University of Wisconsin–Madison

Finances

Managing the finances of a student organization is essential for the organization’s ability to function efficiently and effectively.  Additionally, the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) financial regulations for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) require your organization to maintain accurate and complete financial records of all receipts and expenditures.

BANKING

  • Getting Started

    The Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) financial regulations for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) require your organization to maintain accurate and complete financial records of all receipts and expenditures. Please read the information below carefully before determining if your organization should set up an organizational “outside” financial account. An “outside” account is an organizational banking account, separate from university accounts, set up with a bank, credit union, or other financial institution.

    **Refer also to the Good Financial Practices Financial Policies sections below for additional tips and requirements in developing sound financial practices within your organization.


    Special Circumstances

    In determining how your money must be spent in order to follow university policies and procedures, identify the sources of revenue/income/money/funding of your events and activities and whether a university department provides sponsorship for any or all of your events and activities. The following examples will provide some guidance in determining how to expend your money appropriately. Note that several scenarios may apply depending upon how your organization is funding its individual events and activities.

    1. Obviously if you are an RSO which does not transact any money at all, there is no need for you to establish an organizational banking account.
    2. If your student organization is a formapart of University Housing, Wisconsin Union Directorate/Hoofers, or Recreational Sports, the policies and procedures established by those units must be followed. Contact these offices directly to fully understand how finances are handled within these university departments.
    3. If your student organization receives funding from Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC) of the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), policies and procedures established by SSFC must be followed. Contact the ASM Budget Office to fully understand financial guidelines and restrictions for handling your organization’s finances.
    4. If a university department has chosen to sponsor some or all of a RSO’s events and activities, departmental funding dollars may not co-mingle with an “outside” organizational checking/bank account maintained by the RSO. Any funds controlled by the department to support the RSO’s events and activities, must be paid directly by the department to the vendor from whom goods/services are purchased on behalf of the RSO activities. An exception is the reimbursement of funds previously expended by the RSO with respect to departmentally sponsored activities. In this case, the departmental reimbursement may be paid directly to the RSO, assuming that the expenditures are reimbursable under the rules and regulations governing departmental funds and that the RSO has provided proper documentation (of the event or activity, paid receipts, etc.) to the department.
      • Property purchased with departmental funds for the benefit of an RSO remains the property of the department, not the RSO.
      • Recommendation in making the most of university departmental financial support in conjunction with your own organizational outside checking account: If a university department sponsors all or some of your RSO’s events and activities, assists financially with your activities, and your RSO has an outside organizational checking account, it is recommended that the outside checking account be used primarily to pay for social activities and expenses that the department or other grants will not fund. It is beneficial for the sponsoring department to pay for any durable goods, such as a personal computer or video camera, to ensure that these items are insured.
      • Refer to the full statement of the Minimum Requirements for Departmental Sponsorship of Registered Student Organization Events or Activities to fully understand other considerations when university departments choose to sponsor some or all student organization events and activities, such as “direct supervision” by a university employee, university liability coverage, the departmental acceptance of gifts and donations on behalf of an RSO, and other kinds of revenue generated that is earned as a result of an event or activities that is being sponsored or co-sponsored by a university department.
    5. For those RSO events and activities NOT sponsored in full or partially by a university department, you’ll need to open an organizational “outside” financial account at a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. Use this account to pay expenses by check and to deposit receipts. Things to consider when opening a bank account are convenience, service charges (the most common are for checks, deposits, stop payments and bad checks), services available, and the potential for earning interest on your money.

    Can we use a member’s personal account?

    No, you may not use an individual member’s personal bank account. A voluntary association of individuals-such as your student organization-operates in the name of the entity and not in the name of the individuals who are part of that organization. This means that the business records for the organization must be maintained in the organization’s name and not in the name of an officer. It is important to avoid confusion with respect to whom the funds belong and avoid tax liability for an individual (as the IRS considers funds deposited into a personal account to be taxable income). Also, keep in mind that financial institutions will require that checks made payable to the organization be deposited into an account established for the organization.

    UW System requires that a Registered Student Organization maintain complete financial records for the organization. This is best accomplished by maintaining a separate account in the name of your organization.

  • Checking & Savings Accounts

    When looking to set up Savings or Checking accounts for your organization, there are many factors to consider. This page gives some basic information to know before acquiring an account for your RSO.


    Opening a Checking/Savings Account

    After you have elected officers, decide who will be responsible for managing your organization’s financial business. You will need to have this noted in the minutes of your organization’s official meeting. You may be required to produce a copy of the minutes when your organization’s account is opened.

    Certain basic documents will be required by your financial institution to open the account. Most require:

    • Signature cards signed at the time the account is opened by the person(s) who can sign on the account and will have permission to open the accounts. By signing these cards, the person(s) assumes all liability and responsibility for the account (including overdrafts and collection agency fees, both of which may damage your credit rating).
    • Depository Resolution establishes the financial institution as the organization’s financial institution. An officer of your organization signs this.
    • The Tax ID Number, also called an Employer Identification Number (EIN), is used by the IRS to identify your organization, in the same manner that your social security number identifies you personally.
    • Many Financial Institutions will require a document that proves the existence of the organization. Examples would be Meeting Minutes, a Letter from the Advisor, etc. You will need to obtain fee schedules and account disclosures from the financial institution at the time you open your organizational account. Ask for them if you don’t receive them.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there a monthly fee or minimum balance required?

    Monthly fee charges vary from one financial institution to another. To avoid fee charges, a specified minimum balance or average balance in the account(s) might be required.

    Is there a charge per transaction?

    Sometimes checking is offered with no monthly fees but with a relatively high charge per transaction such as fees for processing a deposit, coin and currency requests, or for returned checks which can be a big surprise when the first statement arrives. Be sure to ask for a fee schedule or similar document.

