Student Organization Policies and Procedures

Fundraising Policy


One of the advantages of being a registered student organization is the ability to fundraise on campus. There are many creative opportunities to raise funds for your organizationThe following policies provide guidelines for specific types of fundraising activities by student organizations. Other types of fundraising activities not listed in this policy may be submitted to the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership or designee for approval.


Registered Charitable Organization - An entity that is organized and operated for purposes that are beneficial to the public interest. In general, Wright State University and its entities (including student organizations) are not registered charitable organizations. The WSU Foundation, however, is a registered charitable organization and donations may be given to the Foundation. Student organizations with a Foundation account may operate as a registered charitable organization, as long as, raised funds are deposited into the Foundation account. Some nationally affiliated organizations may not qualify to have a Foundation account or may be able to operate under their national foundation. There are also many local and national community agencies that are considered registered charitable organizations.

  • 501(c)(3) – An entity that is classified by the IRS as tax-exempt, nonprofit that is organized and operated for religious, charitable, scientific, public safety, literary or educational purposes, to foster amateur sports competition, to promote the arts or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Donations to a 501(c)(3) organization or association are tax deductible. The WSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

General Fundraising Policies

All fundraising must be consistent with the organization's purpose, university policy, and state and federal laws.

  • Funds raised by registered student organizations shall be for the non-profit use of the sponsoring organization, or donated to a registered charitable organization. No officer or member can ever receive monetary gain from the fundraising of the group.  Income cannot be given or loaned out under any circumstances to any person.
  • In accordance with student organization financial policy, all funds raised must be placed in the sponsoring organization’s on-campus or Foundation account. A request for a check to the charitable organization, if applicable, should be made within 14 business days.
  • Groups promoting fundraisers that benefit one or more organizations must clearly communicate the recipients and distribution of the proceeds (for example 50% of proceeds go to the registered student organization foundation account and 50% goes to the registered charitable organization).
  • Registered student organizations must keep accurate records of funds raised and spent, available upon request for inspection or audit. All prize winners should be recorded and maintained in the organizational financial records.
  • When consistent with financial and event policies, a registered student organization may sell tickets for an organization-sponsored event.
  • Organizations are encouraged to submit a service activity report when donating funds to a registered charitable organization.  This helps recognize your organization and track the type of community service activities sponsored by all student organizations.  Accurate reporting also helps maintains the University’s national recognition for service.


  • Groups may utilize an auction to raise money by auctioning items such as art, tickets to an event, dinner at a particular restaurant, or prizes and services provided by a qualified and insured vendor.
  • No individual or group may be auctioned for “services” or a “date”.  Because our campus values equality and diversity, auctioning individuals or groups places a “value” on a person or group and mimics a tragic time in history when slaves were auctioned.  In addition, date auctions can perpetuate a dangerous attitude that “whoever pays is entitled.” The sponsor of these types of auctions has no way of knowing the motivations of the person doing the bidding.

Sale of Food/Bake Sales

  • The sale of food on campus by any university-affiliated group other than the official campus hospitality service is ordinarily limited to bake/confectionery sales.
  • A bake/confectionery sale is defined as the sale of items that will not spoil in the absence of refrigeration.
  • Bake/confectionery sale items include cookies, brownies, popcorn balls, cake with nonperishable icing, muffins, bread, rolls, pretzels, donuts, caramel or candy-covered apples, and fudge.
  • All items for bake/confectionery sales must be wrapped in individual portions before being brought to campus.
  • Food must be wrapped in any substance that will permit the food to be seen by the buyer and keep the food free from contamination.
  • A list of all ingredients used to prepare the bake sale item must be put on the outside wrapping of the food item.
  • Persons wrapping items should take care that hands are extremely clean before handling food.
  • No food license is required to sell confectionery items on campus by registered student organizations.

Games of Chance

  • Ohio law defines a "game of chance", i.e., gambling, to be "poker . . . or other game in which a player gives anything of value in hope of gain, the outcome of which is determined largely by chance."
  • Under Ohio law, when a person pays to play a game of chance (including poker) in hopes of winning a prize, the game qualifies as illegal gambling.  To avoid having your event qualify as illegal gambling one of the following conditions must be met:
    • Participants do not pay anything or give anything of value to participate in a game of chance.
    • All those in attendance at your event pay to enter, and the game of chance is part of a larger event (but not the focus of the event), prizes can be offered to the winners. No currency or items of value may be exchanged inside of the event.  Organizations may use play money as long as each participant starts with the same denomination of play money.
    • Participants pay to participate in a tournament but no prizes are provided. In this situation, however, all proceeds must either benefit a charity and/or your student organization.

Raffles for Prizes (No CASH PAYOUT)

  • Raffles and games of chance can be used to solicit funds from students, faculty, and community members. Specific raffle and games of chance guidelines are as follows:
    • The prizes that may be redeemed with raffle tickets and/or play money shall not be extremely valuable (less than $500); this is to ensure that a premium is not placed on winning.
    • The raffle prize must be secured before raffle tickets are sold and cannot be purchased by the money raised by the raffle itself
    • No permission will be granted to any club or organization on campus to hold a raffle that is contrary to University Policy (for example: offering alcohol as a prize)

Raffles – 50/50 (CASH PAYOUT)

  • 50/50 raffles, or those with direct cash payout, are permitted when the following conditions are met:
    • The organization conducting the 50/50 raffle must be a registered 501(c)(3) organization.  This means the student organization has applied to the IRS and has been approved as a 501(c)(3) organization or has a University Foundation account in which proceeds will be deposited.
    • OR 50% of the total raffle proceeds must be donated to a registered charitable organization.  This means 50% is given to the prize winner and 50% is given to the registered charitable organization.
    • 50/50 raffles must be conducted in the following manner:
      • Ticket rolls with duplicate numbered stubs must be used for 50/50 Drawings.
      • Publicity for a 50/50 Drawing must include the date, time, and location of the drawing.
      • The drawing must be conducted in plain view of players.
      • All tickets shall be sold at the event only.
      • The event shall not last longer than one day.
      • The winner shall be given a reasonable amount of time to claim the prize.
        • The winning prize number is to be announced 3 times in a manner that all attendees can hear the announcement. If the prize is still unclaimed after the third announcement then the original winner is considered void and an alternate winner is to be picked in the same fashion.
        • The name of the winner shall be announced in the same manner as the winning number was announced.


Updated 7/2015

Approved by:
Rick Danals, Director of Student Activities
Dan Abrahamowicz, Vice President for Student Affairs