Where does my donation go?
All gifts received support the University of Melbourne or its affiliates. As a donor, you can choose where your gift will be directed or decide to leave the gift unrestricted so the University can direct your support toward priority areas. Call us (+61 3 9035 4054) or send an email to seek advice on directing 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 please contact our Head of Bequests, Merrilyn Julian (+61 3 8344 1745) or Bequests Manager, Dr Jennifer Henry (+61 3 8344 3640)
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, USA 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 our Alumni Relations Office 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 please call us on +61 3 9035 4054 or send an email to discuss your particular situation.
If you live, or are a taxpayer in the UK, USA, 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?
We are committed to the responsible management and oversight of the gifts we receive through the generosity of donors past and present. The University of Melbourne Foundation and Trusts Committee helps University Council with monitoring how the University receives, tracks and applies gifts based on the wishes expressed by donors.
The Committee reports annually to Council and donors on the overall management and administration of philanthropic income at the University.
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 Melbourne Alumni eNews. Find out all the ways you can connect with us.
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 University of Melbourne Foundation and Trusts 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 and donors on the overall management and 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.
How are gifts to the University invested and managed?
The University of Melbourne is one of the largest trustees of charitable trusts in Australia, with more than 1,000 charitable trusts established by gifts and bequests during its 163 year history.
With a total capital value of $849.7 million, these trusts provide income for a wide range of University purposes, including funding for scholarships, bursaries and prizes for students, staff Fellowships, Professorial chair positions, research funding, books and publications, and faculty equipment. As trustee, the University has a responsibility to carry out the trust terms and to preserve the trust capital by prudent investment.
The University’s annual Investment Report provides an overview of how these trust funds are invested and managed: Trusts Investment Report 2017 (PDF)
How are gifts to the University overseen and monitored?
The University of Melbourne is committed to the responsible management and oversight of the gifts that it receives through the generosity of its donors past and present. The University receives gifts through University of Melbourne Advancement, which is governed by fundraising conduct and principles outlined in its Advancement Policy. In April 2013, Council established a new committee, the University of Melbourne Foundation and Trusts Committee, to assist Council with monitoring how the University receives, tracks and applies gifts based on the wishes expressed by donors.
- The Inaugural Chair of the Committee is The Hon. Justice John Middleton, member of University Council.
- The Committee also oversees the University’s stewardship of donors, including the handling of enquiries and responding to individual donors.
- The Committee reports annually to Council and donors on the overall management and administration of philanthropic income at the University.
- The Committee has a sub-committee focused on assisting Council on gift acceptance issues that affect philanthropic funding from donors. The sub-committee works closely with areas of the University that support the management of gifts including the Trusts Group (for management of endowments in perpetuity, some expendable gifts and gifts received from externally managed trusts), the Investment Management Committee of Council and the University’s Donor Relations Team.
For more information contact:
University Secretary's Department
The University of Melbourne
Tel: +613 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 please contact the Regular Giving Team, at email@example.com or by phone at +61 3 9035 4672.
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, they are welcome to contribute to the development of position descriptions, recruitment plans, to meet with and express their views on shortlisted candidates, and to recommend potential candidates to the selection committee for an academic position.
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
- Advancement Policy
- Contracts Policy
- Establishment and Award of Student Awards 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 the Vice-Chancellor Regulation, and support compliance with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic); Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).
Head of Donor Relations
University of Melbourne Advancement
+61 3 9035 5817