    Does it matter if your organization receives checks that have cleared?

    Some financial institutions, especially credit unions, maintain copies of checks (called safekeeping or truncating) for their members or customers. This service is being phased out as many financials convert checks to electronic images. Financial institutions that offer check safekeeping services may offer checks with a carbon copy attached to each one. Once the check is written, the carbon copy details the original check, exactly.

    Your organization’s account statement becomes your proof that a check has been cleared. If you do need a copy of the check, your financial institution can produce a photocopy of both sides of the check. Depending on why a copy is needed, there may be a fee for the check copy.

    How can we avoid “hidden” costs with so-called FREE checking accounts?

    By asking all the questions recommended here, the chances of discovering “hidden” costs that may crop up with free checking will be cut to a minimum. A detailed fee schedule should disclose all applicable fees and should be provided by the financial institution.

    Will the funds in our account earn interest?

    When certain average minimum balances are maintained throughout the month, your organization could qualify for an interest-earning account. The financial institution should provide a Truth in Savings Disclosure that will outline dividend/interest specifics for each account.

    Can we have two-signature checks?

    Two-signature checks are a good idea to help prevent fraud or one person spending funds on non-approved expenditures. Many financial institutions, especially smaller credit unions, may not offer two signature checks.

    Who should be able to sign on the account?

    With any checking and/or savings account, your organization must designate one or more members authorized to withdraw funds from your account.

    Ideally, checks should require two officers’ signatures to be valid. This reduces the risk of any unauthorized expenditures. Normally you will not be allowed to make “cash back” deposits on an organization account. This means that you will not be able to deposit a check and receive money back. You would be required to write a separate check to receive cash back.

    Each year we elect new officers for our organization. Do we need to let the financial institution know if the authorized signers have changed?

    Yes, you do. It is imperative that you keep the authorized signers current at the financial institution. If your signers leave town, you will experience a major delay in withdrawing any funds because financial institutions will have to go through certain procedures to change the signers on any account. The signature card and the resolution designate who is authorized to transact business on the account. You cannot change the designations without notifying the financial institution, in writing, of the change. If you don’t change the designations at the financial institution and the new authorized signers try to transact business, then the financial institution can refuse to complete the transaction. Signers personally assume all liability for the account.

    Contact your organization’s financial institution to find out how they process a change of signers. Each financial institution handles this process slightly differently, but most require that at least one of the previous signers authorize the change. You may want to designate one current authorized signer to be responsible for handling any change of signers when new signers take over the account.

    Are there banking services that our student organization should NOT take advantage of?

    For most organizations, it is advisable to NOT accept ATM/Debit card services, to NOT allow checks to be written for “cash”, and to NOT allow for cash withdrawals at the teller window. Talk with your banking/financial representative to work out the details of your bank account. It is advisable that all banking transactions are handled through checks and deposit slips so there is a written record of all transactions so as to minimize any risk of misappropriation or misuse of student organization funds.

    If our organization needs coin or currency, what do we do?

    Contact your financial institution. Let your financial institution know what your organizational needs are and they will tell you how they can best meet the request. Remember that fees for coin and currency requests may apply to your organization’s account.

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Note that the following information is general information on Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), as excerpted from the Internal Revenue Service website. RSOs should contact the federal Internal Revenue Service for information specific to their circumstances.


    Why Get an EIN?

    You will need an EIN # to open a bank (or other financial institution) account. An EIN number, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number assigned to your organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The United States Treasury Department and the IRS require an organization to disclose their EIN when opening any type of deposit account with a financial institution.

    Note: If your student organization is maintaining the same banking account from previous years, continue to use the EIN number previously assigned to your organization by the IRS. In this event, your bank/financial institution should already have your EIN number associated with your account. Do NOT apply for a new EIN number each year. However, to maintain accurate information with the IRS, each year you must inform them of the name of the new primary contact person and any other information that has changed, such as the name of your organization or the address.

    Every financial institution is required by the IRS to report dividends or interest paid to each depositor when it is in excess of $10.00 in any given tax year. The dividend or interest amount is reported using the account name and the taxpayer identification number, which in the case of a student organization is your organization’s EIN. A social security number from one of your organization’s members will NOT substitute for an EIN. If the IRS cannot match the identification number and name to their records, the IRS can penalize the financial institution for the incorrect reporting and the account holder for giving incorrect information to the financial institution. The penalty is normally $50.00 but can be higher under certain circumstances.


    Applying for an Employer Identification Number

    If you need to set up and use your bank account immediately, we recommend applying for an EIN by using the IRS Toll-Free Telephone Service method of applying. (Note once again that the following information on How to Apply is excerpted from the IRS website. For additional information refer to Publication 1635, Understanding Your EIN (PDF).)

    Apply Online

    The Internet EIN (I-EIN) application is the primary avenue for customers to apply for and obtain an employer identification number. Once all the necessary fields are completed on the online form, preliminary validation is performed and the taxpayer will be alerted to information IRS needs that may not have been included. An EIN will be issued after the successful submission of the completed Form SS-4 online.

    Apply by Fax

    Taxpayers can FAX the completed Form SS-4 application to their state FAX number after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. The FAX number for Wisconsin is 215/516-3990. If you provide a return fax number, a fax will be sent back with the EIN within four (4) business days.

    Apply by Mail

    The processing timeframe for an EIN application received by mail is four weeks. Ensure that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. The mailing address for sending your form is the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Philadelphia PA 19255.

