-12-11

Responsible Unit: Office of Development

Applicants with new information or changed circumstances may request, in writing, reconsideration by the Donor Prospect Clearance Committee, normally within one month of when the new information becomes available or when the circumstances change.