Financial Org Guidelines

  • Student organizations should manage the finances of the organization in a business-like manner.
  • RSOs collecting membership dues, donations, or engaging in fundraising activities for the benefit of the organization should maintain a treasurer position on its executive board, and should maintain a local bank account in the name of the organization.
  • Organizations utilizing a university-maintained account must adhere to all purchasing policies and procedures of Grand Valley State University.
  • The organization must stay current with financial obligations.
  • The treasurer should develop an annual budget, maintain records of income and expenses, and regularly report the financial status of the organization to the officers, advisor(s) and the general membership.
  • Financial records may be reviewed by the University upon request.
  • Student organizations that maintain a bank account must do so with a local bank (in Ottawa or Kent County).
  • The bank account must be in the name of the organization on file with the Office of Student Life. The address on the bank account must be the Student Organization's campus address (SOC mailbox). To start an account, the Office of Student Life will provide a letter verifying the organization's registration status, campus address, and name of the faculty/staff advisor.
  • Checking accounts must be on a two-signature system (two authorized signatures on the check required for processing).
  • Suggested authorized signators include the Treasurer, President, and the campus advisor.

Tax Exempt Status and TIN

Student Organizations are not automatically classified as non-profit or tax-exempt entities. An organization must make proper application to the Internal Revenue Service for its own tax-exempt status. Most student organizations will not qualify for non-profit tax-exempt status, but will still need a tax ID number to have an off-campus bank account.

Student Organizations are NOT authorized to use Grand Valley State University's tax-exempt identification number for purchasing or donation purposes.

In order to purchase items tax-free, the organization must purchase goods through the Office of Student Life. If a person or business wishes to get tax credit for a donation (cash or goods and services) to an organization, it must make the donation through the University Development office to GVSU and specifically designate the donation for the organization. Consult with Krista McFarland, Student Life Assistant, for assistance with IRS applications, purchasing goods tax-free, or processing donations to your organization. She can be reached at 331-2345 or