Student Organization Funding Policies
Table of contents
SOFC Specific Information:
Wolverine Consulting Group Specific Information:
Our two different funding sources
The Student Organization Funding Committee (SOFC) provides funding to all registered student organizations through an application process. SOFC works on a reimbursement basis, so you must submit a receipt to SOFC before you receive funding.
The Wolverine Consulting Group (WCG) provides funding only to new student organizations. They give you the money without a receipt, so you can use it immediately. Instead of an application, they do a more extensive intake, assistance, and evaluation process, tailored to your needs.
What you must do before you apply
We can’t give you money directly under any circumstance. We must deposit it directly into your student organization account with the University. To do this, you must be officially registered and have a project grant number (it looks like either UXXXXXX or CXXXXXX) and shortcode (six digits).
For WCG only: If you're applying for WCG funding, we will only give you money if you're a new organization, created sometime in the past calendar year, or in the process of creating. Since you're new, you can ask us for money before you're officially registered and have an account, but we can’t give it to you until you do have those things.
All organizations are required to ensure they are in compliance with SOFC policies (Community Leadership Response Training if claiming more than $1000, equity requirements, and sustainability guidelines, etc)
How to apply for funding
To get money from SOFC, our general student organization funding, you must submit an application by the deadline. You can find our funding schedule on SOFC's main page linked here. You must submit only one application per deadline, and you must not apply for the same expense more than once.
If you submit a late application, we will simply review it with the applications that we receive for the next deadline. If you want us to review your late application sooner than that, email email@example.com with why you submitted it late.
To get money from WCG, email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.
How SOFC works
SOFC operates on a reimbursement basis, meaning we will transfer your organization funds
after you pay for your expenses.
Advance Payment Option:
Can’t front a large and significant expense? After your award notification, make a comment requesting you like to be reviewed for an Advance Payment. The expense must be more than $250, paid through SOAS, and you must have a SOAS balance below the award amount. You will still need to provide Proof of Payment once the expense is paid within 60 days. Eligibility will be determined by the Director.
Things we consider when reviewing your application
This section is approved each semester by the Assembly. It was last reviewed and approved on December 6, 2022.
How many people are involved in planning and execution
How many students are affected
The environmental impact, including efforts to reduce waste and energy use
Impact on your target audience, the campus community, and the Ann Arbor community
The uniqueness of your project or event
Any previous funds we have given you
The financial status of your organization
How much you need our funding
Efforts to get funding from other sources, taking into account access to other sources of funding
The scope, scale, and timeline of your project or event
How complete and accurate your funding application is
Whether you received help from WCG for your project or event
In addition, we consider these things for WCG funding only:
History of your organization's startup
Your short and long term goals
How you intend to use and manage your funds
Things we can't fund
There are some things we can't fund. We can't fund the following things in any circumstances:
More than $10,000 from any CSG source in a single semester
Political campaign activities
Alcohol or tobacco
Charitable donations (cash or cash equivalents)
Staff salaries (but honorariums are permitted)
Direct religious worship
University funds cannot be used to provide direct support of religious worship. This prohibition does not preclude use of University funds in connection with activities involving the expression of religious viewpoints nor does it preclude groups that engage in religious worship from receiving funding for other activities.
We don't usually fund the following items, but you can ask and we will fund them if you give us a good reason why you need the item:
If you have any questions about how we define these items, just send us an email to email@example.com and we would be happy to clarify.
Getting your money (SOFC)
To get your award from SOFC, you must submit a receipt by the appropriate deadline. This deadline is available on the schedule on SOFC's main page linked here. Note that you can select a different deadline when you apply if the default deadline for your application does not work for you. If you require an extension, you must email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline, telling us why you need more time. If you have trouble finding the right proof of payment, email us and ask for help. If you don't submit your receipt by the deadline and don't ask for an extension, we will take your award back so that we can award it to other student organizations.
If you are unable to front a significant expense, you may be eligible for an Advance Payment. To request an Advance Payment, make a comment on your ticket. When reconciling your Advance Payment, you will be required to upload proof of payment within 60 days of the transfer
Proof of Payment must display the following information:
Who you paid
The payment method you used
How much you paid
What you paid for
If your proof of payment is a check, you must also have the check number. If you're only requesting money for part of what you paid on the receipt, you must make it clear to us what items or amount you're asking for.
