09-02.00 – Policy on Sponsorships of Towson University by External Entities

  1. Policy:

    This Policy establishes guidelines for creating sponsorships of Towson University by corporations/entities, non-profit organizations, and individuals external to the University, regardless of the value of the sponsorship. The Division of University Advancement will create and maintain the central database of sponsorships. This policy excludes Auxiliary Services, Athletics and Student organizations. This policy is intended to: 1. Support the University’s mission and safeguard the integrity of the University’s brand; 2. and to protect the University from misrepresentation of its name and harm to its reputation.

  2. Purpose:

    This Policy is designed to provide guidance to University units seeking additional sources of revenue for events, activities, projects and programs; allow for the acceptance by Towson University of sponsorships as an additional source of revenue generation as support for TU programs/projects; prevent conflict of interest and ensure compliance with University policies; establish a process to ensure appropriateness, consistency, and coordination of effort University-wide regarding Sponsorships.

  3. Definitions:

    1. “External Entity” is a corporation or other legal entity which is not a part of Towson University or the University System of Maryland, including but not limited to; non-profit organizations and/or individuals.

    2. “In-Kind Sponsorship” is an External Entity’s provision of goods or services to support or enhance a University event, activity, project or program in return for the External Entity’s name being associated with the event, activity, project or program (i.e., recognition as a sponsor).

    3. “Funded Sponsorship” is an External Entity’s provision of funding to support or enhance a University event, activity, project or program in return for the External Entity’s name/logo being associated with the event, activity, project or program (i.e., recognition as a sponsor).

    4. “Sponsor” is an External Entity that provides sponsorship for a University event, activity, project or program.

    5. “Sponsorship” is a Funded Sponsorship or an In-Kind Sponsorship. As the sponsor receives benefits from market exposure and association with the University, a sponsorship is not a donation or private grant, and may not be eligible for charitable income tax receipts.

    6. “Benefits” are any item or service provided to a sponsor in return for the sponsorship of a University activity, event, or program. Examples may include, but are not limited to; acknowledgment, event tickets, food and beverages, merchandise, or access to University services (i.e. meeting rooms, job boards, etc.).

    7. “Non-Qualified Sponsorship” is a sponsorship where the financial, or other support, does not meet IRS guidelines for qualified sponsorship payments and would not be exempt from Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT).

  4. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executives:
    Vice President of University Advancement
    Assistant Vice President of University Promotions & Events

    Responsible Office:
    University Promotions & Events

  5. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All members of the University community (faculty and staff) who are involved in any aspects of acquiring Sponsorships, including but not limited to; identifying, soliciting, and stewardship of prospective Sponsors.

  6. Sponsorship Requirements:

    As a prerequisite to recognizing an outside Sponsor, the University unit holding the event, activity, project or program must ensure that the Sponsorship meets the following requirements:

    1. The Sponsor must provide funding or In-Kind goods or services to support or enhance the event, activity, project or program. 

    2. All Sponsorships must comply at a minimum with this policy.

    3. All prospective Sponsorships must be reported to University Promotions & Events, which will (a) notify the Development Office of the request before any contact with the prospective sponsor is made (with the exception of in-kind exchanges (e.g., with media outlets) (b) decide whether to approve the prospective Sponsor, (c) record all Sponsorships in a database.

    4. Work with University Advancement/Towson University Foundation on Fair Market Value (FMV) of sponsor packages

    5. Develop a Sponsorship Agreement for each Sponsorship in coordination with the Office of General Counsel, and ensure the sponsorship agreement is signed before the sponsored event, activity, project or program takes place.

    6. Seek and obtain all required approvals for the time required to ensure the Sponsorship is carried out in accordance with the terms of the Sponsorship Agreement.

    7. Any use of the Sponsor’s logos must be addressed in the sponsorship agreement. Sponsor identification and logos must always be secondary to the University’s branding in size and position.

    8. Sponsors must not use the University’s communications as a direct sales channel for their products and/or services.

  7. Responsibilities.

    University Promotions & Events is responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of University-wide Sponsorships and working collaboratively with other University units to provide a resource for Sponsorship activities, managing the solicitation of University-wide Sponsorships, maintaining an asset inventory, and pricing and valuing University assets and benefits. Requests for assistance with Sponsorships will be submitted using the Requests for Sponsorships of Towson University Form. Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, and Senior Staff of all University units are responsible for enforcing this policy in their area of responsibility.

Related Policies:


Approval Date: 10/3/2018

Effective Date: 10/3/2018

Approved By: President’s Council

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .