Managing Your Account

Financial Guidelines

  • Student organizations should manage the finances of the organization in a business-like manner
  • Registered student organizations (RSOs) are required to have a financial officer position regardless of whether they handle any monies or not
    • This position is able to request funding support through the Student Life Fund
    • The financial officer 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
  • Organizations who will be managing finances (i.e. dues, fundraising, etc.) are encouraged to maintain a local, off campus bank account
    • The Office of Student Life encourages at least 2 officers (president, financial officer) to be listed as having signature authority on the account
    • Organizations are solely responsible for managing, maintaining, etc. this off campus bank account; the Office of Student Life has no oversight in this area
    • Student Life Funds cannot be transferred to an off campus bank account
    • The bank account must be in the official name of the organization as stated on LakerLink; the bank account cannot list any form of Grand Valley State University in the bank account title (i.e. GVSU, Grand Valley).
    • The address on the bank account must be the Office of Student Life (Name of Org. | 1110 Kirkhof Center | 1 Campus Dr. | Allendale, MI 49401)
    • Checking accounts should be on a two-signature system (two authorized signatures on the check required for processing)
  • Organizations utilizing a university-maintained account (FOAP) must adhere to all purchasing policies & procedures of Grand Valley State University and must have approval by the Assistant Director of Student Life who oversees the funding process to make purchases. 
  • The organization must stay current with financial obligations
  • Financial records may be reviewed by the University upon request

Tax Exempt Status and EIN

Student Organizations are not 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 obtain items tax-free, the organization must purchase goods through the Office of Student Life (OSL). If a person/business wishes to get tax credit for a donation to a student organization, it must coordinate the donation through the Office of Student Life. Additionally, the person/business would need to write the check or make the donation to "GVSU" and specify the student organization receiving the donation/gift. Consult with OSL for assistance with IRS applications, purchasing goods tax-free, or processing donations to your organization. Questions may be directed to OSL by calling (616) 331-2345 or by email at s[email protected].

Page last modified May 15, 2023