Financing Your Club

One of the biggest challenges that student organizations face is managing the funding that they receive. This section will outline how clubs and organizations can receive funding, how to generate extra funding through fundraising and co-sponsorship, and how to estimate some of the costs that might be incurred throughout an academic year.

There are several ways that Union Chartered clubs and organizations can receive funding from the Finance Board Allocations Fund. The main three, Early Marathon funding, Regular Marathon funding, and Emergency Funding, are explained below.

Early Marathon Funding

Towards the end of each semester, the Finance Board holds Early Marathon, special meetings for the allocation of funds for the following semester. Usually, the F-Board sets a specific time period in which money can be used (example, all funds requested during Early Marathon must be used by September 18th). Attending Early Marathon does not prevent organizations from making additional requests during Regular Marathon.

Regular Marathon Funding

At the beginning of each semester, the Finance Board holds Regular Marathon, special meetings for the allocation of funds for the present semester. Meetings usually occur during the first month of the semester. Regular Marathon can be used to request money for use starting on a date specified by the Union. This date is the time specified that Early Marathon money must be spent.                

Emergency Requests (ER) Funding

An ER meeting is formerly known as a STEP (Short-Term Expense Planning) meeting. The name has changed in order to encourage organizations to request all foreseen funding during Early and Regular Marathons. ER should only be used for real emergency requests and should not be treated as an alternative to Marathons. Like before, ER meetings are held weekly. As another incentive to encourage organizations to come to Marathon meetings, there is NO waiting list. Organizations can sign-up only within given time period on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The ER meetings are used as a funding source for specific information:

  1. Newly chartered organizations that were formed after the marathon process.
  2. Expenses related to a program that were not anticipated.
  3. Requests for which exact details were unknown during the Marathon process.  ER may not be treated as an alternative to Marathons. Organizations can sign-up only within the given time period on a first-come, first-serve basis.

How to Sign Up For Marathon

Sign-up for respective meetings once the F-Board Chair sends out an e-mail notifying the dates and times of meetings:

  • Go to
  • Log-in with UNET account
  • Click on “ Club Center” at the top menu
  • Click on a respective club name from the list
  • Under “Club Administration” section, click on “Make Funding Requests & Fill Out Club Forms”
    • If this link does not appear, please e-mail the F-Board Chair who will add you as a club administrator
  • Click on an appropriate meeting
  • Input all requests and thorough descriptions including dates, times, prices, and all other information that matter
    • When inputting funding requests, please add each item individually, but group sub-items under one main item as groups or events
  • Click on “Add One Request” to add more funding requests
    • You may also add sub-items by clicking on “Add a sub-item”

On Meeting Days

All meetings are held in the Student Union Office in Shapiro Campus Center 301, unless otherwise notified. Please remember the following.

  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before scheduled appointment time
  • Bring proofs of cost for all requests
  • Be represented by a knowledgeable club leader who can discuss and explain the need for every request
  • The F-Board members will ask several questions:
    • How requests will be funded if the F-Board does not fully fund them
    • How requests benefit students
    • How requests serve organization’s purposes
    • How requests serve event’s purposes
    • Club history
    • Logistics of events
    • Any other pertinent questions
    • Number of total members and active members
    • Number of people on an organization’s mailing list
    • Outside funding sources
    • Fundraising events done by an organization
    • Any other information an organization feels necessary for the F-Board to know

After Meetings

For Marathons, decisions are made usually within a week after the conclusion of all funding requests. For ERs, decisions are made usually within 24 hours after the conclusion of all funding requests. The F-Board Chair will send out a confirmation e-mail via clubleaders e-mailing list as soon as the results are finalized. You will be able to see the allocations on your club’s my.brandeis page or on your SUMS page.


For any appeals on F-Board allocation decisions, please contact the F-Board Chair as soon as possible (within 24 hours of confirmation e-mail). The F-Board Chair will then explain to you on logistics on how the whole process works.

