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Off-Campus Fundraising Policy

University policy governs all off-campus fundraising activities. Student organizations must receive prior university approval prior to any and all solicitations.


University policy governs all fundraising activities for cash, goods or services done by departments and student groups targeting off-campus entities including local businesses, corporations, foundations or individuals. Off-campus fundraising activities by any Stanford entity including student organizations is restricted and requires prior university approval from the Office of Development, with preliminary approval from Student Activities and Leadership. The university has such policies in order to coordinate fundraising efforts and to ensure good stewardship.

Before seeking off-campus funding, you are expected to first exhaust on-campus sources. On-campus fundraising is easier, faster, and engages the university community. For those who also wish to fundraise off-campus, the following guidelines apply.  

Crowd sourcing activities do not meet university policy and are not permitted.


Funding Source Notes Max Yearly Amount Approval
Local Businesses
  • Donations from locally owned or franchised businesses such as Mike’s Bikes, Hobee's or Jamba Juice (local corporations, e.g.. Google, excluded).
  • University receipts cannot be provided.
  • Monies to be directly deposited into your ASSU account.
  • Typically the easiest way to raise funds off-campus.
 $2,000 None needed.
  • One $2,500 donation per corporation, per year.
  • Request to be submitted to SAL for review of program plan, then to Development for review and approval of donor.
  • 2–4 weeks required for review and approval.
  • All checks deposited to Development. Transfers from Development are done monthly and usually take six weeks to be transferred to your account once approval is given.

Approval required prior to any contact.

Parent Organizations
  • Groups that are chapters of national organizations or religious groups affiliated with a local church may receive donations directly.
 $2,500 None needed.
  • Most foundations are reserved for key academic programs and cannot be approved.
  Only in rare cases.
Individuals (parents, alumni, friends and current students)
  • The Office of Development restricts most access to alumni and friends although the Stanford Fund Partnership does provide $500,000 per year to student groups from alumni fundraising. Remember, we don't want individual students using their own money to fund events. Instead seek advice from SAL.
  Only in rare cases.

Student Organization Expectations

Your student group must:

  • Be a currently recognized student group in good standing with the university.
  • Have a successful history at Stanford, including sound financial management.
  • Be capable of successfully executing the fundraising effort by demonstrating good pre-planning, organization and adequate lead-time prior to planned event or activity.
  • Have previously exhausted funding from on-campus sources.
  • Have refrained from approaching possible sources until university approval has been granted.

Note: Newly recognized groups are not permitted to raise more than $5,000 in their first-year.

The proposed activity must:

  • Be student-led and represent the initiative of students acting independently of off-campus entities.
  • Follow event planning policies and all other requirements of student activities.
  • Have a detailed, realistic and frugal budget with estimates of all income and expense projections.
  • Meet general reimbursement criteria, see below.

The fundraising effort must:

  • Be targeted toward corporations related to the group or activity.
  • Have a specific and reasonable timeline.
  • Include a contingency plan if efforts not be as successful as expected.
  • Be approved before solicitations occur.

Reimbursable Expenses

It is a privilege to raise funds from off-campus sources.  All funds raised must be used to directly enhance educational activities for Stanford students, be stewarded well and meet university guidelines for reasonable expenses.

Acceptable expenses include

  • Event planning expenses including technical services, on-campus room fees, custodial and security expenses, honoraria, modest event supplies and advertising.
  • Food and beverage for event participants consistent with ASSU funding guidelines, although an "end-of-the-year" recognition dinner is acceptable provided that the maximum per person (including tax and tip) is no more than $30 per person. Food and beverage expenses for invited speakers should not exceed the university's per diem rate.
  • Invited speaker gifts or "end-of-the-year" member gifts should be no more than $50. Member gifts should not exceed more than one gift per year.
  • Retreats that have a clear educational component involving expenses with a thoughtfully planned educational program are reimbursable provided food and beverages guidelines are followed. Retreats should occur 

Unacceptable expenses include

  • Alcohol, except for a party that has been pre-approved by OAPE, and included in the initial fundraising proposal.
  • Gifts of more than $50, see other guidelines above.
  • T-shirts or other similar clothing apparel more than $40 per student member, per year.
  • Other than educational retreats, off-campus events will not be funded nor reimbursed.
  • Solicitations of sources for direct funding of third party entities such as charities. The university does not permit "pass-throughs", soliciting funds for a non-Stanford entity the he name of Stanford.

Note: The university will audit an organization's account statement from time to time. Failure to follow funding and reimbursement guidelines could result in loss of external fundraising privileges.

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