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Corporate Relations, housed in the Office of External Relations & Development, is able to provide clubs with company contact information, samples of sponsorship outreach letters, corporate speaker solicitation letters, and information about past sponsorship and donations. Once a club has secured a sponsorship pledge, Corporate Relations must invoice all committed donors. Sponsorship funds are then deposited directly into the club’s University spending account, and must be spent on the event the funds were requested for.
Sponsorship Best Practices
- Students must receive approval from the School to contact a company for sponsorship. Club leaders who intend to request sponsorship funds should make an appointment with Corporate Relations to discuss a fundraising strategy as soon as they are elected as possible.
- Clubs should appoint one VP liaison from the club to work directly with Corporate Relations for all sponsorship outreach. Typically, this is the VP of Corporate Relations, VP of Finance, VP of Conference, VP of Corporate Outreach, or President.
- Once a company has committed to providing sponsorship, club officers are not responsible for collecting funds. This process will be managed by Corporate Relations. However, to operate effectively Corporate Relations will require regular updates on outreach status and invoice issues.
Follow Up Best Practices
- VP of Conferences should send appropriate messaging and thank you notes to speakers, notable guests, sponsors, and different individuals who have helped to make the conference a success. Students can also obtain speaker gifts for conference speakers. You can purchase gifts via https://gear.gsb.columbia.edu/. Gifts should not exceed $75. Be sure to return any sponsor or speaker’s presentation material via mail, FedEx, or UPS.
- Conference organizers must return all branded material, including podium banners and table banners to the Office of Student Affairs.
- Students should also submit a final list of speakers and attendees and a final program to the Conference Advising Team.
- Conference organizers will complete a thorough assessment of the conference and conference planning, including financial statements, and compile information and transitional documents for future conference planner.
- Meet with the club’s advisor to review conference transitional documents.
Note on Student Loan Company Sponsorship
University policy governs all fundraising activities for cash, goods or services done by departments and student groups targeting off-campus entities including local businesses, corporations, foundations or individuals. Off-campus fundraising activities by any Columbia entity including student organizations is restricted and may require prior university approval from the External Relations and Development’s Corporate Relations area, with preliminary approval from the Office of Student Affairs. In particular, fundraising from student loan and refinance lenders is prohibited to avoid any quid pro quo assertions. The University has such policies in order to coordinate fundraising efforts, to ensure good stewardship and avoid any conflicts of interest.
This policy affects the following loan companies:
- CommonBond –SoFi (or Social Finance)
- Prodigy Finance
- MPower Financing
- ReliaMax SouthEast Bank
- Sallie Mae
- Discover Student Loans
- Citizens Bank
- PNC Bank
- Wells Fargo Education Financial Services
- Sun Trust Bank
- First Republic
- College Ave