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Index > Governance Policies > Charitable Contributions Policy

Charitable Contributions Policy


The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) recognizes the importance of engaging with organizations that foster and support strategic partnerships, complementing the teaching and inquiry of the institution. This commitment is demonstrated through volunteerism on the part of administrators, faculty, staff, and students, and through the financial support and assistance provided to community and service organizations.


Faculty, staff and students may be solicited by a charitable organization for RISD to make a financial donation or donation of property (gift in kind) to them. This policy outlines the conditions under which requests for charitable contributions may be considered.


RISD will not ordinarily make donations to charitable organizations due to its own non-profit status, but from time to time will provide a financial contribution or contribution of property to them. In an effort to provide this support and assistance fairly and in a manner consistent with RISD’s stated goals, all charitable contribution requests made on behalf of the College must be approved by the Director of Community Relations.

Contributions to Political Organizations

Not-for-profit institutions organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code—like RISD —are prohibited from making political donations. Any form of political donation from one not-for-profit organization to another is strictly forbidden. There is no exception to this policy. The following contributions are unallowable:

  • Payments to political candidates
  • Employee reimbursement for political contributions
  • Advertising in political programs
  • Admission to any dinner or program (including testimonial dinners, receptions, and sporting events) if any part of the proceeds of the event directly or indirectly inures to the use of a political party or a political candidate
  • Admission to any event that is identified with a political party or candidate, including tickets to fund-raising events
  • Lobbying portion of dues to professional organizations that are otherwise allowable.


Requests for contributions by RISD must be submitted to the Director of Community Relations along with the organization’s name, contact information, purpose of the donation, amount, and a summary of how it aligns with RISD’s values and academic mission.

If approved, the Director of Community Relations will initiate payment, which will be charged to an account designated for charitable contributions. All charitable contributions will be funded by non-tuition sources.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 8/17/2021

This policy was approved as of: 8/17/2021

Next scheduled review: 2024


Issuing Office

Office of the President

Responsible Officer

Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration

Individuals/offices required for review and changes

Chief of Staff, Office of the President

Director of Community Relations