Administrative Manual / Policies Reviewed and Approved: February 2011
Memorandum 40 - Solicitation of Vendors
This policy attempts to ensure that Vendor Solicitations are processed professionally, efficiently, and ethically.
Norwich University reserves the right to solicit vendors, just as we solicit other friends and supporters of the University. The University does recognize, however, how important it is to keep its business and philanthropic relationships distinct.
It is natural for an organization with which we do business to wish to support our success by contributing to our development program, and to that degree our business relationship may open the door to a philanthropic one. A contribution from a vendor yields a mutual benefit, just like any corporate contribution.
On the other hand, it is inappropriate and unethical for our philanthropic relationship to guide or alter our business decisions. A gift does not guarantee future business; the refusal to make a gift does not preclude future business.
The Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, Campaign Management Team, and the Corporation and Foundation Office are responsible for administering vendor solicitations.
Because of the sensitivity of this issue, each vendor solicitation deserves careful consideration before we make it to ascertain the best contact, the likely requested amount, and whether or not we should make a solicitation at all. As a general rule, the following guidelines should be followed:
- The award or the renewal of a contract must not be contingent upon the vendor’s making a donation to the University. Vendors should be made aware of this policy.
- We should not solicit a contracted vendor during the bidding process or within nine months of when a contract begins or expires.
- We should not solicit construction firms until they complete their work.
- We should choose a Norwich contact person or volunteer to make the solicitation other than the staff member with whom the vendor regularly does business. Similarly, we should solicit someone in the company other than our usual business contact.
- Vendor gifts should be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions, not discounts off a contract price.
- We should encourage public recognition of vendor gifts.
If there is any doubt about the future of our business relationship, we should not ask for a gift. The Campaign Management Team and the Corporation and Foundation Office, in consultation with contract managers, will decide how to proceed with each vendor.
- Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations: Ext. 2300