Chartered student organizations on the Atlanta Campus can utilize membership dues, fundraising initiatives and funding grants to support the costs of organization events and activities. It is important that the organization adhere to Atlanta Campus, City, State and Federal laws and policies regarding the collection of revenue. At this time, Perimeter College chartered student organizations are not permitted to fundraise. Fundraising options and policies for Perimeter College student organizations will be coming in fall 2019.
General Fundraising Considerations
- Define the organization’s goals. What does the organization want to accomplish this year?
- Develop the financial plans based on the organization’s goals.
- Map out methods to reach financial goals.
- Plan ahead – planning ahead will allow more options to be available. The choice of facilities, funding sources, speakers and entertainers will be more diverse.
- Learn from past experiences. What fundraisers have been most successful for the organization?
- Identify the constituency and target the audience. Who are the people most likely to support the activity?
- Evaluate the fundraiser. Write down the keys to the successes and keep records of everything. Organizations can pass the victories and failures on to future members and save them some time. When planning events and activities, new members will benefit from the legwork.
- Always thank contributors. Whether it is thanking an audience with a few words acknowledging the support of a contributor or send someone a note, it will be invaluable in the future. It is also a common courtesy.
Using University Facilities
If an organization uses university facilities to advertise the fundraiser or use university space to hold the fundraiser, students may need to pay for the use of that university space. Contact the Events Management Office of the Student Center to determine what the potential costs may be.
Gambling is illegal in the State of Georgia; these methods of raising money bring up serious legal issues. Events that violate state law may result in significant ramifications (e.g. student judicial procedures under the Student Code of Conduct, loss of University facility reservation privileges, arrest and/or monetary fines). The information below that will assist the organization with planning for successful and legal events.
The legal definition of gambling in Georgia has three components:
- Consideration- exchanging something of value for a chance to win (for example, paying/donating money in exchange for poker chips or a raffle ticket)
- Chance- taking a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome (for example, betting chips in a poker game)
- Prize- something of value received as a result of winning (even, for example, designating the charity to which donations will be given is considered a prize).
Take away any one of the above-listed three components and the activity does not constitute illegal gambling.
Casino Nights & Poker Tournaments
The nature of poker and other casino games makes it impossible to take away the element of chance. As such, groups wanting to hold legal poker/casino nights are left with removing either the element of consideration or prize. Since the prize is generally what makes potential participants want to participate, this element is probably not a practical one to remove. Therefore, the element of consideration is the one that can most realistically be removed while still allowing for a fun and successful fundraising event. To be more specific, the requirement of a “buy-in” amount in this case would not be allowed. A suggested donation may be requested but not required. Anyone wanting to play must be allowed to fully participate and the requested donation may not be “suggested” so strongly as to effectively comprise a requirement.
In the case of raffles, there is an exception to the prohibition against them as illegal gambling in Georgia in certain circumstances. Specifically, raffles are legal for Georgia State University chartered student groups that apply for and receive a license from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department prior to holding the raffle. The registration fee is $100, only applies for the site location specified in the application form and is valid for one year.
Additional information regarding applying for a raffle license can be found on the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department website.