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Financial Guidelines

Student Organization Finances / About Your Organizations Account / Student Organization Funding Sources and Policies

Twelve Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is my adviser’s financial role?
All registered student organizations are required to have at least one adviser. Your adviser is usually a full-time faculty member, staff member, or administrator within the University who advises your organization and monitors your organization’s University account. Your adviser must sign off on all your group’s financial dealings, and he or she receives monthly ledger sheets from the Office of Financial Affairs itemizing each of your organization’s financial transactions. Your adviser may choose to delegate signature authority to another staff member, and also may delegate reconciliation of ledger sheets to a student officer. Many advisers maintain files of all of your financial transactions. If you do not know who your adviser is, call the Office of Student Organizations at 322-2471.

2. How is our organization funded?
Organizations at Vanderbilt are funded in several ways: a) local/national dues, b) Student Activity Fees, c) fundraising, d) donations, or e) University/ Department allocation. Check with your financial adviser to see how your particular organization operates, or refer to the “Student Organization Funding Sources” chapter for more information.

3. What kind of financial forms do I need to use, and where do I get them?
Most student organizations use four types of financial forms: a) deposit sheet, b) check request, c) purchase order, and d) internal requisition (“1180″). Your financial adviser should have a supply of these forms readily available for your use. If not, forms can be ordered through Vanderbilt’s Procurement Services, Box 357000, Station B, 322-2911.

4. Where do I go to deposit money into our organization’s account?
You may deposit funds into your University account by taking your deposit to the University Cashier’s Office, Baker Building Suite 100, or to the receptionist in the Office of Student Organizations, 207 Sarratt. You may wait for a receipt, or leave your deposit with the cashier, along with a self-addressed envelope, and the cashier will mail the receipt to you. You should make all deposits within 24 hours of receiving them.

5. How do I get a deposit ready for the Cashier?
Get a deposit sheet from your financial adviser, and fill it out completely, indicating the amount of cash, coins, and checks that you have to deposit. All checks must be endorsed with the appropriate account code and center number before you take the deposit to the Cashier.

6. How do I get money out of our University account?
You may withdraw funds from your University account in several ways: a) by check request, b) by purchase order, or c) by internal transfer of funds. Each way requires that a specific form be submitted to Disbursement Services with your adviser’s signature, so it is necessary to plan ahead when making expenditures. (See Forms section.)

7. Can you just write me a check?
No. A check request form, with the original receipt, bill, or backup documentation, must be submitted to the Disbursement Services for a check to be issued. This process usually takes four to five working days. In an emergency situation, a check may be issued for pick up on the following day, if the request is submitted to the Disbursement Services before 9:00 a.m.

8. If I pay for something out of my own pocket, can I get reimbursed?
Yes. If the expenditure is authorized by your financial adviser, you may request reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. A check request form must be completed and signed by your financial adviser. The original receipt must accompany the request or reimbursement will not be made.

9. Will off-campus businesses bill my organization?
Some off-campus vendors that do business with Vanderbilt University on a regular basis will bill student organizations. When going to an outside vendor, be sure to ask if they are willing to bill your organization. If they will not, a purchase order must be submitted to Procurement Services, Box 7000 Station B.

10. What is a purchase order? How long does it take to process?
A purchase order is a guarantee of payment to the vendor and a contract to your organization that you receive what you requisition. When ordering something that will cost over $500.00, a purchase order must be completed by your financial adviser and submitted to the Vanderbilt Procurement Services This process takes at least two weeks. For orders under $500.00, a small purchase order may be completed and mailed or faxed to the vendor prior to delivery of goods, or taken to the vendor on the day of pick up by an organization member.

11. What is an internal requisition and what is it used for?
An internal requisition form (“1180″) is used within Vanderbilt University for the transfer of funds from one University account to another. You may use this form to purchase supplies from the Vanderbilt Bookstore or Campus Copy. Your organization may also use this form to pay for rental of buildings and/or equipment, Plant Operations charges or similar charges incurred from other University offices or departments, or to transfer funds from your organization to another Vanderbilt organization, office, or department.

