Finances and Funding
Activity & Service Fee Funding
Many student organizations receive funding through the Student Government Association (SGA). Important Activity & Service Fee Documents are available on the SGA website.
Request a Federal Employers' ID Number
NOTE: Obtaining an EIN number does not mean your organization becomes an official 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Organization that is exempt from federal taxes. This is a separate process that has extensive requirements. Please note the organization will still pay taxes on purchases with the off campus bank account, but will not have to file a tax return.
The EIN number is used to identify an organization for tax purposes with the IRS. This EIN, also referred to as a Tax ID number (TIN) or FEID#, is similar to a social security number for your organization. These instructions lead you to obtaining 501(c) 7 status, which is the proper status for a student organization.
- Download the SS4 form from this website: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
- Instructions for completing this form can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iss4.pdf
- Print and complete form.
- On the first page of this form, you will want to follow the instructions according to: 'If the applicant opened a bank account' (found on page two). Specifically:
- Section 3: Leave blank, you do not have to provide name
- Section 7a-b: Not applicable for purposes of RSO establishing number
- Section 9a: Select 'Other nonprofit organization' and you will need to indicate your type of entity as a 501(c)(7)
- Section 10: Select banking purpose and indicate university affiliated student organization
- Further instructions can be found at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iss4.pdf
- You can either call or fax the information to the IRS. Please have the form completed to expedite the process.
- Call IRS to provide information at 1-800-829-4933. Please note you may be on hold for a while.
- You will receive the EIN over the phone. The IRS will send you official documentation of your number in a couple of weeks. Once you receive the official letter from the IRS with the EIN, bring a copy of the letter to the Assistant Director for Student Involvement, who will then provide a letter verifying the organization's status as a Recognized Student Organization at UWF, which you will need to establish an account with a bank. The Student Involvement Office is located on the 2nd floor of the University Commons (Building 22, Room 245).
How to Open an Off-Campus Bank Account
Student organizations should establish and maintain, at minimum, a checking account in the name of the organization in an off campus bank account—if receiving funds outside the finance process. Prior to opening any bank account, banking regulations require that the organization apply for and maintain a Federal Employers Identification Number (FEIN), similar to a social security number for an individual. See the FEIN section for more information. Do not use an individual’s Social Security Number to open the account. You are not permitted to use UWF’s FEIN or its name as part of the RSO’s identification.
- Obtain your FEIN (Federal Employers' ID Number). See the instructions above on how to do this.
- Choose a bank located near the UWF campus. (Student organizations have used Wells Fargo, Coastal Bank and Trust, and Bank of America in the past).
- Visit the bank establishment.
- Make sure to have your license, UWF Nautilus Card, FEIN verification (printed or a copy from the mail), and proof of status as a Registered Student Organization (obtained from the Student Involvement office).
- Coastal Bank and Trust prefers to see a copy of the meeting minutes identifying who serves in which officer position, just to ensure who is being added to the account.
- All banks prefer to have a faculty or staff advisor also named on the account, for security purposes.
- Wells Fargo has a type of account titled the 'Everyday Account' that is specifically for college students!
- Meet with one of the bank representatives to set up your new student organization account.
Other helpful tips:
- It helps to know which two officers will be signing on the account.
- It helps to know who will be responsible for the card so that the appropriate name is listed on it.
- Make sure to update the two officers signing on the account after EACH election period.
Tips in Managing Your Organization's Finances
- Deposits should be made promptly. Avoid storing fundraiser profits in your car or home. If you have a weekend or evening fundraiser and need to keep proceeds in a safe place until you can deposit it the next business day, work with Student Involvement to determine a safekeeping alternative. The longer you wait, the more likely it will be lost or stolen.
- Maintain security over cash or checks collected, so your hard earned money does not "walk off."
- Receipts should be issued for any money collected or disbursed by the organization. There should be a record (receipt) for each transaction, so whoever is designated to review the account does not have to question what is on the bank statement. A triplicate receipt book with white, pink, and yellow copies is an adequate tool for this objective.
All financial obligations should be paid promptly. Failure to do so could result in the organization being held to Administrative Review.