Financial Policies: Spending
- Raising Funds for Donation
- Accepting Donations
- Donation Procedure
- Tax-Exempt Policy
- Tip Policy
- Deficit Spending Policy
- Wages/Stipends Policy
- Advisors/Coaches/Instructors Policy
- Speaker Policy
- Payments to Foreign Nationals
- CD and Recording Policy
- Summer Spending Procedure
- BJ’s/Walmart Card Procedure
- Refreshments and Entertaining
- Supplies Policy
- Online Advertising
How to Spend Funds Allotted to a SGA Club or Organization
All monies are allocated according to the budget request submitted during the previous academic year. Every dollar has been allotted for a specific purpose. Therefore, these dollars must be used for that purpose unless a change in a club’s budget line has gone through the line reallocation process. If it is not known what specific items for which a club or organization is budgeted, a copy of a club’s specific line-by-line budget can be obtained through the SGA VP for Financial Affairs or in the Office of Leadership Activities on the second floor of Case Center.
a. Making Purchases on Behalf of Your Organization
Before making purchases on behalf of a club or organization, it is recommended that all spending be reviewed by the Office of Leadership Activities.
b. Current Balances
An organization can obtain its current account balance from the Office of Leadership Activities or from the SGA VP for Financial Affairs. It is the responsibility of the club or organization treasurer to keep track of the financial state of their club independently of this balance sheet to insure accuracy on each end.
The following are required to make a withdrawal:
- There must be sufficient funds in the account related to the specific line item (as approved by the Senate the previous spring or as approved in a budget reallocation request).
- The appropriate form, located in the Office of Leadership Activities (or online), must be completed and signed by the club's treasurer.
- Any contracts related to the purchase must have been completed in the manner set forth below.
- For any reimbursement, appropriate receipts must be furnished. These receipts must be from the current academic school year and must clearly state the purchased product, along with its price. Under no circumstance is a credit card receipt an acceptable substitute for an itemized receipt acquired from the place the item was purchased. Additionally, a photocopy of a receipt is never an acceptable substitute.
1. General reimbursements: It is very common for a club member to pay for something using personal money with the intent of being reimbursed at a later date.
a. In all cases, the club treasurer must produce a receipt, and the funds must be available in the club’s line-item budget.
b. Checks are to be signed by the SGA VP for Financial Affairs twice a week.
2. Trips: hotels, meals, transportation, gas, tolls or mileage reimbursement
a. All events off campus, including overnight trips, must be registered with the Office of Leadership Activities in order to seek reimbursement or cash advances for spending. Additionally, all clubs and organizations taking trips must make a full effort to publicize these events to all students.
b. In order for a club to be eligible for reimbursement for hotels, car rentals, gas associated with car rentals, mileage for private cars or tolls, the treasurer must fill out an Expense Report Form for each person on the trip and the Travel Form as necessary.
c. All associated receipts must be accounted for in an itemized format. All reimbursements will be taken out of appropriate lines in a club’s budget and is subject to approval by the SGA VP for Financial Affairs and the Office of Leadership Activities.
d. Reimbursement for meals is limited to a maximum of $20 per day per person.
e. SGA will allow a club member to be reimbursed for reimbursement per mile when the member’s car was used for appropriate club activities. Note: Typically the cost of gas is less than this rate. Accordingly, a club may decide to limit reimbursement to the actual cost of gas in order to save its funds. In this case, the Expense Report Form must show that the gas cost is less than the mileage cost.
e. Cash Advances
No student is expected to spend their own money to pay for a club event. In order to obtain a cash advance, a treasurer must fill out a Expense Request Form explaining where the funds will go and from which budget line they will be deducted. The granting of a cash advance is at the discretion of the SGA VP for Financial Affairs. After funds are spent or the event is over, all itemized receipts must be given to the Office of Leadership Activities. Within three days of the cash advance, the entirety of the cash spent and remaining from the cash advance must be accounted for. The lack thereof can result in a frozen budget or further action taken by the SGA VP for Financial Affairs, including but not limited to charging the difference to the college account of the student who took the advance out. A cash advance is given in a check form to be cashed by a club member requesting funds.
f. Use of the SGA credit card
A SGA credit card is available for use by clubs and organizations. The credit card is to remain in the Office of Leadership Activities at all times; the credit card is never to be in the possession of a club affiliate. In order to use the credit card, the treasurer of a club must fill out a Expense Request Form. This form must be accompanied by a detailed explanation of what is to be purchased, from where, the cost and the purpose. The same rules apply as outlined above in the Cash Advances section. All purchases must be preapproved by the SGA VP for Financial Affairs and the Office of Leadership Activities at least two weeks prior to when the credit card is needed. All purchases will be deducted from a relevant line in the club’s budget.