12. What is a ledger sheet, and how do I read it?
Ledger sheets are generated from the University Office of Financial Affairs each month, itemizing transactions that occurred within your University account the previous month. These sheets are similar to your monthly bank statement and indicate all credits and debits made to your account within that month. As with your checking account, you must keep track of deposits not yet credited and/or debits not yet charged while reconciling your account balance. Ledger sheets are mailed to your adviser each month.

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About Your Organization’s Account

All Vanderbilt student organizations are required to keep their funds in the Vanderbilt Accounting System. Funds are deposited into the system through the Cashier’s Office, located on the ground floor of the Baker Building, and withdrawn from the system by use of a check request, purchase order, or internal requisition form.

Center Number
Student organizations are designated as “agency accounts” with a unique center number, which is an identifying number much like a checking account number. Each organization has a 3-digit identifying code within that number:

9-90- __ __ __ -0000

In order to obtain a center number, please fill out the Center Number request form availalbe in 207 Sarratt. There is also a sample form on pages 33 and 34 of this Manual.

Account Code
Typically, your organization will be conducting two types of financial transactions, deposits and expenditures. With both types of transactions, you will need to use your center number and an accompanying “account code” to identify a) what type of transaction you are making (i.e., a deposit or an expenditure) and b) what the transaction was for (e.g., collection of dues, payment of a bill). When filling out any type of form for either deposit or expenditure, the account code will precede your center number:

account code

center number

Account Management
It is of utmost importance that you are aware of your budget constraints, so that you stay within them. Accounts in deficit at the end of the spring semester will be frozen. Organizations with frozen accounts forfeit their right to be recognized as student groups (including reserving University space). If your account is in deficit, contact the Office of Student Organizations (2-2471). Any money left in your account at the end of the spring semester will roll over into the fall semester.

Listed on pages 17-18 are the account codes most commonly used by student organizations when transacting business. The Vanderbilt Accounting System has designated account codes for deposits and for expenditures. Be sure to use the correct account code for the particular transaction you are making. If you feel that none of the listed account codes correspond to your transaction, consult your financial adviser or Student Activities, 322-2471, for clarification.

Handling Cash and Making Deposits
There are times when your organization will be required to handle cash for registration fees, ticket sales, or fundraising. The following guidelines are provided for your information.

1. Plan ahead. If you know that your group will need cash to make change, handle sales, etc., you must request a cash advance by contacting the Office of Student Organizations at 2-2471. It takes at least five business days to receive a cash advance.

2. Once you receive your advance in the form of a check from Vanderbilt, you must cash the check and obtain the appropriate denominations for bills and/or change that you will require. Always keep money in a locked metal cash box. (Your organization may wish to purchase a cash box; the Office of Student Activities has a limited number of cash boxes that may be checked out, subject to availability).

3. Assign one or two people to be in charge of money handling and collection. They should be positioned in a visible area, but one that is not easily accessible to all event participants. They should never be placed at an open doorway with direct egress to the outside of the building. Be alert to the possibility of theft. An open cash box is an invitation to any thief.

4. If large amounts of cash and/or checks build up, you should periodically remove all excess cash and checks from the cash box and place it in a locked moneybag. Keep all removed cash and checks out of sight and away from the cash box area. If your organization adviser is present, it is always advisable to entrust him or her with the safekeeping of any extra cash that you take in during your event. If your adviser is not available, the money should be given to the organization treasurer.

5. Once all money has been collected, it should be removed from the main event area, counted, and locked in the cash box. The cash box should be labeled with the organization name, contact person, and telephone number and taken to Police and Security to be held overnight or over the weekend. Your financial adviser or an officer of the organization must pick up the cash box on the next workday following your event. The money should then be deposited to your organization center number through the University cashier (main floor, Baker Building) using a deposit sheet (see example in the Forms section). If your adviser is set up to make direct deposits to the bank, you should turn the money over to your financial adviser for deposit rather than submitting a deposit sheet to the cashier. All checks must be endorsed with an account code and your center number. All funds should be deposited within 48 hours of collection.

6. Cash, checks, and/or cashboxes should never be kept in a student dorm room or apartment. Always be on guard for your organization’s funds, and handle them properly.


