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Working with Companies


Stanford's resources exist to support the University's missions of creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. The University's assets must be preserved for these purposes, not for the personal gain of individuals nor for outside parties' uses which do not further Stanford's academic objectives. The University receives frequent requests for access to its resources by outside entities, typically in exchange for some form of compensation to Stanford. Many of these, if granted, would constitute unrelated business activities.

It is Stanford policy not to engage in unrelated business activities and student organizations must adhere to the following policies and guidelines.


  • Off-campus Fundraising Policy.  Student organizations may solicit funding, product donations and "in kind" services with prior University approval only. In the vast majority of circumstances, fundraising requests are approved, provided they are submitted with sufficient detail and lead-time.
  • Fronting Policy. Stanford student organizations, individuals, or departments may not serve as "fronts" for off-campus organizations, in order to gain use of meeting space or information tables that is for the primary use of the outside entity. Instead, student organizations wishing to receive partial funding from an off-campus entity must apply for off-campus fundraising approval.
  • Sponsorship Guidelines. Once a student organization has received event and off-campus fundraising approval, plans can be made with off-campus organizations provided University sponsorship guidelines are followed.  The guidelines are designed to protect the University's tax-exempt status, the University name, and Stanford's reputation.

Career Fairs

BEAM, Stanford Career Education, is the on-campus organization approved to plan and host Career Fairs. BEAM works with employers across industries to plan and host a series of Career Fairs and a variety of Inudstry Mixers each year. If your student organization is considering creating a customized career fair, you must consult with BEAM to receive their approval and support before proceeding. Please be sure to engage BEAM very early in your planning process to ensure your event is not in conflict with any of the existing planned events, that you are following University policies and best practices for working with recruiters, and that the event supports the educational mission of the University.

  • Open Access to All Students.  In keeping with BEAM's policy, all career events must be open to all Stanford students.
  • Income.  Student orgs may charge a reasonable participation fee, provided the fee is developed in consultation with BEAM. It is important to understand that the purpose of the fee is to defray reasonable event and organization costs and is not intended as an organizational fundraiser.  All fees should be processed through ASSU's Stanford EventBrite, or via Handshake (if BEAM is assisting with fee collection activities).
  • Prior University Approval Required. All such events must be registered via CardinalSync, posted on Handshake (Stanford's official Career Education platform), and have prior University approval through BEAM and OSE, and (in certain cases) other University departments.  Student organizations are expected to coordinate their efforts with existing University programs in order to avoid uneccessary duplication.

Educational Programs and Info Sessions

Student organizations can bring representatives from off-campus companies and non-profit organizations to assist with the career exploration process provided that the events are planned as educational activities and not recruiting sessions. This distinction is important to protecting the University's tax-exempt status.

  • Educational programs are those events directly planned by the student organization and designed for students to learn about a particular industry as opposed to a particular company or organization. Ideally, representatives are invited from two or more organizations.  The event title cannot include the organization name although the speakers and their affiliations can be promoted.  It is encouraged that student groups work in collaboration with BEAM, Stanford Career Education, given their expertise and resources.
  • Info Sessions.  Student organizations can partner or co-sponsor an organization's "info session" provided that: 1) the session is open to all students; 2) the organization/company has an account in Handshake; and 3) the sessions are held in Tresidder Union, the Faculty Club or off-campus only (important for tax purposes) and no student org or University endorsement is implied. In these cases, the off-campus organization must pay the full cost of the event directly. 

Demos and Product Shows

Student organizations can sponsor demos or products shows provided they fully meet the educational mission of the University and the sponsoring student organization. Given the University's tax-exempt status, the event cannot be seen as commercial nor include a “call to action” since doing so would violate Stanford’s non-profit guidelines and tax law. Considerations include:

  • "Call to action" Prohibited. Prohibited “call to action” information includes specific product information, prices or discounts.  
  • Fees. Organizations cannot charge a fee to those off-campus organizations participating since a fee would change the nature of the event. Student groups can work with OSE to obtain permission to solicit a limited number of off-campus sponsors (see Off-Campus Fundraising). 
  • Work with Academic Departments or BEAM, Stanford Career Education. Groups are encouraged to work with academic departments or BEAM in creating these events.

Testing Companies

Stanford organizations, including  student organizations cannot sponsor events or presentations by off-campus testing companies (e.g. Kaplan, Princeton Review etc.) except in Tresidder Union because of policies regarding sponsorship of events by off-campus organizations that could put the university’s tax status at risk.  As an auxiliary, Tresidder Union can often host testing company events, presentations, and classes. Student organizations can partner with these events in Tresidder Union provided Tresidder Meeting Service policies are followed, but cannot receive compensation for assisting with the event, whether by cash, check, donation or free services.


Student organizations can assist companies with access to their member resumes by having interested companies register their company through Stanford's Handshake program (a program overseen by BEAM). All companies conducting any form of recruitment activity must first be registered with BEAM.  All student members can upload their resume through Handshake so any interested company can view their resumes.  Student organizations may choose to provide a company a list of your members so they can view resumes through BEAM. 

Student organizations should not be giving special access to an organization's membership to companies because it violates Stanford's principle of having recruiters provide open access to all students.  The preparation or sale of resume books is not permitted.