Columbia University is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt institution, categorized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) (3) organization.  The IRS permits contributions from one 501(c) (3) to another 501(c) (3) in some circumstances, but not to other types of legal entities.

Making Donations

To process a donation from a SIPA student group to a not-for-profit organization, prior approval must be granted by SIPA’s Associate Dean for Administration and Finance. Students are encouraged to obtain as much information as possible from the organization to enable the approver to determine whether the contribution is appropriate.

Proof of the organization’s 501(c) (3) status must be demonstrated, usually by providing a copy of the organization’s letter of determination from the IRS.  At this time the University does not permit donations to international organizations not registered in the United States.

Any contribution must be related to Columbia University’s mission. As a student group, it is important to explain, via memo or e-mail, how the funds were raised and why the group decided to support the organization in question.

After Approval

After the funds have been deposited in your account, submit the following materials to the SIPA Business Office in IAB Room 1420:

  • A memo/e-mail stating:
  • The legal name and a brief description of the organization.
  • The amount you want to donate and how the funds were raised.
  • The account number(s) to be debited.
  • A copy of the organization’s 501(c)(3) letter;
  • Contact information for someone in the organization who can assist the SIPA Business Office in preparing a W-9 Form for the organization.

Please Note:  U.S. federal law does not permit contributions or donations to religious or political organizations.