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Fundraising Guide for Student Organizations

Does your student-led club need funding for a program or event? How about resources to send representatives to competitions? The College is dedicated in supporting student clubs by providing fundraising resources.

Student clubs and organizations are responsible for fundraising and partnerships with companies and foundations.

Note that if your student club raises money with a bank account not connected to the UW, you cannot use the UW’s 501C3 non-profit exemption status.

New donation requests: Identify sources and start the conversation

If the company/foundation you have identified is not already donating to your student organization, start here and continue with the next section.

  1. Create a list of companies and foundations that you think would be interested in your program.
  2. Review each company/foundation online; search for description of values, types of employees they hire, and the communities they support. Note if they have a community giving or sponsorship program and contact information.
  3. Call (on the phone) the representative you found in the contact information.
    • Tell them why you are calling and why you feel their company would be interested in the students.
    • Ask if you can send them a proposal, or ask if there is someone else at the company you can call.


For all requests: Contact and follow up

Make sure the company knows you are serious; follow up with a phone call or an email within two weeks of initial contact.

  1. Prepare a solicitation packet that includes:
  2. Mail or email (depending upon company preference) the solicitation packet.
  3. Within one week, call the contact to make sure they received your letter and to discuss the program and sponsorship information.
    If they agree to donate, send them the Gift Request Form (invoice), and ask them to complete the sponsorship confirmation form, and return both forms to you. Ask them if they would like to participate in the program in some way.
    Not ready...
    If they are not ready to commit, ask when you should call back to discuss. Or, offer to meet in person.
    If they decline, thank them for their consideration and ask if they would be interested in participating in another way, as a classroom speaker, mentor, or panelist. If they express interest in that, follow up with details of events and how they can participate.
  4. Continue to provide them with updates on the program.