Sponsorship Guidelines

These guidelines are meant for the students to use as guidance for sponsorship purposes when planning events. This is not a formal policy.  For further reference regarding interactions with the medical industry please review the faculty Interactions with Industry released recently.  

The sponsorship guidelines are summarized in the following Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is sponsorship the same thing as a donation?
Source: “Sponsorships – Definitions” document by Ashley Davis and Holli Bjerland:

“For Sponsorship to qualify as a donation for counting purposes, all the factors below must exist:
a. The contribution must be made by a person or corporation
b. The sponsor should not expect nor receive a substantial return benefit for payment other than name acknowledgment and/or promotional value
c. The promotional information should be limited to any or all of these: sponsor’s location, telephone number, internet address, value-neutral description of sponsor’s products or services, sponsor’s brand/trade name or product/service listings.

There can be no qualitative or comparative advertising of a sponsor's products or services, such as pricing, savings, value, purchase/sale inducements, etc.; and the sponsorship is not to be contingent on event attendance, ratings, or public exposure.”4

2) Can we ask the pharmaceutical companies for sponsorship? Are there any restrictions?

Yes, you are allowed to ask the pharmaceutical companies for sponsorship. However, you should be careful about some recommendations. The company representatives (detail person) or the pharmaceuticals should not be coming in direct personal contact with the students or offer/advertise any of their products to the students without a faculty member being present. The companies are, however, allowed to advertise for themselves via banners and posters in the event. Specific brand name products should not be advertised. Remember, as a health care professional, you are prohibited to accept personal gifts or benefits, being bound by the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s Code of Conduct, the Interactions with Industry Policy and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Standards of Practice.

3) Are there any specific pharmaceutical companies that we should be/should not be approaching?

No, there are no restrictions on which pharmaceutical companies you should/should not contact.

4) Are we allowed to approach any banks for sponsorships?

Yes, you can approach any bank for sponsorships.

5) With regards to the banks, are the students allowed to advertise for them or their products on their behalf?

There is no policy from the faculty prohibiting you from advertising for the banks. However, stay within reason and make sure you are only doing what you are comfortable with. If you are not sure whether you should go ahead or not, don’t hesitate to ask the Office of Learner Advocacy & Wellness or Heather Macdonald (heather.macdonald@ualberta.ca) or Ashley Davis (ashley.davis@ualberta.ca), who would be happy to help you out!

“As mentioned above, the promotional information should be limited to any or all of these: sponsor’s location, telephone number, internet address, value-neutral description of sponsor’s products or services, sponsor’s brand/trade name or product/service listings.

There can be no qualitative or comparative advertising of a sponsor's products or services, such as pricing, savings, value, purchase/sale inducements, etc.; and the sponsorship is not to be contingent on event attendance, ratings, or public exposure.”4

6) Are there any restrictions to what the students can offer to the sponsors in return for their sponsorship?

Generally, the sponsors can put up their banners and posters at the event. Sometimes, the sponsors set up their booths at the event to advertise for their products as well. There are no set restrictions to what you can offer to the sponsors; however it is recommended to stay within reason, while respecting their offer at the same time.

Please refer to the answer to the previous question.

7) Are there any restrictions to what the sponsors can offer to the students (type of interaction with the students, advertisements, sponsorship money, etc)?

There are no written restrictions to what the sponsors can offer to the students. It is encouraged that the pharmaceutical companies don’t have direct personal interaction with the students. Any sponsors are allowed to advertise for their products via posters and banners. When asking for sponsorship money, ensure that you are asking the right amount. If the amount is above $5000, the agreement needs to be documented, the template for which can be obtained from Ashley Davis (ashley.davis@ualberta.ca). If the amount is under $5000, the agreement should be documented via e-mails or letters. The money should come in the form of an unrestricted grant/gift, with no stipulations on what the money is to be used for.

8) Where do I get a receipt for the sponsorship, if the sponsor asks for one?

You can contact Heather Macdonald, from the Dean Office, who can help you get a receipt for your sponsors! She is also an amazing resource for any other sponsorship questions! Her e-mail is heather.macdonald@ualberta.ca  

9) My question was not answered here

If your question was not answered here, please feel free to contact the VP Student Affairs via e-mail (msavpstudentaffairs@ualberta.ca) or in person whenever you see me! I will try my best (mostly, I will get help from Heather and Ashley) and get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.

I will keep adding your questions to this sponsorship FAQs document, because if one person has a question, many others probably have the same question.

Thank you very much to Holli Bjerland and Ashley Davis for helping create this.