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National Student Fundraising

Since 2011 there have been efforts to calculate a national student fundraising total, however there are usually discrepancies in how this is calculated at different institutions, and even between the RAG/student fundraising team total and the SU calculations.

NaSFA and NUS have created a proposal to standardise a method for calculating a national student fundraising total. We have consulted with financial experts at NUS, policy advisers at the Institute of Fundraising and the Charities Aid Foundation. All have approved the below method and support the efforts to calculate a national student fundraising total. Find out full details on the method here.

Why do we need to do this?

  • Demonstrate the impact that student fundraisers have on the charity sector.
  • Create a compelling story for press to celebrate student fundraising, with the aim to launch the total for Giving Tuesday (end of November) to celebrate the contribution that students have on the Charity sector.
  • Benchmark a fundraising total so that we can compare each year and analyse changing totals.
  • Show student fundraisers how much their RAG/fundraising group raise in comparison to others.
  • Standardise accounting for student fundraising totals to help finance teams in students’ unions, and to ensure consistency between SU total and student fundraising group totals.

Key things to note

  • The crucial figure is how much is donated to charity, not how much was raised total.
  • Some SUs fund their fundraising staff support through funds raised so this would need to be deducted from totals.
  • Events cost money to run, so the costs of running the event would need to be removed to find the total able to donate to charity.
  • Ideally we will also find out which charities the funds were donated to so we can work how many charities the total had an impact on, and contact these charities for case studies.
  • We will not include gift aid additions, as this would be difficult for student fundraisers and SU finance teams to calculate.
  • We considered whether prizes donated, commercial sponsorship, or resources given at reduced/cost rates or for free should be attributed a financial value to count towards fundraising totals. This does not seem to be common practice and we would not recommend exploring this further given the drive for transparency, accountability and accuracy in reporting of charitable donations.
  • Volunteering hours are a useful indicator of engagement, but we have been advised to count these separately, not as part of the fundraising total. There will be a space on the online submission form to input the hours dedicated by students to fundraising, if you know this.
  • As this is a ‘national student fundraising total’, rather than a ‘RAG total’, it will also include fundraising done by other groups/committees within an institution. This will only be funds raised and donated to charity, not funds raised for the running of their club/society.
  • The funds raised will be from academic year (July 2016-July 2017). While for most things we work April-April (tax year), students are responsible for fundraising during an academic year of study and therefore we will use this timeframe.