Here are some examples of proof of payment that we don't accept:
Unpaid quotes, estimates, and invoices
Unpaid reservation confirmations
Add your receipts to your ticket as attachments, and then add a comment with what you are claiming. Please don't add HEIC files that come from your iPhone. Neither our reviewing system nor Windows computers can read them. Either export them from you iPhone as a JPG or convert them before you upload (here's one converter).
Once you get your money in your SOAS account, you must follow their instructions to pay your members back, or pay your vendors. We don't make direct payments.
Appealing our funding decision (SOFC)
Sometimes, we tell you to appeal our funding decision by the appeal deadline if we need more information from you. Other times, you may simply disagree with our decision and want us to reconsider. We have an appeals process for these situations.
By the appeal deadline, add a comment to your funding application (view all your open funding applications at this link), including any additional information you want us to consider, especially if it is new information that you did not include on your original application. It is also very important that you include any information we specifically asked you for.
Once we receive your appeal, we will review it and give you a new decision or tell you that the previous decision still stands. In every case, we will have different people review it than we had the first time.
Travel by car
If you are asking for reimbursement for travel by car, we have some special requirements and limits on how much we reimburse.
We strongly recommend you use a University vehicle, available from Logistics, Transportation, and Parking. These vehicles are newer, more fuel efficient, and are fully insured by the University, and can be quite cost effective. For more information, visit LTP’s Fleet Services website, and to book, submit a request through CCI here.
If you use a University vehicle, please add fuel during your trip only if necessary, and save the receipt. Otherwise, Fleet Services will re-fuel the vehicle when you return it, and add the cost of the fuel to your final bill. This fuel is less expensive than other fuel stations. Submit any fuel receipts and this final bill, and any receipts for highway tolls, parking, or other related expenses.
If you choose to use your personal vehicle, you should calculate your costs by multiplying the total miles you drove for organization business by the current IRS mileage reimbursement rate, which is $0.655 per mile as of January 1, 2023. You must include this calculation in your proof of payment submission, as well as the license plate number of the vehicle(s) you drove, the date(s) of travel, origin, destination, business purpose, miles traveled, and any additional expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement, such as highway tolls and parking. The mileage rate includes the cost of fuel, so please do not submit fuel receipts, as we will not reimburse you for fuel separately from the mileage.
Rental cars are also an option and will be reimbursed in roughly the same manner as University rentals. Though this can sometimes be the most economical option, we discourage the use of external rental cars unless a University vehicle is unavailable. If you plan to submit a funding application or proof of payment for the use of a non-University rental vehicle, please contact us at email@example.com well in advance. Please note that the University has a contract with National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car for business use, including student organization business, and we receive special rates. Therefore, we limit awards and reimbursement to the greater of the cost of U-M rentals or the contracted price with National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, regardless of the vendor you choose from which to rent your vehicle. Find more information about our contract, and prices, here: National Car Rental / Enterprise Rent-A-Car | U of M Procurement (umich.edu)
If you are asking for reimbursement for lodging, we have limits on how much we reimburse. We will not reimburse you more than the “per-diem rate” the United States Government has set. Note that this rate takes into account the different costs of lodging in different cities, and potential differences in cost across different parts of the year.
You can find these rates at the following link. Please be sure to select the location where you will travel, as there are different rates. Per Diem Rates | GSA
These rates are per room, not per traveler. They apply regardless of where you stay, whether that is an Airbnb, a traditional hotel, or other type of accommodation.
If you would like to ask for an exception, such as if you are using a large house where many members of your organization can stay so that you can save money, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance.
You can often save money by using the University’s negotiated discounts with large hotel chains. Search for hotels through Concur, the University’s travel booking tool, to find these rates. Use the state government rate. Concur & Mobile Apps | U of M Procurement (umich.edu)
You can save even more by taking advantage of the University’s tax exemption in certain states if you are an SSO. Visit the Finance department’s website for more information. Forms and Certificates | University of Michigan Finance (umich.edu) If you would like a letter on official letterhead stating that you are on official business and the University will be paying for your lodging, please contact email@example.com and we would be happy to provide you one.
Getting your money (WCG)
To get your award from WCG, you just need to tell us your student organization project grant number (it looks like either UXXXXXX or CXXXXXX). We will directly deposit it into your account, for you to use on your new organization expenses.
You don’t strictly have to spend it exactly on what you told us you would, but you must still follow our policies, as well as the University’s policies. When you have spent all of the money we gave you, you must tell us, and report what you used the money for.
