Table of Contents


Learn more about how to access your organization's finances, including purchasing items for events and checking your balance, by clicking on the link above to the "Engage Management Training."

What is the Activities Fee committee? 

The Activities Fee Committee (AFC) is made up of Student Government Association representatives who have been voted into their positions. The committee includes a representative from each year, the treasurer of the Student Government Association, and the President of the Student Government Association. Allocation of funds to recognized student organizations is determined by this group each academic year through the processes described below.

What are the Activities Fee Committee (AFC) Funding Requirements?

Any recognized student organization which is eligible for University funding will receive an account number. 

  • Funds can be requested from the Activities Fee Committee (AFC) for the upcoming academic year during the current Easter Semester by the following process.
    • Student leaders will receive an email from the Student Government Association in March that will include a link and prompt to begin the process to request funds for the next academic year.
    • The AFC request form must be completed using Engage and can be found in your organization's finance tab. You can access this by going to the "manage" side of your organization, selecting "Menu" in the top left-hand corner, selecting "Finance", selecting "Create Request", and selecting "Budget Request". Here, you will find the request form for the next year. Please read the instructions and guidelines carefully as your application can be rejected if it does not follow them. To have a successful application: 
      • One must include an accurate number of attendance and a thorough budget of each event for the previous year. 
      • These applications should be thought of like a grant. The requested amount should be broken down as much as possible (i.e. by event, by category of item needed for an event, etc.). This will help to ensure that your organization gets the fully asked amount. 
    • The Activities Fee Committee will meet and discuss all completed applications. Applications will be measured on their alignment with the purpose of the organization, whether it follows a realistic ability to develop events that foster belonging for interested students. 
    • After the AFC has reviewed applications, student leaders will be notified of what funds have been allocated to their organization for the next academic year. Recognized student organizations will be given the opportunity to come to the next scheduled SGA meeting to discuss their allocations and argue for an allocation change by providing additional evidence not previously given.
    • During the next scheduled SGA meeting after determining initial allocations, the AFC committee will present the allocations of each organization. When each organization is called out, they will be given the opportunity to argue for a change in their allocation. They will need to provide additional evidence and support as to why their allocation should change. 
    • The AFC committee will discuss the changes requested from that meeting and make changes where needed. At the next scheduled SGA meeting, final allocations will be read out and voted on by the SGA cabinet. Individual allocations will be sent to each recognized student organization. 
    • If an organization is not able to complete the AFC application in the Easter semester or completes it but does not receive funding, the organization leadership will have an opportunity to fill out the Student Organization Mini Grant request form at any time during the next academic year. More details about the Student Organization Mini-Grant process are found in the next section.
    • AFC funds for all organizations will be reclaimed by SGA at the end of each fiscal year. At the end of the Easter semester, recognized student organizations can apply to retain their organization’s funds. They will fill out the fund retention form and provide ample evidence and support as to why they need to retain their funds.  
  • Student Organization Mini-Grant 
    • Mini-grant funds are allocated by the Student Government Association’s Activity Fee Committee and distributed by the Office of Student Involvement. The mini-grant awards funding to recognized student organizations. 
    • The awarding of funds is based on factors including but not limited to: an organization's budget proposal, demonstration of need, demonstration of exhausting other sources of funding, and the projected effect it will have on the campus community. These organizational funds will become available for use once SGA has approved the mini-grant application. 
    • To qualify for a mini-grant, organizations must understand the guidelines below: 
      • Organizations can apply once an academic year and receive up to $1000.  
      • Organizations can apply to support a specific event or to support the organization if they were not granted enough funds during the Activities Fee Committee (AFC) funding period. 
      • Mini-Grants are meant to be used to promote student organization activities and events that are geared toward all students on campus. Only mini-grants that align with this guideline will be considered.
    • To apply, each organization must have an Engage page with the following:
      • Profile and Cover picture
      • Completed profile and page information
      • Organization description and welcome message
      • Updated roster (all current members must be added to the page)Positions listed (president, treasurer, captain, chair, advisor, etc.)
      • Updated Constitution
      • Meeting/practice time(s) listed
      • All events/activities listed
      • Keeping up with tracking attendance at all events will help provide an argument to get the full amount requested. This shows how popular your organization is. Any other ways to demonstrate your organization's activity (news posts, pictures, videos, etc.) - the more active your organization's page can be, the better!
      • Any other ways to demonstrate your organization's activity (news posts, pictures, videos, etc.) - the more active your organization's page can be, the better!
    • Once a request has come through:
      • AFC will reach out to the requester about the timeline to hear back from SGA.
