Soliciting Corporate Support

Cockrell School of Engineering student organizations are encouraged to seek funding from companies and individuals to support their meetings and programs. When seeking funding, all student organizations must follow university and school policies.

When reaching out, remember you represent the Cockrell School of Engineering and The University of Texas at Austin. Many times companies do not differentiate between giving to your organization, to the school or to the university, therefore it is encouraged to always be professional when corresponding with individuals or company representatives.

Procedures

After a student organization determines it would like to approach a company or companies to request funding or non-cash support for an event or an activity, follow the steps below:

  • Prepare a draft letter in final form, complete with company name, company contact name and address of the company being solicited. If more than one company will be approached, a merge letter with the list of companies, contact names and addresses should be compiled and attached. The faculty/staff adviser for the organization should be one of the signatures on the letter.
  • Submit these items to the ESL office or via e-mail to studentlife@engr.utexas.edu.
  • ESL will review the submitted documents for quality and to ensure that they meet the school and university's programmatic guidelines (please refer to the "Solicitation Checklist" and "Solicitation Letter Template and Sample"). ESL will also review the attached list of companies. Documents may be picked up by the submitting student organization in two business days if dropped off. If reviewed by appointment, there should be an immediate turnaround.
  • A letter of acknowledgement should be sent to the company(ies) that agree to provide support. This letter should also indicate how the student organization plans to provide what was promised. Explicit details concerning the event should be included. For example, please include who is going to attend, who will be the presenter, where to park, if parking passes are enclosed and more. Be sure the logistics of the event are clear.
  • Invite company representatives to the event or activity if appropriate.
  • Send a timely thank you letter to each corporate supporter. The thank you letter should be sent within a week of the event or activity. Refer to the "Thank You Letter Template and Sample."
  • The next year you hold this event or activity, contact the previous year's supporter(s) before contacting other potential supporter(s). The company(ies) may want to support the event or activity again and may even wish to increase their participation.

General Guidelines

Should a problem arise in connection with funding from corporate sources, it is imperative a student organization representative(s) immediately contact Engineering Student Life. Generally, a problem can be resolved before it escalates to a more difficult situation by following these guidelines:

  • If a company indicates displeasure at any time, for any reason, do not continue to discuss your request. Thank the person you are talking with for their time, and politely terminate the conversation. Immediately contact ESL at (512) 232-5778 to describe the situation, following up with e-mail. The company may provide the requested gift if the problem is resolved quickly. Please note: In this situation, do not make a personal visit to the subject company.
  • Follow up phone conversations with confirmation in writing. Be sure whatever is promised to the company(ies) in your letter of solicitation is provided to the company(ies).
  • If you have multiple corporate supporters, be sure the companies are compatible and not competitors. If you have any questions contact ESL or the Engineering Career Assistance Center.
  • Do not offer more than one company sole support of an event or activity until after the first company indicates lack of interest in funding.

Please remember:

  • Student organizations cannot co-sponsor activities on campus with non-university enterprises or organizations. If you are unsure about what constitutes co-sponsorship contact ESL.
  • The use of corporate logos is prohibited.