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Fundraising at Knox College

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Fundraising FAQ - For Student Groups, Academic Departments, Programs, Student Organizations, or other College-Affiliated Groups

What should I know about fundraising at Knox?

  • Knox College depends upon the ongoing and generous financial support it receives each year from alumni, parents, friends of the College, local businesses, foundations, and other donors.
  • The Office of Advancement coordinates all the fundraising appeals to all College constituents: alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, friends, local businesses, foundations, and corporations. The Office of Advancement also coordinates fundraising for the Knox Fund, which is the revenue needed to meet the College's educational and general expenses every year. The Knox Fund supports every aspect of academic and student life at Knox! 
  • We need to make sure that all fundraising efforts complement and not compete with the College's efforts to secure financial support - this support might be financial aid for our students, salaries for faculty and staff, etc.
  • Students, faculty, staff, or College-affiliated organizations all play an important role in these relationships with our donors. We ask that you work with us to maximize the results for all of us at the College!

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

  • If your fundraising project involves something very simple, like tabling in the gallery for a bake sale, or selling t-shirts, ticketed performances, or personal chore services, (e.g. leaf raking, car washes) stop by the Campus Life Office to ask if you can do the project. These projects are known as "inside" fundraising, e.g. to only the Knox community of students, faculty, and staff.
  • You should know that because of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, the College cannot issue gift receipts for these transactions.
  • If your group wishes to do something more, please contact Alumni Engagement at 309-341-7238 or email
  • Please note if your project involves sending a letter, email, or newsletter, we MUST have a copy of that publication and it MUST be reviewed by the Knox Communications Department before it is sent out.
  • We ask for at least two to three weeks notice before your project is scheduled to happen. In some cases, more time might be required, especially if it involves sending letters or e-mails to alumni. Following the submission of your form, you will be contacted to come in and discuss your project. Please make sure your form is filled out correctly and completely. You cannot proceed with your project until Advancement has approved it. 
  • Following your discussion with Advancement staff, your proposal will be considered. Advancement may make recommendations regarding its timing, method of solicitation, or other aspect of the proposal. 
  • If the request is denied, Advancement will provide an explanation for why the request was turned down. Every effort will be made to respond promptly to inquiries, recognizing that there are times when Advancement may need to obtain approval from other campus representatives.

Are we allowed to do Crowdfunding Projects?

  • Knoxstarter is an approved program for projects with a Knox connection. If you need to raise a lot of money and want to reach out to a lot of people, Knoxstarter may be a good way to do it. It involves a teams of students or faculty members fundraising for a specific purpose. Check the Knoxstarter page or talk to one of the Advancement representatives to see if your project might qualify. If it does, support will be provided in helping you to raise funds. 
  • GoFundMe may be used for those projects that do not have a Knox connection or benefit an individual; for example, a student wanting to raise money to fund an individual project or trip. Please note that you are welcome to set up your own network of contacts and fundraise this way, but Knox cannot provide any support in terms of alumni contacts or information. (see information below on why the College cannot fundraise for individuals.)

Are there any times of the year when groups are not allowed to solicit outside organizations or individuals?

  • No, however we do strongly suggest fundraising appeals from departments, organizations, teams, clubs, fraternities, or sororities occur during times Knox College is in session so that your fundraising team may take advantage of meeting and planning while on campus together. If fundraising for a winter break project, fundraising must be complete by October 30.  If for a summer trip, fundraising must be complete by April 1. Most Knoxstarter projects require 30 days of crowdfunding.

Other things you need to know:

  • Knox College prohibits the use of College trademarks and College-provided or College-originated contact lists (mailing lists, phone lists, e-mail lists, directories and the like) for the solicitation of funds to benefit specific individuals as individuals do not have designated non-profit status. 
  • However, fundraising efforts to recognize an individual associated with the College where the resulting funds are used to benefit the College (e.g. classroom to honor a retiring faculty member or a book fund to memorialize a deceased staff member or student) are permitted. All such fundraising efforts fall under this policy and should be coordinated through Advancement.

Fundraising ideas and resources

Need some good ideas for your fundraiser? Here are some websites that might help you:

Knox College

Printed on Monday, October 25, 2021