Donation and Sponsorship Acceptance Policy

Policy aims and objectives

The RSC is a registered Charity No. 212481. As part of our Royal Charter we are tasked with raising income for the charitable purposes of the Company. Our Board must act in the best interests of the Charity when deciding to accept or refuse a donation or sponsorship. 

Each year, we have to raise an increasing amount of our income from donations and sponsorship to support our work and to fund major capital projects.  Our current capital priority is the restoration and redevelopment of our Costume Workshop. 

We have paid the Fundraising Regulator’s levy and agree to abide by its code of practice which is detailed here: https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code-of-fundraising-practice/code-of-fundraising-practice/.

We wish to uphold the highest standard of fundraising practice and to abide by the Fundraising Regulator’s key principles and behaviours of a fundraising organisation: to be legal, open, honest and respectful. 

We undertake to comply with relevant law and regulations, including the Proceeds of Crime Act, Data Protection, Tax and Gift Aid legislation, and Charity Commission guidance. All RSC employees abide by the RSC Fraud, Bribery and Corruption policy.  

This policy sets out the principles and approach we take to considering donation and sponsorship acceptance.

Donation and Sponsorship acceptance 

The RSC has a high profile nationally and internationally, and we seek support from a wide range of individuals and organisations to assist in achieving our objectives. 

We consider potential donation and sponsorships individually and do not maintain a specific list of requirements and exclusions. We assess all donations and sponsorships against three principles: 

They must:

  • support the charitable objectives of the RSC
  • reflect the integrity of the RSC
  • not influence the RSC’s artistic decisions

The Development Director is responsible for ensuring donations and sponsorships are monitored as they are received by the Development department.  The department accepts donations and sponsorships which abide by the principles above and have no risk attached.  If department members have any concerns around a donation or sponsorship, these are raised with the Development Director, who can refer them to the Executive Director and/or Director of Business Services for further enquiry. 

Where there is concern in relation to the criteria, and in accordance with the Code of Fundraising Practice, we will undertake due diligence to establish the legitimacy of the donation or sponsorship.  This may include requirement of proof of identity and proof of the source of funds. Our general research, in accordance with Data Protection guidelines and the RSC’s Privacy Policy, may include reference to HM Treasury and Office of Financial Sanctions list and Companies’ House database of disqualified directors.   
Development department staff must also raise concerns about any donation or sponsorship when they have reasonable grounds for believing that an individual lacks the capacity to make a decision to donate, and must not exploit vulnerable circumstances of any donor.      

Should the circumstances of the donor or sponsor change at any point during the relationship with the RSC, we reconsider the donation or sponsorship against these criteria.      

The Development Director will refer concerns to the Executive Director and Artistic Director, and subsequently to the RSC Board. 

The Board takes ultimate responsibility for accepting or refusing a donation or sponsorship. It is their responsibility to act in the best interest of the Charity when accepting gifts. 

Benefits relating to donation and sponsorship are negotiated by the Development department, in consultation with senior management colleagues. For significant and long term benefits, such as building naming rights, Board approval will be sought. 

The RSC will consider conflicts of interest in relation to donation and sponsorship from members of the Board, in accordance with the RSC’s Policy on Conflicts of Interests. 

Donation and Sponsorship refusal 

Where the RSC Board is concerned about a donation or sponsorship, they may seek the views of the Charity Commission or an order from the Charity Commission sanctioning their decision.   

If the RSC Board ultimately decide to refuse a donation or sponsorship, a careful record of the Board’s decision, and the reason for it, must be kept. 

August 2017

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