Contribution Acceptance Policy & Procedure

Approval Date: June 19, 2018

Approved by: Board of Directors

Jurisdiction: President & CEO


  1. Ensure that informed decisions are made on the acceptance of any form of benefactions and contribu-tions (including monetary and non-monetary) and all decisions are consistent with the vision, mission, and values of CIFAR.
  2. Ensure that contribution acceptance decisions are made after conducting a thorough risk assessment,and a proper due diligence process has been followed
  3. Ensure that efficient administrative, legal and accounting practices and procedures are followed in-cluding compliance with the CRA regulations.
  4. Ensure accurate reporting of monetary and in-kind contributions to CIFAR.


  1. This Policy is established to govern the acceptance of all benefaction and contributions made to CIFAR whether such contributions are considered outright or deferred.




  1. CIFAR holds itself to the highest standard of ethical conduct, both within its own community of re-searchers, and employees and in all of its external relationships and interactions with all stakeholders. The Institute will not accept contributions, enter into relationships, or accept external support that could reasonably compromise its reputation, public image or commitment to its mission and values.
  2. CIFAR values and will protect the integrity and autonomy inherent in its programs and all activities, and will not accept contributions when a condition of such acceptance would compromise these funda-mental principles.
  3. CIFAR owns no intellectual property from the research or any other activities it undertakes. As such itcannot sell or share intellectual property with any partner, funder, benefactor or sponsor of CIFAR.
  4. CIFAR undertakes additional due diligence in accepting contributions it receives when there are con-ditions placed on the contribution in terms of naming or designation
  5. The work of CIFAR represents and serves diverse perspectives and interests; independence of theInstitute is critical to its success. Therefore, to avoid both conflict of interest as well as the possibility ofan external influence, CIFAR will not accept contributions from private benefactors where there areconditions attached that can give rise to a potential conflict of influence or a perception of a conflict ofinterest or render a significant influence or a perception of a significant influence.


  1. 1. CIFAR may elect to accept or decline any contribution. It reserves the right to confidentiality, and will normally not disclose the reasons for declining a contribution. CIFAR reserves the right to decline acontribution in any circumstance, including:
    1. the contribution does not accord with the Institute’s vision, mission and values;
    2. the benefaction or contribution provides a significant influence in decision-making (e.g. in settingthe research direction or agenda) to the benefactor
    3. the contribution restricts or impedes (in any way or form) the academic freedoms of the researchersand research collaborators
    4. the contribution exposes the Institute to liability or unacceptable risk
    5. the benefactor applies unacceptable restrictions or conditions on the contribution
    6. the contribution will be difficult to administer
    7. the contribution may have come from illegal activities
    8. the contribution sets a negative precedent
    9. the contribution could improperly benefit any individual, corporation, foundation or any other entity
    10. the contribution violates the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or relevant CIFAR policies on Equityand Human Rights
  2. k) the contribution does not comply with the Canada Income Tax Act and CRA guidelines
  3. l) the contribution could reasonably compromise the Institute’s reputation or commitment to its mis-sion and values.
  4. In accordance with CRA guidelines, the Institute will not accept contributions that would require theInstitute to give special consideration for employment to the benefactor, or to anyone designated bythe benefactor, or that would allow the benefactor to inappropriately influence a researcher or CIFAR program, initiative, or any activity. In addition, the Institute will not accept contributions that give spe-cial consideration to the procurement of products or services associated with the benefactor.
  5. Acceptance of any contribution which involves a proposal to name is subject to the CIFAR NamingPolicy and Board approval.




  1. For private sector contributions, the Advancement department, under the direction of the Vice-Pres-ident Advancement or designate, has the authority and responsibility to develop operational proce-dures and guidelines, including documentation standards, to support the solicitation, review, accep-tance, receipting and recognition of contributions to CIFAR.
  2. The Board of Directors authorizes the Audit & Finance Committee or designate, to review contribu-tions that are not specifically covered by this Policy or may be of potential concern. In addition, the CIFAR Executive Team may refer to the Committee other cases for review those with special considerations.
  3. There is the potential for emerging contribution types that have aspects or characteristics that do notconform to this Policy. Under these circumstances, the CIFAR Executive Team may recommend the establishment of specific policies for these contributions, or conduct an individual review on a case-by-case basis through the CIFAR Executive Team or Audit & Finance Committee. Case-by-case decisions will not be considered precedent setting.
  4. All agreements will be recorded between the benefactor and CIFAR. All agreements that are createdexternal to the Institute will be reviewed by CIFAR’s legal counsel where deemed appropriate by the CIFAR Executive Team.
  5. It is possible for a benefactor to stipulate certain preferences on a contribution or designate it to a spe-cific purpose. The CIFAR Executive Team will review the preferences to ensure they are consistent with this Policy and other CIFAR policies and procedures in effect and as amended from time to time.
  6. Undesignated contributions shall be used at the discretion of the President & CEO for such purposesas to best advance CIFAR’s mission.
  7. The Institute does not provide any legal, accounting, tax or financial advice to benefactors with respectto contributions to the Institute. Benefactors are encouraged to seek independent legal, accounting, tax or financial advice from professionals and are responsible for all costs incurred in relation to obtain-ing such independent professional advice. The Institute cannot suggest or endorse a third party as a source of contribution advice. Where necessary, benefactors will be requested to provide the Institutewith an acknowledgement that:
    1. independent professional advice has been obtained or independent professional advice has beenwaived though recommended by the Institute; and
    2. the Institute is released from any liability that may arise in relation to the making of the contribution.Accepted contributions to the Institute may be eligible for an official charitable donation receipt.
  8. The official charitable receipt is a statement issued by the Institute that complies with Canada RevenueAgency guidelines on receipting. Charitable tax receipts for CIFAR shall be issued solely by the CIFARauthorized personnel.9. Eligible amounts for receipting purposes for all contribution types will be determined in accordancewith Canada Revenue Agency regulations and administrative guidelines.


  1. The President & CEO is responsible for ensuring that acceptance of contributions is consistent withthis Policy and other policies of the Institute.