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Event Planning Guide

Benefit Fundraisers

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Policy Details

Benefit fundraising activity done on the campus  is a privilege available to student organizations that have well-articulated and reasonable program goals and sufficient lead-time.

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Event Planning Guidelines

Recognized student organizations have the privilege of sponsoring events in the name of Stanford provided that they follow university policy, stay true to their approved mission and scope and work in close coordination with the university. 

Important Steps

Develop a program proposal and detailed, reasonable budget

  • Anticipated expenses that are based on real estimates. It is possible to include a small contingency in your budget of 10-15 %.
  • On-campus funding sources solicited and funds earned. Not all the funds must be raised in advance, but you need to a have an achievable plan.
  • Desired amount to raise for your proposed beneficiary.

Choose a beneficiary wisely

  • The decision of which organization should be your beneficiary is an important one and will need careful OSE review before approval since all such fundraising is done in the name of Stanford.
  • All proposed beneficiaries must have a strong record of philanthropy for at least three years.  Newly founded organizations, or those still in the process of receiving tax status are not good candidates. Do your homework, read the website and their tax forms.  See Guidestar for assistance.
  • Consider previously approved beneficiaries since they have already been vetted by the University.

Review proposal with an OSE staff member

Submit application

  • Submit your event proposal with sufficient detail about your event your plan for benefit fundraising.

Await approval from OSE

  • Well-done, comprehensive and reasonable proposals can typically be processed in 2 weeks. Incomplete proposals can take up to 2 months or more. Please read web materials carefully and consult with OSE early in your planning.

Hold your event, working with OSE and other campus partners

Remit your contribution promptly

Share your success

  • First, please share your success with us. We want to post these events on our website and Facebook!
  • Submit a one page summary of your program and the funds raised within 6 weeks to OSE. 
  • Remember, the ability to steward your funds well will impact future fundraising requests.
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  • Plan in advance. A two-quarter planning window is best.
  • Don't reinvent the wheel. Know what works on campus, and what doesn't.
  • Be certain that you have a plan that will yield sufficient funds to donate. Stanford already has a crowded field of benefits and good ideas are not sufficient. A good revenue plan and a strong financial plan are a must.
  • A thorough and detailed budget is important.  Need help?  See an OSE Intern for assistance. OSE staff are here to assist.  Use us!
  • Do your accounting soon after your event and ask university departments to bill you promptly.
Main Quad architectural details, 2023. Credit: Micaela Go