Finances and Funding
Registered Student Organizations shall maintain a sound financial system related to the collection and disbursement of revenues in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A Registered Student Organization may be subject to audit by representatives of Tennessee Tech at any time, and appropriate financial records shall be maintained for the purposes of audit.
Registered Student Organizations shall designate an officer of the organization who will be responsible for the collection and disbursement of fund and the maintenance of books and records.
Officially Registered Student Organizations shall have the ability to apply for Tennessee Tech funds designated for Registered Student Organizations, including SOLO Funding and Chapter 606 Funds.
Registered Student Organizations may raise funds by assessment of its membership (dues) or application to designated Tennessee Tech funds.
Any fundraising activity shall be for the benefit of the Registered Student Organization as a whole or a charity, and no funds shall be distributed to the officers or members of any Registered Student Organization for personal profit or gain.
Approval for fundraising projects will not be given to an individual student except when the student is acting on behalf of an officially Registered Student Organization. This includes, but is not limited to advertising, selling, soliciting, and the distribution of materials. Registered Student Organizations may be required to meet with University Advancement regarding fundraising. Tennessee state law prohibits any attempt to raise money through the sale of “chances” or raffle.
If your organization plans to handle cash, review the Internal Control Practices and Recommended Cash Management Procedures document (PDF).
Many student organizations maintain a checking account with a local bank. Some banks offer “community” or non-profit accounts with very low fees.
Prior to opening any bank account, banking regulations require that the organization apply for and maintain a Federal Employer's Identification Number (EIN), similar to a social security number for an individual. See the EIN section below for more information. Do not use an individual’s Social Security Number to open the account.
The bank may require the following to set up an account:
- Organization EIN
- Information for two account holders and license/ID
- Organization constitution and by-laws that reference a bank account and the officers who should have access to the account
- Meeting minutes noting that the organization has approved the establishment of the account and the account holders
- Proof of registration with the University (the printed Eagle Engage portal may suffice, but the Center for Student Engagement can also provide a letter)
- Assign two officers to the account
- Review account statements at least monthly with the organization’s officers
- Upload EIN and bank account information to the organization’s Eagle Engage Files
- Deposits should be made promptly. Avoid storing fundraiser profits in your car or home. If you have a weekend or evening fundraiser and need to keep proceeds in a safe place until you can deposit it the next business day. The longer you wait, the more likely it will be lost or stolen.
- Maintain security over cash or checks collected, so your hard-earned money does not "walk off."
- Receipts should be issued for any money collected or disbursed by the organization. There should be a record (receipt) for each transaction, so whoever is designated to review the account does not have to question what is on the bank statement. A triplicate receipt book with white, pink, and yellow copies is an adequate tool for this objective.
- All financial obligations should be paid promptly.
The EIN number is used to identify an organization for tax purposes with the IRS. An EIN is often required by businesses or other partners wishing to host a "spirit night" with an organization or make other donations. It will also assist the organization in establishing an off-campus bank account. This EIN, also referred to as a Tax ID number (TIN) or FEID#, is similar to a social security number for your organization. These instructions lead you to obtain 501(c) 7 status, which is the proper status for a student organization.
To request an EIN, the organization must provide a Responsible Party - "This individual...controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.” Typically the President or Treasurer will serve as the Responsible Party. Student Organizations must report changes to the Responsible Party using Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business.
Unless your organization is registered with the State as some type of business your organization will need to select "View Additional Types, Including Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations" and then the applicable type of organization.
Once submitted you will choose to receive the EIN by mail or instantly. Once you receive documentation of the EIN, upload it to the organization’s Eagle Engage Files.
NOTE: Obtaining an EIN number does not mean your organization becomes an official 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Organization that is exempt from federal taxes. This is a separate process that has extensive requirements. Please note the organization may still pay taxes on purchases with the off-campus bank account but may not have to file a tax return depending on the account’s activity.