- Because Skidmore College is a nonprofit institution, there are certain regulations
that clubs/committees must follow when raising money and making charitable donations.
- Fundraising efforts should be for the benefit of charities and not-for-profit organizations unaffiliated with Skidmore College. SGA will not allocate funds directly to a charity.
- The sponsoring club/committee must pay back all costs incurred by the operation of the program from collected revenue. After all expenses are paid back, the profit from an event/program/project may be donated to a nonprofit organization. Separate “bucket drives” may be done at the event to raise additional revenue specifically for the charitable organization.
- The parent group for which funds are raised must be registered as a nonprofit organization and be classified as a 501(c)-3 organization by the IRS.
- Fundraising events must include educational programs about the charity and the services it provides.
- Funds may not be raised for a political candidate or a political party.
- Student organizers of fund-raising events should not receive any payment from the charities for which they are raising funds.
- Student organizations may accept donations to be deposited by the Office of Leadership Activities. College department donations made to student organizations should be spent out of the respective departmental account and therefore money should not be transferred from a college department into the student organization fundraising account. Donations received from off-campus benefactors must be received by the Office of Advancement for proper processing and will be assigned to the appropriate club after receipt.
- Collected money should be deposited into a club/committee’s revenue category with the Deposit Form. There should be a distinction made between money collected for the club/committee and money collected on behalf of the charitable organization. A check will be made out to the charitable organization on behalf of SGA.
- Skidmore College is a tax-exempt organization; therefore, SGA will not reimburse clubs/committees for sales tax. Before making purchases, provide vendors with SGA’s tax-exempt information or pick up a tax-exempt form in the Leadership Activities Office to bring to off-campus businesses. Any misuse of the tax-exempt status is a violation of the Honor Code and will be handled accordingly.
- SGA will pay no more than a 15 percent tip for the delivery of food by an outside vendor (e.g., pizza delivery).
- SGA will pay no more than a 20 percent tip on a restaurant bill.
- Clubs/committees are not permitted to carry out financial operations while they have a debt, except for fundraisers that are not expensed to SGA.
- Any club/committee expenses in excess of their budget will not be reimbursed by SGA.
- Clubs/committees may not pay their own members out of the allocated budget under any circumstances for services that are provided.
- Clubs/committees may not pay other students out of the allocated budget without a valid contract.
- It is at the discretion of the SG Vice President for Financial Affairs and the Director of Leadership Activities, to decide whether the monetary amount agreed upon between the club/committee and the performer in the contract is appropriate. If these parties deem that the monetary amount is inappropriate, the payment amount may be decreased at their discretion.
- Advisors/coaches/instructors may be paid by the club/committee out of the allocated budget. The B&F Committee will try to maintain a level of uniformity in the salaries for advisors/coaches/instructors for similar activities.
- Advisors/coaches/instructors may advise the club/committee on financial matters, but they may not make financial approvals. SGA encourages the student officers of the club/committee to work collaboratively with their advisor/coach/instructor, but handle the majority of the financial workload and communication with the SGA Budget & Finance Committee and the Leadership Activities Office on their own.
- Clubs/Committees may pay to take a speaker to dinner. All expenses associated with the speaker should be charged to the Performers/Speakers category in the budget. Students accompanying the speaker (up to eight) may spend up to $18 each (excluding tip) and should charge the Refreshments/Entertainment category. The students are expected to visit the B&F Committee to get the funds for the dinner with the speaker at least two weeks in advance.
- Funding for a speaker’s fees/honorariums, accommodations, meals and/or transportation will not be allocated to a club/committee’s budget. Clubs/committees should apply to the Speakers Bureau for co-sponsorships for speakers. Refer to the gift policy for honorariums.