Fundraising

  • Fundraising Overview

    Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) utilize membership dues, fundraising initiatives, and funding grants to support the costs of their events and activities. Funding sources for RSOs are found in the On-Campus Grants and Funding section below.  General information on fundraising, fundraising policies using university facilities, and opportunities for fundraising, such as university departmental sponsorship, commercial sponsorship, and allowable sales by Registered Student Organizations are listed and described below in this section of the Resource and Policy Guide.


    General Fundraising Considerations

    NOTE: It is important that your organization adhere to University, City, State and Federal laws and policies regarding the collection of revenue.

    • Define your organization’s goals. What do you want to accomplish this year?
    • Develop your financial plans based on the organization’s goals.
    • Map out methods to reach financial goals.

    Planning Tips

    • Plan ahead – you’ll have more options available. Your choice of facilities, funding sources, speakers and entertainers will be more diverse.
    • Learn from past experiences. What fundraisers have been most successful for your organization?
    • Combine campus, individual and private funding sources. Don’t depend upon only one source for contributions.
    • Identify your constituency and target your audience. Who are the people most likely to support your activity?
    • Evaluate the fundraiser. Write down the keys to your successes and keep records of everything. You can pass the victories and failures on to future members and save them some time. When planning events and activities, new members will benefit from your legwork.
    • Always thank your contributors. Whether you thank an audience with a few words acknowledging the support of a contributor or send someone a note, it will be invaluable in the future. It is also a common courtesy.

    Fundraising Policies

    Using University Facilities

    If you use university facilities to advertise your fundraiser or use university space to hold your fundraiser, you need to be registered as a student organization with the Center for Leadership and Involvement.  After you are registered as a student organization, contact the Campus Event Services Office, to discuss facility use and date availability. Plan as far in advance as possible to complete additional paperwork and confirm arrangements.

    The UW Administrative Code requires that the university specifically agree to permit use of its facilities for any sales or revenue producing activities. Student groups must receive this permission from the university agent who reserves the facility (usually this is the Building Manager).  Remember that the general public cannot be invited to events sponsored by student organizations in university facilities, unless a university department is a primary sponsor of the event or activity in conjunction with the registered student organization.

    The sponsoring student organization is responsible for rental charges and other special services deemed necessary by the university, such as security costs. Funds remaining after all the costs of such events in university facilities have been paid, may be used to support the activities of the sponsoring student organization(s) or other charitable or public service organizations, but may not be used for individual gain or in support of commercial activity.

    Event Attendance

    • Charitable Events/Activities Limited to Students, Faculty and Staff
      • In using university facilities to fundraise for charitable organizations, RSOs must comply with all applicable University policies and guidelines, found in the Fundraising Policies section of this Guide. Unless your event meets the conditions described below, including university department co-sponsorship, your event’s attendance is limited to students, faculty and staff.
    • Charitable Events/Activities Open to the Public
      • If an RSO wishes to open the event/activity to the public, perhaps in the case of a run/walk charity event or other benefit event/activity, RSOs must comply with at least one of the following conditions:
        1. The on campus event/activity is sponsored by an RSO and is in support of a specific non-profit charity, as defined above, provided that (1) the event will not include sales of any products; (2) all or a portion of the fee/donation will go to the non-profit charity; (3) the exact amount of the individual fee/donation that will go to the non-profit charity is specified in all promotions; (4) if the RSO wants to hold the event the following year, they need to demonstrate that the funds from the previous year were received by the given non-profit entity.
        2. The event is co-sponsored by a University Department, in which case the funds must be deposited in the appropriate university account.
        3. The Chancellor or his/her designee authorizes an exception. In most cases for RSO/departmental reservations, the Campus Event Services Office will authorize such an exception to revenue producing policies.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can RSOs use University facilities to raise money for charities?

    RSOs may use university facilities/grounds to raise funds for the benefit of non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Note that all non-profit organizations are not 501(c)(3) approved. 501(c)(3) non-profit status is determined by the IRS upon application for such status.
    In both scenarios described below (charitable fundraising events/ activities limited to students, faculty and staff AND those open to the public), RSOs are encouraged to contact the Campus Events Services Office for more complete information on approvals and forms required for such events.

    Do we owe sales tax on money we raise?

    Income is generally considered taxable. You should get a “Temporary Sellers Permit” from the Department of Revenue for any major fund-raising event. Most minor income will qualify as “Occasional Sales.” The “Occasional Sales” rules are available from the Department of Revenue. Refer to the Taxes and Tax-Exempt section of this handbook for further information or contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

    Can we accept a donation made to the university for our student organization?

    A Registered Student Organization does not have such authority. Refer to the “Acceptance of Gifts and Donations on behalf of the RSO” information in the Minimum Requirements for University Sponsorship of Registered Student Organization Events or Activities found in the Benefits section of this Guide.

  • Fundraising Opportunities

    Sponsorship, Sale Items, Permits

    Membership Dues

    If you decide to establish membership dues, collect a set amount from each member. Decide as a group what is a reasonable amount. It will be helpful to first decide how much money you’ll need for the year. Will students pay less than non-student members? What if someone can’t afford the dues? Be sure to disclose to dues-paying members how the dues will be used. Also, establish a policy/plan regarding what happens to money left in the treasury should the group disband.

    University Departmental Sponsorship of RSO Events/Activities

    A university department may choose to sponsor some or all of a registered student organization’s (RSO’s) events and activities. A department electing to sponsor an RSO event or activity should ensure that the nature and extent of the sponsorship is clearly understood by both the department and the organization. In order to sponsor an RSO event or activity, a department must adhere to the practices as specified in the Minimum Requirements for University Departmental Sponsorship of Registered Student Organization Events or Activities. This sections within the Benefits page describes practices related to Advisor/Direct Supervision, Liability, Expenditures, Revenue Other Than Gifts and Donations, Acceptance of Gifts and Donations on Behalf of the RSO, and Use of Fleet Vehicles.