Code Account Description
44405 Student Fees (dues)
44420 Miscellaneous Fees
44930 Conference/Workshop Income
44995 Miscellaneous Revenue
46150 Soft Goods/Gift Sales
46220 Rental Income
46230 Damage Income
46300 Ticket Income
46420 Concession Income
46430 Program Income
46110 Textbook Used Income
46400 Broadcast Income
46410 Tournament Income
82600 *Internal Income

*For making an inter-office/department transfer of funds, using an internal requisition form

Check Requests
A check request form (see example in Forms) is used

  • to reimburse someone who has been authorized to make a purchase for your organization;
  • to pay a business for materials, equipment, etc., for which your organization was billed;
  • to pay a person or persons for services rendered, e.g., commissions, honoraria, band fees;
  • to request a cash advance.

Before processing a check request for one of the above reasons, you must have the original support documents, (e.g., receipt, voucher, invoice, contract). When paying an individual for services rendered, you must have the person’s permanent home address, social security number, and U.S. citizenship status before payment can be made. When paying an outside vendor, speaker’s bureau, or entertainment agent, you must have the tax I.D. number for that business. This policy is strictly enforced by the University Accounting Office.
After you have filled out your check request form, the organization’s treasurer and faculty/staff adviser must sign the request before it is submitted to the Disbursement Services. Check request forms without two authorized signatures will be returned. An example of how to fill out a check request form properly is shown in the Forms section.

Internal Requisition Form
Vanderbilt University uses an internal requisition form (“1180″) to conduct interdepartmental business. You may use this form to pay for services provided through a University department or office (such as printing, purchasing office supplies, or renting equipment and/or building space for meetings, etc.). You may also use an internal requisition form to transfer funds from your student organization to another or vice versa, (e.g., donations, co-sponsored events). An example of how to fill out an internal requisition form is shown in the Appendix. Your financial adviser must sign the form before you take or mail the requisition to the appropriate office or department. The University resources listed below accept internal requisition forms as payment.

  • University Bookstore (Rand Hall)
  • Campus Copy (Rand Hall)
  • Learning Resource Center (221 Garland Hall)
  • Printing Services (625 Chestnut Street)
  • Schedules and Reservations (Sarratt Student Center)

Purchase Order
From time to time your organization may require the services of an off-campus business that requires a purchase order. Before going to your financial adviser for a purchase order, confirm that the vendor will accept a purchase order, and then provide your adviser with the following information:

1. the name, address, and telephone number of the company with which you are transacting business and the contact person at that company (if known);

2. what it is you wish to purchase (if there is a catalog number, part number, etc., this must be included);

3. the total cost of the purchase, including shipping and handling charges (if known);

4. whether or not the order is a confirmation only (i.e., you have already ordered the item and the purchase order is to confirm that order).

For purchase orders of $500 or more, this process takes a minimum of two weeks, so plan ahead. Small purchase orders ($500.00 or less) can be processed the same day they are requested. Be sure you know what type of purchase order you need before going to see your financial adviser. (See sample purchase order in the Appendix.) For more instructions on using purchase orders, visit the Vanderbilt Purchasing Web site at www.vanderbilt.edu/purchasing_and_ap/

Monthly Ledger Sheets
The Accounting Office generates monthly ledger sheets for all student organization accounts around the 15th of each month. These sheets are sent to your financial adviser. You should review these sheets each month to monitor your organization’s financial activity. These ledger sheets are similar to your bank statement and list all deposits and expenditures that occurred within your organization’s account during the previous month. As you do with your personal bank statement, your organization will need to reconcile its account, adding deposits not yet shown, or expenditures not yet withdrawn to obtain the organization’s current balance. If you have difficulty understanding your monthly ledger sheets, consult your faculty/staff adviser or the Office of Student Organizations (322-2471).

Additional Forms
Occasionally, you may have to request additional forms from your financial adviser. As with all financial forms, your adviser’s signature must be obtained before the form will be honored by the Accounting Office. Those forms include:

Travel Information and Travel Expense Reports
From time to time, students travel as members of a registered organization to conferences, workshops, sporting competitions, or other events. Any student who wants to travel on behalf of or as a representative of Vanderbilt University (or any approved student organization) must receive written authorization in advance of the trip. A Student Travel Form must be submitted to and signed by your faculty/staff adviser and the appropriate Office of the Dean of Students department head. This travel form must be submitted two weeks before the time of departure. Any student wishing to travel as a member of a student organization must also sign the release form which is included in the Student Travel Form.

