Student Organization Fundraising Guidelines

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The University of Texas at San Antonio ("UTSA" or "University") seeks to support student organizations in their fundraising endeavors. The Office of Student Activities and Events Management and Conference Services will work to assist student organizations. Student organizations shall secure the approval from the Office of Student Activities and Events Management and Conference Services, prior to engaging in any form of fundraising on campus. The Fundraising Policies and Procedures document is a guide that directs fundraising activities to achieve success across the campus.

General Guidelines

Registered Student Organizations may conduct one tax-free fundraiser/solicitation activity each calendar month providing all Texas State laws are followed. Exceptions may be made with consultation from Student Activities. A food fundraiser/solicitation activity may only be held outside of the University buildings at times approved by the University. Best Fest and Fiesta UTSA events are not counted toward this total. Prior to collecting money or fundraising, student organizations must register their fundraiser with Events Management and Conference Services and the Office of Student Activities.

  • Fundraisers may not be conducted for private gain of individuals or for-profit businesses. Student organizations may not conduct fundraising on behalf of or for the benefit of a non-University recognized organization or corporation.
  • A student organization may charge an admission fee to a program.
    • Note: There may be a handling charge through the Student Union if the tickets are sold at the Information Center. The number of tickets sold may not exceed the occupancy of the facility.
  • Proceeds from fundraising activities (i.e. resale of retail merchandise and ticket sales) are subject to state sales tax laws. Refer to the following section on taxes for information regarding paying and collecting sales taxes.
  • Fundraising by student organizations cannot occur on campus during either Best Fest or Fiesta UTSA, unless it is officially part of the event.

Be sure to consult with Student Activities staff early in the fundraising process to ensure compliance with applicable rules and policies.

Reference Comptroller Rule 3.16

Fundraising Procedures

Fourteen (14) days prior to fundraising or soliciting for money registered student organizations must reserve space through Events Management and Conference Services. Next, registered student organizations must complete the On-Campus Fundraising Form found on RowdyLink. Registered Student Organizations must receive approval from both Events Management and Conference Services and the Office of Student Activities prior to conducting the event.

  • Organizations are allowed to sell food  ONE TIME  per CALENDAR month
  • Organizations  must reserve  a space in the Central Plaza through 25Live
    • There will be 4 fundraising spots available
  • An organization representative must COMPLETE and PASS the Certified Food Handler Course through the San Antonio Metro Health District (
  • Organization must  DISPLAY their CERTIFICATE  from the Certified Food Handler Course at their table
  • Organizations must complete Self-Inspection Checklist and POST it to your booth 
  • Organizations must have all members who are working the booth SIGN the Self-Inspection Checklist
  • The food is served to a limited and defined market of UTSA students, faculty or staff.
  • The food is pre-cooked, purchased or donated food from a health-inspected location. (i.e. a restaurant or grocery store).  It is best to have a copy of the restaurant or grocery store's license where you are selling the food.
  • Raw products (ex. eggs & meat) may be prepared on campus if following the guidelines established by the San Antonio Health Inspection Office (, click on "Requirements for Temporary Food Establishments").  In addition, Organizations must complete a "Food Waiver", available from Events Management.  If applicable, you must also make proper accommodations for grilling and sand traps with Physical Plant.
  • The sale of home-prepared or cooked food is not permitted.


Registered student organizations may receive donations from non-university entities; however non-university organizations may not co-sponsor activities on campus. Organizations may thank their donors through public announcement or on a program for a performance or event (i.e., "Special Thanks to...") but may not advertise for companies or use corporate logos. Any student organization soliciting donations must make clear to any potential donor that they are independent entities whose solicitations are not endorsed by or connected to UTSA.  Further, any student organization that does not have the proper documentation indicating that donations they receive are tax deductibles is required to inform all potential donors that their donations to the student organization will not be tax deductible. 

Since student organizations may be soliciting donations from donors with whom UTSA has or is cultivating a relationship, student organizations are expected to inform the Associate Director of Development for Student Affairs in advance of all such solicitations of $500 or more.

The form to be used is the Fundraising Authorization Request Form located at RowdyLink, Organizations, Student Activities, and then Forms.


