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University Events Policy and the Stanford Event Organizer

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A Stanford Event Organizer (formerly known as: “Stanford Event Sponsor”) oversees the content of, plans, and is fully responsible for, the management and presentation of a university event that meets both the educational mission of Stanford, and fulfills the university organization’s academic goals and purpose.

The university’s assets, (for example: its name, trademarks, buildings, Stanford University staff, public safety staff, parking lots, all open space venues and indoor facilities) must be used for these purposes, and not for the personal gain of individuals’ or outside parties’ uses that do not further Stanford’s academic objectives.

The university receives frequent requests for access to its resources by outside entities, typically in exchange for some form of compensation to Stanford. Many of these, if granted, would constitute unrelated business activities.

A Stanford Event Organizer must be one of the following:

  • Stanford University academic departmentsschools and institutes
  • Stanford administrative offices operating on behalf of the university
  • Non-academic departments recognized by the President's Office, such as Athletics
  • University student groups registered with and approved by Office of Student Engagement

Stanford Event Organizers are not:

  • Individual members of the Stanford community:  faculty, staff or student body acting as individuals in providing their name to a group simply so that they can plan an event and use campus facilities.  
  • University individuals who wish to use of space for private events not related to university business
  • Individuals, groups or organizations (commercial or non-profit) who are unaffiliated with the university 

Fronting: Stanford schools, departments, institutes, individual faculty, students and staff may not serve as "individual fronts" for off-campus organizations who may solicit them in order to gain use of Stanford venues, organize an event, or create a web presence or access to the Stanford name. Stanford individuals cannot sponsor or schedule in a non-university organization, whether non-profit or commercial, or provide access to the university or its name. 

High-Profile special events (includes visiting dignitaries and other high-profile events):

Successful Stanford University Event Planning 

To successfully qualify as a university event, the proposing Stanford Event Organizer must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Be an officially recognized Stanford University organization (see above); not an individual or an outside-unaffiliated organization wishing to utilize campus space.
  2. Ensure the event supports the overall educational mission of Stanford University.
  3. Ensure the event is directly related to the academic mission and strategic goals of the organizing department, school, or institute, and demonstrates educational access and benefits to the immediate Stanford community.
  4. Provide faculty involvement and confirm a direct role in determining the educational content of the event.
  5. Managing logistical planning and execution of the event 
  6. Be willing to assume all financial responsibility for all event-related costs
  7. Review and understand the commitment of Stanford staff resources
  8. Be aware of the physical impact to the campus (parking, traffic, staffing, etc.) and account for increased traffic and parking on campus during “peak” hours. 
  9. Confirm that the department’s chair, school’s dean, or other designated university authority within that university organization has been informed of the event and approves the proposed expenditure of funds. 
  10. Ensure reasonable consideration is given and every effort is made to produce a sustainable “green” event.
  11. Fees charged through registration or tickets distributed, must be arranged through a Stanford University compliant ticketing and/or registration service.
  12. Be responsible for the actual logistical pre-event planning, and management day-of event.
  13. Be present during the event as main point of contact.
  14. Any proceeds received are to benefit the Stanford organization only.

Funds from outside organizations for event-related expenses

  • University policy governs all event expenses related to fundraising activities for cash, goods or services provided by departments and student groups targeting off-campus entities including local businesses, corporations, foundations or individuals. 
  • Off-campus fundraising activities by any Stanford entity including student organizations is restricted and requires prior university approval from the Office of Development. The university has such policies in order to coordinate fundraising efforts and to ensure good stewardship.
  • Before seeking off-campus funding, you are expected to first exhaust on-campus sources. On-campus fundraising is easier, faster, and engages the university community. 
  • Crowd sourcing activities do not meet university policy and are not permitted.

Unaffiliated Event Sponsor (outside Stanford) requirements

A Stanford event organizer may work with an outside organization not affiliated with Stanford under certain conditions. The Stanford organizer must work with unaffiliated event sponsor to review:

  • Potential conflicts of interest and addressed them before any agreements are made.
  • The outside organization’s goals must have some reasonable related goals and purpose to that of the Stanford academic organization presenting the event.
  • How the outside group will contribute to the event (not manage, etc.)
  • Unaffiliated event sponsors cannot receive any financial benefit from the event in net proceeds and cannot use the event as a fundraising activity
  • Written agreements are generally required
  • certificate of insurance must be provided by an unaffiliated event sponsor to the university 
  • Use of Stanford name and marks as well as any unaffiliated sponsored names and marks associated on any promotional materials must be reviewed and approved by the Stanford event organizer
  • The unaffiliated sponsor must not drive the event content, goals, expenses or other logistics involved in partnering with a Stanford event organizer in presenting a university event.

Any other questions or concerns not mentioned above regarding the proposed event should be reviewed early in the process with the Office of Special Events & Protocol before proceeding with the planning process, particularly when it consists of large, high-profile events.

Information and resources

University schools, departments and institutes contact:

Office of Special Events & Protocol
Phone: 650-724-1387

Stanford student groups contact:

Office of Student Engagement (OSE)

Related Policies

The information on this website is meant as a general overview. Please be sure to read and understand the full policy documents for all of the policies that may apply to your event. Please also be sure to check for important announcements and updates that may impact events on campus. If you have questions, please contact us