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Sponsorship Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish the framework and guidelines within Ryerson University for the creation of productive partnerships between the University and the private sector, i.e. sponsorship alliances with corporations, foundations, individuals and other non-government organizations.  It is recognized that such alliances can provide important financial and marketing support to potential partners of the University while at the same time generate additional revenues to support the University’s mission and mandate.


The following are the fundamental principles that shape Ryerson’s relationships with sponsors:

1.    Sponsorship of a Ryerson University facility, school, department, symposia, project, program or event will not entitle any sponsor to influence any academic or business decision of Ryerson University.

2.    Ryerson University will not enter into any alliances or partnerships with any corporation or organization where the association with the prospective partner or acceptance of the sponsorship would jeopardize the financial, legal or moral integrity or adversely impact upon the University’s standing and reputation in the community.

3.    Ryerson University will accept sponsorships as an additional source of revenue generation, providing that all sponsorship alliances are developed and maintained within the regulations embodied in this sponsorship policy.

4.    All sponsorship alliances or partnerships must be consistent with existing University academic and administrative policies.


1.    All event and project sponsorships must have a significant financial commitment from the sponsor to help offset the costs associated with the activity.

2.    All sponsorship relationships with Ryerson must be identified and recorded with University Advancement for information purposes to support the prospect clearance and coordination process and to encourage a donor-centered approach to all revenue generation.  Such recording would include the name of the company or organization where a contractual sponsorship agreement exists and the appropriate vice president or senior staff person to consult in the prospect clearance and coordination process.

3.    For naming through sponsorships all agreements must be made in accordance with the University policy on Benefactor Naming.

4.    Sponsorships over $5,000 will normally be embodied in written contractual agreements between Ryerson University and the sponsorship partner.

5.    Sponsorship contracts or letters of agreement will be developed in consultation with the University’s legal counsel, and the appropriate Vice President and must include the clauses in Appendix A: Sponsorship Contracts/Letters of Agreement Guidelines.


This policy applies to all Ryerson representatives (normally faculty, staff, students and volunteers) who are involved in any aspects of acquiring sponsorships for any department/division, or Faculty of the University including the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospective sponsors of the University.


Sponsorship is a marketing-oriented, contracted financial alliance between Ryerson University and a corporation, foundation or individual.  Sponsorships can be beneficial alliances in which Ryerson University receives a fee or other consideration and the sponsor benefits from market exposure and/or favoured products or corporate profile.  Funds provided to the University through sponsorships are not eligible for charitable income tax receipts in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (formerly known as Revenue Canada) Regulations and Guidelines. A sponsorship is not a donation or a private grant.

Donation is defined by Canada Revenue Agency as a voluntary transfer of cash or property to the University that is made without expectation of any benefit of any kind accruing to the donor or any individual or organization designated by the donor.  Donations may include: cash; assets and tangible property (real estate, artworks, jewellery); securities (bonds, stocks, annuities, insurance policies); bequests and grants.  Donations fall into the following categories: cash donations, gifts of tangible property, gifts of certified cultural property and gifts-in-kind.  A donation is eligible for an official charitable donation receipt.  Research grants, government grants and the like do not conform to Canada Revenue Agency’s definition of a donation or charitable gift for income tax purposes.

Private Grant is income from a private, non-government source.  The difference between a private grant and contract revenue should be judged on the basis of the intention of the awarding agency and the legal obligation incurred by the institution in accepting the award.  A grant, like a donation, is bestowed voluntarily and without expectation of any tangible compensation.  It is denotive in nature and may require a tax receipt. 

Contract, however, carries an explicit 'quid pro quo' relationship between the source and the institution and may not receive a tax receipt.  Normally, these sorts of grants are due to the efforts of faculty members.


The following are the types of sponsorship alliances that are covered under this policy:

1.   Permanent and long-term naming opportunities connected to specific buildings and spaces within the Ryerson University campus (ie. the Rogers Communications Centre);

2.   Program sponsorships tied to specific academic areas of research or study (ie. the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity);

3.    Program sponsorship tied to a university-wide initiative (ie. athletic team, student services, etc.).

4.    Project sponsorships tied to symposia and other time-limited projects (ie. the Ethics Centre Symposia);

5.    Event sponsorships (ie. sponsorship of the Alumni-Achievement Awards program);

6.    Materials and equipment sponsorship (ie. printing of major publication at a substantially reduced charge).


This policy is under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, University Advancement and is administered in consultation with the President, the Vice President, Administration and Operations, and the Provost and Vice President Academic.