Where does my donation go?
All gifts accepted support the University of Melbourne or its affiliates. As a donor, you may express a wish as to where you would like your gift to be specifically applied or you can simply choose to give to the general charitable purposes of the University so we can direct your support toward the University’s priorities. Contact us on +61 3 9035 4054 or at email@example.com to discuss your particular wishes for the use of your gift.
Can I include a gift to the University in my Will?
Yes. There are many ways in which a gift in your Will can help the University well into the future. For more information, contact our Gifts in Wills team on +61 3 9035 3489 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is my gift tax deductible?
All donations to the University of Melbourne in Australia of $2 or more are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers. More information on tax deductible gifts made outside Australia.
Can I claim a tax deduction for my gift?
Yes. The University is a certified Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and all gifts of $2 or more are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers. If you are a taxpayer in the UK, the US or Canada, please visit our giving from overseas page for information about directing a tax deductible gift or gift in your Will to the University.
Will I receive a receipt for my gift?
Yes. We aim to provide donors with receipts for their gifts within 1-3 business days. If you have made a gift online, you will receive your receipt via email once payment has been approved. If you have chosen to make a recurring monthly gift, you will receive a receipt at the end of the financial year.
I would like to support the University, but not necessarily financially. Are there other ways I can contribute?
Yes. In a first for Australia, we have committed to engaging 100,000 members of our alumni community in the life of the University.
We did this as we believe giving your time to volunteer and participate in University activities is just as important as making a financial gift. Email email@example.com or phone +61 3 9035 3588 to register your interest and discuss volunteer opportunities.
I live outside Australia. Am I still able to donate?
Yes. Donations can be made using a credit card through the University’s donations page. If you have any questions, call us on +61 3 9035 4054 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your particular situation.
If you live, or are a taxpayer in the UK, US, or Canada, visit our overseas giving page for more information on directing a tax deductible gift or bequest to the University.
How can I make sure the intended faculty/college/affiliate receives my gift?
When the University accepts and applies your gift, it will always seek to ensure that your wishes for the use of the gift are met. The University has a dedicated Gift Policy (MPF 1348) which sets out its obligations about the use and administration of philanthropic gifts. On a collective basis, or at certain levels of giving on an individual basis, the University provides impact reporting back to you to let you know what the gift has been used for and the difference it has made.
If for whatever reason, you are not sure that the gift is being used as you intended, the University and the relevant area that you wished to support remains available to discuss and as necessary seek a resolution with you.
You can discuss your concerns with the University staff involved with the use of the gift or the University’s Head of Donor Relations. If that doesn’t result in a satisfactory outcome, you can contact the Vice-President (Advancement) and/or the Vice-Chancellor to express your concerns.
You may also wish to direct your concerns to the Chair of the University's Gifts Committee. This is a sub-committee of Council and is charged with representing donors’ interests and administering philanthropic funds from donors to any part of the University. The Committee’s role is to ensures the appropriate and effective acceptance and use of all gifts received.
If despite all of these discussions you remain concerned, you can contact the Government’s Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or at any point in time. The University (ABN 84 002 705 224) is a registered charity with the ACNC and is required to report annually to it. The ACNC is the national regulator of charities and has a compliance role in investigating concerns raised about charities.
How can I keep up to date with the progress of the Believe Campaign?
We will update progress on the Campaign through this website and Alumni News. Find out all the ways you can connect with us.
How are gifts to the University invested and managed?
In recognition of the confidence that has been placed in the University by its donors, and the importance of these assets to the University’s continued excellence, it is the University’s highest priority to ensure that these funds are well invested. The University manages philanthropic gifts, including those gifts held by the University on trust, with a total capital value of $1,024.8 million in 2019.
