BYU Alumni Chapter Finances & Fundraising
All financial operations of chapters in the United States are governed by the 501(c)(3) IRS status granted to Brigham Young University. This allows the operation of educational activities to go without assessment of corporate federal income taxes and also grants exemption from payment of sales tax in Utah and Hawaii. Each chapter is to be self-supporting and operate on a break-even basis. BYU Alumni does not provide any direct financial support to its chapters. Chapter Finances and Fundraising should be focused on supporting current students through the BYU Alumni Replenishment Grant program.
Chapter Financial Responsibilities
Chapters are expected to pay for:
- All event-related expenses, including:
- Cost of reserving a facility for events + gatherings
- Food and beverage costs
- Taxes and gratuity
- Costs associated with a guest speaker, performer or group including travel, lodging, event admissions, etc.
- Postage costs for fliers, postcards or newsletters
- Chapters can ask BYU Alumni to design, print and mail fliers or postcards for chapter events. The chapter’s accounts will be used to cover the costs.
- BYU Alumni may decide to pay for a postal mailing based on certain criteria. Such requests from chapters will be referred to the Alumni Communications team. The criteria being considered are:
- Is there a broad enough appeal for the event that an email will not be sufficient?
- Is the potential financial benefit for the chapter large enough to justify the cost?
- Is this a series of events, across several chapters, where the economy of scale can improve the cost basis?
- The lead time for such mailings is 6 to 8 weeks before the event.
- Ongoing and miscellaneous needs of the chapter
- Stamps, envelopes, stationary, gifts, decorations, etc.
- Annual chapter leadership conference registration costs for additional members of the chapter (beyond the complimentary registration).
Establishing a Local Chapter Bank Account
Chapters may open up a local operating bank account. There are some states where state requirements and costs exceed a reasonable accommodation so a local account can't be used.
- Each account must be coordinated with the BYU Alumni Controller by following these steps:
- Contact BYU Alumni (email@example.com or 800-437-4663) to determine banking needs
- If determined that a local bank account is a good option, the controller will send you the necessary forms and detailed instructions you’ll need to open the account
- Provide two (minimum) unrelated signers on the account; it is suggested the signers be the (1) chair, (2) chair-elect, and (3) chapter treasurer
- Chapter bank account guidelines
- You cannot make a check out to yourself and sign it for reimbursement. Someone else not related to you must sign the check.
- No debit cards are to be issued.
- Keep the account balance to under $5,000. For funds over $5,000, please send to the Alumni Relations office for deposit into your chapter's BYU account.
- The account name must include “BYU” or “Brigham Young University”.
- Never place chapter funds in a personal account.
- A financial evaluation and statement is due to the Alumni Relations office by January 31 of each year.
Funds accumulated for chapter replenishment grants will be housed in an account at BYU. This account is managed by Alumni Relations.
- To deposit money in your chapter’s replenishment grant fund:
- Make all checks payable to BYU and add the chapter’s name in the memo line
- Clearly distinguish individual donations from funds generated by event proceeds
- Individual donations included in a check from the chapter must be identified by:
- Name and address of individual donors
- Check number (a copy of the check is preferred)
- Mail all funds to the Alumni Relations office. The money will be deposited to your chapter’s replenishment grant fund and donation receipts for donors will be processed by Philanthropies.
Fundraising to Support Alumni Chapters
- Event Fees – Ticket prices for any activity involving food, recreation, or entertainment should cover all expenses for the activity and allow for a small surplus.
- Sponsors (Business Underwriters or Contributors) – Businesses that are willing to help defray the costs of an event, totally underwrite the costs, or provide other services.
- Most sponsors will choose to deduct their sponsorship fee as a business expense rather than a charitable donation. They may request a W9 for that purpose.
- Should a sponsor request a tax donation receipt, follow these steps:
- Send the check to the Alumni staff
- If the check is deposited to a local account send a copy of the check along with all contact information of the sponsor to the Alumni staff
- Include a valuation listing of whatever benefit the sponsor received for their fee
- All donations and sponsorships will be delivered to Philanthropies for recording
- Individual Donations – Chapters may ask local alumni for donations to help cover chapter expenses, however donors should receive no goods or services in exchange for their donations. These donations may be tax deductible; however; tax laws regarding charitable donations are increasingly complicated, so chapter leaders are encouraged to consult with Alumni Relations staff or Philanthropies before soliciting donations.
- The chapter is to keep detailed records of such donations (donor name, date of donation, address, phone, amount, check # (a copy of the check is preferred)
- All of this information must be submitted through Alumni Relations to Philanthropies
- Funds should be kept in a chapter account and accounted for in the Chapter Financial Records report
Contracts & Agreements
- Chapters are allowed to enter into agreements and/or contracts in behalf of BYU Alumni when such agreements/contracts are associated with activities or events of the local alumni chapter and are held within the chapter boundaries.
