Recognized Student Organization Fundraising Guidelines

Section 1, Funding

Student organizations at the University of Utah fall into three categories: Sponsored, Affiliated, and Registered. These categories impact how a group accesses its organizational funds. In the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering, student organizations will be classified as either sponsored or registered. If you have any questions about your status as an organization, please contact ASUU.

A. Sponsored Student Organizations

Sponsored student organizations operate under the direct and constant guidance of a sponsoring department and are integral to the educational mission of the University. Sponsored organizations must have an advisor assigned by the sponsoring unit who oversees the student organization as part of the advisor’s assigned university job responsibilities.  Sponsored organizations have access to funding from University revenues and/or student fees through the sponsoring department and may use the University’s tax exemption. The University may accept donations from external sources in support of sponsored student organizations which are accessed through the sponsoring department. The sponsored student organization must conduct all financial activity of the organization through a University Account within the sponsoring department and they may not establish bank or other accounts outside of the University. They also have the ability to apply for funding from ASUU in accordance with ASUU Constitution and Bylaws.

Accepting Donations for Sponsored Student Organizations:
External sources that provide financial gifts to a Sponsored student organizations are eligible for gift receipts from the University as outlined by University of Utah Office of Development.  All donations to a Sponsored student organization should be coordinated through the College’s development office.

    1. Handling of cash and cash equivalents
              1. For cash or checks collected by a member of a sponsored student organization that are designated as a gift to the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering in the name of the student group must be delivered to the college outreach advisor or development personnel within three days of receiving the donation
              2. If donor chooses to mail in a check that is made out to the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering with the sponsored student organization in subject line, it should be mailed to: John and Marcia Price College of Engineering: Development, 72 South Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
    2. Handling of credit card gifts
              1. Donors who choose to make a gift by credit card to John and Marcia Price College of Engineering in the name of the sponsored student organization, must call development personnel or provide a phone number where they can be reached so the credit card number can be obtained by phone
              2. Donor will receive a receipt for the credit card donation to the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering in the mail, but an email receipt can be requested through development personnel in the college

B. Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

Registered Student Organizations often will open bank accounts with private financial institutions as a way to manage their organization’s finances. All financial activities are the sole responsibility of the registered organization and must be held outside of the University. Registered student organization will only be able to issue a charitable gift receipt to a donor if the student organization has been designated as a tax-exempt organization by the federal government. Use of the University’s taxpayer identification number is prohibited. The registered student organization is not permitted to solicit donations or gifts using the University’s charitable status. Registered student organizations have the ability to apply for supplemental funding for funding from ASUU in accordance with ASUU Constitution and Bylaws and from the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering in accordance to the guidelines below.

Supplemental funding from the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering:
Registered student organizations in good standing may apply for supplemental funding from the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering as reimbursement for qualified expenses. Good standing refers to an organization maintaining its requirements for recognition including completion of all required training and keeping their Campus Connect profile updated. Supplemental funding is contingent upon the availability of appropriated University funds.

    1. To confirm availability of funding and eligibility for reimbursement, submit a pre-authorization request form available on the college website at
    2. To apply for supplemental funding, submit a reimbursement request form available on the college website at
    3. To qualify for reimbursement, the student activity must be aligned with the University of Utah’s tax-exempt purpose for education and research. Description of eligible funding items:
              1. Educational events, such as speakers, that are open to all students
                      1. Speaker fees and their related expenses for food and travel are allowable
              2. Conference Registration and Travel
                      1. Student participation in engineering related conferences for the purpose of improving or developing professional capabilities. Travel in which students receive course credit does not qualify.
              3. Room and Equipment Rental
                      1. Renting space or equipment for an educational event
              4. Supplies
                      1. Buying equipment or supplies that will belong to University of Utah
                      2. Materials or supplies that support the educational activity
    4. Student organizations must pay for qualified expenses out of pocket and submit a request for reimbursement.
    5. Students may obtain confirmation about expenses that would qualify for reimbursement a priori. However, reimbursement will not be processed until after the event and receipts are submitted.
    6. All reimbursement requests must be submitted within:
              1. 30 days after the date on the receipt, or
              2. 30 days after the event, whichever comes latest.
    7. Taxes will not be reimbursed. Please refer to University Rule 3-010A for more information.

