Chapter 9: Fund Raising and Finances
Student organizations are frequently interested in raising funds to support activities and events. Some groups collect dues, or expect members to pay their own way, at least in part. Whatever your funding arrangement in your group, it is important to respect and obey all university and UT system rules regarding fundraising on campus. If at any time you have a question or concern about fundraising, please contact the Assistant Dean of Students at 972-883-6196.
Student organizations are encouraged to practice good cash handling procedures. Creating an organization bank account is the first step in becoming fiscally responsible.
Student organizations have certain responsibilities when handling finances. They are:
- Student organizations collecting money on campus must comply with all policies of the Student Organization Center
- Student organizations must provide annual fiscal reports and should retain receipts and supporting documentation of expenditures
- Monies raised should be spent on student organization activities
- If a student organization opens a bank account, it is strongly advised that at least two members hold signature authority on the account. Transactions should be conducted with two members present.
Off-campus Bank Accounts for Student Organizations
Because the University does not offer on-campus bank accounts for student organizations, it's important to establish financial controls to limit the risk of mismanaging organization funds. It is a good idea for your organization to establish a bank account that will provide security for the money as well as documentation for transactions.
Student organizations may select any bank of their choosing. The University does not endorse any particular bank. Information regarding banks and establishing bank accounts can be found in the Student Organization Center.
Remember that using the name of The University of Texas at Dallas, any abbreviation thereof, or any of the University’s trade-marks or logos is strictly prohibited, including on the name of your bank account.
Follow these guidelines to prevent mismanagement of off-campus accounts for student organizations.
Examples of easy-to-implement controls:
- Require double endorsement of expenses
Requiring two signatures on checks prevents purchases by check without the consent of a second student organization officer. Unfortunately, paper checks are used less often these days in favor of ATM or check cards. As a result, double endorsement of all expenses is difficult to enforce.
- Separate financial duties
The student organization financial officer should reconcile the bank's financial statements regularly. While the financial officer could theoretically be the second signer on a check, he or she should not be the primary purchasing officer or have access to an ATM or check card. If so, another person needs to reconcile the bank statements.
- Use a central mailing address
Student organizations should use their UT Dallas mailing address to receive bank statements and notifications. This way, statements and other notifications that might identify financial mismanagement cannot be easily hidden from the student organization's membership.
Like checks, paper statements are becoming increasingly rare. If statements are being e-mailed or require Web site access, multiple recipients or users should be authorized.
- Keep records public
Purposeful mismanagement of funds is difficult to conceal when financial records are made public or readily available to the student organization's members. Public records let members question all expenses, which virtually guarantees generally accepted use of the organization's resources and protects against prolonged collusion.
- Define consequences for embezzlement
It is a good idea to address embezzlement in your organization's constitution or bylaws. Include
- Methods for policing
- Consequences for breaking the rules
By doing so, the student organization states its intentions to police financial management of organization funds.
This acts as a deterrent and leaves no ambiguity about the risk of being caught. The point is to deter the activity and outline a course of action in the rare event embezzlement occurs.
Remove your information from accounts when you leave
When you are no longer associated with the student organization, due to graduation or any other reason, be sure to communicate with the bank and have your personal information removed from any accounts.
If you don't remove yourself from the accounts, you can be held responsible for financial obligations. Also, transferring your account status to a current organization member ensures a smooth transition for the organization.
Adapted from UC San Diego, Student Organizations, Off-campus Bank Accounts for Student Organization
Because the University does not offer on-campus bank accounts for student organizations, it's important to establish financial controls to limit the risk of mismanaging organization funds. It is a good idea for your organization to establish a bank account that will provide security for the money as well as documentation for transactions. Remember that using the name of The University of Texas at Dallas, any abbreviation thereof, or any of the University’s trade-marks or logos is strictly prohibited, including on the name of your bank account.
Follow these guidelines to prevent mismanagement of off-campus accounts for student organizations.
SOF Funds Revisited
The most obvious source for funds for student organizations is the Student Organization Forum. Monies have been allocated for use by student organizations according to the criteria outlined in Chapter Three. For questions about SOF funding, or to apply, stop by the SOC or go to www.utdallas.edu/sof.
Organizations may conduct fundraisers in the Student Union provided they have reserved a booth and completed the Event Registration Form. Organizations will also be required to complete a Letter of Intent and a Letter of Receipt. Organizations may raise funds through bake sales, shirt sales, mugs, etc. The organization may not take items on consignment and should not assume the risk for profit or loss. Also, there must be an identifiable inventory of the items you are selling.
Organizations conducting food sales must comply with the university’s Food Policy which emphasizes safe food handling requirements. UT Dallas Dining Services works collaboratively with SOC staff to ensure that bake sales are handled appropriately. The Food Policy is located at www.utdallas.edu/sof/food and in chapter four of this manual.
Organizations seeking to collect funds for charity must complete the Event Registration Form and provide specific details related to the cause. Organizations may collect and donate monies to non-profit organizations that are classified as 501(c) class by the Internal Revenue Service. Organizations will be required to show evidence that donations have been made (see booth procedures below).
All fundraising activities, especially planned sales of t-shirts, mugs, caps, or any items that use the name of the University or any of its trademark symbols, must be reviewed by SOC staff to ensure compliance with University regulations. Products that violate trademark or licensing regulations will not be approved for sale or distribution.
Only membership dues and approved ticket sales may be collected inside academic buildings.
Letter of Intent
An official letter will only be required should the fundraiser be held in a space that is nor reserved using the room reservation system ( i.e. activity center facilities, multipurpose fields, faculty/staff dining hall, the Pub, Founders Atriums, etc.)
