The Constitution of the State of New Mexico, Article IX “State, County and Municipal Indebtedness”, Section 14, contains language that prohibits donations by State governmental entities. Click here to view this clause of the Constitution.
In addition, University Business Policies and Procedures Manual policy 4000 “Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures”, section 4.7 states: “Political and charitable contributions to individuals or organizations are prohibited.”
In accordance with these provisions, payments from any UNM funds that are noted as “donations”, “contributions”, “sponsorships”, “fund-raising”, and the like, are not allowed, unless it can be proven that the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the payment being requested are such that the payment has a valid University Business Purpose, and UNM is receiving value for the payment.
For example, a “table sponsorship” to a recognition event, which allows for selecting the “level of support” to be made is generally not allowable.
However, if what is noted as a “sponsorship” can be shown to include admittance to a conference or some other similar event, and the amount of the payment is in line with similar events promoted as conferences, the payment may be allowable.
The language provided on the form soliciting the payment will be given substantial weight when determining whether the payment is allowable. It is up to the department requesting the payment to be able to prove that the payment is not a donation or contribution, and that there is a legitimate UNM business purpose for the payment.
Before entering into any kind of agreement to “sponsor”, “contribute”, or “donate”, departments should check with Financial Services to determine if the payment is allowable.