Points to consider for Registered Student Organizations who may want to open an off-campus bank account:

    1. Tax Identification Numbers are required to open a bank account with private financial institutions.
    2. The tax ID can be obtained through a national affiliated organization or through the IRS EIN Website at
    3. Applying for and EIN is not the same as applying for nonprofit status with the IRS. If your organization is considering applying for a 501(c)3 non-profit status, further information may be found at
    4. Authorization for signatory authority on bank accounts should include two co-signers – president, treasurer, college outreach advisor and/or faculty advisor – to ensure funds are not misspent or mismanaged
    5. When leadership changes annually, all financial information will be turned over to new officers, including tax ID, account number(s) and bank statements
    6. Treat tax ID and all account information like personal information; keep it stored in a safe and secure location
    7. Any donation received by registered student organizations that are held and accessed through an outside financial institution will not be eligible to receive a tax credit from the University of Utah but can through the student organizations tax ID number for organizations that have obtain 501(c)(3) status
    8. Registered Student Organizations that receive cash or checks from a donor should deposit them into the student organizations outside bank account within three days of receiving the donation
    9. Registered Student Organizations who receive donations directly in the name of the student group may need to provide a receipt to the donor for tax purposes.

Section 2, Fundraising

The John and Marcia Price College of Engineering depends on private financial support from alumni, parents, friends and industry partners to achieve its goals. Non-coordinated fundraising efforts can damage these relationships.  Therefore, any student organization that wishes to be recognized by the University and to have access to supplemental funding from the College, must adhere to these fundraising guidelines:

  1. All external fundraising efforts must be coordinated with the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering.
  2. The Recognized Student Organizations must ensure all contact with our constituents, including donors and industry partners, is respectful and positive, and reflects the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering’s high quality and excellence.
  3. Registered Student Organizations must clearly inform donors that funds are sought for the support of a student organization and not on behalf of the College or the University.
  4. Registered Student Organizations will not represent to donors that donations are tax-deductible unless the student organization has obtained its own 501(c)(3) status.
  5. Recognized Student Organizations (exec officers) that wish to do external funding will develop a detailed fundraising plan that includes collateral material (solicitation letters, leave behind pieces/brochures/flyers), solicitation activities and lists of donor prospects. Use of University name and trademarks are specifically outlined by the University Trademarks and Licensing Program and Policy 6-401A
            1. Solicitation materials should clearly distinguish between what the Recognized Student Organization’s needs are for travel (conferences, national meetings), recruiting events, enrichment activities and/or outreach activities, including costs associated and a disclaimer about how tax credits apply
  6. Recognized Student Organizations (exec officers) will meet annually with faculty advisor, college outreach advisor and development personnel to discuss the following:
            1. University rules for fundraising, especially with specific donor companies and individuals. Donors on the President’s reserved list are restricted.
            2. Review of collateral material/leave-behind pieces and solicitation letters
            3. IRS rules pertaining to what is, and is not, considered a gift (no goods and services). See IRS Publication 526.
            4. Timeline for the solicitation
  7. Recognized Student Organizations will set a solicitation schedule and stay within the timeline.
            1. When soliciting companies, there should be no more than a total of three contacts; one initial contact and two follow up contacts if there is no response
            2. When soliciting an individual, there should be no more than a total of two contacts, one initial contact and one follow up contact if there is no response
  8. Solicitation levels are not to exceed the following:
            1. $1000 for recruiting events, enrichment or outreach activities
            2. $1500 for travel to conferences and national meetings