Commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations

Direction and guidance on managing commercial arrangements, sponsorships and donations with external organisations, individuals and/or businesses.


All staff who arrange, approve and/or deliver commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations.

Version Date Description of changes Approved by


Under the 2023 Policy and procedure review program, converted into new policy template and improved readability.

Executive Director, Communication and Engagement

Document history

2023 Jun 30 - updated policy statement to reflect the exclusion of weapons manufacturers. Updated Commercial Arrangements, Sponsorsip and Donations procedures to include advice regarding:

  • mandatory sponsorship risk assessment and conflict of interest declaration
  • defining record management, monitoring and registering of sponsorship activity
  • general ledger accounts
  • legal review of third party agreement templates
  • significant obligations for schools in P&C managed sponsorships.

2022 Nov 16 - updated business unit name in policy statement. Updated business unit name and links in implementation document.

2022 Jan 21 - updated contact details in policy statement.

2021 Oct 01 - policy name change to reflect the consolidation of Sponsorship policy and Commercial Arrangements School-based Activities policy into a single policy. Instructions regarding advertising on the school perimeter moved to the Sharing of School Facilities policy. Implementation document: Commercial Arrangements, Sponsorship and Donations added to policy.

2020 Apr 08 - updated contact details and repaired broken links.

2019 Feb 14 - updated contact details and made minor style and editing changes.

2015 Dec 17- updated content in response to the School Operations and Performance realignment including financial delegations.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. The department supports commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations with suitable organisations, individuals and other government agencies excluding organisations that promote the following unhealthy food, tobacco products and/or vapes, alcohol products, gambling products, weapons manufacturing and anything illegal.
    2. Commercial arrangements and sponsorship must be consistent with the principles, vision and goals of public education in NSW. The arrangements must support teaching and learning, meet an identified need within the school or program and represent value for money for the department.
    3. Schools must use revenue from commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations to meet educational outcomes and support the department's strategic objectives.
    4. The department can use commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations to supplement funds allocated to educational programs without displacing any government funding or other provisions for NSW public schools and the department.
    5. The department must consider any potential conflict of interest when assessing commercial arrangements, sponsorship or donations. Refer to Conflicts of interest (staff only)
    6. The school, department, employees and/or students must not endorse products and/or services, or pressure individuals to adopt or purchase products and/or services because of commercial arrangements.
    7. Commercial arrangements can include a school or directorate providing goods and/or services to an external organisation, individual or business in return for cash, non-cash goods and/or services (value-in-kind contributions).
    8. Sponsorship is a specific form of commercial arrangement whereby a sponsor provides a contribution, in money or value-in-kind, to support an activity in return for certain specified benefits. Sponsorship does not include gifts, donations, promotional activities, advertising, fundraising and crowdfunding.
    9. The department may sponsor an external program, event and/or initiative (outgoing cash, non-cash goods and/or services) if it aligns with the department's strategic objectives.
    10. Donations include funds and goods or services provided at no cost to the department. These can be received as gifts, bequests or through fundraising activities such as crowdfunding.
    11. Commercial arrangements must be documented appropriately with all revenue recorded in standard financial, annual and project reports.
    12. Donations, including gifts and bequests, should be managed according to the department's Code of Conduct, Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality procedures (PDF 342.40 KB) and the department's finance and accounting advice (staff only).
  2. Context
    1. This policy draws on definitions and standards outlined by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
    2. Schools and directorates must approve commercial arrangements and sponsorships in line with the department's Delegations of authority.
    3. All monetary amounts listed in this policy and its procedures are inclusive of GST, unless otherwise stated.
    4. The Commercial arrangements, sponsorship and donations procedures support this policy.
  3. Policy contact
    1. Business Engagement
      02 7814 3863
  4. Monitoring the policy
    1. The Director, Engagement and Corporate Reporting, monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
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