Colorado State University, in collaboration with many Fort Collins community supporters, offers a wide array of financial resources for student organizations.
A portion of every student’s activity fee is allocated by ASCSU to campus programming. If your organization meets the qualifications, they may be eligible to receive funding.
Other campus resources include the Travel Grant, the Lory Student Center Diversity Grant, Campus Activities Programming Grants, and the Vice President for Student Affairs Parents Fund. Click on the links below to find out more about funding criteria and application deadlines.
- ASCSU – The Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) allocates funds to Registered Student Organizations for on-campus events through the Student Funding Board. For more information please visit the ASCSU website.
- LSC Diversity Grant
- The Travel Grant: The 2016-2017 Travel Grant Application is now live! The Travel Grant is designed to support current CSU students attendance at conferences. Each student traveler wishing to utilize Travel Grant funds must complete the Travel Grant Consent Form, whether they are the one who submitted the Travel Grant Application for the group or not. Only one Travel Grant Application is needed for groups requesting travel, i.e. student organizations. Forms must be completed and submitted prior to the submission deadline in which the application is submitted. NOTE: only current, fee-paying CSU students are eligible to apply. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and once funds have been exhausted, no additional grant money will be awarded the remainder of the academic year.
- Coke Campus of Character Beverage Grant
- Lilla B. Morgan Fund
Registered student organizations may apply for a Student Organizations Financial Account (SOFA) after meeting with a member of the accounting staff in SLiCE. The account application form is submitted by SLiCE staff to Business and Financial Services for approval. This process may take up to three weeks.
SOFAs are available for transactions that support and enhance the educational and cultural nature of the University.
Student organization funds obtained from ASCSU, Flea Market, University academic departments or any other State monies must be maintained in a SOFA. Under no circumstances may any state-budgeted monies reside outside of a university assigned account.
Any monies deposited into a SOFA are considered State money (regardless of where the money originated) and must be spent per State rules and regulations. It is critical to determine what type of expenditures your group plans to make before opening a SOFA.
- The SLiCE Office is prohibited from processing financial transactions for entrepreneurial business or for-profit businesses or commercial enterprises.
- It is expressly prohibited to use funds for any activities prohibited by federal or State law, including, but not limited to, the following:Colorado Revised Statue 1-45-117 provides, among other things, that state money cannot be used to fund political campaigns involving the nomination, retention or election of any person to any public office. The statue also prohibits the use of state money to urge electors to vote in favor of or against any state-wide or local ballot issue, referred measure or measure for recall.The Constitution of Colorado, Article IX, Section 7 prohibits the expenditure of State funds for any sectarian purpose. An activity with a sectarian purpose would include, for example, the activities of worship, devotion, prayer, meditation, or a religious service.
Organization members could be held personally liable for any financial commitments, both verbal and written, made in the name of the organization if the organization is unable or refuses to remit payment for an outstanding debt.
Be sure to deposit funds in a timely manner. Amounts over $500 must be deposited immediately upon receipt. Endorse checks as soon as they are received with the student organization’s name and account number. This places a condition on the check that only allows it to be deposited to that account. Deposits for SOFAs can be made Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Checks received over 60 days old will be returned to the group.
SOFA monthly statements are sent via email to the organization’s treasurer. The information provided will include a general ledger (primary account report), which will give the account balance on sub code line “3200.” Additionally, a sub ledger will be included in the email showing all “outstanding commitments,” (invoices that have not been paid) and charges that have posted to the account that month.
As mandated in State rules and regulations, organizations that have self-generated funds (funds not received from ASCSU) will be expected to spend these funds during the current fiscal year (ending June 30) of which they were deposited. If funds were raised for an organizational event to be held during the next fiscal year, a formal budget must be on file with the SLiCE Office.
At the end of the academic year, the treasurer for each organization that has a SOFA, along with a SLiCE staff member, will reconcile the account.