    Commercial Sponsorship of RSO Events/Activities

    Often commercial enterprises are eager for the chance to come on campus to promote their goods or services (telephone companies, charge card companies, beer distributors, etc.). They will, therefore, offer a student organization financial support or sponsorship (for example, pay for publicity) in order to do so. In general, a Registered Student Organization may not use university facilities to raise money for itself or charity by selling or promoting a commercial product. The use of university facilities is a privilege; student organizations may not use their privileged access to university facilities to promote or endorse commercial products or businesses.

    If registered student organizations accept a corporate/business contribution for its activities, the recognition of that contribution must follow university policies. When recognizing contributions from businesses to a student organization program, the business name must be secondary on the event publicity. The event is sponsored by the student organization, not the business! If the business has standardized publicity pieces, they may have to be altered for use on this campus. Beer/alcohol sponsorship is discouraged because the majority of UW undergraduate students are under the legal drinking age.

    For more information, refer to the following policies and guidelines:


    Allowable Items for Sale in Campus Facilities or on Campus Grounds

    The following information applies to fundraising activities by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) in university facilities or on university grounds. RSOs may go off campus, to City of Madison areas such as the State Street Mall or Langdon Street to fundraise. In these cases, the policies of the City of Madison apply.(For specific reservation information, refer to the Reserving Space section within the Benefits page of this guide.) If RSOs prefer to raise funds on campus, below are examples of the types of items that have been allowed as sales on campus in the past. Please note that this listing is not comprehensive.

    Types of items allowable for sale:

    • Food Items (home baked goods not allowed)
    • Book sales/signing in conjunction with an event
    • Items connected with culture at multicultural events
    • Homemade craft type items
    • Items that have connections with group – Sale of products related to the organization i.e., plant sale by Horticulture Club, Christmas tree sale by Forestry Club
    • Tickets to RSO sponsored events
    • An organization’s t-shirt, other apparel and novelty items when it ties into the organization or event
    • A group’s literary publication
    • Flowers

    Types of items NOT allowable for sale (per University Policy and subject to change without notice):

    • Alcohol
    • Tobacco
    • Credit card applications, whereby an RSO receives monetary subsidy for each credit card application distributed
    • Other than food, items that clearly promote or endorse commercial products where the items are not related to the purpose and mission of the organization

    Other Items:
    The Directors of the Center for Leadership and Involvement and the Campus Event Services Office will review all other types of sale items on a case-by-case basis.


    Temporary Food Sales

    The sale of foods to the general campus community can take place at approved temporary food stands in the lobby areas of UW Madison buildings and on university grounds, subject to the following conditions and procedures. There are three key elements that are part of any request for a temporary food event:

    1. Authorization: Authorization prior to serving or selling food is required from Environmental and Occupational Health Department and UW-Madison Risk Management is required.  To obtain authorization, fill out an application, read the temporary food event policy, and read the safety requirements.  The application and supporting documents can be found online by visiting: https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/eoh/
    2. When holding a food event on property owned or leased by the University you shall first contact the Wisconsin Union or University Housing to determine whether they can cater the event.
    3. Location: A request for an indoor location must be submitted and approved by the appropriate campus building manager. A list of building managers can be found using the Campus Map, by clicking on the “Facility Abstract” link next to the appropriate building name. A request for an outdoor location must be submitted to and approved by the University of Wisconsin Campus Event Services Office, 608/262-2511. No food items can be sold on “non-university” property without a City of Madison temporary food license permit.  For additional information contact Public Health Madison and Dane County.
  • Fundraising Regulations

    Selling, Raffles, Poker

    Temporary Food Sales: Requires permission from the specific campus location and a food stand authorization from Environmental and Occupational Health. For details, see the Fundraising Opportunities panel above.

    Selling on UW Library Mall: Unless sponsored by an appropriate University department or office, sales are not permitted on the UW Library Mall (area around the fountain between Memorial Library and the State Historical Society Library). For questions regarding UW Library Mall, contact Campus Events Services, 608/262-2511. Refer also to University Facility Use Policies and Guidelines G3: Use of Library Mall.

    Selling in the Wisconsin Union: The Wisconsin Union includes both Memorial Union and Union South. Registered student organizations may reserve space for occasional non-commercial sales within the Union. There is a small fee. Contact Campus Event Services, 608/262-2511 for more information.

    Selling Inside University Buildings: No food is allowed in campus classrooms. To sell food in areas outside of the classroom, in lobbies or in other common areas of campus buildings, you must (1) obtain the Building Managers’ permission. Click here for a list of building managers and their phone numbers. (To view the building manager information, click on the ‘Facility Abstract’ link next to the appropriate building.) (2) Obtain a food stand authorization. Instructions are available in the Temporary Food Sales section above. (3) Be sure what you’re selling is allowable. Refer to the list of types of items allowable for sale above in this section.

    Selling on State Street Mall: State Street Mall extends the entire length of State Street from the Capitol Square all the way down to Park Street and includes the raised, cement podium area and the area south of Memorial Library where the food carts are located. The State Street Mall is City of Madison property and the city is responsible for issuing vending permits. These permits are limited to and restricted to individuals selling handcrafted goods or personally prepared food items. For application materials and information, call or email Warren Hansen, City of Madison Street Vending Coordinator, at whansen@cityofmadison.com or call 608/261-9171.

    Selling on City Sidewalks:
    City sidewalks include sidewalks on Langdon Street and on University Avenue. To obtain sidewalk vending permits and information relating to sales in these areas, call or email Warren Hansen, City of Madison Street Vending Coordinator, at whansen@cityofmadison.com or call 608/261-9171.

