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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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Centre Region Parks & Recreation
SPONSORSHIP AND DONATION POLICY
Approved by the Board on 20 Jul 2005
This policy supercedes the CRPR Sponsorship & Donation Policy adopted by the CRPR Board in March 1998.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a comprehensive and uniform process for donors to:
       • provide parklands for future development,
       • improve public recreation programs, and
       • improve public recreation facilities owned or leased by the participating municipalities, the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority, or the Centre Region Council of Governments.

Since CRPR operates municipal park facilities on behalf of the participating municipalities, the implementation of this policy requires the ongoing support of all agency partners. The donations may be in the form of volunteering, donated services, cash donations, endowments, gifts of land, or estate gifts. Private donations for municipal park and program operations have been and will continue to be an important component of improved services in the region. Donated services or funds may be used to:
•          Provide volunteer opportunities for park projects and program operations;
•          Improve the quality of the park or recreation experience;
•          Provide additional parklands or enhanced park facilities;
•          Increase the number of people participating by providing necessary site / program amenities and equipment;
•          Reduce the fees for program participants or facility visitors; and,
•          Reduce the need for tax funds used to build, operate, or maintain facilities and programs.

Specifically, this policy will apply to the following 6 contribution categories of the “CRPR Gifts-For-Parks” program:

I.        Volunteering to provide labor for a park improvement, maintenance project, program operation, or cosponsoring a special event or program;

II.        Donation of funds for youth recreation scholarships, a CRPR Special Event, or for the operation of a recreation program;

III.       Donations of funds for the “CRPR Remembrance Tree” program;

IV.      Donations of funds for park or program amenities, including endowments;

V.        Donations of funds or services for major projects or improvements at municipally-owned parks; or,

VI.      Donations of funds or services for major projects or improvements at the regionally-owned sites.

            While this policy provides for the appropriate and specified recognition of donors, the donations are not intended to provide an avenue to commercial advertising or promotions at the facilities. Most residents appreciate the fact that local parks and recreation facilities (especially at resource-based parks) provide relief from commercial advertising. Therefore the donation-recognition methods will maintain that philosophy by demonstrating subtle appreciation for donations from the community, while providing a differentiation between recognition and advertising.

            In the future, certain recreational facilities may warrant display advertising to help offset development and/or operational costs. For example, this approach may be appropriate for the swimming pools, a regional sports complex, or a site where the emphasis is largely on the activity, and not on the environment. Appropriate on-site advertising policies, when developed, will be determined by the municipal partners, COG General Forum, and the Centre Regional Recreation Authority.

            Typically, most donors request and appreciate some form of recognition, in a short-term manner (via a publication) or a permanent manner (on or near the donated item). These forms of recognition promote positive awareness which may result in goodwill to the donor; they also build community awareness of the Gift-For-Parks program. A standard recognition method is specified for each category of gift. The agency will also respect the wishes of those donors who may desire anonymity.

            The agency will continue to use the seasonal CRPR Active Guide to show businesses, clubs, and groups the opportunities provided by the CRPR Gifts-For-Parks program. In addition, the agency will continue to develop literature and presentations that define and promotes available sponsorship and donation options.

            Only those donations for tangible items (or for a professional service related to the construction or installation of a tangible item) will be eligible for on-site recognition; that recognition will remain in place during the service life of the item. When, in the opinion of the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority / CRPR Board, the donated item has exceeded its service life and has been removed from active use, there is no guarantee of any continued recognition for the gift received.

            In the case of a donation for an intangible item or service (i.e., performance, volunteer program leadership, donating program supplies, assisting with park maintenance), CRPR will provide short-term recognition, such as a listing in the seasonal CRPR Active Guide and/or the CRPR website.

            Donations of land or park facilities that may be required as part of or as a result of any land development or subdivision plans are excluded from any consideration as a Gifts-For-Parks donation, except as may be officially authorized by the host municipality or the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority.