Upon the student’s return, a Travel Expense Report must be completed in order to receive reimbursement. All expenditures must be accompanied by itemized original receipts. Reimbursements for expenditures will not be approved without backup documentation attached to the Travel Expense Report. This report form must be completed within ten days after the student’s return, signed by the organization’s faculty/staff adviser, and approved by the appropriate department head or dean in order to receive reimbursement.

Rental of Vehicles and Equipment
All rental of vehicles and equipment from an outside agency, person or group by a registered student organization must be approved in advance by the organization’s faculty/staff adviser and the appropriate dean or department head. All contracts with an outside agency, person, or group must also be signed by the Dean of Students. Any vehicle or equipment rentals should be made in the name of Vanderbilt University and signed by the Dean of Students.

Vehicle Loan Service
If your group will need transportation to and from service sites, there are five steps to complete before making reservations for a vehicle loan.

1. Complete the Driver Authorization Application (online form at available at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/oacs/toolbox.html)

2. You will receive an email confirming your authorization and providing instructions for you to complete an online training module

3. After you have completed the online training print off your certificate

4. Bring your certificate and drivers license to the CPH to view a training video and learn about the Vehicle Loan Procedure

5. Complete the OACS Vehicle Reservation Form and pick up your keys on your day of service

If you encounter problems, need help, or just want clarification on financial matters, talk with your faculty/staff adviser first. If you need additional assistance, or have questions regarding any information contained within this manual, feel free to call the Office of Student Organizations at 322-2471, or stop by the office, 207 Sarratt Student Center.

Code Account Description
60000 Duplication/Copying
60020 Printing
60030 Postage
60040 Office Supplies
60050 Forms
60060 Photography
60070 Computer Software
60080 Uniforms/Costumes
60100 Recreational
60145 Books/Periodicals/Subscriptions
61200 Licenses
61300 Telephone Local
61310 Telephone Long Distance
61350 Telephone—Add/Move
61400 Fees
61410 Dues/Membership
61420 Advertising/Promotion
61430 Special Promotions
61450 Food, Beverage, T-shirts, Special Programs/Projects
61490 Alumni Activities
61900 Miscellaneous Fees
61920 Unassigned Expense
62050 Registration Fees for Conferences
62620 Student Travel
62640 Varsity Team Travel
62670 Travel Other
63800 Honoraria
64080 Prizes and Awards
65210 Catalogs and Bulletins
67670 Varsity Game Expense
67700 Tournament Expense
68500 Security
70050 Repair/Replace/Fix Equipment
70070 Repair/Replace Equipment
70100 Computer Maintenance
71210 Rental of Buildings
71220 Rental of Equipment
71250 OtherRental/Flowers Decorations
71260 Vehicle Rentals
71280 Facility Use
74020 Office Equipment over $500
74110 Office Equipment under $500
80210 Special Catering
80700 Computer Center, University
81100 Plant Operations

Student Organization Funding Sources and Policies

Student Organization Funding Sources and PoliciesOrganizations which are registered with the Office of Student Organizations have a variety of options available to them for funding the organization and its programs. Before considering any of these options, an organization should:

  • Define its goals and plans for the year
  • Create an itemized budget, based on those goals, that covers annual needs and/or any special projects
  • Determine what monetary support the group already has, e.g., membership dues, activities fee money, etc., and learn about other potential sources
  • Calculate what kinds of funds the organization needs to obtain, and be able to articulate how this money will be spent
  • Consult with the organization’s adviser to make sure the budget plans are feasible

Student Activities Fees

Annual Allocation
Students enrolled in Vanderbilt University pay a Student Activities Fee. The AcFee Committee allocates these fees annually to registered student organizations which sponsor programs, projects, and services that benefit the students who have paid the fees. Applications are available in January and are due to the AcFee Committee at the end of February for funding in the next academic year. The AcFee Committee submits their decisions to the Office of the Dean of Students for final approval.

