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Student Organization Finance and Funding


Fundraisers are one of the best ways for student organizations to raise money for their organization and to potentially have more students get involved in an event they would not normally attend. The Student Leadership and Involvement Office is committed to helping you through the process of planning a fundraising event and obtaining all the necessary materials to fundraise.

What to consider and local vendors

What to Consider

  • Are you planning on selling something at a booth on-campus or are you hoping to coordinate with an off-campus location?
  • What kind of fundraiser are you planning?
  • Who is your audience?
  • Where will your fundraiser take place?
  • How will you advertise for this event?
  • Organize in advance! Give yourself and your organization enough time to plan the event, advertise, and make arrangements for the actual day.
  • Call various vendors to see where you can get the best deal for your event.
  • Reserve place. You can reserve space in various locations across campus.
  • Formulate a signup sheet to have organization members choose time slots to work the event.
  • Decide in advance how much of your profits will go toward paying for the event and how much will go towards the reason for the event.

Local Vendors

Applebee’s, Coldstone Creamery, Chipotle, Five Guys, Fridays, Philly Pretzel Company, Rita’s

Fundraising with University Development

As a Recognized Student Organization, you have access to resources through Penn State's University Development Office. Requesting custom URLs to make online giving easy, creating crowdfunding campaigns, and receiving tax-deductible donations are just a few of the ways your organization can start raising money today.

General Information

Can my student group accept tax-deductible donations?

Student organizations officially recognized by Penn State are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions if they have an active account with Associated Student Activities (ASA).  Gifts received for an organization by the Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) are processed by DDAR’s Office of Donor Services.  The donor will receive a tax receipt and the funds will be transferred to the ASA office for distribution to the appropriate student group.

We would like to have an online giving link on our club’s website.  How can we make sure our group receives these online contributions?

You are encouraged to have a custom giving URL on your organization’s website. Please contact the office of Annual Giving at 863-2052 or to receive a custom giving URL specifically for your organization. It is important to have donations processed through Development so donors can receive tax receipts for their donations.  Gifts received through, and your custom URL will automatically receive tax receipts. Sample language to direct donors to online gifts:

To make your gift online, visit [YOUR CUSTOM URL HERE] to make sure your gift goes to the [ABC] Student Organization.

How can I get an allocation code for my student organization?

Once your group has decided to proactively fundraise, e-mail the Student Affairs Development Office to determine if an allocation code already exists or to create an allocation code for your organization.

Associated Student Activities (ASA) Accounts

How long does it take for the money to get into my Associated Student Activities (ASA) account?

The Office of Donor Services will process the gift and notify ASA who will deposit the money into your organization’s account (this can take a few weeks). Gifts of $5,000.00 or more are held by the University for 90 days.

How does ASA know which student group received the contributions?

The Office of Donor Services uses allocation codes to ensure that funds are deposited in accordance with the donor’s wishes.  Each allocation code is tied to the group’s ASA account and should be included on all contributions your group receives.

How can I get an allocation code for my student organization?

Once your group has decided to proactively fundraise, e-mail the Student Affairs Development Office to determine if an allocation code already exists or to create an allocation code for your organization.

Our ASA account contains gifts from alumni and friends of our organization. Is there anything else we need to do?

All student organizations that receive contributions are encouraged to write thank you notes to their donors.  The notes should be from the heart, describe how the group has used funds in the past year or will use funds in the future.  When appropriate, donors should be invited to your group’s events or activities.


We would like to run an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for our organization. How can we proceed or learn more?

Let’s Grow State, is a fundraising tool for students looking for funds for their organization or cause. It is a University-supported crowdfunding platform that gives groups the ability to fundraise for their projects, passions, and ideas. Benefits include:

  • No fees! Every penny raised goes directly to your organization.
  • Professional guidance
  • Create your own page with your own words and images
  • Donations are tax-deductible for your supporters.

To apply, visit and click on apply now.

To learn more contact the Office of Annual Giving at 863-2052 or

Soliciting Alumni and the Alumni Database

We want to solicit alumni of our organization – how can we do that?   

The University’s policy AD04 addresses the protocol for development solicitations.  That policy also includes the contact information for the Office of Annual Giving, which manages these solicitations.

How can we add names of former club members to the alumni database?

Members can be coded after graduation by providing their names, PSU IDs and the group’s name to the Student Affairs Development Office who will code the alumni database.

