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Ethical principles in fundraising

Ethical principles in fundraising

Åbo Akademi University’s fundraising is regulated by the Instruction on Ethics and Responsible conduct of research (5 May 2020). On this page you can read about how we make sure that donations are handled in an ethical way.

Instruction on Ethics and Responsible conduct of research


Chapter 6
Donations and external financial contributions


16 § General

External financial contributions for education and research at Åbo Akademi University are vital and very welcome. The basis for a donation or will is a deed of gift or similar document.

Åbo Akademi University does not accept external donations or other contributions for purposes other than carrying out its mandate under the Universities Act.  When collecting funds, attention shall always be given to applicable legislation, permissions granted, internal instructions, regulations and rules.


17 § Principles for accepting donations

Åbo Akademi University shall respect the will of donors and the purpose of the donation shall be respected.

Externally funded research and education shall meet the same scientific quality requirements as directly state-funded research and education.

When accepting donations or other contributions, the freedom of research as pertains to, for example, research work, methods and publication, shall be respected. Donation conditions requiring certain results to be obtained in research shall not be accepted. Likewise, donations requiring education to adhere to certain specified theses or doctrines shall not be accepted. The openness and accessibility of results shall also be safeguarded to ensure their independent assessment. When accepting donations, Åbo Akademi University shall make every effort to ensure that the donated funds are as unconditional as possible, in part to avoid any undue influencing of research and education and in part to prevent the donation from eventually becoming unusable due to changes in the surrounding world.

Prior to accepting any proposals for external financial contributions, Åbo Akademi University shall always verify whether a given contribution is in accordance with applicable acts and regulations as well as with Åbo Akademi University’s operations, values, strategy and ethical principles. Any conditions attached to a given donation shall be verified, and only conditions that are not in conflict with applicable legislation, this Instruction and other internal regulations shall be accepted. Donation conditions that generally refer to the focus of the research or education being funded may be accepted to the extent that said conditions are scientifically relevant and in accordance with good research practices and teaching methods.


18 § Donors and donation sources

When giving consideration to accepting a donation, the donor as a person or organisation shall be taken into account. If Åbo Akademi University finds that it will be detrimental to the university to accept a donation and thereby be associated with the donor’s ideology, reputation or activities, said donation shall not be accepted.

The source of a donation shall also be taken into account. If the funds come from an undertaking that conflicts with international conventions ratified by Finland or applicable legislation, or the funds come from a criminal enterprise, said donation shall not be accepted. A high degree of constraint shall be observed in other cases, where the funds come from an undertaking that is detrimental to, for example, human health or the environment.


19 § Administration of donations

Donation funds are administered separately from other processes and operations. Åbo Akademi University openly reports on the use of donation funds.

Donations shall be administered in agreement with intentions of the donor. A donation shall not obligate the donation recipient to provide any service in return to the donor. The donor’s wishes regarding, for example, the naming of donated services, buildings or scholarships may, however, be considered. If a donor wishes to remain anonymous, the donation shall still require verification in accordance with this Instruction before it can be accepted. After making the donation, the donor shall not play an operative role in supervision of the undertaking to which the donation was granted.

Updated 13.10.2020