     


    Raffles

    • The State of Wisconsin Statutes requires all raffles to be licensed through the Office of Charitable Gaming. Tax exempt organizations, having charitable work as a major purpose written into their by-laws, can qualify for a raffle license. The organization also must have been in existence for at least one year prior to application for the license. The other major requirement is that the organization’s activities must be limited to the state of Wisconsin.
    • For a more detailed description of these requirements, refer to About DOA (click Gaming and then click Raffle, to find raffle information and documents). Here you will find an Original Raffle License Application, Legal Requirements for Raffles in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Statutes that refer to raffles. Download the Original Raffle License Application or request an application to be sent by mail, 608/270-2552.
    • The Office of Charitable Gaming asks for 4-6 weeks to process an Original Raffle License Application. Please note that you will need to provide copies of documents from your organization listed on the application along with a $25.00 processing fee. The mailing address is on the application. For further assistance, please call 608/270-2552 or 800/791-6973.

    Poker Tournaments

    Following is a reprint of an article written by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) of the Gaming Enforcement Bureau. Please read it over and if you have questions about poker tournaments, contact the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, located at 210 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., in Madison, telephone 608/266-4211.

    Legality of Poker Tournaments

    • The recent popularity of poker tournaments, specifically Texas Hold ‘em Poker, has generated numerous inquiries to the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation regarding their legality. At this time, it is the position of DCI that Texas Hold ‘em Poker and poker tournaments constitute illegal gambling.
    • Poker tournaments in which the participants pay a fee to enter for the opportunity to win money or prizes are illegal under two different Wisconsin statutes. Wisconsin State Statute 945.01(1) provides the definition of a bet as “… a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.” Wisconsin State Statute 945.01(5)(a) defines a lottery as “… an enterprise wherein for a consideration the participants are given an opportunity to win a prize, the award of which is determined by chance, even though accompanied by some skill.”
    • Several elements of poker tournaments and Texas Hold ‘em Poker cause them to fall under these definitions of illegal gambling activities. Poker tournaments in which the participants are required to pay money to enter (consideration) are clearly illegal lotteries and betting. Another type of consideration would be requiring a minimum drink or food purchase during the event. Even if no purchase is required to enter the tournament, other factors may be enough consideration to make the tournament illegal.
    • The penalties for violations of these gambling statutes range from misdemeanor gambling for making a bet or participating in a lottery to felony commercial gambling for operating a gambling place or conducting a lottery. Gambling is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to nine months. Commercial gambling is a Class E felony, punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to fifteen years.
    • A key element of the definitions of both a bet and a lottery is the term “chance, even though accompanied by some skill.” It is DCI’s position that chance predominates over skill in all poker games and poker tournaments. This is due to the fact that the game involves a deck of cards in which nobody can predict with any great degree of accuracy what card will appear next. There are states, such as California, where poker and other traditional gambling card games are specifically allowed. Wisconsin has not adopted any statutes or exceptions which would allow such gambling activity.
    • At this time, it is unclear whether poker tournaments that do not involve consideration (that is, participants do not have to pay to enter) are illegal. The legality of these tournaments will have to be determined on a case by case basis. Check with your District Attorney’s Office to make that determination. Otherwise, all poker tournaments and Texas Hold ‘em Poker games that require any sort of consideration to enter, are illegal and should be discontinued.”

Campus Funding Sources

Many campus funding sources have exhausted funds for the 2017-2018 year. This page will be regularly updated as the Center for Leadership & Involvement is notified of these changes in availability.

The following is a list of funding sources that typically fund Student Organization events and activities. Contact a particular funding resource to inquire if funds are still available and also to obtain eligibility criteria and application guidelines.

Important Grant Policies

In an effort for the university to be more fiscally responsible, the Chancellor established the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) as the primary funding source for student organization events.

As of October 31, 2014, all Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will ONLY be eligible for funding from the Global Badger Experience Grant (GBEG), Multicultural Council Grant (MCC), or the Wisconsin Experience Grant IF:

  1. The RSO has already received an ASM Event Grant for an event that semester, -OR-
  2. The RSO has already applied for an ASM Event Grant for a program that semester and is on the wait list for an ASM hearing, -OR-
  3. The RSO ONLY seeks funding for something ASM cannot fund (e.g. food or a closed event), -OR-
  4. ASM is out of funds for the academic year

ASM Grants

ASM has four grants available to registered student organizations to help plan events, travel to conferences, and accomplish daily functions for their organization’s mission.  ASM grants are funded by UW-Madison students’ segregated fees.  The grants are allocated by a student-run Grant Allocation Committee in a view point neutral manner.  These grants are available to any student organization that is in good standing with the Center for Leadership & Involvement.

How to apply: Fill out an online application at http://www.asm.wisc.edu/open-fund/

What is funded: The ASM Open Fund Grant was created to provide RSOs with a small amount of operational funding for printing and office supplies without having to attend a hearing.  The same funding restrictions applicable to the ASM Operations Grant are also applicable to the ASM Open Fund.

Deadline/Timeline:  The Open Fund grant application opens at the very end of July and remains open until all of the money is awarded. The student organizations applying for the grant do not have to go through the hearing process. Once the application is submitted and the registered student organization’s status is verified through Center for Leadership and Involvement, applicants will receive notification of the award and must attend a workshop with the Finance Staff before the money can be spent.

Who to contact for specific questions: The ASM Grant Allocation Chair: grants@asm.wisc.edu or the ASM Open Fund Financial Specialist: ray.scanlon@wisc.edu.

You can find additional information about the ASM Open Fund Grant by visiting the web page: http://www.asm.wisc.edu/open-fund/

This grant is the only ASM grant which is awarded in the previous academic year to when the funds are actually available.