- Clubs/committees may have funding allocated in their budget for receptions for speakers. This type of expense should be charged to the Event Production Expenses category. Receptions must be on campus, catered by Dining Services and open to the entire Skidmore community.
- If the speaker is a foreign national (non-U.S. citizen), please refer to Payments to Foreign Nationals guidelines
- At least five weeks prior to the on campus visit, the host organization must register the event and request that the campus guest/foreign national review and return the Foreign National Information Form to Leadership Activities/Financial Services.
- Event hosts should note that payment is only released after the event, and after the
foreign national visits Financial Services in person.
- Reimbursements for travel, meals, etc., are non-reporting and do not require this documentation.
- This documentation is in additional to all other contract and registration requirements.
- Visit the Financial Services website for more information or speak to Leadership Activities staff.
- Completion of all necessary paperwork does not ensure that all payments can be made as per IRS guidelines.
- SGA will sponsor the recording and production of one CD, to be a compilation of all
participating clubs, up to once every other academic year. No other recording or production
will be funded with SGA or club funds, not including loans (See 5.7.) and club revenue.
- SGA will spend no more than $5,000 for this CD; additional expenses may be supplemented with club revenue.
- All vocal performance clubs are eligible to participate in this CD; a minimum of four clubs must participate for SGA funding.
- Price and other decisions will be left up to the discretion of the SGA Vice President for Financial Affairs, the B&F Committee and the Director of Leadership Activities, in consultation with participating clubs.
- Financial operations for SGA end on the last day of classes (with the exception of the senior class in the spring semester). Clubs/committees that wish to spend during the summer must make previous arrangements with the SGA B&F Committee and the Leadership Activities Office.
- Membership cards (e.g. BJ’s/Walmart card) are available in the Leadership Activities Office for clubs/committees to use on a temporary basis. Failure to return membership cards within three business days may result in a fine to the club/committee of $10 for each additional day it is late.
- Clubs may not use more than 8 percent of their allocated budget or $500 (whichever is lower) for their refreshments category. Clubs with budgets smaller than $1,000 are exempt from this policy; it is up to the discretion of the B&F Committee to recommend what they deem is an appropriate amount of funding for refreshments.
- Refreshments are defined as food and drinks to be used for meetings, rehearsals, event
production staff (event productions of an extraordinarily long nature and involving
physical labor are exempt—the Event Production Expenses category may be charged) or
paying for club members to go out to eat with a guest speaker/performer.
- Events associated with the purpose of the club (i.e. Shabbat dinner, barbeques, etc.) may be charged to other categories (i.e., Event Production Expenses).
- SGA will pay for no more than 50% of entertainment or programs that do not expressly further the purpose of the club and/or are for personal enjoyment (i.e. e-board retreats, group entertainment). This policy may be waived on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the SGA Vice President for Financial Affairs and the Director of Leadership Activities.
- Clubs/committees will be provided with cutlery (i.e., forks, spoons and knives), plates and cups by SGA. Clubs/committees will not be reimbursed for buying any of these supplies for club events or meetings on campus. These items will be distributed by the Case Information Desk workers and overseen by the Case Desk Manager. If more supplies are needed, the Case Desk Manager will be responsible for informing the Director of Leadership Activities and the SGA Financial Coordinator or VP for Financial Affairs.
- The SGA realizes that some students respond to online advertising. However, this should not be the primary form of advertising, and is limited by past SGA resolutions. Thus any clubs seeking to employ online advertising must receive the written consent of the SGA VP of Financial Affairs and the Office of Leadership Activities. Additionally, no club hosting an event under $1,500.00 may purchase advertising online, with the exception of SGA elections.
- T-shirts as fundraisers: Money for T-shirts will come out of a club’s line-by-line budget and must be accompanied by a revenue line. In no instance can T-shirts be distributed below their manufactured cost.
- T-shirts as needed to implement events: T-shirts may be distributed without generated revenue if they in some way add to
the safety or security of an event. See uniform policy.
- T-shirts as uniforms: All requests for uniforms must be made through the SGA Uniform Fund.
- T-shirts as a project: plain T-shirts may be purchased for arts-and-craft types of events and can be distributed without cost.
- All clothing items purchased in part or in whole with the use of SGA Funds must outwardly display the word(s) "Skidmore" or "Skidmore College" in a legible shape or form except for theatrical costumes.