Off-Campus Fundraising Approval Steps
Off-campus fundraising is a privilege available to student organizations that have well-articulated and reasonable program goals and sufficient lead-time. Review the off-campus fundraising guidelines. Student organizations must request approval in Spring Quarter to fundraise for the next academic year. The deadline to request approval for the 2023-2024 academic year is Friday, June 2nd, 2023. View the annual fundraising timeline.
Criteria for Approval
- Be targeted toward corporations related to the mission of the group.
- Demonstrate the need to solicit funds from off-campus.
- Solicitation must be in support of the group's year-round programming, not an individual activity or event.
- Have a specific and reasonable timeline.
- Include a contingency plan if efforts are not as successful as expected.
- Are clear, charitable donations that do not require written agreements or contracts. Written agreements will not be considered, except under rare circumstances such as a significant gift and involving a long-term relationship that is not characterized as commercial activity. Any such agreement requires active consultation with OSE prior to any request.
Step 1) Attend a mandatory Off-campus Fundraising training
- Trainings are only available in the Spring (April) as the timeline is such that all solicitations must occur by December. Presidents, VPs, Financial Officers and Sponsorship Leads must complete the training requirement to access the application form.
- Join the Off-Campus Fundraising group page in CardinalEngage to receive important communications and the training schedule.
Step 2) Develop a fundraising 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 %, which is especially useful for larger programs.
All on-campus funding sources solicited and funds earned must be included and is a requirement before you can fundraise off-campus.
Desired amount to raise from your proposed off-campus funding sources. For example, "we hope to raise $ 5,000 from 2-4 targets".
The fundraising total that you hope to raise should be achievable and need OSE approval. The total target approved will be based on your past fundraising success, the length of time you have to fundraise and the quality and thoughtfulness of your overall fundraising strategy.
A reasonable number of off-campus targets with company name, personal contact and relationship to your organization or program. Without this information provided in some detail it is not possible to be approved or begin to fundraise. A long list of targets is not a good fundraising strategy and will not be appoved. Instead pick your most likely targets and concentrate on them.
New prospects can be added after your request is approved via this form. They must first be approved by Development prior to solicitation.
Along with these materials you will need to share a draft solicitation letter that serves as an important fundraising tool. It should describe your organization's mission, need for financial support, and solicitation request.
End Year Report
Submit a summary of your final fundraising efforts for the current academic year, if you are a repeat applicant. The ability to steward your funds well will impact future fundraising requests.
Step 3) Review proposal with OSE Staff
Meet with an OSE advisor to review your proposal and request feedback. Most proposal will require edits before moving forward to the next step.
Step 4) Submit request for off-campus fundraising approval in CardinalEngage by the deadline.
Officers who attended training will be added to the Off-Campus Fundraising group in CardinalEngage and given access to the request form.
When you proposal and materials are ready, submit your application by the deadline. Review the application and supporting details carefully.
Step 5) Await approval from OSE and the Office of Development
- Well-done, comprehensive and reasonable proposals can typically be processed in 2 weeks. Incomplete proposals can take 2 months or longer.
Step 6) Fundraise from your approved prospect list
- Prospects can NOT be approached or solicited until your org is fully approved by OSE and Office of Development.
- Student orgs are NOT permitted to sign "contracts or agreements" as part of the donation.
- Allow 1-3 months for your solicitations to be considered and confirmed. The Office of Development processes all donations to Stanford. It usually takes 6-8 weeks from the receipt of the check in Development before it is transferred to your ASSU account, so plan accordingly.
- All checks should be made to Stanford University with the name of the student organization and ASSU# in the memo. The bank will not accept it if it's not addressed correctly. Checks must be mailed to the Office of Student Engagement:
[YOUR ORGANIZATION'S NAME]
OFFICE OF STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
P.O. BOX 18984
STANFORD CA 94305
Step 7) Steward and thank your donors
- Timely, student-oriented and clever thank yous are best. A framed photo of your event, Stanford swag or a thank you card signed by members are all simple and meaningful ways to thank your funders.
- Materials, tools, and other useful information can be found on the Off-Campus Fundraising portal in CardinalEngage.
- Searching for on-campus funding first is recommended.
- Be certain that you are prepared to fundraise off-campus. Off-campus fundraising requires strong organization and a long lead-time.
- A thorough and detailed budget is important. Need help? Visit an OSE Intern for assistance. OSE professional staff are here to assist as well.
- Once approved, follow-up, follow-up and follow-up with prospects on your solicitation requests. Check in regularly and provide a deadline when soliciting funds.
- Send prompt funder thank yous. Prompt and grateful feedback can turn a one-time funding source into a regular one.