DARS User Guidelines for University Fundraisers

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These DARS-User guidelines apply to all Central University development professionals working in the system. The guidelines are intended to ensure that consistent, accurate and up-to-date data is held in DARS for all constituents and prospects for the benefit of the Collegiate University.

Prospect Area

Prospect Plans

  • All active prospects should have a prospect plan (named using the DARS Naming Convention) with the lead fundraiser assigned as Plan Primary Manager
  • The Plan Primary Manager is responsible for maintaining and updating the prospect plan
  • Non-active prospect plans should be marked ‘historical’ – this requires incomplete plan steps and opportunities to be cancelled or updated to conclusion
  • UODO Executives, VC / Pro-VCs, Heads of divisions/departments who are directly involved in team solicitation plans should be assigned as Secondary Solicitors
UsefulInfo.jpg Note: Staff members who are not direct DARS users, such as the VC / Pro-VC, should not be assigned to a Plan Primary or Secondary Manager role – assign as a Secondary Solicitor (UODO Executives should only be assigned into a Manager role on their own personal plans – use Secondary Solicitor to record Executive involvement in a team solicitation)

  • Parties working external to the Collegiate University on behalf of the prospect/donor e.g. the prospect’s trustees, advisors, colleagues, lawyers should be assigned as Plan Participants

Plan Steps

  • Solicitation and background planning actions should be recorded as plan steps within the prospect plan (interactions with the prospect should be fed into the constituent Interactions section by selecting a step Contact Method e.g. 'Formal meeting', 'Email - Incoming')

Prospect Assignments

  • The Central University fundraiser leading the relationship should be assigned as UO Relationship Lead (and also Prospect Manager for all non-alumni and organisations where the ‘Central University’ is the Relationship Manager on the recorded on the constituent record)
  • Prospects no longer managed by a fundraiser should have these assignments end-dated

Gift Opportunities

  • 'Qualified' prospects should have a gift Opportunity recorded in the prospect plan. The opportunity should be regularly updated as the solicitation progresses to completion.
  • 'Unqualified' opportunities may be added for solicitation planning and initial categorisation of prospects at different giving levels (update to ‘Qualified’ when progressed)
  • Updated ‘Accepted’ gift opportunities assist the Gift Registry to identify incoming donations
  • Gift acknowledgment letters should be recorded in DARS as per the official process
  • Pledged legacies should be reported to the UODO Legacies Officer and recorded in the Planned Gifts tab in the Prospect page or within the prospect plan

Prospect Interactions

  • Prospect interactions (e.g. meetings, correspondence) should be recorded by adding a prospect plan step with a Contact Method selected
  • Items attached as step Documentation will also appear as interaction Documentation (in the Documentation tab of the interaction)
  • Non-plan related interactions can be added as an interaction via the constituent record
  • Attach Proposals and Gift Agreements to plan Documentation; use the official process for recording completed and pending Donor Reports

Contact Reports

  • Contact Reports should be produced for all prospect meetings and attached as a Type pf ‘Contact Report’ to the Documentation tab of the meeting prospect plan step / interaction


  • Clearance requests for alumni should be submitted via the formal Clearance System process
  • Fundraisers should first seek internal clearance from an existing UO Relationship Lead when proposing a new prospect relationship (add a ‘Relationship Lead Clearance’ plan step)
UsefulInfo.jpg Note: The prospect records, plans and fundraising parameters described above are best accessed, viewed and managed via the DARS My Fundraiser page for the staff member assigned into a plan or step role.

General Constituent Record


  • The single Prospect Manager / UO Relationship Lead is responsible for maintaining correct and updated information on the constituent record for all non-alumni and organisations
  • The UO Relationship Lead is responsible for maintaining correct and updated information on the constituent record for the alumni of non-DARS colleges
  • The relevant DARS-college Prospect Manager is responsible for maintaining correct and updated information on the constituent record for the alumni of that DARS college

General Constituent Information

  • Correct contact details (address, phone and email), name formats (salutations and addressees) and personal information should be maintained on the constituent record
  • The information on the constituent record should comply with DARS Data Protection rules
  • Sensitive or confidential items can be stored in a site secure interaction

Constituencies and Attributes

  • Constituencies (e.g. Prospect, Staff) and Attributes (e.g. Honours, CCB/VCC) should be maintained on the constituent record – never end-date a Prospect constituency


  • Liaise with Academic Records and the DARS Helpdesk to record Oxford education detail in the constituent Education tab
  • Maintain Educational Involvements (e.g. club memberships) and current Interests (e.g. drama, chess)


  • Spouse and family relationships should be recorded where appropriate (as either a Relationship, or an Attribute - if it is not appropriate to create a record for the relation)
  • Primary Business and employment relationships should be updated
  • Key peer-to-peer relationships (e.g. colleagues, friends) should be updated

Group Memberships

  • All constituent Group memberships (e.g. CCB/VCC, fellows, alumni groups) should be updated, where appropriate in liaison with the Relationship Manager of that Group

Solicit Codes, Communications and Mail Preferences

  • Solicit codes (e.g. Do Not Contact, Do Not Solicit) and the related category (e.g. 'Central University', 'Internal Decision',) should be maintained by the Relationship Manager entity
  • Constituents can be assigned to opt-in or opt-out of particular Oxford communications by recording the appropriate Mail Preference
UsefulInfo.jpg Note: These prospect and constituent record guidelines apply to all individual, organisation and constituent group records on DARS (unless the item is only applicable to a specific constituent type)
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