The purpose of these guidelines is to provide Academic and Administrative Units with guidance and instructions on how to comply with relevant University policy while effectively managing the recognition of sponsors on the University's Web pages. The guidelines also describe appropriate ways to acknowledge donors to administrative events, programs, and offices via the Web.
These guidelines are adopted in accordance with University of Texas System Administration Policy Library -- Policy UTS122, "Guidelines for Web Site Solicitations."
These guidelines apply only to Academic and Administrative Units at The University of Texas at Austin. Auxiliary units and Intercollegiate Athletics are governed by separate rules and guidelines.
- Academic or Administrative Unit: A college, department, division, office, center, organized research unit or internal foundation.
- Academic or Administrative Unit Head: A Dean, Director, Department Chair, Project Director, or other Administrative Officer.
- Sponsorships: Charitable gifts that are intended to support a program or activity that directly supports the role and mission of the University.
- Sponsorship Acknowledgment: The statement or the act of recognizing that an entity has provided support to a University program or activity.
- Sponsorship Acknowledgment Page: A specific Web page within a Web site owned or controlled by an academic or administrative unit that is used to acknowledge sponsors regardless of the domain or server on which it resides.
- Sponsorship Section: A clearly demarcated section of a Web page owned or controlled by an Academic or Administrative Unit that acknowledges sponsors.
- University Web Page: Any Web page directly or indirectly owned or controlled by the University regardless of the domain or server on which it resides.
Initiating and Managing Web-Acknowledged Sponsorships
Identifying and Selecting Sponsors
Subject to these Guidelines, Academic and Administrative Units may select specific sponsors for their own programs. Units should exercise care in selecting sponsors to ensure that sponsorship acknowledgments relate to the mission of the institution and contribute positively to the overall brand image and stature of the University's Web site. The Regents' Rules and Regulations and University policy prohibit agreements with sponsors involved with certain activities or products. Consult UTS122 for a list of prohibited sponsors.
Establishing Sponsorship Levels and Appropriate Funding
Academic and Administrative Units should consider the role and image of the Unit and its Web pages when determining whether a sponsorship warrants acknowledgment on prominent Web pages.
The Office of the Vice President for Development is available to consult with Academic and Administrative Units on decisions regarding the appropriate levels of funding for sponsoring specific Web pages. The Office can provide considerable information on the value of similarly acknowledged sponsorships, market comparisons, and common practices in higher education and at UT Austin.
Donations in Excess of $50,000
If the sponsor-seeking unit is an Academic or Organized Research Unit, the unit' s development officer should be consulted before a sponsor is approached for a donation in excess of $50,000. If the sponsor-seeking unit is an Administrative Office, the office of the Vice President for Development should be consulted before a sponsor is approached for donations in excess of $50,000.
All agreements involving Web acknowledgment of donations in excess of $50,000 shall be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Development for review and approval prior to implementation.
Donations of $50,000 or Less
The heads of Academic or Administrative Units may act independently to seek Web acknowledgments of sponsor donations of $50,000 or less, subject to the following provisions for approval.
- Such agreements must be either (i) in the form provided on this Web site, or (ii) in a form specifically approved by the Vice President for Financial Affairs or the Vice President for Development.
- Such agreements may be signed either by (i) the Vice President for Development or (ii) the head of an Academic or Administrative Unit, provided that the President has delegated signature authority to that Unit head and that those agreements conform to the guidelines below.
The terms and conditions of all sponsorships acknowledged via the Web must be documented in a formal letter of agreement signed by an authorized representative of the University and of the sponsor.
At a minimum, the letter of agreement should include the following elements:
- Total amount of the sponsorship donation
- Total amount of the donation
- Duration of the sponsorship. No sponsorship agreement may exceed one year in duration without the specific approval of the Office of the Vice President for Development.
- A list of the specific University Web pages where the acknowledgement is to be located
- A statement of the exclusive or non-exclusive nature of the acknowledgment
- Addresses (URLs) of any links to a sponsor's Web site that are to be contained in the acknowledgement
Procedures for Handling of Sponsorship Funds
All sponsorship donations, including those acknowledged on the Web, must be deposited and recorded through the Development Gift and Data Services Office. The procedures established by Gift Processing ensure that all required accounting, recording, and acknowledgment steps are followed for gift and sponsorship funds received by the University.
Whenever a new Web sponsorship agreement is established, the recipient Academic or Administrative Unit should contact the Gift Processing Office to review and verify the procedures they will use in depositing the funds through Gift Processing. Units should contact Gift Processing for details.
Guidelines for the Format of Web Pages that Acknowledge Sponsorships
Overview of Guidelines for Web Pages
Acknowledgments may be made in the form of a sponsorship statement, logo placement, or both, and may contain the name of the sponsor as well as the sponsor's logo. Logos may "click-through" to the sponsor's Web page, provided the link and destination pages conform to the requirements in these guidelines.
In the case of multiple sponsors, it may be appropriate to create a separate sponsorship acknowledgment page to avoid clutter. All Web pages that acknowledge sponsorships must include the following information prominently displayed on the page:
- The University of Texas at Austin or its official logo
- The name of the Academic or Administrative Unit or its logo
The sponsor's logo must accurately represent the sponsoring organization and support or enhance the University Web site's overall brand image. Some examples of acknowledgment statements are offered below:
- Sponsored in part by support from: [LOGO/Link].
- Made possible by the generous support of [LOGO/Link].
- This ______ has been made possible through the generous assistance of [sponsor]. [Appropriate for in-kind contributions]
- The (Unit) wishes to acknowledge the members of its ________ (partner program name).
- We thank [sponsor] for its generous support of ________.
Acknowledgement statements are subject to all restrictions and requirements stated in UTS122.
Placement of Sponsor Logos on UT Austin Pages
- Logo Dimensions: A sponsor's logo may be placed with a sponsorship statement next to the name of the company only and cannot be larger than 160 pixels x 120 pixels. The sponsor's logo may not be larger than the UT logo on any page where the two logos appear together.
- Logo Placement: Corporate logos may only be placed along the bottom of the page, or on a separate sponsorship acknowledgment page whenever the number of sponsors (usually more than three) would clutter or dominate the visual canvas of the original University Web page that is hosting the acknowledgments.
Proper Page Branding
All sponsorship acknowledgment pages must include a header with the name "The University of Texas at Austin" or its official logo prominently displayed, the name of the Academic or Administrative Unit receiving the sponsorship, and an acknowledgment statement.
Linking to a Sponsor Company Through Its Corporate Logo
A sponsor's logo may serve as a hyperlink to a URL from UT Austin's Web presence, but it cannot be animated or include any sort of audio or video process. The links must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Link Destination: The link must go to either a corporate home page or a page relevant to the academic mission of the University. The link may not go to a page with the primary purpose of selling a specific product or service unless there is an existing purchasing agreement with the University.
- Link Labeling: The language describing the linkage must not imply an endorsement of the sponsor's products or services by encouraging the act of "clicking-through" from the UT Austin site to the corporate site.
- The sponsor's link destination Web page shall not have a call to action, such as an offer to sell a product or service as its immediate purpose; it should support or enhance the overall brand image of the University.
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) Implications
Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) is the federal tax that nonprofit institutions must pay on funds received from a trade or business that is not substantially related to their tax-exempt purpose.
To ensure proper reporting and payment of any possible UBIT liability, all Academic or Administrative Units with Web-acknowledged sponsorships should comply with the steps in the Unrelated Business Taxable Income section of UTS122.
For questions about UBIT, contact UT's Office of the Controller.