Individuals or organizations can choose to make a donation to your club. Here's information to help with the process. Also, don't miss these fundraising tips.

Gift and Donation Processing

Receiving Credit Card Donations

NOTE: RSOs are not permitted to use GoFund Me or other crowdfunding platforms (see CAP 710). Cal Poly maintains its own crowdfunding platform. Clubs can apply to have a campaign on the site.

All donations being made via credit card must be processed through the Cal Poly “Giving” website.

Follow these directions to use the website:

  • Go to the Cal Poly homepage.
  • Click on “Giving.”
  • Click on the “Give Online” button towards the right.
  • Enter your donation amount.
  • Click on the “Select College and Program(s)” section. Scroll down to “Student Affairs.” Click on the club you want to make a donation to. (If the club is not listed, select “Other,” then Continue, and write the club name in the “Enter fund not listed” text box.
  • Complete the “Information About You” section.
  • Click on the “Save and Continue” button.
  • Please review the transaction. If everything is correct, click on the “Pay Now” button. This will forward you to PayPal to complete the transaction.

The donation will now be processed and deposited into the club’s account.

Note: All donations made via the Cal Poly “Giving” site will incur a 5% processing fee from University Development & Alumni Engagement. The processing fee will not be deducted from the initial donation, but will be accrued by Cal Poly Foundation on a quarterly basis. ASI Club Services verifies the donation made against the processing fee prior to paying the Cal Poly Foundation invoice.

Receiving Cash or Check Donations

For donations by cash or check, complete a Cash/Securities Gift Information form, available on the Advancement Network Forms page. A separate form must be completed for each donation. Attach the check or cash to the form. Be sure to complete all required fields and have the club advisor print their name in the “Gift Received By” and sign the “Approved By” section.

Completed forms must be submitted with the associated deposit to ASI Club Services in UU 203 (65-0203). 

The donation will be processed and a deposit will be made to the club account.

Note: ASI Club Services does not charge a processing fee for donations made by cash or check.

Student Solicitation for Donor Support

To better develop and maintain positive relationships with donors, it is vitally important that the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors be done consistently, appropriately, and collaboratively. The University Development team considers donor relationships with a long-term view.

  • Students Affairs fundraising staff will work with student clubs to solicit funding if the request is $5,000 or more.
  • Students Affairs fundraising staff will work with students and clubs to ensure their “asks” are within university guidelines and will include students in the solicitation process as appropriately as possible.
  • You may also contact your College Development Office for guidance:


The sponsor has an expectation of how the club will be using the funds and the sponsor may be receiving something in return such as acknowledgment, advertising on the club web page or at a meeting, and/or considers the sponsorship an expense.

Your club may use our Invoice Template (scroll down to Documents) or create your own, being sure to include the following:

  • From: Your club name and club address (Club Name // ASI Club Services,  1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0675)
  • To: Name and address of the company you are 'billing'
  • Label the form "Invoice" and assign an invoice #
  • Description: Sponsorship
  • Amount: $ ____
  • Use the text "Make checks payable to 'ASI-Cal Poly Clubs' and request that the club name be noted in the memo line 

Options for Payment of Sponsorship Funds

  1. Cash/Checks: Cash and checks can be deposited directly into your club account with a club deposit slip. You can make a deposit at the SESLOC Bank branch in the University Union.
  2. PayPal: Your club can request to have ASI Club Services create a PayPal 'button' placed on your account. This button will be shown adjacent to your club name on the Club Directory. You will be provided with a link to send to your sponsors (donations cannot be made via the PayPal button). There is a 2.9% + $.30/transaction processing fee which will be automatically paid from your club with each PayPal transaction.


If there is no expectation from the donor of how the club may use the funds, the funds may be considered a donation and the donor will receive a tax donation receipt.

Your club may send out your own letters requesting donations for your club. If you do want help with the process, let us know and we can also refer you to University Development.

Options for Payment of Donation Funds

  1. Cash/Check: The club can accept cash or check for a donation but must submit the donation funds directly to ASI Club Services and have the Advisor sign a Cash/Securities Donation Form. There is no processing fee for cash/check.
  2. Online: The donor can make a donation by credit card via the GIVING.CALPOLY.EDU site (select Student Affairs, Other, and then write in the name of the club). The University may charge an administrative fee of 5-15%. Funds may take a couple of weeks to be placed in the club's account.

If the potential sponsor or donor requests a Tax ID number, submit a W-9 Request Form. We will send them the W-9 on behalf of your club.

