Bringing in Revenue
The array of programs and opportunities undertaken by student organizations each year demands that groups raise funds in addition to those allocated through the Student Activities Fee or other funding sources. Organizations should bring in funds to supplement their JFC subsidy as an expectation of the Joint Funding Committee (JFC). Many student organizations collect dues, have fundraisers, work with corporate sponsors, sell tickets, etc. to support their activities.
Handling Cash & Credit Cards
At this time, we are not accepting requests for Credit Card Terminal Training or Cash Boxes. For more information, please email the SLICE Finance team with any questions.
NOTE: At this time, we are not accepting requests for a Cash Box. For more information, please email the SLICE Finance team with any questions.
It is imperative that organizations maintain proper cash handling procedures. Any time an organization receives income from fundraisers, sales, dues, or other organization activities, all money should be deposited in the SLICE safe at the end of the day. All proceeds should be deposited – no cash should be used to pay expenses directly.
How much cash can an organization hold at once? Where can an organization keep their cash?
How do I use the Cash Box? How much money should I keep in the Box?
Credit Card Terminals
NOTE: At this time, we are not accepting Credit Card Terminal Training. For more information, please email the SLICE Finance team with any questions.
SLICE offers handheld credit-card terminals for student organizations to accept payments. Student organizations that are in good financial standing will have the ability to sign out credit card terminals. Our credit card terminals are wireless, portable, easy to use, and offer the customer another payment option. Credit card terminals can be used to take payments while tabling, selling tickets to an event or to collect membership dues.
Steps For Requesting A Credit Card Terminal:
Step 1: Complete the Credit Card Terminal Request form on The Bridge
The organization’s Authorized Signer can submit a Credit Card Terminal Bridge request form. All students that will be handling the credit card terminals must be listed on the form and have already attended the training.
- Be sure that the Bridge Credit Card Terminal Request form is submitted at least 3 days prior to your tabling/event.
- An application does not guarantee a credit card terminal will be approved for your use.
- You will receive notification of the status of your request via The Bridge, as well as an email sent to your Andrew account.
Step 2: Attend a Credit Card Security Training Session
Step 3: Pick up your Credit Card Terminal
- A Credit card terminal will be available for pick up at the time and date that you requested and was approved unless otherwise notified.
- A Credit card agreement form must be completed and a staff member will go over terminal procedures.
- A staff member will review your responsibilities while the terminal is in your organization’s possession.
- A staff member will also confirm the return date and time.
- Please allow 15 minutes to ensure adequate time for picking up the terminal.
Step 4: Drop off your Credit Card Terminal
- For terminal drop off, please return the terminal inside a locked bag, with all contents, to a staff member at the front office at Student Activities.
- Failure to return the terminal to SLICE Office by the agreed-upon return date AND time will result in immediate loss of privileges.
Carnegie Mellon Tickets
It is now possible to host public or private sales online via CarnegieMellonTickets.com, whether it is for an event, dues or the sales of an item. The system is customizable, can sell to specific populations of individuals (ie. Seniors only, CMU only, graduate students only), has real-time reporting capabilities, and sales can be made public or private with a link only. There are multiple bodies that approve the use of CarnegieMellonTickets.com.
From your desktop or mobile device, you can collect revenue easily and securely with Cashnet. Create QR codes or Tiny URLs to link directly to items. This revenue is then deposited directly into your organization's account each night. This platform is a great alternative to Venmo, which is prohibited by the University.
CarnegieMellonTickets.com & Cashnet Comparison
|Convenience Fees ($.50 to $2 depending on ticket price)||X|
|Credit Card Fees (2-4%)||X||X|
|Reservation Reporting Available||X|
|Attendance Reporting Available||X|
|Ability to Add Photo to Sale||X|
|Works with Ticket Scanners||X|
|Ability to Do "Pay What You Can Sale"||X|
|Requires a Request Form for Each Sale||X|
|Same-Day Deposits on Date that It's Paid||X|
How do student orgs and Greek chapters add a sale to CMU Tickets?
What types of things can my organization collect credit card payments for using Cashnet?
- Membership dues
- Event/conference registration fees
- Miscellaneous sales
- Taxable sales, including posters, books (except textbooks), jewelry, furniture, certain types of food and clothing
Are there fees associated with Cashnet?
How do I set up my organization's Cashnet store?
Other Revenue Outlets
Organizations are able to solicit funds to support their events and initiatives from corporations. Organizations are also able to solicit gifts in kind from local vendors and businesses to offset the cost of their programming. For instance, if you would like to solicit donations of pizza, gift cards as prizes, clothing for a fashion show, etc., and these types of gifts can greatly impact the overall budget for a program or event.
