Community Fundraising Guide

Thank you for your interest in hosting a fundraiser on behalf of UCSF!

Community fundraisers like you make our work possible, and we are incredibly grateful for your support.

Before you get started with the event-planning fun, we ask that you follow a few simple steps:

  1. Review our fundraising event guidelines. They provide a great summary of everything you need to know about event planning for UCSF, plus answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

  2. Complete the UCSF fundraising event application. You should submit the event application at least 45 days before the proposed event and allow a minimum of seven to ten days for approval. You will receive a confirmation email from UCSF if your event has been approved, at which point you may begin publicly marketing UCSF as the beneficiary of your event

  3. Start Your Application

UCSF Fundraising Event Guidelines

How can I receive approval for my fundraising event?

Any individual, business, or organization that wants to raise money for UCSF must first complete a Fundraising Event Application. (This applies to recurring fundraisers as well as new events.) Only after your application has been approved in writing can you begin soliciting sponsors and participants for your fundraiser. In order to streamline fundraising efforts, we ask that you provide a list of your targeted sponsors before you make your approach.

Why am I required to complete an event application?

UCSF adheres to IRS regulations n order to maintain our 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. We review community fundraisers to ensure they are in compliance with these rules, as failure to comply could put UCSF’s tax-exempt status at risk. We also want to ensure that the strength and integrity of the UCSF brand is upheld through the promotion and execution of your fundraiser.

What should I do if my event changes or is cancelled?

Please notify UCSF if there are any significant changes to your fundraising event or if is canceled. We reserve the right to deny or withdraw approval if circumstances warrant.

How can I make my donation to UCSF after my fundraiser?

You can donate online or send your gift to:

UCSF Foundation
PO Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145

Be sure to include any special instructions with your check or in the space provided on the online giving form.

Will UCSF provide support for my community fundraiser?

UCSF can provide advice on strategy and marketing but cannot play a role in planning, implementation, financing, or staffing. UCSF and its departments/programs can be the beneficiaries of fundraising events but not the organizers or sponsors.

Please note that you cannot use UCSF’s tax-exempt status for the planning or implementation of your fundraiser, nor are you permitted to promote tax-exempt privileges as part of your fundraiser (unless you have your own tax-exempt status).

If you would like to submit a request for UCSF to host or sponsor an event, please contact UCSF Medical Center Special Events for information and to formally apply for partner affiliation.

Can UCSF staff, doctors, and/or patients attend my event?

Due to staffing constraints, we cannot guarantee that UCSF staff or patients will be able to attend your event.

Can I use the UCSF name and logo to promote my fundraiser?

Yes, but remember that it’s important to highlight that UCSF is the beneficiary, not the sponsor, of all fundraisers and activities. Promotional materials and sponsor letters that use the UCSF name or logo should use the terms “proceeds to benefit UCSF” or “benefitting UCSF.” Also, all event and promotional materials must clearly state the percentage of proceeds and/or the portion of the ticket price that will benefit UCSF. UCSF will provide the logo and logo standards to the sponsor and must approve in writing all uses of the UCSF logo before it is printed or otherwise used in any marketing materials, including flyers, press releases, and website content. All use of the UCSF logo must comply with UCSF brand standards, and the UCSF logo must not be altered in typeface, color, or position. UCSF cannot endorse any products or services, nor can it participate in such activities. UCSF also cannot be involved with a fundraiser that promotes any political party, candidate, or issue.

Can UCSF provide patient names and/or stories for use in my fundraiser?

No. Patient-privacy laws prohibit UCSF from sharing mailing lists or soliciting donations from patients for community fundraisers.

Can I split my event proceeds between UCSF and another organization?

Yes, as long as you clearly state in your promotional materials how the proceeds will be distributed. Be sure you send UCSF a check for only the amount you intend it to receive. UCSF will not be able to return to you any proceeds meant for other organizations and cannot forward any proceeds to another organization on your behalf. UCSF reserves the right to approve any and all co-beneficiaries.

Can I serve alcohol at my event?

Yes, as long as you have a liquor license. You are encouraged to ensure that food and nonalcoholic beverages are available, ID checks are enforced so underage attendees are not served alcohol, and taxi information is on hand for attendees who need rides home. UCSF and its affiliates do not accept or assume any liability associated with alcohol being consumed before, during, or after the fundraiser.

Do I need insurance for my event?

Depending on the type of the fundraiser you are hosting, you may need general liability insurance coverage. Usually the venue has a policy, and UCSF may ask you to provide a copy for our records. UCSF does not provide insurance coverage for community fundraisers. The sponsor and the fundraiser’s donors, sponsors, guests, etc., agree to indemnify, defend, and hold UCSF harmless against and in respect of any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, expenses, obligations, liabilities damages, recoveries and deficiencies, including interest, penalties and reasonable attorney’s fees that shall be incurred or suffered by UCSF and its affiliates, which arise, result from or relate to applicant’s fundraising event or fundraising program. UCSF does not endorse the hiring or selection of any special event planners, consultants, or coordinators. The sponsor hereby agrees to adhere to all federal, local and state laws and assures that compensation to any professional fundraiser or promoters shall not be based on commission or percentage of monies raised.

Can I hold a silent auction, live auction, or raffle?

Yes, however:

  • If you plan to hold an auction, please let us know so we can ensure you have the documentation required to provide receipts to donors.
  • If you plan to hold a raffle, you must be eligible to apply for raffle registration with state or local government agencies.
  • Licensing for auctions and raffles can be time consuming, so please be sure you allow enough time.

Please also note that UCSF does not provide our tax ID number for use with raffle registration.

Are event costs tax deductible?

No. You are only eligible for a tax deduction if you have made a personal contribution directly to UCSF.

Will donors to my fundraiser receive a tax receipt from UCSF?

In order to ensure that your donors are receipted, please request that all checks are made payable to UCSF. We are unable to provide receipts for donations written in the name of the sponsoring individual or sponsoring organization. A person, company, or venue that makes an in-kind donation of goods or services to your fundraiser is not eligible to receive a tax deduction or receipt for the donation.

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Karolina Zatz