How to apply: Fill out an online application at http://www.asm.wisc.edu/operations-grants/. The application period is only open for a few weeks each year, between the end of December and the middle of February.

What is funded: Operations Grants are for the day-to-day business of student organizations as well as recruiting. Allowable items include postage, advertising, printing, office supplies, space and equipment rental, subscriptions, graphic and web design, and other operational expenses. Operation grants cannot fund one-time events except for student org fairs, group kick-offs or regular group meetings (students must apply for an event grant for one-time events so they can be reviewed by the ASM Grant Allocation Committee).

What is not funded:

  • Salaries, wages, and stipends
  • Event-oriented funding (unless it is the org fair, kick off, or regular meetings)
  • Travel-oriented funding
  • Grants, gifts, donations, fundraising, and alumni relations. This includes, but is not limited to, using printing or office supplies to tell members or those outside the RSO about fundraising or donations whether for the RSO or any other organization.
  • Equipment and capital purchases.
  • Food or beverages, or related purchases.
  • Elections of any kind (local, state, national, etc.) except for elections of the leadership members of the RSO
  • Subsidization of membership dues
  • Subsidization of University Department initiatives

Deadline/Timeline:  The application opens during winter break and closes around a month into second semester. Hearings will follow within a month of the grant application closing. Student organizations that are approved will receive the money NEXT school year and will have to meet with the Financial Staff before the awarded money can be spent.

When you can expect to have an answer: Operation grant hearings occur in the spring and the award notices will be sent out after all the applications have been heard – usually around the end of March/beginning of April.

Who to contact for specific questions: The ASM Grant Allocation Chair: grants@asm.wisc.edu or the ASM Operations Fund Financial Specialist: ray.scanlon@wisc.edu.

You can find additional information about the ASM Operations Grant by visiting the web page: http://www.asm.wisc.edu/operations-grants/

 

How to apply: Fill out an online application at http://www.asm.wisc.edu/event-grants/

What is funded: The Event Grant Fund shall be used to support on-campus, RSO run events that are educational, informational, FREE, and open to ALL students on campus. The event must be in line with the mission of the group, benefit the UW campus in some way, and must not supplement departmental or center events.

  • Honoraria: No University of Wisconsin student or faculty member may receive honoraria.
  • Lodging: at a rate in line with the Wisconsin state maximum for hotels in the city of Madison. No
  • University of Wisconsin student or faculty member may receive lodging.
  • Travel: for performers, speakers, or other individuals invited by the RSO to perform, entertain, or educate at the event. Any airfare or other travel arrangements purchased by the Event Grant fund not used shall be reimbursed to ASM by the RSO. No University of Wisconsin student or faculty member may receive travel funds.
  • Printing: for the event. No printing may be used to advertise for future events or activities put on by either the RSO or other organizations.
  • Advertising: for the event. No advertising may be used to advertise for future events or activities put on by either the RSO or other organizations.
  • Space and Equipment Rental: for the event.
  • Program Supplies: for the event. All program supplies must be disposable and non-reusable.

What is not funded:

  • Food or beverages, or items associated with food and beverages
  • Gifts, donations, fundraising, contributions, or financial aid
  • Costumes or supplies used to make costumes
  • Expenses incurred prior to grant approval by the Grant Allocation Committee and meeting with Financial staff.
  • Legal Services
  • Elections or campaigns of political candidates at local, state, and national levels.
  • Revenue-producing events, in which the revenue benefits the RSO or any UW- Madison affiliate.
  • Any purchases not pertinent to the mission of the RSO.

Deadline/Timeline:  The application opens on July 25th and will remain open until we run out of funds. Registered student organizations must apply 6 weeks prior to your event or travel. Applicants will have a hearing in front of Grant Allocation Committee 2-5 weeks after the application has been submitted. In this hearing, two student grant contacts from the student organization will go over the grant application and answer questions from the Grant Allocation Committee. After grant approval, the two student grant contacts from the organization must meet with the Financial Staff BEFORE spending any award money.  All reimbursement documents must be submitted within 30 days after the event or travel to be considered for processing. The Grant Allocation Committee cannot fund anything that was purchased before the grant hearing, approval, or before the meeting with the Finance Staff.

When you can expect to have an answer: The Grant Allocation Committee will make a decision the night of the hearing for event and travel grants, unless it is for an event grant exceeding $4500.  All event grant approved by Grant Allocation Committee over $4500 must also be approved by Student Council as well.  Student Council meets every other Wednesday night.  Award notices will be sent via email within 24 hours of the Grant Allocation Committee’s decision.

Who to contact for specific questions: The ASM Grant Allocation Chair: grants@asm.wisc.edu or the ASM Event Fund Financial Specialist: madeline.raudenbush@wisc.edu

How to apply: Fill out an online application at http://www.asm.wisc.edu/travel-grants/

What is funded: The Travel Grant Fund shall be used to fund traveling to conferences, trainings, competitions and other off-campus events that help to train student leaders and enrich the resources available to Student Organizations.  The travel must be in line with the mission of the group. Attending the trip should benefit the campus beyond the immediate traveler(s) by bringing back some variety of information or service to the UW-Madison campus. The total amount available is $3000, or if under 5 people, $500 per person. Student Organizations are limited to ONE travel grant per fiscal year (July 1st- June 30th )

  • Registration Fees: for the travel
  • Lodging: only members of the RSO registered on the WIN system and listed in the application shall be allowed to use lodging funds.
  • Transit Costs: only members of the RSO registered on the WIN system and listed in the application shall be allowed to use transit cost funds. Any airfare or other transit arrangements purchased by the Travel Grant fund not used shall be reimbursed to ASM by the RSO.