At the beginning of each fiscal year, every student organization with a SOFA must complete the registration process. Signatures given during registration informs the SLiCE staff of the individuals who are authorized to spend funds from the account. Each organization may include up to four signatures during registration; however, only two signatures are required to process financial documents. Cash withdrawals from a SOFA are not allowed. In order to make purchases, authorized signers on the account must submit a Request for Financial Document form. An off-campus purchase is referred to as an Authorization for Expenditure or AFE. An on-campus purchase is referred to as an Internal Order or an IO.
How to spend money on goods and services
- For purchases under $3,000, student organizations complete a Request for Financial Document form and submit it to the SLiCE at least four days before the purchase will be made. For purchases of $3,000 or more, the Request for Financial Document form, along with three (3) written bids from vendors, must be submitted at least three weeks prior to needing the payment (see #6 for more information).
- Log every request into AFE/IO log book located at the main desk in the SLiCE Office.
- The request will be processed and approved through the University’s system by staff members within four business days.
- The AFE or IO document will be available in the folder next to the log book for organization members to pick up four days after it was submitted and logged in.
- Always ask the vendor for a detailed receipt for goods purchased. Record the AFE/IO number on that receipt and turn the receipt into the SLiCE Office as soon as possible. Receipts will only be processed 30 days from the date of purchase. The SLiCE Office must have a receipt in order for the business to get paid.
- Purchases over $3,000 must be routed from the SLiCE through the University’s Purchasing Department. Three bids must be obtained in writing (no invoices) from three companies and submitted with a document request form. This process takes a minimum of three weeks. No order, written or verbal, may be placed until a purchase order is received from the University’s Purchasing Department. Do not sign or verbally agree to a contract with a vendor, as you could be personally liable for the payment. If only one company can supply the group’s needs, a sole source justification is needed to verify the facts. Likewise, if an organization does not select the lowest bid, the reasoning needs to be submitted to the SLiCE Office.
- Please note that a limited number of businesses accept CSU’s expenditure forms (AFEs). Examples of businesses that currently do not accept forms are Walmart, Safeway, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Sam’s Club.
Purchases made by student organizations with SOFAs to CSU entities require Internal Orders or IOs.
If a student organization has a SOFA it should pay for items at on-campus entities such as Copy Rite, CSU Bookstore, Instructional Services, Printing and Publications, Events Planning Office, CSU Police Department, Facilities Management, etc., with an IO. No on-campus entities will be allowed to directly charge a SOFA. For student organizations without a SOFA, on-campus entities will accept direct payment (except for Motor Pool which will only accept IOs for payment). If a student organization without a SOFA wishes to utilize Motorpool services, the SLiCE Office will issue an IO for the group. The office requires an official Motorpool trip estimate, one check for that estimated amount and a second check (deposit) for 25% on the total trip amount. The deposit will be held in the SLiCE vault and only deposited if additional monies are owed to Motorpool, otherwise the check will be returned to the student organization.
The SLiCE Office has a small petty cash fund available. Reimbursements may be made to student groups in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Organizations must have a SOFA and carry a balance sufficient to cover the expense.
- Only club officers who are listed on the signature card may present receipts for reimbursement. They will be asked to sign a disbursal form for the funds.
- Original receipts are required. No photocopies will be accepted. Receipts must be clearly marked as paid by the vendor.
- Dollar amounts reimbursable must be under $50 for off-campus purchases and under $10 at the CSU Bookstore. (The use of IMOs is encouraged for all Bookstore purchases as this allows groups to avoid the sales tax that is charged to individuals and enables them to take advantage of the club discount given.)
- No food or drink costs can be reimbursed from the petty cash fund. This includes snacks, soda, candy, cups, plates, silverware, decorating supplies, floral centerpieces, etc. These hospitality expenses, along with supplies related to a program or event, if purchased with personal funds, must be reimbursed by submitting a financial document request form. Receipts cannot be split between both petty cash and AFE reimbursements.