Usually, a decision of the F-Board may be reopened for review if one of the following conditions is met:

  • A majority of the F-Board (4 out of 7 members) decides in favor of it
  • The organization for which the request was made requests it, provided that 2 members of the F-Board agree to support the request


The Student Union President has power to veto decisions of the F-Board within 5 academic days of the decision. The F-Board may, by a 2/3 vote, overturn any presidential vetoes. The F-Board vote must take place within 5 academic days of the veto. This should be taken as the last resort for organizations.


Student Activities Fee Policies

Now that you have your funding, there are some important policies to be aware of in regards to this money. The following is a list of certain Finance Board policies regarding the use of Student Activities Fee funds by undergraduate clubs.

Clothing Policy

Clubs may not use SAF funds to order custom clothing, unless it is part of a giveaway at a campus event. You are strongly encouraged to include “Brandeis University” on all purchased apparel.

Travel Policy

The Finance Board will reimburse mileage for personal vehicles at a rate of 15 cents per mile. Other travel may or may not be funded, at the Board’s discretion.

Food Policy

Clubs may not purchase food for private events, such as staff meetings or training sessions, using SAF money. Food may be purchased as part of a larger event, such as a fair or cultural gala.

Prohibited Items

Clubs may not use SAF money to make political donations, fund “retroactive” requests (these are when the club spends money before soliciting funds from the Finance Board), purchase personal gifts (e.g., birthday cards), raise funds for a club or charity, go on retreats, pay the UTC Fee or Cholmondley’s Coffee House Fee, items likely to be or likely to become personal property (e.g., tights or bobby pins), or for any item that would violate Brandeis policy, Massachusetts law, or U.S. law.

Off Campus Account Policy

Clubs are not permitted to open any form of financial or legal instrument outside of the university in the name of the club, or using the Brandeis name. This includes bank accounts, stock brokerage accounts, PayPal accounts, prepaid debit/credit cards, or any other such financial or legal instrument.

Other Financing Options:

Below is a list of other funding options for your club.


Sponsoring an event or program with another club, department, or organization can help finance some programs that could not happen without collaboration. Not only will this help financially, but it also helps attract a larger group of people. If you need suggestions on who to approach for co-sponsorship, please see the Department of Student Activities or the Student Union.


Often times, even with F-Board funding and co-sponsorship, you may still need more money. Fundraising will help increase the amount of money with which you have to work.

Why Have a Fundraiser?

•Raise money for your organization

•Raise financial support and awareness for a charity/non-profit agency

•Motivate members

•Learn how to coordinate sponsorship

•Network with the community

•Give back to the University

Clubs are permitted to raise funds for their clubs in various ways, such as holding a bake sale, selling tickets to performances, selling T-shirts, and so on. Clubs may collect this money as either cash or checks, payable to Brandeis University.

If a department wishes to donate to a club, they may only do so via internal transfers (journal entries). Alternately, clubs may coordinate with the Brandeis Tickets although there will be a fee associated with this.

It is illegal for clubs to purchase items using the Brandeis tax-exempt status if they intend to sell those items.

Brandeis Pluralism Alliance Grant

One of the grants available to student groups is the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance (BPA) Grant. Preference to receive the grant is given to teams of two individuals from diverse backgrounds (i.e. an instructor and a student, individuals from different clubs, nationalities, religions, races, etc.).  Most grants will not exceed $500 and are given for events that promote ideas inherent in pluralism and unity at Brandeis. Visit  for more information.

Leonard Bernstein’s Festival of the Creative Arts Grant

The Office of the Arts sponsors an opportunity to celebrate arts at Brandeis.  The Festival of the Arts typically occurs in the spring semester. The goals of the program are to, support campus artists, bring together members of the arts community, increase the involvement and engagement of the Brandeis community with the arts.