- Chapters are to inform BYU Alumni Relations of all agreements/contracts entered into by the Chapter. The following information is needed:
- Name of contracted partner
- Contracted amount
- Name of person signing the agreement/contract
- Activities or events with contractual agreements that exceed $6,000 must be reviewed and approved by Brigham Young University. Any such contracts are to be forwarded to BYU Alumni prior to being signed.
- Officers of BYU will determine whether such agreements/contracts will be signed by them or returned to the chapter for processing.
- Chapter activities or events that occur outside of chapter boundaries are always subject to review by officers of BYU no matter the cost. Any such contracts should be forwarded to BYU Alumni Relations.
Philanthropies, a department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, facilitates fundraising activities for BYU. The BYU Annual Giving team welcomes the opportunity to help you with your chapter fundraising needs and can be reached by contacting Gary Terranova at (801) 356-5210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please adhere to the following guidelines to ensure success:
- All fundraising projects carried out by the chapters should be pre-approved through Alumni Relations and should relate directly to and benefit BYU.
- Philanthropies records all charitable contributions and prepares official year-end tax receipts on behalf of BYU, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To avoid confusion, checks should be made payable to Brigham Young University, with chapter designation information (i.e., Alaska replenishment grant) in the memo line.
- To avoid tax deductibility problems for a donor, please do not promise that a gift will be a charitable contribution. You can say that a donation may be tax deductible but it is up to the donor to claim the appropriate amount per IRS guidelines.
- Under current IRS regulations, it is not permissible to use a canceled check as documentation of a charitable gift of $250 or more.
- Please keep all donor information confidential.
- Chapter leadership should contact the Annual Giving team when considering any person-to-person fundraising tactics or any time you want to approach someone with a specific gift ask in mind. A quick and easy clearance process must occur to ensure your plans are in alignment with other fundraising efforts.
There are two types of fundraising activities, those that have a mass audience appeal and those that have an individualized attendance.
These are events that have ticket sales and some level of social or entertainment value, such as cultural performances, sporting events, picnics, tailgate parties, etc. Even though money may be raised from these activities, the ticket price paid by the purchaser is for the event and not considered a donation; individual donation receipts are not necessary in these cases. There should be a statement on event publicity and on the ticket indicating that proceeds from this event benefit the local chapter of BYU Alumni.
These events have a clear purpose of fundraising (golf tournaments, dinners, etc.). For events that have as a part of the price a donation that exceeds $10, please use the following guidelines:
- All publicity for the event is to clearly state the purpose for fundraising. If the donor is entitled to receive any goods or services as part of the event, please make note of the Entitled Benefit policy in Step 3c below.
- For tax purposes, the only valid receipt is prepared by Philanthropies.
- Chapter leadership is responsible to:
- (a) Create a complete list of all individuals and/or companies that participate in the event. The annual giving office can supply a format that outlines all required information.
- (b) Provide the participants receipts for cash or check payments to show that the funds were received. Keep a copy of all checks and cash receipts; this information will be used by LDSP to prepare tax receipts.
- (c) Entitled Benefit policy. When a chapter solicits a payment in excess of $75 for an event for which the donor is entitled to receive something of value in return for that payment, the chapter must provide to the donor a good faith estimate of the fair market value of goods and services (green fees, gifts, food, entertainment, etc.) that the donor is entitled to receive. The chapter should further inform the donor that any charitable deduction is limited to the excess of the amount paid over the value of the goods and services provided by the chapter. This information must be provided in a written statement and should be included in the solicitation materials.
- Send the following to BYU Alumni Relations:
- A spreadsheet listing all donors, their contact information, the method they used to pay, the amount they paid and the entitled benefit they received
- Copies of any checks received or copies of receipts given for cash received
- An accounting of the expenses for the event (copies of receipts paid is preferred)
- The funds that were raised after the expenses and are now donations to BYU
Alumni staff will deliver everything to Philanthropies and ensure that your account is properly credited. Philanthropies will then issue tax receipts based on the information provided.
In the event that you or someone on your Chapter leadership team uses personal money to purchase items for a Chapter activity, one of the following needs to occur:
- Charitable Donation
- If this is considered a charitable contribution to BYU, the donor should submit a copy of the receipt(s) for the expenditures for Philanthropies to record the gift and issue a receipt to the donor. Please use the Chapter Donation Form and send the completed form + receipt(s) to Alumni Relations c/o Roy Brinkerhoff at 284 HC Provo, UT 84602-2400 or email@example.com.
If you plan on producing any merchandise with BYU or BYU Alumni logos, for giveaways or resale, you need to contact the licensing department. They will connect you with vendors that already have the logos and are licensed for these services. They can also help with one-time licenses for your event or project. Call (801) 422-1920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.