Distribution from gifts invested in the University’s long-term investment fund in 2019 totalled $41.0 million, supporting a range of purposes including student awards, professorships and other academic positions, and an extraordinarily diverse range of research activities. Investment of gifts held long-term is performed on the University’s behalf by two independent fund managers, the Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) and ROC Capital. An Investment Management Committee (IMC) oversees the strategy for and performance of University investments. The IMC is composed of industry professionals, University council members and senior executives of the University, who provide advice on investment beliefs, strategy, philosophy, and policy, and oversee appointment of fund managers. The IMC meets regularly throughout the year and reports to the University Council through the Finance Committee.
The University’s annual Investment Report provides an overview of how these trust funds are invested and managed.
How are gifts to the University overseen and monitored?
We are committed to the responsible administration and oversight of the gifts we receive and accept through the generosity of donors past and present. The Gift Policy (MPF 1348) obliges the University’s General Counsel to undertake an annual gift compliance review and to present it to Council’s Gifts Committee for noting and discussion, before the report is required to be presented by the Vice-Chancellor to Council. The University’s Gifts Committee is charged with representing donors’ interests and assists Council in overseeing and administering philanthropic gifts from donors to any part of the University.
The University of Melbourne
Tel: +61 3 8344 5003
I received a call from a student asking for a gift. Is this legitimate?
Each year we hold telethons to raise funds in support of Melbourne, inviting you to engage more actively in the life of the University. Conversations with our students are a wonderful way for you to keep up-to-date with what is happening at the University, as well as allowing us the opportunity to open up a conversation about how you can give back.
For further information or to opt-out of receiving a call, contact the Regular Giving Team at email@example.com or on +61 3 9035 4672.
The Donations Framework is listed as Schedule 1 of the University’s Gift Policy (MPF1348).
The University of Melbourne values the ongoing involvement of, and relationships with, donors. To protect donors and the University from publicly expressed concerns or perceptions of undue donor influence over academic, administrative, curriculum, building, admissions and student programming decisions, this framework provides guidance to assist both potential donors and University staff in understanding where those boundaries lie.
The University welcomes the active participation of donors in shaping a gift that meets their ambitions. In accepting donations, the University of Melbourne must also ensure alignment with strategic objectives and core values. This does not preclude donors from actively engaging to help determine the scope of a gift but does place limits on the areas in which a donor may properly be involved.
Choices about curriculum and assessment, appointments to academic positions, selection of students, the design of research and the awarding of scholarships are academic decisions and remain under University control.
Involvement of Donors
The involvement of donors with their gift and the University is welcome and an important part of philanthropy today. Gifts to the University are expended in line with the expressed wishes of the donor. However, for a gift to be tax-deductible, the donor should transfer absolute control of the gift to the University. Donor involvement must also respect the fundamental academic values of the University - to preserve, defend and promote the traditional principles of academic freedom. This is encapsulated in the Academic Freedom of Expression Policy.
Academic appointments are governed by the University Appointments and Promotions Committee, which provides oversight for academic appointments to ensure that academic standards are maintained. Full details of this Committee and its processes can be found here: https://policy.unimelb.edu.au/MPF1299
Donors are welcome to work with the University to identify an academic position in a particular discipline that they might wish to support, but the University will not accept gifts that require that an academic hold a particular political or philosophical view, or teach, or conduct research in a particular manner.
We welcome external perspectives and while neither donors nor their representatives may be part of a selection panel for an academic position, they are welcome to contribute to the development of position descriptions and recruitment plans, recommend potential candidates and meet with and express their views on shortlisted candidates.
When establishing a new scholarship through a gift, donors can express a preference for the type of student and academic discipline they wish to support. The awarding of scholarships is an academic responsibility and carried out by a selection committee established by the governing academic division of the University. In cases of scholarship programs where selection criteria go beyond academic criteria (for example, leadership or non-academic skills such as sporting ability), it may be appropriate to invite the donor or the donor’s representative to participate in a selection committee. The majority of members of such a committee must be University academic or professional staff and selection decisions will be by majority.
Philanthropically-funded research is subject to the established University ethical commitments regarding the research it will undertake. A donor may determine the broad field of research that they wish to support, in discussion with the University. Researchers must be free to come to whatever conclusions the evidence and their analysis lead them to. The donor may not require that the research utilise particular methodologies, rely on particular sources, or produce particular results. These are matters of independent academic judgement.
