Fundraising Frequently Asked Questions
- Is UNIS Hanoi allowed to fundraise in Vietnam?
- UNIS Hanoi is a rich school and has large reserves, why do you need to fundraise for the School?
- Shouldn’t the School be concentrating on academic excellence rather than fundraising?
- How much is it costing to fundraise? Where does that money come from and is it a good use of resources?
- How is UNIS Hanoi planning to report gifts that are made to the campaign and also report on how the gifts are spent?
- Is there a tax advantage available from my donation to UNIS Hanoi?
- What is the return on investment for donors to UNIS Hanoi? Are there special advantages if I make a gift to the School?
- Can my gift be anonymous?
- Who can make a gift to UNIS Hanoi?
- We are a multi-cultural school. Is fundraising for the School understood by all our community?
- If I work for a company and they contribute to UNIS Hanoi fundraising programmes, do I have to contribute as well?
- Will UNIS Hanoi be fundraising for a more general fund in the future that can be used for many different projects and not only Scholarships?
- How can we protect UNIS Hanoi from donations made from corrupt or unethical sources?
Please also see our Frequently Asked Questions about The Scholarship Fund campaign or ask our Director of Advancement, Emma Silva
Our founding Memorandum of Understanding (1988) between the Vietnamese Government and the United Nations clearly states: “The Government will give the School legal recognition permitting it to function as a non-profit institution. The school will have the right to charge fees and to carry on fundraising activities.”
UNIS Hanoi is a fiscally responsible institution, but it does not have surplus reserves to fund all the programmes and projects that it would like to, however, nor does it wish to increase tuition fees more than inflation and its core business requires.
UNIS Hanoi receives no financial contributions from the Vietnamese government or UN agencies. The School income is almost exclusively from tuition and other school fees.
As a non-profit institution, all tuition fees are invested directly in providing the highest quality education and inquiry based learning environment for all our students.
The two reserve funds that School holds are 1) required by our auditors for emergency contingencies or 2) designated for campus maintenance and development as part of our commitment to provide excellence for our students.
With no shareholders or proprietor to reward with profits, our students are the only beneficiaries of income to UNIS Hanoi.
In order to continue to strive for excellence without relying solely on tuition UNIS Hanoi is committed to institutional fundraising in support of the School’s Mission and to fulfill the School’s Vision. It should be noted that:
- UNIS Hanoi’s annual operating budget of is based almost entirely on tuition and school fees.
- The annual audited results, from a four year average, show an operating surplus of 3.9%
- The Board of Directors Reserves Policy ensures UNIS Hanoi’s prudent financial planning with the equivalent of 30% of the annual operating budget always maintained in an appropriation of reserves to cover emergency contingencies.
- Capital charges are accumulated for future development of the School’s facilities. The Board of Directors is currently engaged in a new Campus Development Plan for completion in three to five years.
Our fundraising plans are driven by the School’s Vision, Mission and Values and exist to empower the School to achieve its ambitions for our students. The tuition fee cannot be increased to pay for all the possible opportunities that we would like to make available to our young learners.
The pursuit of excellence for teaching and learning is central to the School’s ambitions, and it is through fundraising that UNIS Hanoi will be able to provide the additional enhancement and enrichment programmes and projects which support that pursuit, make a difference to the student’s experience and keep UNIS Hanoi at the forefront of international education.
4. How much is it costing to fundraise? Where does that money come from and is it a good use of resources?
Fundraising is one function of the Advancement Programme which also serves the School for communications, institutional reputation and public relations management and community building programmes including Alumni relations, School Community Organisation liaison and special events such as UN Day.
The Board approved the Advancement Programme’s establishment as an essential piece in empowering the school’s move from Good to Great, and the operating costs of the Advancement Programme represent 1.6% of the School’s total operating budget, including the expenditure for the Scholarship Programme (0.8% of the School’s budget).
It should be noted that 100% of every gift is used for the benefit of the projects.
5. How is UNIS Hanoi planning to report gifts that are made to the campaign and also report on how the gifts are spent?
All reporting for fundraising (both gifts received and distribution of those gifts) is included in the Annual Report each year which is published on the School website.
Unless anonymity is requested, all gifts will be listed alphabetically on family name, according to the Gift Club levels (Ca, Phuong, Quy, Lan and Long). In addition the Advancement pages of the website clearly outline all the School’s processes associated with its fundraising projects.
