3.2.13 Institution-related Foundations

Comprehensive Standard 3.2.13: Institution-related Foundations

Any institution-related foundation not controlled by the institution has a contractual or other formal agreement that (1) accurately describes the relationship between the institution and the foundation and (2) describes any liability associated with that relationship.  In all cases, the institution ensures that the relationship is consistent with its mission. 

Compliance Partial Compliance Non-compliance


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) has formal relationships with two USF System foundations: the USF Foundation and the USF Research Foundation. These relationships are consistent with USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Mission Statement, and USF Sarasota-Manatee has no liabilities by virtue of its relationship with either foundation.

USF Foundation

The relationship between the USF Sarasota-Manatee and the USF Foundation is prescribed by Florida Statute 1004.28, BOG Regulation 1.001(6)(d)(h)(7)(a)(8)(b), and a USF Sarasota-Manatee/USF Foundation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The institutional governing board, the USF Board of Trustees, prescribes in USF System Regulation 13.002 the conditions for certifying Direct Support Organizations (DSO) and permitting them to use University property and services. The Regulation provides for basic requirements such as budget review, auditing requirements, and procedures for decertification of a direct support organization consistent with the provisions of state law.

The USF Foundation is defined as a direct support organization (DSO) by Florida Statute 1004.28.

A “university direct-support organization” means an organization which is a (1) Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under Florida Statutes, Chapter 617, and approved by the Department of State; (2) organized and operated exclusively to receive, hold, invest and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of a state university in Florida or for the benefit of a research and development park or research and development authority affiliated with a state university and organization under part V of Florida Statutes, Chapter 159; and (3) an organization that a state university board of trustees, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the goals of the university and in the best interest of the state.

As specified in the USFSM/USF Foundation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into between USF Sarasota-Manatee and the USF Foundation, the USF Foundation

accepts donations for particular objectives to accomplish such purposes determined to be priorities of USF Sarasota-Manatee and of the general welfare of the USF System as a whole (Section 2).

During the term of the USFSM/USF Foundation Memorandum of Understanding, the USF Foundation agrees to: (a) invest and administer those funds presently on hand for the benefit of USF Sarasota-Manatee;(b) accept and administer gifts for the benefit of USF Sarasota-Manatee to enrich the educational environment of USF Sarasota-Manatee and by other reasonable means to enhance the prestige of, and to advance USF Sarasota-Manatee and utilize [the USF] Foundation’s expertise, resources, and personnel for such purposes; (c) provide fundraising oversight through the Vice President for [University] Advancement; . . . (f) maintain accounts at the [USF] Foundation on behalf of USF Sarasota-Manatee in accordance with USF Foundation policies and procedures; and (g) transfer the agreed upon annual funds to USF Sarasota-Manatee for support of development activities (Section 3).

Annually, the Regional Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, and the Senior Vice President for University Advancement / CEO USF Foundation review the USF Sarasota-Manatee fundraising program and discuss the amount of USF Foundation support to be requested. The amount of funding approved by the USF Foundation Board is included in the USF Foundation Operating Budget and is subject to availability of USF Foundation funding.

USF Sarasota-Manatee agrees to, as specified by the USFSM/USF Foundation MOU,

(a) permit reasonable use of [its] equipment and personnel as needed to coordinate the activities of [the USF] Foundation with its educational operations; (b) follow [USF] Foundation procedures and guidelines for development activities such as prospect management and clearance to solicit, filing of contact reports, stewardship activities and attendance at [USF] Foundation meetings and events in support of the development program, as well as USF System regulations, policies and procedures and [USF] Foundation procedures and guidelines which may be applicable (Section 4 a,b).

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Vice Chancellor for Advancement acts as liaison to the Foundation. USF Sarasota-Manatee employs a development professional to serve as the professional fundraiser for USF Sarasota-Manatee (See Advancement Organizational Chart). In accordance with the USFSM/USF Foundation MOU, the

[USF] Foundation fundraising managers provide consultation on fundraising prospects, stewardship activities, and other components of the development program, [and] at least annually . . . provide input regarding the performance of development personnel(s) employed by USF Sarasota-Manatee (Section 4c).

Funds held or raised by the development activities of the [USF] Foundation may be subject to a reasonable management or operations charge or fee as determined by the USF Foundation Board from time to time. Fees [are] applicable to the entire USF System on the same basis as USF Sarasota-Manatee. All funds, whether endowed, restricted, or unrestricted, accepted by the USF Foundation for USF Sarasota-Manatee are held, invested, managed and disbursed by the USF Foundation for the sole benefit of USFSM, subject to any restrictions specified by particular donors (Section 5).

USF Research Foundation

The USF Research Foundation, Inc. was established in June 1989 by the University of South Florida, with the approval of the former Florida Board of Regents (replaced by the Florida Board of Governors), to promote, encourage and provide assistance to the research activities of USF System faculty, staff, and students. Its Bylaws date back to 2001. In 2006 it had its Articles of Incorporation amended and restated. The Foundation is a direct-support organization for the USF System in order to provide broad and flexible financial mechanisms in support of research operations, contracts, and grants, and to facilitate the commercialization of USF inventions. The Research Foundation is responsible for receiving and administering all royalties related to intellectual property, and acts as a fiduciary entity on behalf of the licensee and university programs.

Consistent with USF Sarasota-Manatee Mission

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Mission Statement says, “The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.” Clearly, both of these foundations support this delivery of education, particularly in assisting the University in meeting Strategic Plan Goal #7 Resources in the Strategic Plan. In addition, the Research Foundation’s activities can support Strategic Plan Goal #5 Scholarly Activity. The Office of Research and USF Foundation MOU delineates policy, procedures, and criteria for determining when a gift or grant is received through the USF Foundation or USF Research.


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