If you are interested in securing funding from a local company or corporate sponsor, please meet with the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement (SLICE) to help your organization determine whether working with University Advancement or Institutional Partnerships is appropriate for your initiative. You will talk through the proper protocols for taking in the sponsorship which includes providing a template invoice that you will submit to Gift Administration.
Joint Funding Committee (JFC) Funding is a significant source of funding for Student Government recognized organizations. The JFC is a committee of 20-30 students that are responsible for allocating funding to student organizations. The JFC is funded by the Student Activities Fee, which is paid by each Carnegie Mellon student on the Pittsburgh campus. The JFC has a formal application process to determine the funding for the organizations. Student Organizations that seek JFC funding will be required to fill out the JFC Declaration of Intent Form and will be assigned a JFC Financial Advisor.
Donations & Fundraising
If a group receives a financial gift that will be used for any official organizational business or activity, this gift must be deposited immediately. To be considered a donation, the donor cannot receive anything in exchange (admission to event, goods or services, advertising, etc.).
Where should I deposit a donation?
What are the tax implications of donations/gift accounting? What information do I need to obtain with a donation?
There are several major tax implications that pertain to gift accounting, so it is very important to deposit individual donations in a timely manner. A Gift Administrator will send the appropriate official university tax gift receipt to the donor.
For this reason, donations must include the following relevant and current information (Collecting Donor Information Template):
- Individual/business name;
- Value of gift (if the donation is a gift in kind, please complete Gift in Kind Form);
- Purpose of the gift.
The CMU Crowdfunding platform is designated for university-related projects that impact and benefit CMU students and/or other entities within the CMU community and with funding goals of $2,000-$10,000. Interested students should complete the online application to launch their crowdfunding campaign. For important dates and more information, check out CMU's Crowdfunding website.
All money collected from fundraisers or dues must be deposited directly into the organization’s university account. No organizational money should ever be deposited into a personal banking account. Student organizations are NOT ALLOWED to accept monies via Paypal, Venmo, Square or other methods that require funds to flow through personal bank accounts.
Co-sponsoring programs with other organizations is also a good way to reduce the cost of an event for your organization. Look for university departments or other student organizations with similar missions and pool your resources to co-sponsor events.
Fundraising Options On Campus
- Collecting dues from members
- Bake-sales (Please refer to the Food Safety Policy)
- Selling merchandise (flowers, doughnuts, candy, etc.)
- Selling services (housekeeping, yard work, car washes)
- Charging admission to events
Fundraising Options Off Campus
NOTE: Some options below may be dependent upon COVID-19 protocols and procedures. Please contact the SLICE Finance team with any questions.
- Asking businesses to donate goods to use as prizes
- Seeking donations of goods or services to directly support your organization's programs (e.g., donated pizza for an activity)
- Asking for monetary donations from organization alumni, friends and family
- Seeking Corporate Sponsorship
Important Note: Raffles & Ticket Sales
- Raffles: Under Pennsylvania state law, 50/50 raffles or raffles of any kind are prohibited without a license. Please contact SLICE prior to your event if you plan to give away prizes or awards. Specific documentation may be required to ensure that the University remains compliment with the IRS tax law.
- Ticket Sales: Per University Policy, student organizations are NOT allowed to accept payment through Paypal, Venmo or Square or any vendor that requires a personal bank account. Student organizations ARE allowed to use the online ticketing service CarnegieMellonTickets.com or Eventbrite (proceeds distributed as a check must be written out to Carnegie Mellon University).
Seeking Additional University Funding
Utilize four main university bodies to facilitate a special allocation process for individuals and organizations seeking additional funds to supplement their allocation budgets for specific initiatives/events, to cover unanticipated/unexpected costs, or to provide start-up monies to support new initiatives or groups.
Undergraduate Student Senate (Senate)
Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)
Student Dormitory Council (SDC)
Common Funding Application
A Common Funding Application has been created to centralize the funding request to the mentioned University bodies and to gather pertinent information about why the funding is needed and how much is needed. Each funding group incorporates funding philosophies and metrics to determine if funding requests are applicable and align with the mission/purpose of the event/project/trip that is in need of funding. The metrics and application can be found in the Common Funding Application.
Who contributes to Common Funding? Can I reach out to units/colleges directly to request funding?
The Division of Student Affairs plus all academic colleges contribute funds that are disbursed via the Common Funding Application.
Groups should utilize the Common Funding Application instead of reaching out to colleges directly.