- Mileage may be reimbursed for short trips in and around Fort Collins at 28 cents per mile, up to $25 total. (This is a reimbursement for mileage, not the cost of gas.) All mileage expenses above $25 and other types of travel expenses (parking, tolls, etc.) must be processed through the University’s travel system.
SLiCE will not approve expenditures that put a SOFA in the deficit. When student organizations are planning events/programs, it is critical that all expenses incurred can be paid with previously deposited and secured funds. The SLiCE Office staff will not approve expenditures based on estimated revenue.
In order to protect student organizations and individuals within these organizations, the university follows the state policy regarding the collection of sales tax from sales stemming from student organizations. This policy states that sales tax needs to be collected on tangible merchandise sold. The current sales tax rate in Colorado is 6.7%.
Each student organization must collect tax on goods either purchased for resale or produced for resale. This includes items such as food, t-shirts, plants, bumper stickers, hats, etc. Sales tax does not need to be collected on dues, ticket sales, entrance fees, or services.
Note: By using this process, a student organization will be collecting sales tax from the customer. The student organization is not paying the taxes. If you have any questions, please call 491-1682. SLiCE staff can assist you in pricing items and calculating the taxes owed from profits of student organization sales.
Colorado State University claims tax-exempt status as a political subdivision of the State by virtue of Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If your student organization has a SOFA you may use the tax-exempt number when making purchases with University documents and Pcards. Any other use of this number must be approved by the Office of Advancement Services prior to making any commitments. If your student organization has a non-university financial account you must apply for tax-exempt status with the Tax Division of the State of Colorado.
To seek out a tax exemption number, visit the Internal Revenue Service website: www.irs.gov. Select the application for exemption. Also listed are instructions and frequently asked questions regarding this process. University employees are not allowed to give out any tax advice. Please refer to the IRS website to have your questions answered.
For additional information contact the University Tax Manager, James R. Loosely, at 491-6513.
The SLiCE Office does NOT allow SOFA monies, either allocated or self-generated, to be used for the purchase of alcohol. This includes alcoholic drinks for speakers/performers.
Per State rules and regulations, the purchase of prizes is not allowed. When you want to thank or recognize someone, the following are allowable expenditures: make a certificate of appreciation; purchase a reasonably priced engraved plaque; or take a collection from your members to use for the purchase or gift.
All awards, regardless of purpose or recipient, must be given only in recognition of acts or achievements clearly benefiting the University.
All awards require a written statement documenting:
- The purpose of the award
- The criteria for eligibility
- The selection procedures
- Name(s) of recipient(s)
- Student or non-student status of recipient
The statement should be submitted to the SLiCE Office with a Request for Financial Document form.
No. All funds in the SOFA account must be spent from the SOFA account utilizing the SOFA spending guidelines and process.
The SLiCE Office has a change fund, which may be used to make change for an event or fundraising activity. Registered Student Organizations that have a SOFA must order the change fund two days in advance of their event. If the change funds issued are not returned to SLiCE within 24 hours, the student who has signed for the funds will be held personally liable. The charge will be made to their student account and could be subject to a 1.5% late charge. No change funds will be issued over a weekend.
Sport clubs are registered as student organizations through the SLiCE Office; however, they are advised and their financial accounts are maintained by the Campus Recreation staff, thus, sport club financial policies may differ from general student organization financial policies. Student organizations seeking Sport Club status must be approved by the Assistant Director of Sport Clubs and the Sport Clubs Governing Board. Sport Clubs do not have access to ASCSU controlled funds; however, they are eligible for funding through the Sport Club Budget Committee. Clubs may also request money from the Sport Club Association’s supplemental fund for travel to national or regional tournaments/events.
If you have any questions, please call 491-1682. We are happy to help in pricing items and calculating the taxes owed from the profits of the student organizations sales. Whether you have a SOFA or not, the SLiCE Office can help you properly deposit your sales tax to the city, county and state.