We recognize that some funding must come from external resources. These initiatives not only enable an organization to host events, attend conferences, and undertake projects, but also instill crucial skills in members, such as teamwork, communication, and project management, fostering a sense of community engagement.
Fundraising for a Cause
(November 14, 2023)
Student organizations sometimes wish to raise funds for a cause that their organization supports. This is possible as long as the student organization designates a registered 501(c)3 non-profit (the designation for federally recognized charity) as the recipient of the funds. Student organizations may not raise funds for individuals or any entities other than registered 501(c)3 non-profit. In rare cases it may be possible to raise funds for a non-US based charitable organization in consultation with Dwight Hall. Student organizations should consult their entire membership when choosing a fundraising cause and recipient organization.
The most straightforward approach is for student organizations to encourage donations directly to the 501(c)3 non-profit; often, the non-profit can set up a mechanism for tracking donations so that the student organization can measure the success of their efforts. If the student organization collects the funds itself, those funds need to be stored in an organizational bank account outside of Yale (not an individual student’s account, nor an internal Yale account) and then directly transferred to the 501(c)3 non-profit. Note that any funds given to a 501(c)3 non-profit must be raised specifically for that cause, and may not include Yale funding sources.
Fundraising must be limited to the following spaces: residential college common rooms, the Yale Schwarzman Center rotunda, and interior performance spaces. Fundraising in these spaces must be done in consultation with the appropriate entity: the residential college offices, the YSC staff, or Undergraduate Production. QR codes for approved fundraising projects may be displayed on posters, or in emails and programs – but may not be part of any in-person activities or displays outside of the approved physical spaces.
If your group is considering fundraising for an outside cause, please write to email@example.com, so that we can help guide you through the process.
Fundraising for your Group
Solicitation and sales in University buildings are limited to two general areas: the Schwarzman Center and the residential college common rooms. Registered student organizations may sell items and solicit funds in the Rotunda or lower level of the Schwarzman Center. A tabling request must be submitted to use the Schwarzman Center spaces. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising events on campus must be coordinated by Yale College in order to avoid multiple and competing events in one period of time and ensure that certain University facilities are not monopolized by a few organizations. Permission to hold fundraising events on campus must be requested in writing from the Office of Student Affairs at least two weeks before the event.
- Fundraising is not allowed – either the direct solicitation of cash or QR codes/online – on Cross Campus or Beinecke Plaza.
- Solicitation in the post office and other campus buildings is not allowed, nor is door-to-door solicitation or sales in the residences.
- Undergraduate organizations wishing to solicit or sell tickets and/or merchandise in the residential colleges must secure permission from the Office of the Council of Heads of College at least twenty-four hours in advance.
- Solicitation and sales for commercial purposes, except those by Associated Student Agencies, are prohibited.
Please refer to the Solicitations & Sales sections of the Undergraduate Regulations for more detailed information.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Student Organizations at email@example.com.
Undergraduate organizations are allowed to seek funds from a variety of sources, including reasonable membership dues; donations at concerts, speeches, or other events; and advertisements in publications. Fundraising activities are permissible only to the extent that they are needed to support the activities of the organization, since each organization is operated on a non-profit basis.
Student organizations may not contact prospective donors until they have received authorization from the Yale College Office of Development (YCODV). YCODV works to solicit tax-deductible gifts only and cannot assist student organizations with corporate sponsorships, sales, or other incentivized contributions.
Starting in Fall 2023, YCODV has launched YaleSOAR (Yale Student Orgs Annual Raise), a student-led giving week during which registered groups can create custom fundraising appeals which will be shared with all alumni through the Yale Alumni Fund, as well as with students’ personal networks. Student orgs interested in fundraising from alumni should utilize the YaleSOAR giving week for this purpose and incorporate this opportunity into their yearly planning.
Groups who identify the need for additional fundraising outside of YaleSOAR must demonstrate that they were not able to anticipate the need for funds during the YaleSOAR application window. In these special cases, student orgs will need to provide a written statement describing the purpose of the solicitation, the names and affiliations of prospective donors, and copies of all proposed solicitation materials. In order for an individual donor to receive Yale credit and/or a tax receipt from Yale, all gifts must be made through an official Yale giving site.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
YaleSOAR (Student Orgs Annual Raise) is a student-led November giving week hosted by the Yale College Office of Development. Registered student organizations who apply will be able to create custom appeal pages in an online social fundraising platform. Student appeals will be promoted to Yale alumni through the Yale Alumni Fund, and students will also be able to solicit group alumni and personal networks where applicable using a custom link.
Registered student groups will be able to apply for YaleSOAR starting on Sept. 3 and begin building custom online appeal pages throughout September and October. The YaleSOAR giving week will start on Nov. 3 and end on Nov. 10. Students will receive any funds raised approximately 10 business days after the end of the giving week, and upon completion of thank-you notes for donors. The Yale College Office of Development will guide student groups through the application, appeal-building, and promotion process. Student orgs interested in fundraising from alumni should utilize the YaleSOAR giving week for this purpose and incorporate this opportunity into their yearly planning.