G.7 Sales and Fund-raising

All recognized student organizations are permitted to fundraise.

I. Prohibited Activities

Student organizations (or individual members while acting in any capacity for the organization) may not:

  1. Conduct for-profit or commercial activities (or facilitate the for-profit or commercial activities of others)
  2. Conduct a business (or facilitate conducting the business of others), or
  3. Act as (or create the appearance of acting as) a liaison, representative, agent, facilitator, face or front for another business, person or entity.

This should not be confused with fundraising. All recognized student organizations are permitted to fundraise on their own behalf. However, student organizations may only pursue fundraising activities to benefit their student organization, another university student organization, or an outside philanthropic agency or relief effort. No individual student(s) may receive any type of benefit or payment in connection with any of these activities, either in the form of money, trade, discounts and/or any other goods or services.

II. Process

  1. If your organization is recognized and wants to fundraise, a student representative must complete the Fundraising Approval Request Form found on the Scheduling Office Website at usc.edu/scheduling.
  2. Identify the type of fundraising event your organization is planning.

    a. Food sale – Approval signature required from the director of USC Hospitality, (213) 740-6285. Note: All food must be supplied by a food-licensed kitchen/grocer/distributor. No “homemade” items will be approved.
    Food product sales must be accompanied by permission from USC Hospitality. The event registration form section for USC Hospitality must be signed. Sales are limited to a maximum of two, one-week periods per semester. Sales weeks must be held at least four weeks apart.

    b. Item sale – Approval signature required from the University Bookstore.
    USC recognized student organizations, departments and athletic teams must obtain final permission to sell products on campus from the USC Bookstores, Administrative Offices, located on the fourth floor, (213) 740-9254, or send a facsimile to (213) 740-5203 (FAX), MC 2540. Permission is granted on the bookstore signature portion of the event registration form.

    c. Donation collection for organization

    d. Charity collection/non-profit collection – a letter is required from the agency/organization receiving the funds raised stating that they are aware of this fundraiser and will be accepting the money. This letter must be on the agency’s official letterhead and submitted with this request. Please see the policy on Non-Profit Collections below.

    e. Other types – We will review and approve events to determine the signatures required.

  3. Appropriate signatures from the University Bookstore and/or USC Hospitality are required prior to requesting the final signature from the Office of Campus Activities.

III. Non-Profit Collections

Recognized student organizations collecting money/donations for specific non-profit organizations must meet with the Office of Campus Activities at least two weeks prior to the event and supply the SCheduling Office with a written letter from the non-profit organization stating their agreement to accept donations prior to the scheduled collection of any goods or funds.

IV. Raffles or Lotteries

In the state of California, raffles and lotteries are illegal if a person is required to purchase a ticket or make a donation in order to be eligible to win the contest.

V. Free Drawings

Free drawings are legal when rules conforming to the California State Law are followed exactly. These rules are:

    1. The drawing must be in connection with an event or a recognized student organization.
    2. The ticket must have the following information printed on it:

a. Date, time and location of drawing

b. Name of sponsors and beneficiary of fund-raising

c. Donation or purchase of ticket is not required to be eligible to win

d. Winner need not be present at drawing (not required but advised)

  1. Free tickets (a minimum of one per person) must be available.
  2. Each solicitor must know that free tickets can be obtained and how to obtain them.
  3. The word “drawing” or “free drawing” is required; do not use the word “raffle” on the ticket or in advertisements.

VI. Silent Auction

The same rules apply for coordinating a silent auction as would apply for a free drawing.

  1. The drawing must be in connection with an event or a recognized student organization.
  2. The bid sheet must have the following information printed on it:

    a. Date, time and location of drawing

    b. Name of sponsors and beneficiary of fund-raising

    c. Donation or purchase of ticket is not required to be eligible to win

    d. Winner need not be present at drawing (not required but advised)

  3. Do not use the word “raffle” on the ticket or in advertisements.

VII. Student Organization Co-Sponsorship

As many student organizations co-sponsor events with outside agencies, it is important to be aware of what constitutes a co-sponsorship.

A student organization hosting an event with an outside organization must be aware that:

  1. The student organization must be the primary contact for the SCheduling Office.
  2. The money must be paid by the student organization and not the outside agency for any fees owed to the university.
  3. The student organization must be the primary name listed on all advertisements and promotional materials.
  4. The main contact from the student organization must be present at all meetings and walkthroughs as the primary producer of the event.
  5. Student organizations may not bring a business to campus as a vendor. Businesses can only come to campus if a pre-existing event is occurring.
  6. All money made from the event (if any) must follow the guidelines listed in SCampus.
  7. Student organizations co-sponsoring events with university departments will only be considered the primary producing entity if all of the above conditions apply. Student organization policies only apply to events for which the above conditions are met.