What is not funded:

  • Food or beverages, or related items associated with food and beverages
  • Gifts, donations, fundraising, contributions, or financial aid
  • Costumes or supplies used to make costumes
  • Expenses incurred prior to grant approval by the Grant Allocation Committee and meeting with Financial staff.
  • Legal Services
  • Elections of any kind (National, Local, Campus, etc.)
  • Revenue-producing travels: regardless of the cost of the travel.
  • Any travel that is credit producing, either at this University or another institution
  • Travels and purchases with a focus on job or internship searches.
  • Travels that are a majority social rather than educational in nature, with incorporation of the group’s mission.
  • Any travel in which UW-Madison RSO’s are the sole or primary participants.

Deadline/Timeline:  The application opens on July 25th and will remain open until we run out of funds. Registered student organizations must apply 6 weeks prior to your event or travel. Applicants will have a hearing in front of Grant Allocation Committee 2-5 weeks after the application has been submitted. In this hearing, two student grant contacts from the student organization will go over the grant application and answer questions from the Grant Allocation Committee. After grant approval, the two student grant contacts from the organization must meet with the Financial Staff BEFORE spending any award money.  All reimbursement documents must be submitted within 30 days after the event or travel to be considered for processing. The Grant Allocation Committee cannot fund anything that was purchased before the grant hearing, approval, or before the meeting with the Finance Staff.

When you can expect to have an answer: The Grant Allocation Committee will make a decision the night of the hearing for event and travel grants. Award notices will be sent via email within 24 hours of the Grant Allocation Committee’s decision.

Who to contact for specific questions: The ASM Grant Allocation Chair: grants@asm.wisc.edu or the ASM Travel Fund Financial Specialist: madeline.raudenbush@wisc.edu.

Chancellor Funded Event Grants

There are three grants that are funded by the Chancellor’s Office and then managed by three difference offices.  These three grants are to support events and programs that student organization’s are hosting and are open to all students.

Funded by the Chancellor’s Office and administrated through International Student Services (ISS), the Global Badger Experience Grant, with objectives of promoting intercultural understanding and domestic-international student integration, helps to fund events held by Registered Student Organizations that are free and open to all students and/or have the potential for campus-wide impact.

The GBEG encourages RSOs to work with each other to hold events that provide multiple perspectives to global engagement and cultural understanding, and/or foster integration within the student body.  Please refer to the GBEG’s Policy Manual for detailed information.

How to apply: Learn more detailed information about Global Badger Experience Grant at https://iss.wisc.edu/global-badger-experience-grant.

What is funded: Food, on-campus printing, advertising costs, space reservation fees, equipment rental, movie license fees, program supplies, transportation and accommodations for performers, guest speakers, trainer, and honoraria.

Deadlines/Timelines: Deadlines for completing the online Global Badger Experience Grant application are the 1st and 15th of each month during the academic year starting August 15 and ending May 1, as long as grant funds are available. RSOs must submit their application in time for the deadline that is one full month before their event.

When you can expect to have an answer: The GBEG Review Committee will meet the Thursday following each deadline to review applications, and by the following Tuesday, applicants will be notified with results.

Who to contact for specific questions: Yi Wu, Global Badger Experience Grant Administrator, International Student Services Office, 716 Langdon St., 217 Red Gym gbeg.admin@studentlife.wisc.edu

Funded by the Chancellor’s Office and Multicultural Student Center (MSC), the Multicultural Council (MCC) grant provides small grants (up to $1,500 in an academic year) to support campus programs that speak to the needs and concerns of students of color and their allies.  MCC funded proposals should (1) be educational in scope, (2) foster community development, and/or (3) foster leadership development.

How to apply:  Learn more and fill out an online application at https://msc.wisc.edu/apply-for-funding/.  Selected applicants will be invited for a hearing with the MSC Programming and Grant Board, the group that administers the Multicultural Council Grant. The MSC Programming and Grant Board meets approximately every two-to-three weeks during the academic year, except during breaks, to conduct grant hearings.

What is funded: Food, on-campus printing, space rental, equipment rental, lodging at the State rate, and Honorarium.

What is not funded: Events where alcohol is available or allowed, travel/transportation, fundraising events, supplies (e.g. pens, paper, plates, decorations, etc.), awards (e.g. prizes, gift cards, cash, trophies, plaques, etc.), and reimbursement for funds spent prior to the grant award.

Deadlines/Timelines:  The MCC grant application opens on Monday, July 31, 2017 and remains open until Sunday, April 8, 2018, or until funds run out. Students must apply at least 30 days before their program date and are encouraged to apply earlier.  Selected applicants will be invited to a hearing at least two weeks before the program date.

When you can expect to have an answer:  The Programming and Grant Board makes funding decisions immediately following the organization’s presentation.  This is also when organizations will sign-up to meet with staff to go over the award.  Applicants can expect to receive notice of a written decision via e-mail within 48 hours of their hearing.

Who to contact for specific questions:  MCC Grant Administrator (mcc@studentlife.wisc.edu).

Attention: Registered Student Organizations must apply to ASM for all eligible items to be funded for an event. Do not apply for funding for items from the Wisconsin Experience Grant without first applying to ASM for the same items (except food). Read the information above about this policy change and contact the Wisconsin Experience Grant Administer or the Committee Chair to talk about your specific application.

Funded by the Chancellor’s Office and managed by the Center for Leadership & Involvement, the Wisconsin Experience Grant funds educational events that are open to all students and/or have the potential for campus wide impact. Recipients are thoughtful and intentional about contributing to student learning and the Wisconsin Experience through their programs.

How to apply: Fill out an online application. For more information and link to the application, visit our website: http://www.cfli.wisc.edu/wi_experience_grant.htm.