All registered student organizations are eligible to apply for AcFee funding.  Generally, programs eligible for funding meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Programs and services demonstrate a wide campus appeal and are open and available to all students free of charge or at a reduced rate
  • Programs and services address the needs of an under-served or minority population on campus
  • Programs and services enhance the overall educational, social, and cultural climate available to all students

Co-sponsorships or Department Allocations
Many student organizations and student programs can be subsidized by grants or allocations from academic or administrative departments. If the program or organization derives from an academic discipline (e.g., the Chemistry Majors Association), the corresponding academic department is the best place to solicit funding for programs which supplement the academic experience. Many administrative departments may also be willing to supplement programs or services. To solicit their financial support, it is best to schedule an appointment with a member of that department to discuss partnerships which benefit both the organization and the department.

Co-sponsorship of programs is a good alternative because it combines resources of existing groups and/or departments, and it generally benefits all co-sponsoring organizations, as well as the general student population. The most successful co-sponsorship arrangements consist of the following components:

  • A proposal early in the planning stages that two or more groups combine resources in order to carry out a successful program or service
  • Involvement of all co-sponsoring organizations in the planning, marketing, and execution of the event (simple requests for monetary contributions from student groups do not always create a sense of ownership on the part of co-sponsoring groups and may discourage groups from assisting financially or otherwise)
  • A written agreement of which organization will carry out which part of a program or service. Written agreements should list time and date of program, the agreed-upon responsibilities of all co-sponsoring parties, and the signatures of all co-sponsoring parties (see sample agreement in Appendix)
  • Recognition of all co-sponsoring organizations or departments in advertising and promotion campaigns and during or following an event

Dues, Ticket Sales, and On-campus Fundraisers
Registered student organizations are entitled to charge dues to their membership. All dues must be deposited in an organization’s University account upon receipt. Registered groups may also charge admission to events, provided that the primary purpose of sales shall be to raise money for the benefit of the organization, or for the benefit of a charitable group, and not for the benefit of individual members of that organization. Students may not sell tickets for a raffle or lottery, in accordance with Tennessee state law.

No approval is required for the sale of tickets for admission, or for the sale of items for fundraising when the funds raised are solely for the organization or its charity and are deposited into the organization’s University account. Students must make arrangements with the Coordinator of Schedules and Reservations to reserve a table or room to sell tickets or items.

All sales and promotional activities must be conducted by members of a registered student organization. No organization can sponsor the sale of goods or services to students on behalf of a non-Vanderbilt commercial enterprise, except where the sales activity provides a value-added service during a traditional Vanderbilt event, such as Homecoming or Rites of Spring. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Office of Student Activities.

Residence Hall Solicitation and Charity Drives
In general, solicitation in the residence halls is prohibited. Room to room solicitation for any reason is not allowed. Those students or student organizations who wish to organize clothing, food, blood, book or other types of drives in the residence halls must request authorization from the Director of Residence Life (see Forms for sample application).

Other On-campus Sources

  • University Committee on Lectures. The Committee on Lectures works with faculty and student groups to bring to the campus speakers whose high personal achievement or whose topics are of sufficient timeliness to appeal to a general academic audience. The Committee is particularly supportive of programs with broad interdisciplinary and interschool appeal, and it seeks co-sponsors to assure breadth of appeal. Contact the Chancellor’s Office at 322-2168 for contact information.
  • The Vanderbilt Internal Campaigns Office. This office occasionally accepts applications for undesignated funds collected by the Vanderbilt Community Giving Campaign. The campaign invites student organizations that offer direct social services to the Nashville community to request funds for the current year. Criteria for consideration of all applications include the following: Does the program provide a direct service? To what degree are Vanderbilt students, faculty, and/or staff involved? Funds availability will be announced early in the spring semester. Please call 343-8759 for applications or questions.

Off-campus Fundraising
If your organization has exhausted all other sources of funds on campus, it may be possible for you to solicit funds from sources off campus. Funds can be obtained in several ways: through solicitation of parents and alumni, solicitation of area merchants and large corporations, and invitations for co-sponsorship or gifts in kind from businesses. In general, consider the “Tips for Soliciting Potential Donors” at right, before beginning your fundraising campaign.