The grant size will depend on the quality and amount of applications, but the average grant size is $250.00. You must be a Brandeis student, faculty or staff to be eligible. This source of funding requires completion of an application and attention to specific noted deadlines. Please contact the Office of the Arts for more information at 781-736-2027 or visit

Gifts vs. Raffles vs. Donations:

  • If there is a benefit associated with the money exchanged, it is not considered a gift (ex. Waltham Group shuttles are not “gifts” because you get a ride in exchange for the money you give.).
  • Raffles are never considered donations/gifts because you are buying a “chance” to win something.
  • However, if you are charging $20 to a dinner event and part of that goes to the cost of dinner and part of that is a donation, you must disclose that $10 is for dinner and $10 is for the donation.

Gifts Policy

Clubs may solicit donations provided they act in accordance with all of the policies of the Brandeis University Development and Advancement Services office.

  • Options for obtaining gifts:
    • First, individuals may donate by credit card via the Development website, as long as they specify the club to which they are donating.
    • Second, they may write a check, payable to “Brandeis University,” with a club’s name and the annotation of either “Gift” or “Donation” in the memo field.
      • If a check is mailed, a club must also turn in the postmarked envelope, as well as any letter of intent included with the payment, due to IRS regulations.
      • Most gifts to Brandeis University are considered tax-exempt, as long as the donor does not receive any physical or monetary benefit for their contribution, and will result in a donor receiving a form from Brandeis confirming this fact.


Soliciting donations is a great way to help fund your club. Please follow the following procedures:

  • You may work with donations in two ways; receiving donations and making donations.
  • If a club/organization is asking for donations, they would deposit raised funds into their Union fundraising account by seeing a member of the Union Treasury. These funds can be used to cover costs that Marathon funds won’t cover or if a club isn’t chartered, these funds can be used for programming.
  • In addition, many clubs donate fundraised money to special causes or groups. Tax-exempt donations should be given to the Budget Analyst in the Students and Enrollment office, located on the second floor of the Shapiro Campus Center, to process. Please be sure to include what club is making the donation and all information pertaining to who is receiving the money.
  • If you are interested in hosting a silent auction as a fundraiser, please contact the Department of Student Activities or the Budget Analyst in the Students and Enrollment office for important information and regulations.
  • When someone is giving money as a donation, we need the following information sent to Paula Lee, Development, Mailstop 124. For more information call 781-736-4128.
    • Name
    • Address
    • Amount donated

Auction/Raffle Prizes and the People Who Donate Them:

You can hold an auction or raffle to help fund your event. Here are some procedures to be aware of.

  • If the donor wants a tax letter from Brandeis for donating the item, then Paula Lee (Development x64128) needs the following:
    • Donor's name
    • Address
    • A description of the item (including:  brand/make, model, color, year, condition, visual description, quantity, and **price or estimated market value, if they know it**, etc...). 
    • If they purchased the item for your event, and if they provide the Sales Receipt, Paula Lee (Development x64128) can give them a tax letter based on the sales receipt.
    • If Brandeis purchases items for auction, then Paula Lee (Development x64128) needs to know all the above and how much Brandeis purchased the item for...  if sale price, then also the retail price.
    • Need to let Paula Lee (Development x64128) know how much the item was sold for.
    • Information you need to collect for an auction and send to Paula Lee (Development x64128):
      • Name
      • Address of winner
      • Item won
      • How much he/she paid for the winning bid.
      • If the items are purchased for (not donated to) the auction, we need to know how much of the "bid price" went toward purchasing the item initially and how much is the "donation”.
      • You do not need to collect information of raffle winner.

Auction/Raffle Winners:

  • Information you need to collect for an auction and send to Paula Lee (Development x64128):
    • Name
    • Address of winner
    • Item won
    • How much he/she paid for the winning bid.
    • If the items are purchased for (not donated to) the auction, we need to know how much of the "bid price" went toward purchasing the item initially and how much is the "donation”.
  • You do not need to collect information of raffle winner.