Event Planning Guide

» 13. Fundraisers, Sponsorships and Donations

All fundraisers & solicitations must be pre-approved prior to the solicitation of any donations or gifts or the raising of funds for any cause. 

Recognized Student Organizations:

Complete the Fundraiser, Donation, & Sponsorship Request for Approval form and submit the form to the Department of Student & Campus Life for review and approval.   For questions, contact: Student Organization Assistants, studentorgs@chapman.edu, (714) 997-6761.

Money raised for outside, charitable organizations does not need to go through University Advancement. For more information on security options when handling money for a charitable organization, reference Section 23 - Security.

Departments & other campus groups:

Complete the Fundraiser, Donation, & Sponsorship Request for Approval form and submit the form to University Advancement for review and approval.   For questions, contact: Advancement Operations & Information Systems– Carol Bonner, cbonner@chapman.edu, (714) 997-7690.

Important Fundraising Information:

**Fundraisers, donations, and sponsorships can be complex.  Consult with University Advancement for assistance through the process to ensure proper recording of any donations. 

Donations to Chapman

(including donations to departments, programs, recognized organizations, etc.)

  • Donations to Chapman must be freely given, with no strings attached, and serve our core mission at Chapman University.

  • Donations may be monetary (called gifts), or services or items (called in-kind gifts). 

  • Checks can be made payable to Chapman University.

  • Quid Pro Quo - Cash, items or services are not considered donations if the donating company or organization gets something in return (i.e. promotion of their business or service, handing out flyers, etc.).  Quid Pro Quo does not apply if you are only listing their name on a program or banner—in this case it may be considered a donation. 

  • Gifts to Chapman University should be deposited immediately to the Gift Recorder in University Advancement at 633 W. Palm, Office 101.

  • In order to process a donation by credit card, you must provide the following information:

    • Name as it appears on card

    • Credit card number

    • Expiration date

    • Billing address

In-Kind Gifts

  • An in-kind gift is any gift received other than money, such as services or items 

  • Such gifts might be tax-deductible, and a receipt can be generated and sent to the donor as long as the in-kind gift is not a gift of service (i.e. gift certificates to a restaurant) or partial interest.

  • Upon receiving the in-kind gift, fill out the Gift In-Kind form and submit to the Gift Recorder in University Advancement.

 Charitable Contributions

  • Donations to a department or organization that will be sent to a charity are not considered donations to Chapman University.  The letter of receipt in these cases will be sent from the charity, not Chapman.

  • Chapman University is a non-profit organization.  As such, University funds can never be donated to a charitable organization.  Only money that has been specifically been raised for charity can be donated to that select cause. 

  • Only net proceeds from a Chapman sponsored event may be sent to a non-profit organization. (i.e. Chapman-subsidized event costs = $500, event generates $1000 in ticket sales or donations, only $500 can be donated to charity)

  • No donations can be made to political parties or candidates. 

  • Charity donations should be made directly to the charity (i.e. checks should be made to the charitable organization, donations can be made directly online). 

  • If cash is collected for a charitable organization, the amount should immediately be deposited at the Cashier’s office and the deposit receipt attached to a check request form to have a check cut for the charitable organization. 

Fundraising Events

  • Any fundraising event at which $5,000 or more is planned to be raised must be approved by the President and Senior Staff of Chapman University.   Contact Financial Services to discuss the process for approval.

  • If a charity fundraiser is planned using University funds (including Student Government Association, department funds, etc.), all University funds must be paid back before donations can be made. ONLY net proceeds from the fundraiser can be donated. 

  • All event advertisement must indicate that net proceeds will go to charity.

Sodexo Restaurant Services Fundraisers

  • Students may organize a variety of fundraising efforts with Chapman University Restaurant Services.  Some options include make-your-own cupcake or ice cream sundae sales.   

  • For more information about the Restaurant Services Fundraising Program, contact the Restaurant Services staff at (714) 997-6886 or catering@chapman.edu.


  • Chapman University has existing exclusive sponsorships which may prevent you from securing conflicting sponsors.

  • All program or event sponsorships must be reviewed and approved by University Advancement.

Raffles & Auctions

  • Raffle ticket purchases are never considered gifts.  Money that is collected from raffle ticket sales should be taken immediately to the Cashier’s Office. 

  • 50/50 raffles, in which a monetary donation enters you in a raffle to win half of the total raised profits, are not allowed.  

  • Donated items for a raffle may be considered gifts-in-kind. See the In-Kind Gifts section above.

  • Auction bid money may be considered a donation if it is more than the fair market value. 

    • The fair market value of the item(s) must be displayed for bidders.

    • If the donor pays less that the fair market value, then that amount is non-deductible , and therefore labeled “other income.”   This money can be deposited at the Cashier’s Office

    • If the donor pays an amount greater than the fair market value, then the amount above the fair market value is deductible.  In this case, the auction money should be sent to the gift recorder at University Advancement, providing the fair market value and the amount paid.

Depositing Funds

  • Raised funds should be deposited at the Cashier’s Office regularly throughout a multi-day event or immediately following a one-day fundraiser. 

  • Gifts to Chapman University should be deposited immediately to the Gift Recorder in University Advancement at 633 W. Palm, Office 101.

  • Some checks become void after 3 months.

  • Public Safety will provide officers to protect cash boxes and walk donations to a safe location. They will also keep raised funds overnight or for the weekend in cases where the Cashier’s Office is closed. 

  • Use a Gift/Pledge Acceptance Form or an Excel sheet (for more than five donors) to record the deposited money.  Gift/Pledge Acceptance Forms can be obtained from University Advancement.

  • When tracking gifts, record the following information:

    • Date

    • Fundraiser Coordinator’s name & contact information

    • Donor names & addresses

    • Account number to which funds are to be deposited

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Carol Bonner
Advancement Operations & Information Systems
(714) 744-7690

Michelle Clark
Financial Services
(714) 997-6963

Catering Services
Restaurant Services
(714) 997-6886

Craig Lee
Public Safety
(714) 997-6763