Note: Fundraising is difficult! There is no guarantee that all the funds you need will be raised. However, following these guidelines will increase your chances of success. Remember that every contact you have with a potential donor influences whether your solicitation will be successful. Be courteous and professional at all times; you reflect your organization as well as your University.

Guidelines for Soliciting Parents and Alumni
The Office of Alumni Relations maintains some historical records of student organization membership and may be able to provide student organizations with mailing labels for their organization’s alumni. If the purpose of the solicitation and the letter’s content are approved, labels will be provided. Please allow a maximum of two weeks to receive labels. (Please note that all Greek organizations should contact the Greek Life Office to request alumni lists.) If the organization or program is relatively new, does not meet criteria for funding from other sources, or does not have alumni labels available to it, the organization may solicit parents and alumni for contributions. Before beginning a campaign, student organization leaders must submit a one-page summary of the program or project’s mission and budget to the Office of Student Organizations. If all other funding sources have been exhausted, and the program is consistent with the organization’s goals and complements the University’s mission, the Office of Student Organizations will refer the proposal in writing to the Office of Alumni Relations for assistance. Pending their review, Alumni Relations will consult with and assist student organizations with approved proposals.

Tips for Soliciting Potential Donors

1. Develop a list of people and/or corporations that you want to solicit. Learn the guidelines, and obtain the approval of appropriate university administrators before proceeding.

2. Develop a strategy: Who is the best person in your organization to obtain a positive outcome in working with an individual or corporation? Should you make a personal visit, or a phone call, or send a letter?

Personal Visit. For corporations or individuals, you should do the following:

  • Call to introduce yourself, explain your purpose, and set an appointment.
  • Dress professionally, and be prepared to explain your organization’s needs and how this individual or corporation can help.
  • Write a thank-you note promptly; reiterate your needs and the role the individual or corporation might play in meeting those needs. Explain that they should send their gift directly to the Vanderbilt Office of Gift Processing, designated as a gift for your organization (110 Baker Building, Nashville, TN 37203).
  • Plan how to follow up, and then do so in a timely fashion.
    Letter. Follow these general guidelines, and remember that a letter is never enough! Be sure to follow up with a personal phone call.
  • In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and your organization. Explain your project clearly and how it will benefit the students, community, etc.
  • In the second paragraph, explain your organization’s needs and how this individual or corporation can help. Justify the costs and expenses related to the project, and explain why the University is unable to support it financially from its own resources.
  • In the third paragraph, remind your readers that the gift is tax-deductible, and explain any other benefits they may receive (advertising in your program, free tickets, etc.). Explain that they should send their gift directly to the Vanderbilt Office of Gift Processing, designated as a gift for your organization.
  • In the final paragraph, thank your readers for their consideration, and inform them that you will call soon to answer any questions they might have.

3. Ensure that all monetary contributions you receive are deposited promptly and correctly. Donors should make their checks out to “Vanderbilt University” with your organization name on the memo line and mail them directly to the Vanderbilt Office of Gift Processing (VU Station B #357727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-7727). All non-monetary gifts-in-kind must be documented and reported to the Gift Processing Office. Any contribution you receive directly should be promptly delivered to Gift Processing by campus mail or by hand at 110 Baker Building. Gift Processing will deposit checks into your account and send the donor a gift receipt acceptable to the IRS.

4. Send a handwritten letter thanking the individual or corporation for the gift. This letter should be sent immediately after you learn of the gift and should explain how your organization will use the donation.


Guidelines for Solicitation of Area Merchants and Corporate Sponsors
Area merchants and corporations can contribute to student organization endeavors in one of two ways: (1) by simple donation of money or other non-monetary donation of merchandise, products, gift certificates, etc. (“gift-in-kind”) in response to a solicitation by your organization or (2) more likely, through a co-sponsorship understanding where the business will receive recognition your organization provides in response to a contribution of money or gift-in-kind.