The letter of intent is used for Registered Student Organizations that plan to host a fundraiser in which they will donate some or all of the proceeds of the proposed fundraiser to non-profit organizations that are classified as 501 (c) class organizations.
The letter should state:
“We, (name of student organization) pledge to donate “X” (percentage amount) of proceeds to (name of non-profit organization). The donation will be delivered to (name of non-profit organization) on (Date).
The letter of intent must be signed and dated by the president of the student organization and the student organization advisor.
Letter of Receipt
Any student organization that will host a fundraiser, in which some or all of the proceeds will be donated to a non-profit organization, will need to submit a letter of receipt after the funds have been donated to the charity organization.
The letter must be uploaded and submitted via the Letter of Receipt form found on OrgSync. The letter should be typed, signed, and dated by a representative from the non-profit organization.
Your organization must have this letter turned in via the Letter of Receipt Form on OrgSync no later than TEN (10) business days at the conclusion of the fundraiser.
Student organizations may receive donations from non-university entities; however, non-university organizations may not co-sponsor activities on campus. Organizations may thank their donors (i.e., “Special Thanks to…”) but may not advertise for companies or use corporate logos.
Booth Fundraising Procedures
All fundraisers must be registered with the Student Organization Center ONE WEEK prior to the date of sale. Boxes are available for check out weekdays for a maximum of 7 days. (If you need a cash box over the weekend, special arrangements can be made).
When the event is over, or the collection/fundraiser is complete, the Fundraiser Report must be submitted with the cash box. A log of possession of the cash box and total receipts collected are among the information requested on the report. Failure to submit the report or the cash box after the fundraiser is complete could result in loss of status as a registered student organization.
State Sales Tax
A qualified student organization’s first $5,000 in total receipts of other taxable sales in a calendar year is exempt from sales tax. The exemption does not apply to items sold for more than $5,000 unless the item is manufactured by the organization, or the item is donated to the organization and not sold back to the donor. After this, a university student organization may hold a tax free, one-day fund raising sale each month.
In order to qualify for this exemption, the student organization must be affiliated with an institution of higher education. A student organization must file a certification of affiliation from the university with the Comptroller’s office. The certification remains valid until the university notifies the Comptroller’s office that a student organization is no longer affiliated with it.
University Ticket Procedure
When admission is charged for attendance at an on-campus event or when you are selling tickets on-campus for an off-campus event, the university ticket procedure must be followed. Failure to comply with this procedure may subject the individual or organization to university discipline.
Two Types of Tickets
Rolled Tickets are used for day-of sales. These tickets are typically used when organizations sell tickets at the door.
Flat Tickets are used for pre-sale ticketing. These tickets are typically used when an organization is selling tickets in advance for an event.
As soon as you know that you will have an event that requires compliance with the university ticket procedure, stop by the Student Organization Center to consult about the process.
The SOC staff will give you the Ticket Procedure Agreement Form to complete.
If you choose to create your own tickets, flat tickets must contain the following information:
- name of the registered student organization sponsoring the event;
- admission price (only one price may be printed on each ticket);
- name of the event;
- date of the event (only one date may be printed on each ticket);
- location of the event;
- admit one;
- no refund (if no refund will be given); and
- tickets must be consecutively pre-numbered beginning with #1 by the machine at the printers.
If there will be different admission prices to the same event, or if the ticketed event will take place on more than one date or time (such as a series of performances), the tickets must be printed in different colors for each price and/or event.
When your tickets are printed, bring them back to the SOC for auditing. An invoice indicating the total number of tickets printed at each price must accompany the tickets. You must allow at least two business days for auditing before beginning your ticket sale.
Rolled tickets can be picked up in the SOC, provided you have completed the necessary paperwork. You are responsible for keeping complete records of the complimentary tickets, including the names of persons receiving complimentary tickets and the ticket number that was given.
Ticket sales must be reconciled with SOC within ten days after your event. To reconcile your ticket sale, bring torn ticket stubs, unsold tickets, cash receipts or deposit forms, and the completed form to the SOC. Any discrepancy that occurs between unsold tickets and collected funds will require a written explanation from the organization. If the ticketed event is cancelled, the organization must still reconcile the tickets with the SOC.
Most student organizations are not qualified to conduct raffles in the State of Texas. Raffles involve paying money for the chance to win a prize of greater value, which is considered gambling. Instead of raffles, SOC suggests that student organizations hold “Free Drawings” in which no money is exchanged.
The Charitable Raffle Enabling Act, effective January 1, 1990, permits “qualified organizations” to hold up to two raffles per calendar year.
Two types of student organizations may conduct raffles:
- an association organized primarily for religious purposes that has been in existence in Texas for at least 10 years; or
- a nonprofit organization that has existed for at least the three preceding years, during which it has had a governing body duly elected by its members and is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) , Internal Revenue Code; and does not participate in any political campaign. [A copy of your organization’s IRS Letter of Determination verifying 501(c) status will be required.]
Any organization conducting a raffle on campus must complete a booth application and follow university ticketing procedures. Raffle tickets may not be advertised statewide or through paid advertisements. Each raffle ticket must state the name and address of the organization holding the raffle, the name of an officer of the organization, the price of the ticket, and a general description of each prize to be awarded that has a value of over $10. A prize may not be money. Only members of the organization may sell tickets. No one may be compensated directly or indirectly for organizing or conducting a raffle or for selling raffle tickets.
For further information on raffles, visit www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/raffle.shtml.
Updated: April 25, 2014