            In all cases, it is understood that CRPR or the host municipality will not provide any goods or services to the donor as a result of a donation; all items and services will be offered to benefit the general public. Further, a donation to a municipality, a municipal authority, or the Centre Region Council of Governments is eligible as a federal tax deduction; donors should confirm this with their tax advisor. The Centre Regional Recreation Authority maintains a 501(c)3 designation with the Internal Revenue Service so as to fully comply with the grant eligibility requirements of some donor organizations (i.e., foundations). The Tom Tudek Memorial Park Trust has also been designated as a 501(c)3 organization (for Category V donations).

The details of each Gift Category are detailed below, with the appropriate payment and recognition procedure for each:


I.         Volunteering to provide labor (donation of services) for a park improvement, maintenance project, program operation, or cosponsoring a special event or program.

            This can be a one-time project, or an ongoing program such as the CRPR Park Partner program. CRPR or municipal staff will work with the group to define and plan the project or program. The donors will provide manpower, but may also assist in providing some of the necessary materials, supplies, and tools for the project.

Category I Recognition Process:

  1. The donor name and the donated service will be published in one issue of the CRPR Active Guide and on the CRPR website. 

II.       Donation of funds for youth recreation scholarships, a CRPR Special Event, or for the operation of a recreation program.

            This category involves donated funds, and may also include the donation of volunteered services (Category I) to accomplish the desired task. In the case of using the donated funds for a recreation program, the CRPR Program Partner policy would apply. A budget will be developed for the program where the donor may also provide some or all of the necessary costs (materials, supplies, and tools) for the project. This category also includes the donation of funds that are used to provide youth recreation scholarships to Centre Region residents.

Category II Recognition Process:

  1. The group name will be included as an event cosponsor in advance publicity.
  2. The donation is published in one issue of the CRPR Active Guide and on the CRPR website. 

III.      Donations of funds for the “CRPR Remembrance Tree” program

Since 1994, CRPR has coordinated the Remembrance Tree program which encourages specified donations for the planting of trees in municipal parks (418 trees as of Nov. 2015). The trees and the locations are selected in cooperation with staff, and planted by CRPR or the Borough Arborist. The donation amounts, which include funds for purchasing and planting the tree, are periodically reviewed and updated by action of the CRPR Board. All Remembrance Trees are maintained and replaced, if necessary, by CRPR.

Category III Recognition Process:

  1. Each Remembrance Tree donor since 1994 is listed on this website (link);
  2. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to each donor after the planting;
  3. The donation is recognized in one issue of the CRPR Active Guide;
  4. An engraved acrylic tag is provided by CRPR at the time of planting. This is intended to be a temporary recognition; the tag is not replaced if it is removed or damaged.
  5. If the Remembrance Tree is planted at Lederer Park (a designated arboretum), an agency-specified cast bronze plaque (5" x 7", mounted near ground-level on a concrete pier) may be obtained with a donation amount equal to the purchase and installation costs (paid in advance). Specific guidelines have been developed for uniform wording on the bronze plaques. 

IV.      Donations of funds, including the creation of endowments, for park or program amenities: park benches, kiosks, park fixtures, pet stations, bleachers, backstops, trails & boardwalks, public art objects, bird blinds, senior center or pool items, etc.

            This gift category includes targeted donations for specific park amenities or projects. The donor inquires to CRPR staff regarding the proposed item or project. Staff will research the costs involved with the purchase, delivery, and installation of the item, and relays this information to the potential donor. Any item to be purchased must comply with a specification approved by CRPR and in conformance with other similar items in the municipal park system. Upon payment of the requested donation amount, an official receipt is issued to the donor and the item is ordered using the official COG purchasing process. The donor is advised upon installation.

            In the case of an endowment, the donor should obtain the appropriate information from the Director of Parks & Recreation to direct the annual proceeds to the appropriate Authority-designated or COG-designated budget account.

