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The work of the Gift Oversight Group

12 Nov 2013

An insight into how the Gift Oversight Group (GOG) vets large monetary gifts to the University and those which could give rise to ethical or reputational issues.

Established in September 2012, the Gift Oversight Group was set up to ensure that the University, after considering a range of information and, where necessary, undertaking due diligence procedures, accepts only gifts which are consistent with its guiding principles and values.

One of the initial core objectives for the GOG and the Division of Development & Alumni Relations (DDAR), which remains a key agenda item, has been the creation and development of relevant due diligence processes and associated paperwork to accompany the policy, to ensure that the members of GOG are fully equipped to undertake their responsibility.

To date, the Gift Oversight Group has held four standard meetings and has convened one special meeting to review and consider a specific donor where the Group postponed making a decision and requested second stage due diligence to be undertaken and presented back to the Group.

All gifts of £100,000 or more, or any gift which will bring a donor’s cumulative giving to £100,000, must go to the Group for consideration. In addition, the Director of Development must ensure that any other gifts below £100,000, where he considers that any potential ethical or reputational issue may arise, also go to the GOG for review and consideration.

The membership of the Gift Oversight Group is as follows:

  • Chair - Professor Ian Jacobs, Vice-President & Dean, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
  • Mr Steve Mole, Director of Finance
  • Mr Chris Petty, General Counsel
  • Professor Nalin Thakkar, Associate Vice-President (Compliance, Risk and Research Integrity)
  • Professor James Thompson - Associate Dean for External Relations, Humanities

Two additional board members joined the Group in March 2013, to extend the relevant expertise and knowledge of the Group and to increase representation across the University:

  • Professor Kersti Borjars, Associate Vice-President (Teaching, Learning & Student
  • Dr. Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum.

The Group has reviewed, considered and approved 32 gift approaches to date. Of these, 30 met the £100,000 threshold, while two proposal approaches at lower levels were brought to the Group’s attention by the Director of Development.

The GOG has made strong progress since its first meeting in September 2012. Detailed paperwork for first stage due diligence procedures had been put in place, which are continually being strengthened and developed.

DDAR have been pro-active in their research activities relating to the work of the Group and the Director of Development has provided informative and valuable philanthropic updates at each meeting.

The diverse knowledge and expertise of the Group has been crucial, and members have proposed many ways in which the performance and advancement of the Group could be improved.

Further information