New Object Codes for Sponsorships

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During the past few months, a committee representing several University offices has been working to better define the guidelines for soliciting and accepting sponsorship opportunities.

Please see the Sponsorship Policy Memo (PDF) for more information.

Sponsorship opportunities fall into two categories.

  1. Receipt of income from external entities who wish to sponsor an IU event/organization.
  2. Expenditures made by Indiana University to sponsor an external event/organization.

The committee recognizes the advantages of both categories of sponsorship but sees the need for more formal guidelines that will assist University departments in determining the appropriateness of a sponsorship and the financial and tax implications of sponsorship agreements.

New Sponsorship Codes

Starting immediately, The Office of the Vice President & CFO has created new object codes to be used in all University financial reporting of sponsorship income and expenditures.

  1. Object Code for Sponsorship Income: 1421
  2. Object Code for Sponsorship Expense: 4880

See below for a complete explanation of when to use these object codes.

The committee will continue to gather information through September 2009, at which time the Office of the VP for Planning Policy will draft an official policy for these areas.


Please direct questions about these object codes or comments about how these expenses should be categorized to:

  • Rosalind Gerstman
  • Assistant Vice President
  • Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • 812-855-1123
  • Joan Hagen
  • Chief Accountant and Managing Director
  • Office of Financial Management Services
  • 812-855-3657
  • Jennifer Kincaid
  • Director of Policy Administration
  • Office of the Vice President for Planning & Policy
  • 812-856-1291

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Object code: 1421

Sponsorship income- this includes revenues from external entities, such as corporations, to Indiana University in exchange for an acknowledgment. For these purposes, an acknowledgment is limited to one or more of the following types of information:

  1. The name, business address, telephone number, fax number, and/or web address of the sponsor
  2. The sponsor's logos and/or established slogans
  3. Value-neutral descriptions of the sponsor's products or services (including displays and visual depictions of such products or services)
  4. The sponsor's brand or trade names and product or service listings. The display of a sponsor's products or services at an event will be considered to be an acknowledgment. Payment received for an acknowledgment generally falls within the definition of a qualified sponsorship payment which would not be considered taxable income to the university.

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Object code: 4880

Sponsorship expense- this includes payments to external entities such as community or charitable organizations for the purposes of acknowledgment, event participation or attendance. Although the goal of the sponsorship may include some recognition/acknowledgement for the university or a specific unit, the sponsorship object code should be used if the money goes to an organization whose main mission is not public relations or advertising.

For example, purchasing a table for a non-profit event in a local community may result in the university being acknowledged in a program book for its sponsorship of the event. In this case, the event should be reported on the sponsorship object code. However if the university or unit of the university purchases an ad in a publication by the non-profit then this is to be considered advertising and would be reported under the current advertising object code (4802).

Last Reviewed: March 03, 2009

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