Community Leadership Training requirement
If you claim more than $1,000 in a semester from any source of CSG funding, you must complete the Community Leadership Training that we offer. The deadline to complete is the same as the deadline for proof of payment, unless you haven't yet claimed over $1,000. Please visit this page for more information and instructions on how to complete this requirement.
If you receive money from us for an on campus event where you will serve food and beverages (whether or not we fund the food itself), you must follow our sustainability requirements for the items you use to serve your guests (cups, plates, etc.). You must use only the following:
Compostable materials, which are then composted property. The university can assist with this if you email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reusable and washable materials, like what you would use at your house.
Materials that come from the restaurant or caterer, whether they are compostable or not.
However, if the restaurant or caterer offers compostable or reusable materials, or the option to skip receiving heir materials, you should use those options and provide your own if needed.
Equity and inclusion requirements
We have several requirements related to equity and inclusion that organizations must meet to receive CSG funding.
If you charge dues of more than $50 per semester (or $100 per year)
You must waive the dues for any member or potential member who is experiencing financial hardship.
You must not ask for documentation of this financial hardship.
Please note that payment plans or doing work for the organization to make up for paying the dues don't meet this requirement.
If you have a competitive admissions process (i.e. your organization does not allow any interested student to become a member)
You must have oversight on the process. We can provide oversight through our Wolverine Consulting Group, or you can use your own faculty or staff advisor. If you use an advisor, we must approve this person.
You must admit members in both fall and winter terms, unless it would pose a significant hardship to your organization.
You must explain in your Constitution your criteria for evaluating potential new members.
These requirements don't apply if you request $250.00 or less from us per semester.
You can find more details about these requirements at this link.
If you don't follow our rules
You must follow all of our rules and procedures. You must also be truthful in all of your documents, applications, emails, and other statements, whether they are written or oral. If you don't, we might take one or multiple of the following actions:
Denying you reimbursement
Reducing your funding award, or taking it back entirely
Banning you from funding for a period of time, usually six months
In extreme cases, such as if we find out that someone is stealing funds, we may have to report your actions to University administration or law enforcement, or we may have to take legal action against you.
If you're told that you have violated our rules, and you don’t think that you have, you didn’t know you did, or you think you had a good reason, contact the Director at email@example.com for further information. You have the right to get a full explanation of what we believe you did and what action we're taking against you. We can also waive or reduce penalties if we believe it is in everyone’s best interest.
To ensure the integrity of our process and in an effort to reduce fraudulent activity, we reserve the right to independently verify any information you provide on your application. We may randomly select your application to verify, or we may select your application based on internal risk criteria. By submitting a funding application, you are giving us permission to verify the information without further notice to you.
Other things you should know
Acknowledging your funding source: You must include “Funded by Central Student Government” or our logo (email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a copy) on any advertising for an event we funded, if it is feasible. We also encourage you to acknowledge any other funding sources you used.
Following other University rules: In this document, we give an overview of Central Student Government’s rules. The University has many other rules on what you can and can’t do with your money in your student organization account, and you must follow those rules. We can help you understand them, but we don’t enforce them ourselves, and we have no ability to change or waive them.
Neutrality: We're required to make our funding decisions without considering what your organization does, including but not limited to the political beliefs, religion, race, or gender of your members or your organization as a whole. There are some activities that we mentioned earlier that we're not allowed to fund, but we otherwise don’t consider your organization’s content when deciding whether or not to give you funding, or how much funding to give.
Getting justification for our funding decision: If you want us to further explain our funding decision, contact us and we will provide you with a detailed explanation.
Getting help from us
We're always prepared to help you with whatever you need.
If you're a new organization and need startup funding, or if you're any organization and you need help with non-financial consulting services, email the Wolverine Consulting Group at email@example.com.
If you need help with general student organization funding, email the Student Organization Funding Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. SOFC also has office hours. You can sign up at the calendar linked here.
If you need help with something else, or don’t know who to contact, just email the general student organization email, email@example.com and we will answer your question or send it to someone who can.
We have prepared this document to sum up our policies, procedures, and other important information you need to know as a student organization leader. We strive to ensure it is accurate and explains things as fully as possible while still keeping things easy to understand.
However, in case of any conflicts between this document and the CSG Compiled Code or All-Campus Constitution, those documents will govern. You can view our governing documents here.
We also welcome any feedback on this document. Did you find it easy to read and understand? Do you think we left anything out? Was anything confusing? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.