Corporate Underwriting Sponsorship Revenue

Corporate Underwriting Sponsorship Revenue refers to a financial relationship between a business entity and the University in which the business entity receives acknowledgement in return for providing financial support to specific University units, or their respective event(s), publications, programs (such as Athletics), and activities. Qualified corporate underwriting sponsorships (see Internal Revenue Code section 513-4(b) for definition and exclusions) are not subject to tax for the University, and sponsors may classify these types of sponsorships as a charitable contribution as long as the sponsorships do not cross the line into the Internal Revenue Service’s definition of advertising.

Advertising Revenue

Advertising Revenue is defined as messages that contain qualitative or comparative language, price information, indications of savings or value, endorsement, or inducement to use a company, service or product. It includes any use of label, logo, packaging, imprint, sales promotion activity or device, public relations material or events, merchandising, or other communication that has the intent of promoting or marketing a product, service, event, or organization.

Gifts Revenue

Gifts Revenue is defined as forms of support, either cash or in-kind, that primarily have a charitable or philanthropic intent in which the donor enters the transaction voluntarily and receives nothing (other than a token of appreciation) in exchange. Gifts are generally irrevocable and are administered through the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Development and Alumni Relations and the President of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation. Financial Guidelines titled “Accounting for Sponsored Projects v. Gifts” itemizes additional characteristics of a gift.

Commercial partners that loan equipment to the University for purchase evaluation must comply with the University’s Loaned Property Policy, #05-02-13. When equipment is loaned to the University other than for purchase evaluation, departments should consult the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Development and Alumni Relations and the President of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation to calculate what value, if any, may constitute a gift to the University. Discounts on purchased goods and services from commercial partners are not gifts. All purchased goods and services must comply with the University’s policies on Department Purchasing Authority and Responsibilities #05-02-05, Required Use of Contracted Suppliers #05-02-15, Competitive Bidding #05-02-16, and Directed and Sole-Source Justification #05-02-17.

Gift revenue is not subject to tax for the University. Gifts to the University may also be tax-deductible for the giver.

Research Sponsorship or Sponsored Project Revenue

Research Sponsorship or Sponsored Project Revenue is defined as any externally-funded research, scholarly, or public service activity that has a defined scope of work or set of objectives which provides a basis for sponsor requirements or expectations. The award instrument is an agreement that binds the University to a specific set of terms and conditions that typically results in a specific “sponsored project outcome” or other “deliverable” and requires approval and administration by the Office of Research. The award is revocable by either party due to failure to perform. The terms of the agreement obligates the investigator to a line of scientific, scholarly, or public service inquiry that follows a plan, scope of work, or protocol, provides for orderly testing or evaluation, and/or seeks to meet stated performance goals and designates the investigator as project technical expert. Financial Guidelines titled “Accounting for Sponsored Projects v. Gifts” itemizes additional characteristics of a gift.

Fee-for-Service Revenue

Fee-for-Service Revenue comes from work where the deliverable requested is generated using known practical applications of standard procedures and established theories, methods and standard experiments. It is also revenue from work for which the external entity provides a detailed protocol for the project, which must be performed as received by the University. The results of such work are of specific interest to the external entity, may involve off-the-shelf tools, and established protocols. It excludes revenue from work that the University conducts to uncover new and different trends or facts leading to a discovery. The pathway to discovery and the creativity of new ideas is in the hands of a principal investigator and other University employees and usually starts as a proposal outlining a promising area of inquiry. Such work is an investigation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories in light of new facts, development of new analytical and experimental protocols, or practical applications of such new theories, analysis, data gathering and experiments. This work is often classified as sponsored research.

Licensing Revenue

Licensing Revenue refers to:

  1. income received by the University through an agreement which transfers intellectual property rights of a University invention to a party external to the University, which is governed by RI 10 - Intellectual Property; and
  2. income received by the University pursuant to a commercial licensing of the University identity marks on products or services, which is governed by AO 23 Licensing and Use of University Name, Logos, Trademarks, and Service Marks (formerly 08-01-01).

The definition of Licensing Revenue shall include all forms of tangible revenue, including but not limited to license payments, royalties, and the cash income received by the University through the University’s liquidation of University-held equity taken as part of a licensing transaction.

Note: This information does not necessarily align with all external presentations of financial reporting.