1. All solicitations of businesses or corporations must be cleared through the Office of Student Organizations, 322-2471. Be prepared to provide a description of the activity for which your organization is seeking support, a list of potential donors, and the ways co-sponsoring businesses or corporations will be acknowledged. The Office of Student Organizations will provide you an example solicitation letter, example proposal, and suggestions for a successful corporate or business solicitation.

2. All contributions of money or gifts-in-kind of merchandise, products, gift certificates, etc. must be processed by the Office of Gift Processing, 322-2979. Your solicitation materials should ask contributors to send monetary donations directly to Gift Processing (see the side bar for address information) with a notation that the gift is for your organization. Report gifts-in-kind by submitting to Gift Processing (1) a gifts-in-kind donation form (available from Gift Processing) and (2) a statement of value such as a receipt or a letter on company letterhead. Gift Processing will send the local merchant or corporation a receipt acceptable by the IRS.

3. Before your organization invites an area merchant or corporation to co-sponsor an event by a contribution of any amount, you must receive permission from the Office of Student Organizations. Generally, student organizations may acknowledge the assistance or contribution of co-sponsoring businesses or corporations in programs, banners, displays, or event memorabilia (party favors, T-shirts, caps, etc.). Student groups may not permit co-sponsoring businesses or corporations to conduct sales or sales promotions, or distribute free samples or coupons in conjunction with any student organization program or event, unless the sales promotion activity provides a value added service during a traditional Vanderbilt event. Any such sales promotion activity must be approved by the Office of Student Organizations.
As with co-sponsorships between a student organization and Vanderbilt departments, groups should prepare a written document summarizing the co-sponsorship relationship with a business or corporation. The written proposal should include the time and date of the activity, a summary of the activity and its purpose, sponsorship level or levels, and how the company will be acknowledged. It is usually helpful to describe the expected number and diversity of the participants and observers of the activity. A sample proposal and cover letter can be obtained from the Office of Student Organizations.

Grants and Foundations
Many private and corporate foundations and federal agencies have funds or grants available for organizations seeking funding for educational or service programs. Grant writing requires a great deal of research but can yield positive results. After researching the following sources, if you find funding sources to which you wish to apply you may contact the Office of Sponsored Research at 322-2631 for assistance with governmental granting agencies.

fdncenter.org The Foundation Center is a comprehensive source of information on private foundation sources.

fundingopps2.cos.com This Web site is home to the “Community of Science,” a searchable database of thousands of funding sources.

www.taftgroup.com The Taft Group publishes information on various grant sources.

Funding Sources: A Quick Reference

Activity Fee. For student groups and programs with broad appeal. Apply in January, interview in February; subject to approval by Student Finance Committee. Student Activities, 322-2471

  • Co-Sponsorships. Invite other groups/departments to contribute funds and assist in planning; put agreement in writing. Student Activities, 322-2471
  • Ticket Sales and Merchandising. No approval necessary for sale of tickets or goods/services provided by student group. Sale of goods or services by or on behalf of a non-Vanderbilt merchant prohibited, except where the sale of goods enhances a traditional event. Exceptions approved by Student Activities. Student Activities, 322-2471
  • Door-to-Door Delivery. Obtain approval from Director of Residential Life. 322-2591
  • On-campus Fundraising Events. Special events must be registered through Schedules and Reservations and the Office of the Dean of Students. Schedules and Reservations, 322-2448
  • Parent/Alumni Fundraising. If Alumni Office has database of your group’s alumni available, submit sample fundraising letter to Alumni to obtain set of labels. If not, submit fundraising proposal to Student Activities for referral to Alumni and Development. Alumni and Development, 322-2929, or Student Activities, 322-2471
  • Soliciting Donations or Gifts from Merchants or Corporations. To solicit a merchant, submit sample solicitation request to Student Activities at 322-2471. Have donations sent directly to Gift Records Office.
  • Corporate Sponsorship. Exchange of funds for advertising or sponsorship credit of a student organization program or event. Advertising must be non-persuasive in nature. Corporate sponsors will not be allowed to engage in merchandising or sales promotion. Obtain permission from Student Activities before soliciting a corporate sponsor. Put co-sponsorship agreement in writing. Student Activities, 322-2471

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