      • AFC committee members will have a 48-hour window to formulate questions. 
      • After 48 hours, questions will be compiled and sent to the requester. 
      • The requester will have 48 hours to respond.
      • Once responses are given, they will be sent to the AFC committee members and they will respond with their votes within 24 hours. A majority vote will decide whether the request is approved, denied, or adjusted.
      • The decision will be sent to the Office of Student Involvement and the requester. If denied, that will be the last step. If approved, the Office of Student Involvement will initiate the budget transfer process. 
  • The Activities Fee Committee distributes funds to facilitate activities and events for students. If your organization is funded by the AFC, you must read and follow these stipulations for using the funds:
    • AFC funds should be used to promote and support events and activities on campus that speak to the organization’s mission. Priority should be for events that serve large numbers of students, benefit the campus as a whole, and foster community among the campus. Resources that this includes are decorations, prizes for a giveaway, and food/soft drinks. 
    • We ask that you budget carefully for any items that you look to purchase for members and/or events. Managing the amount of money you receive is important for the health of your organization. If your balance goes negative, the organization is responsible for recuperating the funds from other means. Your organization will be unable to request funds from SGA until the negative balance has been addressed. 
    • The University has a tax-exempt status which means that all student organizations qualify for tax-exempt purchases. Tax-exempt forms can be found here!
    • AFC funds can be used towards items that promote and help represent the student organization, such as pins, t-shirts, hats, uniforms, etc. However, this must be pre-approved by the Office of Student Involvement. We ask that you budget carefully for any items that you look to purchase for members and/or events.
    • AFC funds can be used towards retreats on campus, as well as leadership development opportunities for the organization members.
    • Student organizations can use their funds towards conferences and travel as long as the trip benefits the organization and/or the campus. Each conference as well as travel and lodging-related expenses must be pre-approved by the Office of Student Involvement. You will need to create a proposal with the following information for this: 
      • Name of the conference, reasons for how the information learned will benefit the campus community and the number of members attending the conference. 
      • Amount requested. This must include lodging, travel, food, conference fees, and any other expenses expected to be incurred during the trip. The total amount should be broken down by category when sent to the Office of Student Involvement.
    • Funds can be used to purchase individual and organizational memberships to national and local organizations.
    • Items purchased for end-of-the-year gatherings using AFC funding must be pre-approved by the Office of Student Involvement. 
    • AFC funds will not be provided for organizations that ask for funds for cohosted events for their budget requests. Funds will be better served by giving funds directly to the organizations during the AFC funding process.
    • AFC funds may not be used towards hourly wages, salaries, or other personal payments. However, you can pay individuals for services tied to events (e.g. a band, a driver for an event, graphic designer). 
    • AFC funds may not be used to supply household products or kitchen supplies for any organization unless associated with an event. Otherwise, items should be purchased using your own funds. 
    • AFC funds should not be used for bonding activities with organization members, especially food for these events. This should be purchased by the organization members. 
    • AFC money may never be used towards any alcohol purchases.
    • AFC allocations are not intended to further the efforts of university departments, all of which have a separate university budget process. Organizations can, however, co-sponsor with departments or other organizations, if the event lines up with the goals of the organization.
    • AFC is just one funding source for organizations. Organizations are strongly encouraged to generate multiple sources of revenue for their activities, as AFC funds cannot typically cover all expenses for an organization. Some examples include fundraising, collecting membership dues, and co-sponsoring with other organizations and/or departments. These additional funds will be taken into account when AFC funds are allocated.
    • While student organizations are allowed to support each other financially through co-sponsorship of events and activities, direct donations to university departments or off-campus organizations (charities, political, religious, etc.) are prohibited.
    • Fundraising: Student organizations are allowed to use their AFC funding to finance/support a fundraiser and raise money for charities. However, direct donations to charities or other costs are prohibited. If a student organization wishes to host a fundraiser, they need to do that through a campus event or activity that supports student engagement on campus on a larger scale. For example, your organization wants to make a donation to Animal Harbor. Since you aren't allowed to make a direct donation, you could use your funds to host an event that raises money (like asking students to donate money for petting puppies). The funds you raise can then be donated. Student organizations are allowed to fundraise for their own organization through workshops, item sales, or other activities that take place on campus. We encourage you to budget carefully for all fundraisers you may host.
    • AFC reserves the right to reclaim all funds from an inactive organization. The funds will be returned to the AFC fund account for distribution to other organizations. Please review the requirements to maintain an active status.
    • At the end of any semester, organizations that have not spent their allocated funds in the manner planned for in the AFC hearing process may have any remaining funds reclaimed, at the discretion of the Office of Student Involvement.

