Standard for Marketing and Development


The purpose of this standard is to provide guidance on the requirements for the use of University funds to pay for marketing and development expenses using University funds for a valid University business purpose.


This standard applies to all situations where University funds are used.


Direct any general questions about this standard to your department’s business officer or fund administrator. If you have specific questions, please refer to the contacts for fund use guidance listed in Appendix 1 of the University’s Financial Management Guidelines.


  1. Advertising, Marketing, and Promotional Items:
    1. For purposes of this standard on fund usage, “Advertising, Marketing, and Promotional Items” includes, but is not limited to, items such as advertising space, pens, pencils, erasers, water bottles, coffee mugs, ties, scarves, and key chains. It does not include informational documents and notices and signage for instructional activities, student support services, student activities, or faculty or staff recruitment; these expenses are not subject to the fund usage limitations described here.
    2. Discretionary funds may be used for advertising, marketing, and promotional expenses.
    3. General Funds, Institutional Trust Funds, and Special Funds can only be used for advertising, marketing, and promotional expenses if appropriated or received for this purpose (per OSBM Budget Manual, Section 4.10).
      1. Acceptable fund sources for advertising, marketing, and promotional items include graduate tuition increments, student fees, extension instruction fees, and sales and services revenues.
      2. These funds may be used to purchase articles of clothing only if they meet a security or safety need; prior approval from the University Budget Office is required for any purpose unrelated to safety/security.
  2. Amenity: Discretionary funds may be used to purchase amenities. An amenity is a gift item that helps to build, strengthen and promote relationships with groups and individuals, on and off campus. These expenditures are appropriate for the Chancellor’s Office and University Advancement, and for officially sanctioned for University activities, such as commencement, convocation, or official staff recognition activities.

Discretionary funds are the only types of funds that may be used for cultivation of donors and potential donors and development of community and institutional relationships, which may include business meals, entertainment, and amenities (refer to the Standard on Meals and Entertainment for additional guidance).

Related Resources

Revision History

  • Initially approved May 1, 2017
  • Updated May 12, 2017
  • Revised July 10, 2017
  • Revised December 21, 2017

Last Updated: December 21, 2017