What is funded: Items usually funded include honoraria, lodging and transportation for performers, program supplies, equipment or facility space rental, printing, advertising and food

What is not funded: Items that are not funded include student travel expenses, first class airfare, events with alcohol and social events without a substantial educational component

Deadline/Timeline: Deadlines for applications are the 1st and 15th of each month during the academic year starting August 15 and ending May 1, unless funds run out and we need to close the grant application early. Applicants must submit their application in time for the deadline that is one full month before their event and are strongly encouraged to apply earlier.

When you can expect to have an answer: Within 48 hours of the committee meeting following the deadline.

Who to contact for specific questions: Katie Robiadek, WI Experience Grant Administrator, 3rd Floor Red Gym, 716 Langdon St., (608) 890-0006, grant.info@studentlife.wisc.edu

ADDITIONAL FUNDING SOURCES

There are a number of different funding sources available to student organizations wishing to put on programs and events.

The March to Move Forward is a group that strives to promote unity and consciousness among UW students. We facilitate parades, marches, performances, and visual arts that appreciate the LGBTQA+ community, people of color, women, and other underrepresented groups at UW-Madison. This academic cycle, we have decided to grant our funding directly to student organizations that empower underrepresented students on campus. We will offer 6-9 grants of $500-$750, depending on the quantity and quality of applications. If your organization would like to apply for funding, please submit an application that address the following questions to marchtomoveforward@gmail.com . The application may be sent as a .doc attachment.

  1. Provide the name of your organization and the name and email of either the individual completing this application or the primary contact.
  2. In relation to the mission of your student organization, how would you use a grant of $500-$750 to empower underrepresented students on the UW-Madison Campus?
  3. Describe in detail the events, performances, or materials to which this grant will contribute. For organizations interested in securing funding for the 2017-2018 academic year, provide as much detail as you are able at this time. \
  4. Attach an itemized budget proposal within the monetary constraints of this grant. Again, for organizations interested in securing funding for the 2017-2018 academic year, provide as much detail as you are able at this time.

Please contact marchtomoveforward@gmail.com with any questions.

Additional Funding Information:

Events and Materials Funded: Food, on-campus printing, space rental, equipment rental, lodging at the State rate, and Honorarium.

Events and Materials NOT Funded: Events where alcohol is available or allowed, travel/transportation, fundraising events, supplies (e.g. pens, paper, plates, decorations, etc.), awards (e.g. prizes, gift cards, cash, trophies, plaques, etc.), and reimbursement for funds spent prior to the grant award.

Deadlines: This grant application opens on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 and will remain open until Sunday, April 23 rd , 2017. Organizations selected to receive this grant will be notified by the first week of May.

Graduate groups that are fully Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) with the Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI) are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $1,000 to be used toward professional development activities that directly benefit graduate students.

More information, including application procedure, can be found here: https://grad.wisc.edu/pd/gsogrant/

  • Co-Sponsor programs with RSOs and academic departments
    • The committee will make decisions on the specific amount of support and how WUD would be involved
  • Late Night Programming Grants support programs open to the general campus community offered Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights between 9:00pm and 2:00am
    • Will support entertainer fees, printing, advertising, equipment rental, supplies, and food
    • Applications must be submitted 3 weeks in advance and will be accepted until the grant runs out
    • Check WUD’s website for applications, an introduction and further information
    • Contact WUD VP for Program Administration with questions
  • Contacts: Select the specific committee you are interested in co-sponsoring with and direct your correspondence to the direct of the specific committee as listed here
  • Provides financial assistance for bringing distinguished lecturers to campus
  • To be eligible must be an academic department, programs, centers and institutes, and RSOs when co-sponsored by a department
  • Topics and speakers must be of interest to undergraduate students, though subjects of interest to graduate students will be considered
  • Speakers should be of national or international stature
  • Restrictions:
    • Honorarium of $0, $400, or $600; one day hotel/meal allowance of $175 in accordance with state travel regulations; and travel reimbursement up to $1000
    • Must be readily accessible to the university community (on campus, on a weekday, open to the public, free of charge)
    • Other sources of funding must be explored before applying to the Lectures Committee
    • The speaker must not be under contract for commercial agencies or require large fees
  • Deadline: 15th day of each month throughout the calendar year
  • Contact: Office of the Secretary of Faculty

The William Fitch Scholarship Fund was created with the specific goal of bringing to Madison experts, especially business people, to give lectures on the American free-enterprise system. The Lectures Committee has issued a special call for applications that specifically addresses this topic. While many of the same University Lectures regulations apply to this call, use of these funds is not charged against a sponsoring unit’s credit for the use of regular Lectures Committee funds. In other words, whereas the committee normally supports at most one lecture per semester for any one unit, if the lecture topic meets the Fitch Fund’s requisite criteria, the unit remains eligible to receive support for another lecture taking place during the same semester. The funding limitations normally associated with Lectures applications also do not apply to this call; the selection committee will consider all reasonable lecture-related funding to bring business experts to campus to discuss the free-enterprise system.

  • Deadline: typically January
  • Contact: Office of the Secretary of Faculty
  • Provides financial assistance to special projects taking place during the following academic year
  • To be eligible must be an academic department, program, center, institute, or RSO co-sponsored by a department
  • Projects should have an impact on the educational and cultural life of the university community
  • Undergraduate students, and secondarily the student body at large, should be the target audience
  • Restrictions:
    • Generally does not support exhibitions or lectures
    • Range from $500 to $5,000
  • Deadline: typically in October
  • Contact: Office of the Secretary of Faculty
  • Provides an authoritative source of info on foundation and corporate giving for nonprofit organizations, as well as individual funding
  • One of over 450 network partners of the Foundation Center
  • Workshops that are given regularly given and are free
  • Contact: Memorial Library Reference Department; Ellen Jacks