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ASUCLA adopts philanthropy policy for donation requests

By John Peter Cavender

May 21, 2014 12:08 a.m.

The original version of this article contained an error and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for more information.

The Associate Students UCLA board of directors unanimously passed its first philanthropy policy, which details how the board will respond to donation requests, at its last meeting,

The policy specifies that ASUCLA will only contribute to philanthropy groups in two ways: non-monetary donations and promotional support.

Passing a philanthropy policy is a goal that ASUCLA set out to accomplish at the beginning of this board’s term, said Amy Liu, the board’s chair and one of its graduate representatives.

Discussions of the policy began early this year due to an increase in donation requests from student groups, she added.

Non-monetary donations, or the direct donation of services or goods to groups, will only be allotted to student organizations and university department-organized student events.

ASUCLA will provide these donations in the form of food, non-alcoholic beverages and merchandise that can be used in raffles or fundraising events to eligible groups that apply for donations.

Groups may apply for donations of up to around $200 per group once per quarter.

ASUCLA will provide non-monetary donations valued up to $5,000 per quarter.

Priority will go to groups that cannot secure funding from other campus sources, and that focus on the educational development of students, among other things.

ASUCLA will provide K-12 schools or groups that are interested in non-monetary donations with UCLA pennants and UCLA information packets.

The policy also allows for ASUCLA to provide promotional support by collecting donations from customers at ASUCLA locations or allocating a percentage of sales of specialized merchandise to a group.

For example, ASUCLA provided promotional support to UCLA’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Committee by allocating a percentage of ASUCLA store sales to the group.

Groups eligible for promotional support need to have extensive coordination of fundraising efforts by the student community, among other criteria.

Any monetary proceeds from ASUCLA promotional support must go to legally recognized charitable organizations.

The policy also specifies that the board’s standard practice is not to give direct cash contributions to groups.

Liu said the board of directors was generally in agreement about how the policy should be written, but said at first there were some differing opinions of how much support ASUCLA should give.

When responding to donation requests, the board of directors wants to ensure that students are going to be the beneficiaries, she added.

“I was surprised that ASUCLA had never had a policy like this prior to this year,” said Justine Pascual, president of Samahang Pilipino and a third-year human biology and society student.

“I think (the policy) is a good idea for future years,” Pascual added.

Pascual was a member of the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Committee – a group of 10 to 15 students, faculty and members of the community who worked to raise donations for and bring attention to Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the Philippines in November. The committee worked with ASUCLA to develop a promotional coupon program that brought $6,000 to the committee’s cause.

“There are so many organizations on campus to fund, so it would be unfair to have to fund them all,” said Wally Wirick, the executive director of UniCamp.

UniCamp is a non-profit campus organization that sends underserved Los Angeles youth to summer camp for free. UniCamp received promotional support from ASUCLA earlier this year.

“(ASUCLA) has a tough task,” Wirick said. “In many cases, (UniCamp is in) the same situation … so many needs and wants and not enough money.”

There has not yet been a case in which the policy was used by the board to make a decision, Liu said.

Correction: Liu’s name was misspelled.

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