Category IV Recognition Process:

  1. The donation is published in one issue of the CRPR Active Guide and on the CRPR website. In the case of an endowment, the payment of each annual endowment disbursement will be noted in the CRPR Active Guide and on the CRPR website.
  2. An acrylic recognition tag is prepared and furnished by CRPR, or an agency-specified cast bronze plaque may be obtained with a donation amount equal to the purchase and installation costs (paid in advance). Specific guidelines have been developed for uniform wording on the bronze plaques. While the municipality and/or CRPR will maintain the donated item through its useful life, the donor will be responsible for all maintenance and/or replacement of any recognition plaque related to the item. 

V.        Donations of funds or services for major projects or improvements at municipally-owned or leased parks such as facility construction, picnic pavilions, play areas, athletic fields, sport areas, etc. (paid to the municipality).

            Capital improvements at each municipal park are the responsibility of the host municipality. As a result, donations for major items (pavilions, sport fields, play structures, etc.) are accepted by the host municipality with the following guidelines:

• The potential donor should inquire with the Municipal Manager about the proposed donation. While each municipality appreciates all potential donations, they are under no obligation to accept a donation offer.

• Donations of funds to the municipality that are to be used to purchase a specified item that has no existing municipal equivalent will be reviewed by municipal and CRPR staff and discussed with the donor. The donor and the municipality must agree on the appropriateness of each item, including its size, type of materials or manner of construction. In addition, the durability and maintenance requirements of each item will be evaluated by municipal and CRPR staff. This part of the planning process is especially important since a small additional investment may greatly reduce ongoing maintenance costs while increasing the service life of the donated item.

• The municipality may request the donor to:

(1) pay the donation amount to the municipality in advance so that the municipality may specify and order the desired items;
(2) make the purchase of the item, as specified by the municipality, through the municipality’s customary and usual suppliers; or,
(3) complete a municipality-approved project.

The municipality may request that the donation amount include any related professional services (architectural and engineering), permits, shipping costs, and/or installation costs. Municipal staff, in concert with CRPR staff, will assist the donor in the selection of an appropriate item.

• Donations may be accepted by the municipality at any time by action of the respective municipal Council or Board. Donation offers may be brought forward on their own volition or may be offered in response to a request or suggestion by the municipality or other affiliated authority, board or commission. In all cases, only the Board (of elected officials) may officially accept a donation of tangible property. Other affiliated municipal entities may provide recommendations regarding a proposed donation prior to official action on the proposal.

Category V Recognition Process:

            In view of the many project possibilities and the substantial costs associated with a major park project, each municipality may establish an appropriate and uniform recognition process for their parks. This process may include various levels of recognition depending on the amount donated, ranging from officially naming the specific facility inside the park to the placement of an attractive and durable sign at the donated feature. In all cases, the emphasis will remain on recognition of the donor rather than advertising for the donor. The following guidelines are recommended to each municipality:

  1. A donor must request recognition for an accepted donation; the municipality will not provide unrequested recognition of donated items.
  2. A donor will be responsible for the payment of all costs associated with the recognition, except that the municipality may offer to provide installation.
  3. Only tangible items will be eligible for recognition and such recognition will remain in place during the useful service life of the item. At the point where the donated item has completed its useful life and has been removed from active use by the municipality or other controlling entity, there is no guarantee or promise of any continued recognition for the gift received. While the municipality and/or CRPR will maintain the donated item through its useful life, the donor will be responsible for maintenance and/or replacement of any recognition plaque related to the item.
  4. If official action is taken by the elected officials of the host municipality to name the donated feature or facility in honor of the donor, the duration of the name may be noted at the time of such designation. Most likely that duration will coincide with the estimated service life of the facility.
  5. CRPR will assist the municipality, if requested, by recognizing the donor in the CRPR Active Guide and on the CRPR website.
  6. Once a recognition process is adopted by the municipality, any exception to this process will be provided only on a case-by-case basis by resolution of the elected officials of that municipality.

Category VI  Donations of funds or services for major projects or improvements at the regionally-owned or leased sites: community swimming pools, the regional nature center, the regional Senior Center, and in the future, regionally-owned & regionally-developed parks (paid to COG/CRPR).

