Campaign Resources

Thanks for your interest in hosting an online fundraising campaign to benefit UCSF or UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Personal fundraisers are a wonderful way to champion the people and causes that matter most to you. The money you raise will have a profound impact on today’s lives and tomorrow’s cures.

Before you get started, review the personal fundraising FAQs below for patients and friends, or employees and students, to ensure that your project is eligible.

You might also want to ask yourself a few simple questions to verify that personal fundraising is right for you.


Need to talk to someone? Our fundraising team is here to help.

(415) 502-8013

Send an email


What is personal fundraising?

Together at UCSF makes it easy for people who want to raise money for UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. We provide our volunteer fundraisers with web pages that they can customize for honor, memorial, event, or cause-related fundraising campaigns and toolkits to help make them successful.  

Success relies on the fundraiser’s ability to canvass a sufficiently large group of potential contributors, often by marketing to a network of personal contacts and strategically using social media.

What can I fundraise for?

Campaigns hosted on must:

  • Support UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ programs and initiatives.

  • Comply with UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ missions.

  • Not be redirected to a third party, external charity, or other nonprofit. (UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals cannot act as a “pass-through” entity to provide funding to other charities.)

Campaigns should have specific goals and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, honoring a loved one or caregiver, supporting disease research, or funding a promising breakthrough. Campaigns without a specific goal are generally less successful and might not qualify for their own page.

Who determines if my project is eligible?

The UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals personal fundraising committee has sole discretion to determine the eligibility of participating campaigns on the fundraising platform. The personal fundraising committee can discontinue an active fundraiser at any time if a campaign fails to comply with these guidelines.

What materials do I need to create an online fundraising page?

You need: 

  • A description of what you are fundraising for and why people should contribute
  • Multimedia to help tell your story, including high-resolution photos or a video
  • A photo and description of who you are and why you are leading this fundraising campaign
  • Commitment to use the platform to update and engage donors on fundraising progress
  • Ongoing outreach to promote the project
  • Personal thank-you messages after the campaign

All content on project pages must be approved by the UCSF Foundation or the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation, which has the right to edit or request edits at any point in the campaign.

Do I need to promote my fundraising campaign?

Yes! Together at UCSF provides you with the ability to create and customize fundraising pages, but it is your role to promote the campaign among your friends, family, and community of potential supporters.

You can promote the giving opportunity through social media, emails, phone calls, text messages, and events. In the case of memorial giving, you can also reference the donation site in memorial and tribute notices. 

Project owners are encouraged to post thank-you notes on the online fundraising page and  share online updates on the fundraising campaign.  

Are there any tricks to creating a compelling fundraiser?

Create a compelling statement about what you are fundraising for and the impact of the donations. Determine who you will ask to contribute and how you will communicate with them. If you are publishing a fundraising goal on your web page, set the dollar amount at one that is achievable by assessing who in your fundraising community is likely to give and how much. Donors like giving to campaigns that can meet their goals, and you can always exceed your fundraising goal and communicate the impact of what the additional giving is able to achieve. Also, consider enlisting people to help you fundraise and campaign among their contacts. 

Who should I promote my campaign to?

We recommend casting a wide net (online and in person) to market your personal fundraiser. Reach out to friends, family members, coworkers, classmates and former classmates, and others to promote your campaign.

As a personal fundraiser, you are solely responsible for identifying and reaching out to potential donors. UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals cannot provide contact data on patients, alumni, faculty members, or students.

We might request a list of potential donors before the project’s approval or launch date to determine HIPAA compliance, project eligibility, and goal capacity.

Do you issue tax receipts to my donors?

We issue official tax receipts to donors through the platform. 

How do I handle gifts made offline?

Most people choose the convenience of giving online. However, your fundraising page comes equipped with instructions for how someone can give with checks, securities, or donor-advised funds. 

Is there a donation minimum for

Yes, the suggested minimum is $25. 

How long should my campaign run?

Most projects are hosted on the platform for one month. However, shorter campaigns tend to drive urgency and perform strongly. 

What happens if I don't meet my campaign goals?

If the project is not fully funded by its closing date, any money raised is allocated to the project. Project managers should notify their donors and let them know how their donations will be spent.


What is personal fundraising?

At UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals (BCHs), we have a free, online platform for students and employees to fundraise for approved projects and campaigns. You can create a customized fundraising page and have gifts received and receipted by UCSF or BCHs. Fundraising success relies on your ability to canvass a sufficiently large group of potential contributors, often by marketing to a network of personal contacts and strategically using email and social media.

Who oversees personal fundraising at UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals?

UCSF’s Office of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) coordinates the personal fundraising activities and ensures that they adhere to University of California fundraising policies and guidelines, and UCSF Foundation and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundations fundraising procedures. 

How does personal fundraising for UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals work?

UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals (BCHs) have a robust fundraising platform that makes it easy for you to raise money for the people and causes you care about. Because the platform is integrated with UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, you have no third-party fees. One hundred percent of the money raised – less the Infrastructure and Operations Fund assessment – directly benefits the project, regardless of whether the campaign’s revenue goal is achieved. The platform features multimedia opportunities, optional giving levels, built-in social sharing, project update capabilities, and a donor wall. Gifts received by UCSF and BCHs are immediately deposited into our gift funds. Donors are issued a charitable gift receipt and are given the option to notify others of their contribution. You can use the free fundraising platform after filing your fundraising application. 

Can UCSF's University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) team help me with my personal fundraising project

Yes, UDAR experts can help you develop your fundraising strategy, campaign materials, and communications plan. However, we cannot provide lists of prospects or donors. 

Do I need to work with UDAR to run a personal fundraising campaign?

Yes. To ensure compliance with policies and guidelines, all campaigns must be managed with UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ fundraising offices. 

Are there other personal fundraising platforms I can use?

Together at UCSF is a proven fundraising platform that is free for your use. If you want to use a commercial platform, contact your fundraising office for guidance. UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals routinely evaluate commercial and start-up platforms to ensure that they meet standards for fundraising on our behalf; that they have demonstrated success; and that they are able to distribute fundraising revenue to our gift funds. 

Gifts to UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals from other fundraising platforms could be rejected, so it is advised to secure permission in advance of initiating such external fundraising. 

Why do UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals require permissions to use Together at UCSF or other commercial platforms?

  • Project approval: The fundraising application ensures that your department leadership has approved of the fundraising activity, that the funds can be used for their stated purpose, and that the correct account is used to administer the gift revenue.
  • Name usage: The UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals names can only be used to raise money that will be deposited into our established gift funds and in accordance with our policies.
  • Donor information and experience: We seek to ensure a quality experience for donors, especially in regard to data and payment security and choice of anonymity, recognition, and communication preferences.  
  • Intellectual property: We help ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the intellectual property of our UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ community.
  • Compliance: We help ensure that UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals’ fundraising policies, guidelines, and standards are met.  

Why am I required to complete a personal fundraising application?

UCSF and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals require employees and students to complete a personal fundraising application prior to starting their fundraiser. You will notice that along with details of your campaign, we ask for signatures from your department/division head and MSO*. We require these signatures so that your department/division head and MSO have the opportunity to review and approve how your funds will be used.  

*An MSO is the individual in your department who administers the fund to receive donations.

What happens after I submit my application?

Please allow 5-7 business days for us to review your application. Once we have completed our review, we will reach out to you via email to schedule a phone call and get you started with your fundraising campaign.

What commercial platform is recommended?

We recommend Together at UCSF  (hosted on the Classy platform) because the site is easy-to-use, UCSF branded, and tailored to our community's needs. When you host a personal fundraiser on Together at UCSFyou have access to a suite of UCSF- and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals-branded emails and personal fundraising templates, and donors to your campaign receive a charitable gift receipt directly from UCSF.

Another option is Crowdrise. For campaigns affiliated with UCSF, the platform emails the fundraising office and requests approval. The platform supports traditional personal fundraising campaigns as well as team-based challenges and event fundraisers. Gifts are dispersed regardless of whether the campaign goal is achieved, and the campaign timeline can be adjusted. Crowdrise requires a $10 gift minimum, accepts only major credit cards, and – for those using its starter package – charges 5 percent, plus credit card fees of 2.9 percent and 30 cents per transaction. Crowdrise’s charitable affiliate, Network for Good, sends payments on the 15th of each month for all donations made in the previous month. Donors through Crowdrise do not receive a charitable gift receipt from UCSF.

Can I solicit patients for my personal fundraising campaign?

If you would like to promote your fundraising project to your patients, the fundraising office can advise you on rules governing protected health information (PHI) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

You might be advised to use indirect methods, which allow patients to self-identify as prospects for your campaign. These methods include having flyers about your campaign available in the waiting room for patients or wearing a pin advertising your campaign.

To comply with the HIPAA and protect patient privacy, we follow strict guidelines when direct-marketing to patient populations.

  • The fundraising office is the authority for producing lists of patient fundraising prospects. We maintain protocols that protect identification of patients who have opted out of fundraising communications or who have medical issues that do not permit fundraising uses. Prohibited PHI includes information related to mental health, psychotherapy, substance abuse, communicable diseases, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, genetic testing, and infertility treatment, among others.
  • Patient prospects are identified by the general department of service. Any program designation below a division might not be allowable by HIPAA because it could inadvertently identify a patient’s diagnosis.
  • A program must have at least 1,000 solicitable patient prospects to be eligible for a direct-marketing solicitation campaign. Evidence shows that fewer than 1 percent of patients convert into donors.

Inspired to create your own personal fundraising page?

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