How can we get a list of alumni who were in our organization? Are in our organization’s Alumni Interest Group (AIG)?

To retain a list of alumni who were in your organization as students, please contact the Alumni Association. Please be aware: most organizations do not have thorough lists of their alumni.

Checks and Tax Receipts

My group received a check.  What should we do?

Checks should be sent via campus mail/dropped off to:
University Programs Development Office
Attn: Jeri Daniels-Elder
150 Bristol II

  • Or  

Checks can be sent via Via USPS to:
University Programs Development Office
Attn: Jeri Daniels-Elder
2601 Gateway Drive, Suite 150
State College, PA 16801

For student organizations raising money through Let’s Grow State, checks should be sent/dropped of to:

The Office of Annual Giving
Attn: Ashley DeBaro
2583 Gateway Drive, Suite 200
State College, PA 16801

(Include a note with let’s Grow State campaign name/organization name)

How should donors address the checks they send us?

Make check payable to:
Penn State University

Memo should only contain:
Allocation Code and/or Student Organization Name

How do we get a tax receipt for our donor?

In order to get a tax receipt for your donor, the gift MUST go through the development office. There are certain steps that must be taken in order for this to occur (AND for the donations to be tax-deductible). If you deposited your check directly into your organization’s ASA account, we cannot get you a tax receipt.

What information do you need for tax receipts?

  • Full name(s) of donor(s).
    • If you want both spouses to be recognized/thanked, you must have both names
  • Legible address of the donor

Budgeting Tips and Information

General Budgeting Considerations

Have a Plan

To begin budgeting, you should have a plan to know exactly what you need to budget for. Meeting with your members will help create a list of events, activities, or trips to different locations. Including ideas for the whole school year will give you a head start against the competition.

  • Activities Fair: food and leaflet costs
  • General Meetings: food costs
  • Movie Screening Nights: food, room reservation, and screening permit costs
  • Guest Speaker: room reservation, speaker fees, travel costs, publicity costs, technical cost
  • Travel Experiences: transportation costs, possible lodging, registration or admission fees.
  • Concert/Music Performers: Venues, performance fees, sounds, and technical needs,

Estimate cost

Writing out a plan for the events you wish to throw during the year could also help by determining the cost of the event. Including items like decorations, costumes, and/or games could help your organization understand how much the event might cost. This could also help you cut out pricier events.  

Where to find the money?

  • Fundraising
  • Charging dues
  • Selling items
  • Auctions
  • Contest
  • Ask for Donations
  • Working with Departments

Cutting money corners

Money is hard to come by. Tips and tricks to saving money can help your club throw amazing events without breaking the bank.

  • Always look for sales!
  • Dollar Stores, Dollar Stores, Dollar Stores
  • Write a list before you throw anything into the cart
  • Price check!
  • Go in groups
  • Collaboration with other organizations

Keep track of spending

The treasurer's role in the club is that of great importance! Having your treasurer keep records of club spending and even the cost of previous events could help you save big bucks!

  • Keep track of spending (It's good to have a reference for future members)
  • Have a history of previous spendings on events, items, etc.
  • Transition notebook
  • Communicate with previous board members
Programs/Events Budget Considerations
  1. Allow ample programming (Min of 3-6 months in advance)

  2. Purpose of the program (Entertainment, annual event, cultural theme, etc.)

  3. Number of attendees/Size of the program

  4. Venue capacity

  5. Estimate budget (Max funding available;outside/inside resources)

  6. Have a suggested list of performers and their fees (fees for lodging and transportation)

  7. Sound and lighting requirements (Depending on the event)

  8. Venue rental fees inclusive of setup and teardown fees

  9. Security if necessary

  10. Food (if applicable)

  11. Entrance fees (if necessary)

Travel Budget Considerations
  1. Plan ahead of time (3-6 months in advance)

  2. Destination

    1. Type of transportation needed

  3. Lodging expenses

  4. Registration expenses

  5. Meals and other incidentals fees

  6. Number of attendees necessary to accomplish a successful trip

  7. Length of trip

    1. How many days out of class?

  8. Co-curricular activity fees during the trip (e.g., Museums, Tours, Bus Service, etc.,)

Explore in this Section
Student Organization Finance & Funding
Penn State Student Affairs
Student Leadership and Involvement

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