Policy 7: Sponsorships, Associations, and Partnerships

1. Guiding meta-principle for partnerships

We are committed to enhancing the effectiveness of teaching and learning in Canada’s institutions of higher education.

Joining our resources, expertise, varied perspectives and experiences with other organizations increases our effectiveness and strengthens and enriches common projects and shared goals. Collaboration means choosing to build with and through others, because alone, we cannot do it all, we cannot do it as well, and we cannot achieve the same impact. In order to be agents of change, to help achieve our goals, we need others, and others need us. Thus, STLHE is a Canadian organization whose strength and vision are rooted in active, dynamic collaboration with complementary current and future partners.

Building effective relationships requires careful planning and effective management. The range of interests brought to the table can compound the challenges inherent in working with others. Often, these interests are in harmony; however, they can also appear contradictory or in competition with one another. It is proposed, therefore, that in consideration of any collaborative work we do, that our partners and the Society be guided by a common vision and guiding meta-principles.

2. Types of Relationships with other Organizations

Using the Guiding Meta-Principles for partnerships as a starting point, and referring to our vision and strategic goals, there are three types of relationships or collaborations the Society may wish to enter into: sponsorships, associations, and partnerships.

a. Sponsorships

Sponsorship agreements may be entered into with a person, a corporation, a post-secondary institution, a non-profit corporation, or an agency that promotes or supports an event, initiative, or an award by providing funds, services, and/or other resources in exchange for charity or for profit (usually through advertising or publicity as part of an overall promotional strategy). An example of this type of arrangement is the sponsorship of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and 3M National Student Fellowship by 3M Canada.

Each sponsorship is unique and should be reflected in a formal agreement by way of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contract that clearly defines the terms of the sponsorship, including:

  • the type of event, initiative, or award being sponsored;
  • the amount of money and/or the nature and scope of the services or resources provided by the sponsor;
  • the name, contact details, and background information about the sponsor;
  • details about what the sponsor receives in return, including their sponsor logo on STLHE website ;
  • communication and reporting mechanisms;
  • terms to extend, renegotiate, and/or dissolve the agreement;
  • a schedule of dates, contacts, and deliverables as appropriate to the agreement; and
  • the duration of the agreement.

Agreement benefits associated with the annual conference should be discussed with the STLHE Vice-President (the conference liaison for the Board) before proposing them to the sponsor as they have potential cost and logistical implications for the Society and/or the conference host.

b. Associations

An association represents a voluntary on-going relationship between two or more entities for the purpose of reciprocal benefit. An example of this type of arrangement is the Society’s affiliation with the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education.

Benefits of an association may include such things as:

  • a reciprocal complimentary membership for the President or Chair of each organization for the duration of his or her term of office and the agreement, inclusive of all benefits of membership.
  • a reciprocal complimentary or discounted registration for the President, Chair or designate of each organization at their annual conference.
  • discounted registration or purchase of services or products provided by each organization.
  • publicity of each other’s annual conference, signature events, services, and/or resources via hardcopy or digital means. For example:
    • a notice, communication, or web link included in/on an organizational newsletter, email listserv, website, or through social media
    • a promotional flyer or give-away included in a conference or event package or at the registration table
    • an announcement in the conference or event program
    • space or a table at a conference or event exhibitor’s hall
    • other as deemed appropriate
  • developing strategies and implementing actions that address significant issues and concerns in higher education that have strong implications for each other’s organization, the sector, and/or the scholarship of learning and teaching.

Agreement benefits associated with the annual conference should be discussed with the STLHE Vice-President (the conference liaison for the Board) before proposing them to the sponsor as they have potential cost and logistical implications for the Society and/or the conference host.

Each association is unique and should be reflected in a formal Letter of Agreement (LOA) that defines how the respective organizations will relate to each other. Such an agreement should cover:

  • the identity and mission of each organization;
  • the purpose/goal of the association;
  • the responsibilities and activities of each organizations;
  • the communication and reporting mechanisms;
  • the duration of the agreement; and
  • terms to extend, renegotiate, and/or dissolve the agreement.

Associated organizations become partners when involved in specific projects or shared resources.

c. Partnerships

Partnerships represent a voluntary association between the Society and one or more entities for the purpose of reciprocal benefit and the agreement to work together on a specific project, event or initiative, and/or to join resources toward achieving a shared goal. An example of this type of partnership would be STLHE joining forces with another association or organization to host a national symposium.

Each partnership is unique and should be reflected in a formal Letter of Agreement (LOA) that clearly defines the terms of the agreement and how the parties involved will relate to one another other and fulfill their specific involvements.

Such an agreement should cover:

  • the identity and mission of each partner;
  • the purpose and goal of the partnership;
  • the role of each partner in achieving this goal;
  • the potential benefits and risks to each partner (including financial);
  • the governance mechanism for the partnership;
  • the activities and/or deliverables of the partnership;
  • the funding and management mechanisms of such activities;
  • communication and reporting mechanisms;
  • a schedule of dates, contacts, and deliverables as appropriate to the agreement; and
  • the duration of the partnership.

3. Negotiation and Implementation of Agreements

Endorsement to move forward with negotiating or renewing agreements as well as approval of all finalized agreements is conferred at the Board level. The negotiation of new agreements or the revision of existing agreements is done in consultation with the Society’s President a nd members of the Board as appropriate to the agreement (e.g., sponsorship of awards with the Awards Chair). Signing authority for the Society includes the President and the Chair of the Standing Committee for Partnerships. Coordination of signatures, formatting of finalized agreements, and distribution of documents is done in consultation with and the support of the Secretariat of the Society. Approved expenses associated with the preparation and signing of agreements are covered by the Society (e.g., courier charges).

Once an agreement is approved and signed off by all parties involved, it is the responsibility of the Chair of the Standing Committee for Partnerships to:

  • ensure that a signed copy of the agreement is saved to the appropriate STLHE Dropbox folder;
  • coordinate amendments to existing Society documents (e.g., Conference Handbook) through the appropriate Board member, Secretariat, and/or designate;
  • communicate responsibilities associated with agreement deliverables and/or benefits with the appropriate Board member(s), Secretariat, and/or designate (e.g., name and email of sponsor communicated to Secretariat to facilitate membership status as well as member communications and benefits). ;
  • update the partnerships page of the STLHE website (as appropriate);
  • maintain a list of current and past sponsors, partners, and associates;
  • identify to the Board when an agreement is coming due ; and
  • facilitate regular communications and, through the Secretariat, coordinate distribution of the Society’s annual report in hardcopy or digital form to all sponsors, partners, and associates.