Administrative Policies

AD04 Development Solicitation

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Office of Annual Giving, 814-863-2052,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • Policy
  • Annual Fund Solicitation Guidelines
  • Contacts
  • Further Information

    To outline Office of University Development (OUD) policy for soliciting private donations from alumni, friends, parents and corporations/foundations.


    Gifts Over $50,000: The solicitation of any major gift (typically$50,000 or greater) requires permission of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. In no case should a major gift prospect be approached without prior involvement of the OUD staff member responsible for managing the University relationship with the prospect in question.

    Gifts Under $50,000: The Office of Annual Giving has been assigned responsibility for coordination of solicitations of alumni and friends for gifts less than $50,000.


    1. The Office of Annual Giving must approve all solicitations of alumni and friends proposed by campuses, colleges, administrative units, and programs, including but not limited to, all:
    • Direct mail solicitations
    • Email solicitations
    • Mobile giving solicitations
    • Crowdfunding solicitations
    • Social media solicitations
    • Telephone solicitations
    • Text solicitations
    1. Requests for a solicitation are to be submitted to the Office of Annual Giving as part of the annual goal setting process in coordination with the requesting unit’s assigned Annual Giving liaison. To  request a solicitation at any other time, the requesting unit must submit a request via it’s Annual Giving liaison for approval. First priority will be given to requests received during goal setting. Upon receipt of the request, the director, or assigned liaison, will arrange a consultation to discuss the request.
    2. The Office of Annual Giving must approve the design, message, timing, and audience of any non-major gift solicitation.
    3. If approved, unit and Annual Giving staff will collaborate on a written solicitation plan.
    4. All telephone fundraising solicitations are to be managed by Lion Line.
    5. The Office of Annual Giving will work cooperatively with the Office of Donor and Member Services to create solicitations that will facilitate effective and efficient processing of responses and with the Office of Development Communications to assure appropriate content and consistent messages.
    6. Responsibility for obtaining data for the solicitation rests with the Office of Annual Giving.
    7. Costs for a special solicitation are the responsibility of the unit requesting the project.
    8. For a direct mail project approved by but not produced by Annual Giving, ten samples of the direct mail package are to be provided to the Office of Annual Giving within two days of mailing.
    9. Office of Annual Giving projects are to be utilized to benefit the University and not outside organizations where the University will simply act as a pass-through to support those third parties.  For example, a student organization cannot use Office of Annual Giving crowdfunding resources to solicit funds that will immediately pass through the University to a third-party charity.


    For questions about major gifts ($50,000 or greater), contact:

    Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

    116 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802

    Phone: 814-863-4826

    Fax: 814-863-7520

    For questions about solicitations (less than$50,000), contact:

    Office of Annual Giving

    2583 Gateway Drive, Bristol Place I, Suite 200

    State College, PA 16801

    Phone: 814-863-2052

    Fax: 814-865-8755



    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Annual Giving.

    Most recent changes:

    • July 26, 2021 - Revisions to the Annual Fund Solicitation section (addition of "text solicitations" to the list, edits to item #1, and addition of item #9).

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • February 1, 2017 - Editorial changes in the POLICY and CONTACTS sections, changing references of Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations TO Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
    • July 24, 2015 -Editorial change in CONTACTS section, updating the contact information for questions about direct mail and telephone solicitations (less than$50,000).
    • December 16, 2013 - Revisions to the ANNUAL FUND SOLICITATION to reflect current operations for the solicitation of private donations. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
    • December 6, 2011 - Editorial change in CONTACTS section for questions about direct mail and telephone solicitations (less than $50,000).
    • August 06, 2008 - The dollar amounts that require permission for solicitation have been increased from $25,000 to $50,000; likewise, contact information involving major gifts ($50,000 and greater) has been updated.
    • July 13, 2007 - Editorial changes to "Contacts" section.
    • January 31, 2007 - Editorial changes to "Contacts" section; email address updated for questions about direct mail and telephone solicitations.
    • September 19, 2002 - New Policy.

    Date Approved: 

    July 26, 2021

    Date Published: 

    July 26, 2021

    Effective Date: 

    December 16, 2013