There is no tax advantage associated with donations in Vietnam. UNIS Hanoi has been able to partner with Give2Asia to provide tax receipts for US taxpayers to take advantage of tax benefits in their home country. The School continues to explore ways to make tax efficient giving possible in the future.
7. What is the return on investment for donors to UNIS Hanoi? Are there special advantages if I make a gift to the School?
UNIS Hanoi celebrates every gift to the school of time, skill, money and other resources as philanthropic acts of generosity. The donor gains the self-less reward of empowering the School in achieving its Vision and investing the future of our students and their education without personal return. There are no special privileges such as Admissions priority. Celebration and recognition of our donor’s generosity is through the Annual Report and for higher level donors, through the donor recognition schemes associated with each campaign, for example a Donor Celebration Wall or the naming of facilities, programmes or scholarships in the case of transformational gifts. All naming opportunities are approved by the Board and clearly outlined in the campaign case statement. For example, for our Scholarship Fund campaign, the naming opportunity is permanent in the case of a donation funding a scholarship in perpetuity, or limited to the duration of the scholarship funded.
We respect any donor’s request for anonymity. In this case, the gift will still be reported for the purposes of institutional fiscal transparency, but will be attributed only as “Anonymous”. In all cases, the option for the gift to be anonymous will be made clear at the time of giving.
Everyone can give! Fundraising at UNIS Hanoi is about what we can achieve when we all work together as a community.
Our primary goal is to mobilize our own direct UNIS Hanoi community: students, parents, faculty, alumni and corporate and community partners.
However, we also accept gifts from those outside of our School community who are inspired by the vision of our Scholarship Programme and who want to contribute as a Friend of the School.
We celebrate all gifts to The Scholarship Fund as philanthropic acts of generosity.
Fundraising for education crosses many cultures, however, exposure to it and understanding of the programme will be varied within our community. Although advancing schools through fundraising programmes has been popular at independent schools in North America for many decades, it is relatively recent for international schools, and quite pioneering in the Asia Pacific context. As a result there will be varying levels of familiarity and understanding of School fundraising which the Advancement Programme understands and will endeavor to promote understanding, orientation and education with all its community solicitations for gifts.
11. If I work for a company and they contribute to UNIS hanoi fundraising programmes, do I have to contribute as well?
We hope that every member of our community will choose to make a personal gift to our fundraising programmes as an individual or family decision. This personal philanthropy will be celebrated separately from corporate gifts.
12. Will UNIS Hanoi be fundraising for a more general fund in the future that can be used for many different projects and not only Scholarships?
The Board has approved fundraising in five areas: Service Learning, Scholarships, Programme Enhancement, Professional Development and Capital Projects. The Birthday Gift Fund was a very successful first campaign in support of our Service Learning Programmes and now we are celebrating the success of our Scholarship Campaign with a more ambitious goal. It is too soon to project further fundraising plans, but it has been a popular model at Schools with more mature programmes to offer several options for donors to support with more general funds. All fundraising projects undertaken through the Advancement Programme are approved and led by the Board of Directors.
UNIS Hanoi will not accept gifts from companies or individuals whose values and conduct are not aligned with the UNIS Hanoi Values and Beliefs.
UNIS Hanoi has adopted School Operating Regulations for Fundraising which include general statements of responsibility as follows:
- Gift and Donation administration (due diligence, acceptance, refusal, receipt, recording, acknowledgment and reporting) is the responsibility of the Director of Advancement.
- UNIS Hanoi follows Vietnamese law and United Nations guidelines in relation to fundraising as appropriate to the School.
- Fundraising will support the School in line with strategic planning designed to further the Vision and/or Mission of the School.
- Fundraising may not be in conflict with the UN Principles as stated in the School’s foundation documents, or the Board approved Values and Belief Statements.
- Fundraising may not put at risk the reputation of the School.
- The UNIS Hanoi Advancement Programme adopts and abides by an industry standard Code of Conduct Ethics and Principle of Practice.
In addition there are detailed Gift Screening and Exclusion guidelines, Due Diligence procedures and Approval Structures appropriate to the size of the gift, including Board approval for any gift of $100,000+ USD.