Raffles involving paying money for the chance to win a prize of greater value is considered gambling under the Texas Penal Code. Conducting such a raffle is a Class A misdemeanor. Participating in an unauthorized raffle is a Class C misdemeanor. Only raffles held according to the terms of the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act are authorized raffles. The law is Chapter 2002, Texas Occupations Code. If you do conduct a raffle, please note:

  • Raffles must not award cash as a prize. Instead, it is suggested that student organizations hold "Free Drawings" in which no money is exchanged. If your student organization holds a raffle, the value of the prize may not exceed $50,000, unless the prize is/was donated to the organization.
  • The Charitable Raffle Enabling Act permits "qualified organizations" to hold up to two raffles per calendar year and only one at a time. Only two limited types of student organizations are qualified organizations that may conduct raffles: (1) An association organized primarily for religious purpose that has been in existence in Texas for at least 10 years; or (2) A nonprofit organization that has existed at least for the three preceding years, during which it has had a governing body duly elected by its members and is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c), Internal Revenue Code and, for both, the organizations do not participate in any political campaign; do not devote a substantial part of its activities to attempting to influence legislation; and do not distribute any of its income to its members, officers or governing body;. [A copy of your organization's IRS Letter of Determination verifying 501(c) status will be required.]
  • Raffle tickets may not be advertised statewide or through paid advertisements. Each raffle ticket must state the name and address of the organization holding the raffle, the name of an officer of the organization, the price of the ticket, a general description of each prize to be awarded that has a value of over $10 and the date on which the raffle prize(s) will be awarded. Only members of the organization may sell tickets. No one may be compensated directly or indirectly for organizing or conducting a raffle or for selling raffle tickets
  • Visit for more information.


Collecting Sales Tax on Items Sold
All student organizations are required by law to collect sales tax when selling goods and/or services (this may include tickets to an event). If an organization has a state sales tax exemption, this means that the group is exempt from paying sales tax. The group is still responsible for collecting sales tax when selling goods or services. Remember, student organizations can be audited by the state, so it is very important that sales tax is properly collected and remitted to the State Comptroller's Office. If you have questions on sales tax you can call the State Comptroller at 800.252.5555 or you can E-mail In order to properly remit sales tax:

  • Download a Sales Tax Permit Form from
  • Fill out the form and send it in to: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Austin TX 78774-0100
  • It will take 4-6 weeks for your form to be processed. When you receive your permit number, make a copy and keep it in a secure place so that it will be readily available for you. This permit number is for you to use when you remit payments to the state. It allows the comptroller's office to readily identify what organization is remitting payment.
  • Obtain a "Texas Sales and Use" tax return from the Comptroller's Office (call 210.616.0067 or 512.463.4600)
  • Fill out the tax return and send it to the address above by the 20th day of the next calendar month after the month of your sale. If your organization owes less than $500 in sales tax for a calendar month or $1,500 for a calendar quarter, taxes may be paid on a quarterly basis. This means payment is due by the 20th day of the month following each calendar quarter.

Exceptions to Sales Tax Law

  • If an organization is planning a one-day sale within a calendar month, it does not have to collect sales tax on any goods sold during that one-day period. An organization may only hold one tax free sale per month. For more information about this exemption visit: (see page 3, under Auction, Rummage Sales and Other Fund Raisers).
  • If an organization is holding an event that is exclusively for members of the UTSA community and they have not hired any off-campus business to provide services (such as a caterer or DJ), the organization does not have to collect sales tax for tickets to the event.

Paying Sales Tax on Items Purchased

Student organizations are not automatically exempt from paying state sales tax. To find out if your organization may file to become sales tax exempt, refer to Comptroller of Public Accounts, State Sales and Use Tax, Rule 3.322 (Texas Tax Code 151.309, 151.310: Texas Civil Statutes, Article 342-908). If your organization is eligible, you must first obtain 501(c) status from the Internal Revenue Service by submitting IRS Forms 8718 and 1023. Application processing may take over eight weeks. Also, refer to Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization. All of these publications and forms are available at

If 501(c) status is granted, the organization may apply to the state by submitting a letter, a copy of your charter/bylaws, and a copy of your 501(c) letter of determination from the IRS (if applicable) to the following address: Tax Policy Division, Exempt Organizations Section, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, P.O. Box 13528, Austin TX 78711-3528 Upon a ruling by the State Comptroller's Office you will receive a letter allowing or denying exempt status. If exempt status is granted, please inform Student Activities and provide a copy of documentation for your organization's permanent file. If a student organization is purchasing merchandise for resale, it has two options regarding sales tax:

  • obtain a resale certificate from the State Comptroller's Office, which will allow the organization to defer payment of sales tax until time of sale. This does not mean that the organization does not pay sales tax. It means that it will collect sales tax for the item when it is resold and that sales tax will then be remitted to the state.
  • pay the vendor sales tax on the items purchased. Please note, however, that if the organization is selling the merchandise at a mark-up, sales tax must be collected and paid on the mark-up.