Receiving Donations of Supplies or Goods (Gift-In-Kind Acceptance Form)

For donations of supplies or other goods, complete a Gift-in-Kind Acceptance form available from Cal Poly Advancement Network. Attach all documentation supporting the acceptance of the gift and the value of the donation (i.e., as provided by the donor). Be sure to complete all required fields and have the club advisor print their name in the “Gift Received By” section and sign their name in the “Approved By” section. Submit all completed forms by email to ASI Club Services at

Gifts-in-Kind with a Value Greater Than $5,000

All gifts-in-kind with a value greater than $5,000 are to be reported immediately upon receipt with a Gift-in-Kind Acceptance form available from Cal Poly Advancement Network. All gifts-in-kind from individuals with a value more than $5,000 and all gifts that require special expertise to establish the value, (e.g., works of art, horses) must include an appraisal executed by a qualified independent appraiser. The appraisal cannot be made more than 60 days prior to the date of the gift. If the value of the gift in the appraisal is listed as a range of values, the gift will be booked at the midpoint of the range. In most cases, gifts-in-kind that are produced or manufactured by a corporation or other business making the contribution that have a value more than $5,000 must include an itemized inventory list, an invoice or letter from the vendor/donor, or published information on the value of the item(s). Gifts of equipment and software should be booked at the educational discount value (i.e., the value the university would have paid had the equipment or software been purchased from the vendor).

Gifts-in-Kind with a Value between $100 and $5,000

All gifts-in-kind with a value between $100 and $5,000 are to be reported immediately upon receipt with a Gift-in-Kind Acceptance form available from Cal Poly Advancement Network.

Written documentation provided by the donor is required to establish the value of the gift for all gifts-in-kind. Any gift-in-kind with a value in the range of $100 to $5,000 that is not accompanied by such documentation from the donor will be recorded on the university’s gift record system with a nominal value ($1).

Gifts-in-Kind with a Value under $100

Cal Poly has established a minimum value for gifts-in-kind to be recorded on the university’s gift record system. Gifts-in-kind with a total value of less than $100 will not be processed by University Development. The department or program accepting the gift is encouraged to acknowledge the gift, but no gift-in-kind paperwork is required.

Items Not Considered Charitable Contributions

Based on CASE and FASB guidelines as well as IRS regulations, the following types of gifts-in-kind contributions are not considered charitable contributions and will not be included in the university’s annual fundraising totals:

  • Use of real property
  • Discounts on purchases
  • Costs of appraisal
  • Shipping costs
  • Sales tax
  • Permanent loans (i.e., property given to Cal Poly as a permanent loan will not be booked as a gift)

Additional Information for Gifts-In-Kind

Gift Recipient

The advisor must be listed as the recipient of the gift-in-kind on the Gift-in-Kind Acceptance form.

Donee of Gift

In general, the University (the state) is the donee for gifts of equipment that will be used to enhance the education of students on campus and for gifts-in-kind that will directly benefit the university. The Cal Poly Corporation is the donee for gifts of equipment that will be used for enterprise ventures on campus, for all gifts of animals except for gifts of horses to the rodeo program, and for gifts-in-kind contributed with the understanding that the gift would be sold. ASI is the donee only for gifts-in-kind contributed to ASI programs.

Qualified Appraisal

A qualified appraisal must include the following information:

  • A description of the property in sufficient detail for a person who is not generally familiar with the type of property to determine that the property appraised is the property that was contributed.
  • The physical condition of any tangible property.
  • The date (or expected date) of the contribution.
  • The terms of any agreement or understanding entered into (or expected to be entered into) by or on behalf of the donor that relates to the use, sale, or other disposition of the donated property.
  • The name and address of the qualified appraiser. Must include a disclaimer statement regarding any affiliation with the donor or the contributed property.
  • The qualifications of the qualified appraiser who signs the appraisal, including the appraiser’s background, experience, education, and membership in professional appraisal associations.
  • The date(s) on which the property was appraised.
  • The appraised fair market value on the date (or expected date) of contribution.
  • The method of valuation used to determine the fair market valuation.
  • The specific basis for the valuation, such as any specific comparable sales transactions.

Gift-in-Kind Acknowledgments

Gift acknowledgment letters and tax receipts for gifts-in-kind will only describe what was given and never include the estimated cash value or the appraised value of the gift. All donors making in-kind contributions of $250 and above will receive an official tax receipt from University Development that includes the description of the gift and the gift designation.

Donation Acknowledgments

When your club receives a donation and the proper process has been followed (e.g., via the Cal Poly Giving website, Cash/Securities Gift Information Form, Gift-in-Kind Acceptance form), the university will mail the donor an official tax receipt letter for their records. In addition to University Development and University President acknowledgments, club officers are expected to write their own acknowledgment letters to thank all donors. All thank you letters should be mailed to the donor within one week.

Donating Club Funds

Club funds may be used to donate to nonprofit organizations. A request to donate funds must be submitted via a Purchase Request. An explanation of the donation (printed email, memo, etc.) from the club advisor and a completed W-9 form for the organization being donated to must be attached to the Purchase Request to be processed. The request will be reviewed by the Clubs & Organizations Office. If approved, the donation will be processed.

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