Donors may choose to support teaching programs in a particular discipline but must allow the University to control the details of the curriculum, the content, pedagogy, assessment or philosophical or political orientation of the teaching. Under no circumstances will the University admit a student or give any preference or priority to a student at the request of the donor.
Donors who support infrastructure projects are welcome to contribute their views on design and finish during the design stage. Final decision on design and finish lies with the University. The University will determine the selection of architects, contractors and other suppliers involved in capital projects subject to its Governance, Probity and Risk Framework. A donor or the donor’s representative will have no power to influence or veto decision-making on these matters.
Gifts in Kind and Cultural Gifts
Gifted material, such as artwork, property or books, becomes the property of the University of Melbourne. They are subject to the same conditions as existing collections and assets, including processing, retention, location, use and disposal. Once gifted, a donor or the donor’s representative will have no power to influence or veto decision-making on the management of these assets.
In some cases, for an agreed use of a gift to be viable, the University may be required to make a financial or other contribution (for example personnel, time, space, etc). These instances will be considered on a case-by-case basis and within the University’s normal approval processes. When a University contribution is possible, the University will need to ensure that a source of funding or other contribution is available and approved and that there is a strong alignment of the University’s strategy with the proposed gift.
This Framework was endorsed by University Council in December 2018. It is supported by policies contained within the Melbourne Policy Library:
- Academic Appointment, Performance and Promotion Policy
- Academic Freedom of Expression Policy
- Contracts Policy
- Establishment and Award of Student Awards Policy
- Gift Policy
- Procurement Policy
- Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy
- Selection and Admission Policy
These policies are made under the University of Melbourne Act 2009 (Vic), the Council Regulation, and/or the Vice-Chancellor Regulation, and support compliance with other legislative requirements listed in each policy.
Head of Donor Relations
University of Melbourne Advancement
+61 3 9035 5817
What is the Donor Charter?
The University of Melbourne celebrates the important role of philanthropy at the University and is committed to outstanding levels of donor stewardship and ensuring that donors have fulfilling experiences when supporting the University. We will implement gifts as agreed with a donor and seek to create meaningful opportunities to nurture a donor’s lifelong relationship with the institution, while providing accurate and timely information pertaining to the investment, use and impact of their gifts.
The University of Melbourne makes the following Commitments to Donors:
To be transparent, informative and professional
- The University of Melbourne adheres to the Universities Australia Code of Practice for Australian University Philanthropy.
- A donor can expect to be informed of the University's mission, the way the University intends to use the gift and the identity of key personnel involved in managing the gift.
- Individuals representing the University will act in a professional manner, and will inform prospective donors if they are volunteers, students or University staff.
- No program, agreement, trust or contract will be pursued with potential donors at the expense of the donor’s best interests and motivations.
- The University and its staff will actively and positively provide relevant information on the University, and the use of, and progress with, the gift.
To respect the privacy of donors
- Donors’ details will be treated confidentially and will not be shared with any organisation outside the University for their own purposes without express permission.
- Requests for anonymity will be respected, honoured and confidentially enacted.
To use gifts effectively and ethically in line with donor wishes
- The University is committed to ensuring that philanthropic gifts are managed in an efficient, effective and ethical manner for their intended purposes.
- Should it become impractical or impossible to carry out the expressed purpose(s), or where the University reasonably believes that the original expressed wishes are no longer a suitable and effective means of using the gift, the University will communicate with the donor or the donor’s nominated representative.
- As part of our commitment to responsible management and oversight of philanthropic gifts, the Gifts Committee helps University Council to monitor how the University receives, tracks and applies gifts based on the wishes expressed by donors. The Committee reports annually to Council on the administration of philanthropic income of the University.
To acknowledge and recognise donors and celebrate philanthropy
- All donors will receive an official receipt, and appropriate acknowledgement, recognition and publicity.