VIII. Misrepresentation (Fronting)

Individual students and/or employees of the university may not reserve space for personal or commercial purposes. Additionally, student organizations may not act as agents for university departments, off-campus persons or organizations in order to receive student rates for the space.

University departments may not act as agents for off-campus vendors or organizations to receive department rates for the space. Sponsoring organizations that reserve space for the purpose of allowing off-campus vendors or organizations to advertise or sell items will be held responsible for misrepresenting themselves and their organizations.

IX. Vendors

The Division of Student Affairs and the SCheduling Office are responsible for vendor sales on campus. No other department or organization, with the exception of the USC Bookstores and the Athletic Department, is permitted to bring outside vendors to campus. Outside vendors are prohibited from selling on campus without prior permission from the SCheduling Office and must meet the criteria outlined below. Reservation requests for vending locations are available online at usc.edu/scheduling.

  1. Approval for on campus sales will only be considered for those vendors whose products or services:

    a. Provide significant positive value to the quality of campus student life.

    b. Are not in competition with vendors holding current university-wide contracts.

    c. Are not duplicative of goods and/or services currently available through established on-campus sources.

    d. Are not alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.

    e. Are not considered obscene as defined by community standards.

    f. Are not for products or services which undermine the academic integrity of the university.

    g. Are not counterfeits of brand-name goods.

  2. Appropriate approvals must be obtained from the USC Bookstores, Trademarks and Licensing (only if the product bears a USC emblem) and/or USC Hospitality. The USC Bookstores requires a sample of the merchandise to be sold as well as a copy of the Vendor Agreement before approval will be granted; final approval must be given by the SCheduling Office. USC Bookstores reserves the right to refuse approval of the sale if the merchandise or service competes with bookstore business.
  3. Sales are only permitted in one of two official vendor spaces along Trousdale Parkway.
  4. Vendors must use the 10 feet of frontage space within the designated vendor canopy. Vendor displays extending outside of the 10 foot by 10-foot canopy will be fined an additional $25 for every square foot they extend beyond the space.
  5. Vendors may not be on campus during any official university event, such as orientation or final exam period.
  6. In extenuating circumstances, vendors associated with special events must have the approval of the SCheduling Office at least three weeks prior to the event. A list of vendors participating in the special event must be provided to the SCheduling Office at least two weeks prior to the event. Written permission and appropriate identification will be provided for those vendors associated with the special event.
  7. All approved vendors must obtain written permission from the SCheduling Office and must keep their written permission, a valid seller’s permit (issued by the State Board of Equalization) and appropriate identification visibly displayed with them at all times on campus.

Funds raised through this process will be distributed back to the USC student community in three ways:

  1. Twenty-five percent will go to programs, services and equipment for the Campus Center and student programs that will benefit all patrons.
  2. Twenty-five percent will go to Campus Activities for events and services to students.
  3. Fifty percent will go to a Student Organization Fund for Minor Events.

All recognized student organizations can apply for these funds through an application process administered and supervised by the Peer Leadership Consultants. For more information visit the Campus Activities Website at sait.usc.edu/ca.

X. USC Emblem Products

USC emblem products intended for sale during fundraisers must be manufactured by a vendor that is licensed by USC. A licensed vendor has a contract with USC that specifies quality standards and services and recognizes that USC insignia are protected trademarks.

A list of licensed product manufacturers may be obtained from the Trademarks and Licensing Services Website at usc.edu/trademarks, (213) 740-5222.

XI. Conflict of Interest

The university does not enter into purchasing contracts with students, faculty or staff or members of their immediate families. No employee, officer or agent shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a contract if he/she, his/her immediate family or partners, or organization to which he/she, his/her immediate family or partners belong or has any arrangement concerning employment with any vendor under consideration. Any violation of this policy by a USC employee or agent will be subject to disciplinary action.

XII. Campus Tour Policies

A campus tour is any event that brings a non-university affiliated company or business onto campus solely to market its products or services. Often, campus tours will approach student organizations about booking their event on campus in exchange for money. The university does not permit student organizations to earn money in this capacity. The SCheduling Office is permitted to accept four requests for Campus Tours per semester. USC Program Board is the only student organization at USC that is permitted to book campus tours. Program Board is limited to booking two campus tours per semester. All other student organizations are not permitted to bring campus tours to USC. The other two tour dates per semester may be used by university departments. Priority is given to tours that are not for profit and are for educational purposes (as opposed to marketing and sales,) All campus tours must be approved by the Office of Campus Activities. Campus tours may not bring any merchandise or materials to campus that are in direct conflict with an existing USC on-campus vendor.

If the university suspects that a student organization or department is in violation of these guidelines, its event may be charged off-campus rates for the venue, and/or be canceled and the student organization will forfeit any deposits.

Revised August 2014.