Universities commonly rent their facilities to community organizations (CO) such as non-profits, individuals, churches, government agencies, and for-profit companies. Universities rent their facilities for three primary reasons: to generate additional revenues to support the university; to be a good community citizen; and to promote exposure for the university.
The university charges the CO a facility rental fees in addition to any direct out of pocket costs that the university incurs such as custodial, police, equipment or other staff support.
There has been a long history at CSUEB of departments or clubs “sponsoring” CO’s to come on campus, which equates to waiving of rental fees. There are five main issues that the concept of sponsoring creates:
- reduction in revenue for the university
- possible exposure to conflicts of interest
- possible gift of public funds issue
- possible differential treatment of CO’s based on who they know at the campus
- increased liability exposure due to a lack of insurance and rental contracts
In an attempt to avoid paying rental fees, CO’s sometimes approach either a university department, employee or student club to sponsor them. When booking the facilities, the sponsoring department/employee often conveys that the event is for the university, which it technically isn’t. A litmus test to determine if an event is truly that of the CO, and thus rent should be charged, is as follows:
- Is the CO collecting the fees directly?
- Is the CO advertising the event directly?
- Does advertisement show any entity other than CSUEB?
- Is the CO participating in the profit/loss of the event?
- If the CO didn’t exist, would the university still put on the event?
Policy Adopted by President's Cabinet (04/2008)
Sponsoring or co-sponsoring is a concept that CSUEB has chosen to move away from for the above mentioned reasons. Events/activities are either those of the university or those of a CO, and if they are of the CO, the following rates and requirements are required:
100% of standard rate, facility rental contract, insurance, reimburse all out of pocket costs.
This category of CO is defined as a for-profit organization, non-profit organization, 501(c) 3, government agency, or other organization that wishes to use facilities to conduct an activity or an event.
75% of standard rate, facility rental contract, insurance, reimburse all out of pocket costs.
This category of CO is any outside agency looking to rent facilities for the purpose of a specific charitable fundraiser.
40% of standard rate, facility rental contract, insurance, reimburse all out of pocket costs.
This category of CO is qualifying 501(c) 3 that wishes to rent facilities for a specific charitable fundraiser. For-profit and non-501(c) 3 organizations do not qualify for this category under any circumstances