            Capital improvements at the regional facilities, which are operated on behalf of the participating municipalities, are the responsibility of the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority and the COG General Forum. As a result, donations for major items at regional facilities are accepted by Centre Region Parks & Recreation with these guidelines:

• The potential donor should inquire with the Director of Parks & Recreation about the proposed donation. While the agency appreciates all potential donations, it is under no obligation to accept a donation offer.

• Donations of funds to the agency that are to be used to purchase a specified item that has no existing regional equivalent will be reviewed by municipal and CRPR staff and discussed with the donor. The donor and the municipality must agree on the appropriateness of each item, including its size, type of materials or manner of construction. In addition, the durability and maintenance requirements of each item will be evaluated by municipal and CRPR staff. This part of the planning process is especially important since a small additional investment may greatly reduce ongoing maintenance costs while increasing the service life of the donated item.

• The agency may request the donor to:

  1. pay the donation amount to the agency in advance so that the staff may specify and order the desired items;
  2. make the purchase of the item, as specified by the agency, through CRPR’s customary and usual suppliers; or,
  3. complete an agency-approved project.

The agency may request that the donation amount include any related professional services (architectural and engineering), permits, shipping costs, and/or installation costs. CRPR staff, in concert with the appropriate municipal staff, will assist the donor in the selection of an appropriate item.

• While CRPR will maintain the donated item through its useful life, the donor will be responsible for the maintenance and/or replacement of any recognition plaque related to the item.

• Donations may be accepted by the agency at any time by action of the Authority or the COG General Forum. Donation offers may be brought forward on their own volition or may be offered in response to a request or suggestion by the agency or other affiliated authority, board or commission. In all cases, only the Authority or the General Forum may officially accept a donation of tangible property.

Category VI Recognition Process:

            In view of the many project possibilities and the substantial costs associated with a major facility project, the Authority hereby establishes the following recognition process for donations to their facilities:

  1. A donor must request recognition for an accepted donation; the Authority will not provide unrequested recognition of donated items.
  2. A donor will be responsible for the payment of all costs associated with the recognition, except that CRPR may offer to provide installation.
  3. Only tangible items will be eligible for recognition and such recognition will remain in place during the useful service life of the item. At the point where the donated item has completed its useful life and has been removed from active use by the Authority, there is no guarantee or promise of any continued recognition for the gift received. While the municipality and/or CRPR will maintain the donated item through its useful life, the donor will be responsible for maintenance and/or replacement of any recognition plaque related to the item.
  4. Any exception to this process will be provided only on a case-by-case basis by resolution of the Authority or the COG General Forum.
  5. Recognition will be limited to the placement of one (1) plaque, in an appropriately conspicuous location, mounted on or near the donated tangible property. Said plaque, of durable construction, will measure no more than two square feet in area (a maximum of 288 sq. in.). The plaque will only be made of cast bronze in a format approved by the Authority. The donor and the Authority will agree in advance on the appropriate location for the plaque. Again, the purpose of this requirement is to focus the recognition on the donation rather than on promoting any commercial service or product provided by the donor.
  6. Plaque inscriptions are generally limited to the following statements:

(Optional item name or description)
In Honor of (or In Memory of) . . . (legal name)
(Optional line of description)
Presented by (donor name or group) on (date of installation)

Any exception to this format may only be granted by action of the Authority.

    7. If the size of the donation, combined with fact that the donation includes all aspects of the costs associated with the facility improvement (i.e., purchase, shipping, installation, permits, architectural or engineering services), the Authority will consider naming the item in honor of the donor. Such designation will be provided by resolution of the Authority. If such official action is taken by the Authority, the duration of the name may be noted at the time of such designation. It is most likely that the duration will coincide with the estimated service life of the facility.


Centre Region Parks & Recreation
2643 Gateway Drive, State College, PA 16801
(814) 231-3071 crpr@crcog.net
Ronald J. Woodhead, Director

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832