CRC Office of Philanthropy

Department Fundraising

Department Fundraising

Department Fundraising

What should I know about fundraising at Cosumnes River College?
My group would like to raise funds. How do we get started?
What is internal fundraising?
What is external fundraising?
What is third party fundraising?
I want to fundraise externally for my project. How do I get approval?
How do I know if my project is eligible?
Request for Approval to Fundraise Form
Q: What should I know about fundraising at Cosumnes River College?

Fundraising is an important and integral part of the activities at our colleges at almost every level – at the Los Rios Foundation, the education departments of the Colleges, and the sports teams.

Students, faculty, staff, and departments all play an important role in the relationship with our donors. When we all work together, we maximize the results for all of us at the colleges, and provide opportunities for people in the community to engage in meaningful ways with the Los Rios Community College District.

Fundraising allows our colleges and our students to engage in a wide variety of activities where state funds either are insufficient or cannot be used. 

The CRC Office of Philanthropy (CRCOP) coordinates all fundraising appeals to ensure that efforts complement and don’t compete, as well as ensure that the legal 501(c)3 status of the Los Rios Foundation is protected and that donors are acknowledged and receipted as required by the IRS.

Q: My group would like to raise funds. How do we get started?

First, there are three kinds of fundraising:

  • Internal Fundraising
  • External Fundraising
  • Third Party Fundraising

Internal Fundraising typically takes place on campus and primarily with the campus community of students, staff, and faculty. Examples include:

  • On campus bake sales
  • Selling t-shirts, roses, or artwork at a club fair
  • Ticketed performances
  • Personal chore services (car washes, yard clean up)

If you are interested in coordinating this type of fundraising, please work with the Business Services Department for approval.

Money raised from Internal Fundraising must be deposited to your department or club account. The college cannot issue gift receipts for these types of transactions because of IRS regulations.

External Fundraising includes things like:

  • Asking a person, business or organization for a cash gift.
  • Asking a person, business or organization for an in-kind donation (a donation of tangible goods, equipment, food, etc.)
  • Holding a fundraising event
  • Applying for a grant from a foundation or company

If you would like to engage in any external fundraising, you must first seek approval from CRCOP.

Third Party Fundraising is philanthropic support provided to an organization outside of the Los Rios Community College District. Examples might include:

  • Organizing a food drive for a local food bank (other than the college food pantries)         
  • Volunteering at a local nonprofit as part of a class project
  • Raising funds in support the Red Cross following a major emergency event

While we are enthusiastically supportive of these activities and of the culture of philanthropy they promote, CRCOP cannot make a donation towards these efforts. Our Articles of Incorporation allow us to operate exclusively on behalf of the Los Rios Community College District and its constituent communities.  

Q: I want to fundraise externally for my project. How do I get approval?

First, fill out the file icon.Account Establishment Form  and submit to CRCOP.

  • The Request for Approval to Fundraise Form must be submitted at least two weeks before your planned fundraising begins.
  • Following the submission of your form, you may be contacted to discuss your project further.
  • If the request is declined, CRCOP will provide an explanation for why the requested was turned down. Every effort will be made to respond promptly to inquiries.

If your request is approved:

  • CRCOP will add your program to our social media fundraising platform Flipcause. Please make an appointment with Director of Donor Relations, Michele K. Steiner at SteineM (at) crc [dot] losrios [dot] edu to discuss the project in more detail. Or, fill out the Flipcause Campaign Request online.
  • Fundraising must be conducted through Flipcause in order to streamline gift processing, thank you letter and account maintenance.
  • In limited circumstances CRCOP may assist with a snail mail campaign, however this type of fundraising is not encouraged due to limited staff time and resources.
  • CRCOP will assist in reviewing any solicitation copy points and/or e-mail/social media posts before they are sent out.
  • CRCOP may make recommendations regarding timing, method of solicitation, or other aspects of the project.
  • CRCOP may ask to review the list of those who will be asked for a donation.
  • Money raised must be deposited in a CRCOP account.
  • CRCOP will coordinate with you to acknowledge and receipt donors.
Q: How do I know if my project is eligible?

The cause must be one that supports a broad philanthropic or educational interest of the college. All organized fundraising appeals of CRC must adhere to the mission of the office: To build philanthropic support for Cosumnes River College’s educational mission of preparing students for an ever changing future, while empowering individual, corporate and foundation donors to realize their philanthropic vision. CRCOP is a public benefit, non-profit corporation; its purpose is a public one, not a private purpose, and its activities and appeals must support public causes.

Fundraising for the personal benefit of a single person or small group of persons is likely not a tax deductible donation and CRCOP would not be able to support these types of activities. Further, donors cannot select the specific recipients of the funds that they donate. Thus, a fundraiser for a small athletic club to directly support each of the athletes (i.e. to buy each of them shoes) would not support a broad philanthropic interest of the college and are not properly a donation to the college. 

Donations made for larger groups where the recipient is not predetermined, or for more generalized educational purposes would likely qualify as tax deductible donations, i.e. event proceeds which will be given out in the form of scholarships or to defray travel expenses for a team to travel to a competition. Donations made to further the educational mission of the colleges may appropriately qualify, i.e. lab supplies, costumes for the theater department, physical education equipment. It is only when the donation or fundraising activity is reviewed prior to the fundraising activity that these issues can be appropriately clarified.

Contact Michele K. Steiner, Director of Donor Relations at 916-691-7491 or by steinem (at) crc [dot] losrios [dot] edu (email )with questions.

Cosumnes River College raises funds through the Los Rios Colleges Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization serving all Los Rios community colleges. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent permissible under law.