Alumni Group Business Operations
The RUAA encourages all chartered organizations to apply for an individual Employer Identification Number (EIN) at IRS.gov (complete Form SS4). The EIN is normally issued immediately. Once the number is assigned, organizations are asked to provide the information by submitting a completed W9 form to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Having the completed W9 on file is a requirement in order for groups to be paid funds from event registrations, grants, etc.
Business Card Template
Constitution and By-Laws
How to Manage Funds for Chartered Group Operations
REMINDER: All RUAA Chartered Organizations have agreed to the following:
Three Steps for Managing Operating Funds
- The organization will not collect membership dues.
- The organization will not enter into merchandise or other third-party contracts in which royalties are received.
- The organization will coordinate any financial solicitations through staff liaisons in partnership with Rutgers University Foundation Annual Giving and Communications efforts. Solicitations for general operating expenses are not permitted.
1) Prepare an Annual Budget:
- Prepare an annual budget
- Avoid unnecessary costs
- Generate revenue to cover unavoidable costs
2) Tactics for Avoiding Costs:
- Create an annual list of events with estimated costs
- Anticipate revenue vs. expenses; identify financial needs
- Plan cost-free and revenue-generating events to cover expenses
- View a sample annual budget here.
Use resources provided by the RUAA
Plan cost-free events
- Email marketing
- Group landing page (coming soon)
- Event registration system
- Giveaways for key initiatives
- Participate in RUAA signature events as a group to save the costs of planning your own event (Ex: Run for RAH, the Scarlet Knight Dinner, Experience Rutgers, Alumni on Location, etc.)
Use your alumni network
- Host events such as game-watches, happy hours, and networking socials at local venues where participants pay their own way at no cost to the group
Seek out community partners, event sponsors, and collaborations
- Find out if any local alumni have connections with vendors, venues, attractions etc. (Ex: An alumnus who volunteers at a museum may be able to offer a free tour.)
3) Tactics for Generating Revenue:
- Contact local vendors to see if they are willing to provide free or discounted event space, food, and/or merchandise.
- Event sponsors: Local vendors may be willing to trade marketing exposure for funds/goods/services. (Ex: A sponsor may provide supplies for your event if they are acknowledged in the event invitations or on your group’s social media pages.)
- Collaborate with other chartered organizations to share costs
RUAA Grant Program
Charge event fees
- Unless there are special circumstances, always charge event fees that cover the cost of the event.
- Create a fee that not only covers costs but produces an excess to provide you with funds for future events and activities. (Ex: If a wine tasting event costs the group $40 per person, consider charging $45 or $50 per person. Keep it reasonable.)
- For long-standing events that have been traditionally free for attendees, consider adding a minimal and/or “suggested” fee to help offset costs.
- Consider charging additional fees for games/activities at the event.
- Activities such as auctions and raffles may require special licensing. Please look up the specific laws in your state: http://www.fundraiserhelp.com/state-raffle-laws.htm; https://auctionlaw.wordpress.com/state-auction-laws-auctioneer-licensing-requirements
Opportunities for financial support are made available through the RUAA grants program
. To receive RUAA grant funds, chartered organizations must maintain a bank account. In the United States, banks require organizations to have an EIN on file.
Fundraising through Rutgers University Foundation
Separate from your operating funds consider engaging your alumni by fundraising for charitable causes through Rutgers.
Solicit Funds for Passion Projects
- Fundraise for your passions: work with your RUAA and/or development liaison to determine which of Rutgers’ many existing funds might be the perfect choice for your group’s support.
- Include fundraising asks in broadcast emails, social media promotions, and any print mailings.
- If you have an idea for a fundraising project, ask your RUAA liaison about the possibility of crowdfunding through foundation (Visit one.rutgers.edu to view current crowdfunding projects).
- Consult with your RUAA and/or development liaison to discuss possible fundraising event opportunities.
- Some chartered organizations have established scholarships for which ongoing fundraising is encouraged.