Student Involvement & Career Center

Image: Photos of the diverse SF State Student community getting involved in various activities such as joining organizations and participating in the SF State Greek Life. Also pictured is the Student Involvement and Career Center Logo.

Fundraising for Student Organizations


Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) Funding Requests

Student organizations may obtain subsidized funding through ASI. Requisition forms for funding are available through the ASI Business Office at 415 338/2321, located in room M-102 of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Student organizations are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with ASI’s policies/procedures and deadlines.

For more information on ASI, please see http://asi.sfsu.edu/

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Fundraising Event

Many groups hold events to raise money for their organizations. A successful fundraising event can do much more than raise money for an organization. The event can commemorate an important day or week, build unity and cohesion in the group, give program planning experience to new group members and it can add wide-range campus and community visibility to the organization.

Allow at least a 2- 4 months for pre-planning time. This is especially important for a major fundraiser. Like any well-planned event, your group should establish a calendar early on, working back from the date of the event. Important deadlines for room reservation, invitations and publicity should be mapped out in advance.

Overhead costs can vary widely depending on the event. Plan carefully since overhead costs are often higher than planners project. Many fundraisers obtain free or reduced cost services for materials in order to reduce expenses. Check individually for deadlines for room reservations, publicity sources (especially free ones) and printers.

Planning Stages

  1. Start with a specific, targeted fundraising goal.
  2. Be creative and choose an event idea that is fun and will catch people’s attention.
  3. When you have the particular ideas your collective group would like to pursue, develop a realistic budget of expenses and revenues to be sure that you will make enough money to justify the cost of the event. Set a date for the event and begin the planning and publicity processes. Please remember you must have SICC approval prior to publicizing your event.
  4. Be sure that you have sufficient “up-front” funds to cover costs such as facility charges, advertising, props, etc.
  5. Plan and execute the event, utilizing publicity to enhance your group’s image on campus.

Characteristics of a Successful Fundraising Event

  • It happens at regular intervals (annual, quarterly). People come to expect it.
  • It appeals to a large, broad audience.
  • It performs a needed service.
  • It is based on a tradition.
  • It is well-publicized. People well outside of your organization know about it.
  • It brings your community or group together.
  • There is little overhead cost.
  • It encourages people to interact.
  • It capitalizes on the talents of your group.
  • It commemorates a meaningful time or place for your community or organization.

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Food Sales/Giveaways

Student organizations may schedule and obtain both a tabling permit and a food item distribution permit through SICC. Only one permit per student organization will be provided. All food sales and giveaways must be in compliance with the Food Sale Sanitation Regulations available through the Safety, Risk Management & HR Operations Department.

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Fundraiser Tabling

Visit SICC to request a tabling permit. SICC works only with current organization officers listed on the student organization registration form who have attended a Student Leader Orientation. Click here to see a map of designated tabling areas.

  • Meet with SICC advisor.
  • Complete the SICC tabling permit.
  • Complete SICC food permit (if food is to be sold or distributed as part of fundraiser).
  • Complete SICC event planning form outlining the following: purpose for the fundraiser, items to be sold or given away and how the funds collected will be utilized.

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Student Involvement & Career Center: Career Event Grant

Looking for a way to fund a career-related program or event sponsored by a student organization? If yes, the organization is encouraged to apply for a Career Events Grant from the Student Involvement & Career Center. The Career Events Grant program was created to encourage recognized student organizations to plan or assist with career-related programs in collaboration with the Student Involvement & Career Center. A limited number of grants will be awarded during the fall and spring semesters. For more information, visit the Career Events online form.

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Department Assistance/Co-sponsorship

Student organizations sometimes request help from various University offices and departments. Requests should be made at least 2-4 months in advance, since a department may need three to four weeks to make a decision on a funding request. You should have all funds transferred into your account prior to any actual expenditures.