Budgeting Best Practices

  • Officer's Responsibilities: Checks and Balances
    • Your organization is responsible for its own finances and financial records. In order to maintain good financial control, it is necessary for more than one person to hold responsibility for financial transactions. The philosophy of checks and balances is an important one to maintain to ensure the integrity of the organization’s budget and to prevent overdraws.
  • Planning for the Fiscal Year
    • Budgeting
      • At the beginning of each fiscal year, officers should plan the potential activities of the year and create a budget for each of these activities. This budget will provide a general basis to determine how all funds of the organization will be used in the coming year. Be certain to document key assumptions you have made in creating your budget, including costs associated with events (including transportation if an event will be held off-campus). The document should include:
        • Last year’s actual expenses and income.
        • The present year’s budget (projected expenses and expected income).
        • The present year’s actual year-to-date total expenses and income.
        • The variance between budgeted and actual expenses and income.
    • Financial Reporting
      • The organization’s treasurer must prepare a financial report at least each semester and at the end of the term of office. The financial report provides information about that semester’s financial activity and a year-to-date summary. One copy should be submitted with the student organization’s Easter semester re-registration with the Office of Student Involvement. The financial report must include the following:
        • Balance sheet as of the end of the previous month.
        • Statement of income and expenses for the entire fiscal year or fiscal year-to-date.
        • Comparison of budget and actual income and expenses.
        • Explanation of significant variances from budget.
  • Collecting Income
      • Cash receipts include all revenue collected by your organization including but not limited to cash, checks, wires, Venmo, Cashapp, and PayPal transactions. Whenever possible, it is important that actual cash not be used by your organization—using cash for transactions prevents the accountability of officers and is difficult to track and document. Your organization should request that income to your organization be in the form of a check or cashier's check, made payable to your organization. All revenue must be deposited in the organization’s University account and recorded immediately upon receipt. Checks should be deposited frequently (at least weekly or as cash accumulates during a collection week). It is important for individual members selling tickets or other items to understand that they are responsible for the tickets in their possession and for the income generated by the sale of those tickets. Similarly, they are responsible for the cost of these tickets or items if they are not returned.
      • If someone would like to give a donation to your organization, see below: 
        • For a full list of other giving options, they can go online to
        • If they are wanting to make a credit card gift, they can go to and click on the "Give" button in the top right corner of the screen. When asked to designate the gift, they should select "Other." This will create a drop-down box for them to write in the name of the organization or whatever designation of their choice. If sending a check, please have them make the check out to the University of the South and write the name of the organization on the memo line. The check should be mailed to :

    The University of the South
    Office of Advancement
    735 University Avenue
    Sewanee, TN 37383

    • Paying Expenses
      • Cash disbursement (or “accounts payable”) is the process of paying the expenses of your organization and entering those payments in your financial record. Payments or reimbursements should only be used for expenses that are for the purpose of the organization, as the organization has defined its mission in its constitution. In other words, student organizations are not permitted to use the organization’s account for individuals’ expenses. By following some simple guidelines, your organization will be well on the way to good financial management.
      • DO
        • Pay invoices/expenses with checks or electronic transactions, not cash.
        • Keep good documentation of bills received and paid.
        • Pay within the vendor’s terms and avoid interest charges.
        • Stamp or mark invoices “paid” to avoid double payments.
      • DON’T
        • Pay for personal expenses with organizational funds.
        • Pay bills twice (always mark invoices PAID once payment is sent).
  • Treasurer’s Forms


  • Once funds are allocated, there are a number of ways to access them.
    • Request a Check: Many organizations need to request a check for a speaker, band, etc. Anyone from outside the University must submit a series of forms for the Treasurer’s office. As this is a complicated process and takes at least two business days to process, please come by the Office of Student Involvement at least a week before the check is due in order to complete the forms and send all completed materials needed to request the check to the Treasurer’s Office.
    • Request Reimbursement: Oftentimes when spending for a student organization, it is convenient for the student to use his/her own personal funds and then seek reimbursement. If this is the case, please visit the Office of Student Involvement with the receipts to secure a reimbursement form (Form 19). You also can use the purchase request form on your organization’s manage page in Engage.  Complete this form and the Office of Student Involvement will send the form to the Treasurer’s Office.
    • Purchasing Card: Office of Student Involvement has a University credit card. To use the credit card for your student organization, fill out the Engage form on your organization’s financial tab to ensure that the credit card will be available for the time period that you are wishing to use it. These credit cards must be used responsibly and be returned within 24 hours of being checked out. It is essential that student leaders keep receipts from these credit card transactions. If a receipt is lost, it will be the responsibility of the person who checked out the card to contact the store to request a copy of the receipt. On the back of the receipt please write the name of the organization, the organization’s account number (231xxx), and the reason for purchase. If the card is not returned within three days of the deadline, the individual could be denied future use of the card(s).

Transfer of Student Organization Treasurer  

  • The outgoing treasurer should complete the following checklist prior to leaving office:
    • File all financial records for the past year (receipts, monthly statements, etc.). Student organization records should be kept a minimum of five years and secure access for new organization members must be established.
    • Complete the financial report.
    • Review the financial report with the new Treasurer; submit one copy to the Office of Student Involvement upon annual re-recognition. Discrepancies and resulting actions should be documented in writing.
    • Reconcile all debts or have a written plan on file describing how any debts will be settled in the future.
    • Include a transition packet that lets the new treasurer know about the processes and procedures that the treasurer typically completes.