Indian dance performance

Benefit Fundraiser Checklist

Important Notes

  • Only recognized student organizations are allowed to raise funds for off-campus charitable organizations.
  • Any proposed activity must be consistent with your approved group mission.  If unsure, ask.
  • Cash solicitations and crowd source options are not permissible.
  • Lead-time required is a minimum of 2 months, or more.​  Large scale, annual events require a 1-2 quarter lead-time.


Planning Tips

Review Benefit Fundraising Policy

  • Only recognized student organizations have the privilege of conducting benefit fundraising activities in the name of Stanford. Organizations must be good stewards of Stanford and the charitiy they wish to support.  Read the policy carefully.

Choose a Beneficiary Wisely

Planning Time

  • Events that are dependent on signficant fundraising activity or involve major event components require adequate lead-time.  A minimum 2-month lead-time is required, but major events require much more. Note: your event cannot be approved nor advertised until you have the majority of funds in your account.

Build a Budget

  • Your budget should be based on actual quotes for space, tech, food, lodging, travel etc. Get concrete estimates early.
  • Develop a cost-conscious and realistic budget based on a reasonable guess of number of participants. 
  • Unless food is donated, it may not be worth the cost.
  • If off-campus fundraising is part of your fundraising strategy, you will need prior University permission and extra lead-time.
  • For additional information see sample budget on the SAL website.

Get Funding

  • You must have all necessary funds in your account before your event can be approved, you can sign a contract or can advertise the event.
  • Exhaust on-campus funding sources prior to off-campus sources.  Remember, off-campus sources requires prior University approval and can take considerable time.
  • Note that few University departments will fund benefits.
  • Work to secure donations from off-campus businesses. No university approval is needed if the donation of goods or services is valued at less than $2,500.
  • Keep in mind that cash donations in lieu of a set ticket price are not allowed.
  • Allow for at least 4-6 weeks to have transfers made. Make sure you confirm all transfers with your co-sponsors if soliciting funds from multiple sources.
  • If soliciting funds from multiple departments, plan on at least 4-6 weeks for transfers.  To expedite the process, give your potential funder the ASSU "holding number" and your individual account number right away.
  • Have one person keep track of all funding requests, offers, and transfers.
  • Request funds early, usually 3-4 months in advance, especially if you want to book an auditorium since auditoria costs are high.

Contracts and Agreements

  • Student orgs cannot make offers or contractual commitments over $ 500 without SAL approval.​  See contract policy.
  • Submit your event for University approval very early on the process.
  • You can discuss but do not commit until you have funds, space, and approval and consulted wtih SAL.
  • A benefit fundraising proposal must be submitted to SAL at least 2 months in advance for review and approval. 

Order Equipment and Services.

Advertise your Event

  • Only advertise once your event has been approved by the University.
  • Ticketed events must use an approved University vendor.

Security and Safety

  • Security can help with crowd control, traffic and security for high-profile visitors.  Large, major often require some security assistance. Utlimate security levels are determined by the Department of Public Safety.

For Final Approval

  • An early (very early) planning meeting with a SAL peer advisor.
  • A realistic budget with quotes for tech from Events Services and security from Public Safety.
  • A well-vetted beneficiary.
  • Needed funds in your account.  Remember to apply to ASSU funding very early.
  • Large and complex events require planning meetings with SAL.  Some will require a formal review by the Student Events Group.  See SAL for details.
  • On occasion the University may cancel an event after approval because funds proved insufficient, work orders for required tech or security were not done or other compelling circumstances.

Final Event Checklist

Download a comprehensive event checklist.

See event supplies checklist for "day of" supplies.

Visit SAL peer advisor to review final details.