Planning Steps

  1. Develop a well-planned budget for your event. Identify elements that would be of direct interest to another department. Speaker honoraria, basic publicity, audiovisual, videotaping and room set-up costs are appropriate expenses to ask for funding assistance.
  2. Contact the department. Describe your project, ask what type of events are usually funded and then ask who is responsible for making such funding decisions.
  3. Write a concise, professional proposal that clearly describes the project, the target audience, the date and timeline of the appeal, who will be involved in the project and how the program will be evaluated. Include a detailed budget of all projected expenses and revenues for the event (see the following examples). To be most effective, request a specific amount and submit it to the staff person before your appointment.
  4. Schedule a brief appointment with the department contact. Explain the value and relevance of the program to the department.
  5. Upon a positive confirmation, attend to details of when the funds will be transferred to your account or how a check will be dispensed. Make sure the funds have actually been deposited.
  6. All contributors should be acknowledged on all publicity, receive written acknowledgment for their contribution and be recognized verbally at the event.

Requesting Tips

  • Projects should be initiated and planned by SF State students. Although proposals must be submitted by students, it is possible (and often desirable) that ideas for projects be developed in collaboration with other student organizations, faculty and staff.
  • Projects should not duplicate current programs at SF State.
  • Requests to academic departments should be programs that are academic/intellectual in nature and consistent with a field of expertise within that department. Requests of administrative departments should have a direct relationship to the role and mission of that department.
  • Projects should have an impact on a sizable number of people. Contributors want to put their money where its likely to do the most good and naturally prefer projects which will benefit large number of people.
  • A significant number of students should be involved. Commitment of a group of active students demonstrates general interest in the project.
  • Funding proposals should demonstrate careful pre-planning. Funders want to make sure that the project will be high quality. They should be able to examine the budget to see that all expenses have been anticipated and that the least expensive alternatives have been chosen.
  • Show a well-planned budget and ask for a specific amount. Don’t inflate your budget.
  • Proposals should include evidence of financial commitment from other sources.

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Fundraising Policies

General

All campus organizations sponsoring fundraising events are subject to the University’s policies (i.e., Time, Place and Manner Executive Order #89-13). Student organizations must acquire the necessary permits from SICC when conducting fundraising activities. Student organization leaders are responsible for all transactions and for monitoring any sponsored vendors. Student organizations may not invite off-campus food vendors to sell food on campus as a fundraiser for the organization.

The following guidelines pertain to all fundraising programs sponsored by student organizations:

  • Funds raised on campus shall not be used for any illegal purpose or personal gain.
  • All on-campus fundraising activities, regardless of location, must be approved by SICC.
  • The intended use of funds raised must be posted at the event and be consistent with the stated purpose of the sponsoring student organization.
  • Student organizations are to inform SICC of the amount of funds raised within one week of the fundraising activity to best assist organizations with future fundraising events.
  • All accounts are subject to audit by the university.

Alcohol

It is against the law to do the following without a liquor license through the Alcohol Beverage Control:

  • Sell alcohol.
  • Serve alcohol at any event with an admission charge or cash donations requested.

Auctions

Auctions which involve selling, bidding for, or in any way paying for a person’s company or services are not allowed.

Drawings

Student organizations may sponsor drawings on campus under the following guidelines:

  • Request a donation for an item (i.e., pen, candy etc). The item must have an equal value to the ticket donation and the organization must provide the donor a drawing ticket.
  • Anyone requesting a ticket without making a donation must receive a ticket.
  • On the printed ticket, you must also disclose the beneficiary of the drawing (name of your student organization) and the fact that the tickets are available free of charge.

Games of Chance

Games of chance (cards, dice, dominos, bingo etc.) where money is involved (for monetary gains) are not allowed. Games of chance may only be played with free chips, tokens and tickets.

Non-Profit Status/Tax Identification

Student organizations are not allowed to utilize the University’s tax identification number.

Raffles

Student organizations may sponsor a “prize drawing” or “give-away” but “raffles” are not allowed on State of California property (Penal Code 330). A raffle is defined as “the sale of a chance at a prize.” In order for student organizations to sponsor a drawing as a fundraiser, you must agree to provide tickets free of charge to anyone who requests one. On the printed ticket, you must also disclose the beneficiary of the drawing (name of your student organization) and the fact that the tickets are available free of charge.

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