Donations & Sponsorships


A donation is money received as goodwill for which the donor receives no benefit as a result.

You are required to provide a letter from the donor stating clearly that the money is a donation. If no such letter is provided, the income cannot be treated as a donation and will be liable for VAT. The letter should be headed with the donor’s name and address and should contain the following text: “We are pleased to donate the sum of £X to Imperial College Union, this is purely a donation and we do not expect anything in return”.


Clubs, Societies, and Projects may receive sponsorship from external organisations to help support their activities or events.

Before you agree on any sponsorship deal you must contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services) with the details of the proposed agreement. They will guide you through drawing up the sponsorship contract.

We recommend following the steps below:

IdentificationIdentify what benefits you can offer in exchange for their sponsorship.
SelectionStart by looking at who has sponsored your group in the past and who sponsors similar groups. Then make a list of the most likely sponsors.
PropositionNext, you need to formulate a proposal – this should include what activity you are asking for sponsorship for, what you intend to do with the sponsorship money and what benefits you are offering the sponsor in return. Please be very precise in the wording of the proposal to avoid any misunderstandings.
NegotiationWhile you might get a straight yes or no from some of the companies you approach, others may wish to negotiate the terms. Be prepared for this and have some ideas on how you could make the proposal more attractive or if you would be prepared to accept a lower sponsorship amount.
PaymentOnce you have reached an agreement with your sponsor, you will need to draw up a contract – get in touch with the Deputy President (Finance & Services) for assistance. Once the contract has been signed by both parties you should raise a Sales Invoice to the sponsor. Ideally, you should get a purchase order number from the sponsor to quote on the invoice to ensure quick payment. Be prepared to chase the sponsor for the money.

Remember - you are not allowed to commit to any agreement that extends beyond the end of the current financial year (i.e. beyond 31 July.)

For more detailed guidance on sponsorships, please see the relevant Sponsorship training section.

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