Date : 2018-06-27
Instance of approval : Administration Committee

Responsible Service: Office of the Vice-President, External Relations


1. The purpose of this Policy is to establish the framework for the creation of productive relationships between the University of Ottawa and external entities through sponsorship (as defined in Section 2 of this Policy).It is recognized that such relationships can provide important image, marketing and promotional benefits to sponsoring corporations or organizations, while at the same time generating additional revenues to support the University's mission and mandate.


2. For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

  • a) “Sponsor” means a business, corporation, organization, association, individual or other third party who has entered into a Sponsorship Agreement (as defined in paragraph (c) below) with the University.
  • b) “Sponsorship” means a Sponsor providing financial or in-kind support or services to the University in return for recognition as a Sponsor and for the ability of the Sponsor to promote its brand, products or services to the University community or for the University’s preferred use of the Sponsor’s products and/or services.Sponsorship does not mean a donation or gift of any kind by a third party to the University, where the University is not obligated to offer the third party any type of property, service, compensation or other advantage, benefit or promotion in return.It also does not mean pure advertisement, where space or airtime is purchased by a third party from the University for the sole purpose of promoting the third party and without recognition by the University as a Sponsor.
  • c) “Sponsorship Agreement” means a formal written arrangement agreed to between the University and a Sponsor on Sponsorship, regardless of whether Sponsorship is the sole subject or is one among others agreed upon and regardless of whether such agreed upon arrangement is expressed within a communication, an agreement, a contract, a letter of understanding or other document, irrespective of the name of the document.


3. This Policy applies to the University, its staff, volunteers or other representatives of the University involved in any aspect of cultivating, soliciting or acquiring Sponsorships from Sponsors for the University, its faculties, departments or divisions, other academic units or administrative services.

4. This Policy must be read in conjunction with the following University Policies (and procedures adopted pursuant to such Policies) and related documents:


5. The following are general principles that shall govern the University of Ottawa’s willingness to consider, agree to or accept a Sponsorship:

  • a) The University must remain free to operate and to manage its academic and business affairs and activities without material influence from the Sponsor.
  • b) The University’s fundraising functions regarding Sponsorship must be coordinated to identify Sponsors, to ensure a united approach, to avoid overlap or missed opportunities and in order to ensure a cohesive approach to revenue generation.
  • c) The Sponsorship must comply with all reputational, branding, financial, legal or ethical considerations of concern to the University and must have a positive impact on the University’s programs and services.
  • d) The Sponsorship must support a University activity, program or service.
  • e) A Sponsorship must entail a financial commitment from the Sponsor that is proportionate to the benefits expected in exchange therefor.
  • f) The Sponsorship must be consistent with existing academic regulations and other administrative policies and procedures of the University, including without limitation its regulation on bilingualism.
  • g) A Sponsorship must comply with applicable procurement processes and must not involve a potential Sponsor who is a participant in a competitive bid process conducted by the University or otherwise affect the integrity of a University procurement process.


6. For Sponsorships with a total value under $10,000, the relevant Dean of the Faculty or the Director of the Service may approve the potential Sponsorship in accordance with the principles elaborated in article 5 of this Policy and once approved, must inform the Development Office.

7. For proposed Sponsorships with a total value of $10,000 or more, the relevant faculty, academic unit or service shall submit in advance of approaching or engaging with a potential Sponsor a written request to the Development Office to review the proposed Sponsorship.The request must detail the amount (cash, and/or in kind) being asked of the potential Sponsor and the benefits that the faculty, academic unit or service plans to offer in return.

8. Upon receipt of the request, the Development Office will verify with Procurement Services whether the proposed Sponsorship complies with the University’s procurement policies and procedures and whether the Sponsor is a supplier of goods and/or services to the University, or is a participant inrequest for information (“RFI”), request for proposal (“RFP”), request for supplier qualification (“RFSQ”), request for quotations (“RFQ”)or other competitive bid process or is otherwise in negotiation with the University.

  • a) If one of the preceding situations applies, Procurement Services shall assess the proposed Sponsorship’s potential impact on existing supplier agreements or on the application of the University’s procurement policies and procedures.
  • b) Procurement Services may recommend to the Development Office that the proposed Sponsorship not be approved and that a Sponsorship Agreement not be entered into if its assessment indicates that the proposed Sponsorship presents a possible negative impact to the University and its relationship with an existing supplier, with a bidder or proponent participating in an RFI, RFP, RFSQ, RFQ, other competitive bid process, or with a supplier otherwise in negotiation with the University.

9. Following a review by the Development Office and the outcome of its consultation with Procurement Services as referred to in section 8 of this Policy, the Development Office may accept, request modifications to the Sponsorship proposal or decide (or recommend, as the case may be) that it not proceed further.The Development Office will inform the relevant Dean or Director on whether the proposed Sponsorship may proceed or not and will endeavour to inform within 10 days of its receipt of the request to review the proposed Sponsorship.

10.The table below sets out the Sponsorship value ranges and the corresponding approvals and authorized signatories of the Sponsorship Agreement.

Total Value of Sponsorship Approvaland Signatories to the Sponsorship Agreement
$0 to $9,999 Dean or Director of Service or Chief Administrative Officer
$10,000 to $99,999 Vice-President, External Relations or their delegate
$100,000 to $499,000 Vice-President, External Relations and Secretary-General
$500,000 + Approval: Executive Committee of Board of Governors
Signatories: Vice-President, External Relations and Secretary-General
University-wide exclusive Sponsorship regardless of Sponsorship value Approval: Executive Committee of Board of Governors
Signatories: Vice-President, External Relations and Secretary-General

11. If the proposed Sponsorship is approved and a Sponsorship Agreement is entered into, the faculty, academic unit or service shall provide the Development Office with a copy of the Sponsorship Agreement for its records within 30 days of its execution.


12. The Office of the Vice-President External Relations is responsible for the implementation and periodic review of this Policy.

13. The Vice-President, External Relations may establish, amend, abrogate or make exceptions to procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this Policy, provided that such procedures or exceptions are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.


14. This Policy and any amendment to it shall be approved by the Administration Committee.