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Finances

Finances, Local Support
and Bank Accounts

Club Financial Responsibilities
The services and support provided by the GAA to clubs at no cost – combined with careful planning to appropriately charge event fees to attendees as needed – should allow most clubs to operate without the need for additional fundraising.See the GAA Support section for a complete list of ways clubs are supported by the General Alumni Association.

The General Alumni Association strongly discourages clubs from soliciting general financial contributions from alumni for anything other than a local scholarship fund. If you believe your club is in need of additional operating funds, please talk with the GAA first to determine the best approach to meet your needs. The GAA may be able to cover upfront costs to be reimbursed by attendance fees.

For the GAA to include a general contribution appeal on any promotional materials the club will need to provide a written plan on how the club will use general contributions including the following:

Approximate amount the club expects to collect.
b) Plan of how funds will be spent to give value to donors.
c) What will happen with excess revenues.
d) How you will inform donors of benefits.

If it is determined that a general contribution appeal will be sent, the GAA reserves the right to edit and delete any references to local dues or local membership so as not to confuse local club efforts with GAA member dues. Each club should operate on a break even basis. Clubs are expected to notify the GAA as soon as possible if a situation occurs which might put a club into debt.

Clubs will need to charge appropriate attendance fees to cover all event-related expenses. All club events should operate as close to a break-even basis as possible, unless the event is intended to raise funds for the club scholarship fund. Event costs should be estimated as accurately as possible taking into consideration: If you need help estimating the cost of an event, please contact the Coordinator of Clubs for help.

  • Cost of reserving the facility
  • Food and beverage costs
  • Bar charges (cash bar or bar service is required-see Alcohol Policy in the Event Hosts and Liabilities section)
  • Taxes/gratuity
  • Costs associated with a guest speaker including travel, lodging, event admissions, etc.
  • Any additional margin you wish to build in to cover other future expenses or to help fund a local scholarship account.

Mature clubs are expected to also cover all postage costs for printed event notices or newsletters.

Electronic communications have become the primary method of informing alumni of upcoming club events, (see the GAA Support section for complete guidelines of e-mail and web services available at no cost).  However, if possible, printed communications in additional to electronic communications are ideal.  In the event that your club wishes to send a printed mailing, the GAA will provide at no cost to your club all design and production costs associated with the mailing.  However, your club will receive an invoice from the General Alumni Association for the amount of the postage for any mailings.  (See Producing Club Notices and Newsletters section for further information about club mailings and promoting club events.) Special circumstances apply if a club is new or newly reorganized.

If your club will be sponsoring events that require attendees to pay attendance fees, finding a volunteer to serve as treasurer will be essential. The responsibilities of the treasurer are listed in the Leadership Structure section. An annual summary of each club’s financial status is required by the General Alumni Association as part of the Annual Report. Club funds should not be kept in anyone’s personal account. (See below for more information about setting up a club checking account.)

Business Underwriters or Contributors
There are alumni whose businesses are willing to provide food and/or beverages, help defray the costs of an event, totally underwrite the costs, or provide a meeting facility at no cost. Clubs can also have businesses advertise in or become a sponsor of a notice or newsletter to help cover postage costs. Please consult with the General Alumni Association if you wish to proceed with this option.

Setting up a Bank Account
Each Club has two banking options: (1) Establish a local bank account or (2) Utilize a bank account available through the General Alumni Association.

Under Option (1), the treasurer will establish and maintain a bank account in the club’s name using the General Alumni Association’s federal tax identification number.

(Note: All clubs exist under the umbrella of the General Alumni Association’s 501(c)(3) non-profit status. By using the General Alumni Association tax identification number, clubs do not need to be concerned with income taxes associated with interest earned.) Contact the General Alumni Association to get the identification number and discuss any other issues about establishing a bank account. If the bank with which a club attempts to open an account has any specific questions, the bank staff person may call the General Alumni Association’s Director of Finance, Steve Shaw ’82, at (919) 962-3599.

Unfortunately, if the club’s balance is relatively low, bank fees may begin to drain an account. It is a good idea to try and find an alumnus who works in the banking industry who might waive the fees for a club account, or shop around to find a bank that will waive the fees for a small, non-profit entity such as an alumni club.

Under Option (2), any officially recognized Carolina Club may now keep its funds in a Bank of America account, which has been established by the GAA. Each club that wishes to participate in this service must follow the procedures listed on the next page. Option (2) offers participating clubs (1) banking services with no fees; and (2) a detailed monthly cash report provided by the GAA tailored to provide itemized information for your club.

The General Alumni Association also strongly encourages clubs to establish a policy for handling club funds and accounting procedures. At least one member of a club’s leadership team other than the treasurer must be authorized to sign checks (typically the club leader). In addition, a GAA staff member must also be a signator on the account (if your account does not have a GAA staff member’s signature, please contact the Coordinator of Alumni Clubs immediately).

Although it may be unrealistic to require two signatures on every check, it is suggested that the club leader review the bank statements and club financial transactions periodically.

Bank Account Option for Carolina Clubs
During the past several years, the GAA has become increasingly aware of the difficulties our clubs encounter when trying to establish a bank account with no fees. (Since most clubs have relatively small account balances, these fees become a significant problem.) In response to this, the GAA now offers a new option for club bank accounts. Any officially recognized Carolina Club may now keep their funds in a Bank of America account, which has been established by the GAA. Each club who wishes to participate in this service must follow each procedure as listed below. We believe this will provide each participating club with two main benefits:

  1. Banking services with no fees; and
  2. A detailed monthly cash report provided by the GAA which will be tailored to provide detailed information for your club.

Procedures
Notify the Coordinator of Alumni Clubs that your club wishes to use this banking service. The coordinator will also be your point of contact for all the information required of you as noted below.

Send an initial deposit of $100 (made payable to the GAA) to establish your club’s account.

Complete and return to the GAA the proper signature authorization form, which will be provided. Two members of your club’s leadership committee will be required to serve as authorized signatures. (Only one signature will be required on each check.) We recommend that these signatures be those of the Chair and the Treasurer. The GAA will then send your club checks for your use as needed.

Note: Your club will need to continue to maintain a LOCAL accounting ledger system, which clearly records and tracks all financial transactions.

Deposits: If you live in an area serviced by Bank of America, you will be able to make deposits directly at any Bank of America branch. If you do not live in an area serviced by Bank of America, you will need to send your deposit to the GAA for deposit.

Your club must notify the GAA by phone or e-mail of the exact amount of each deposit on the same day the deposit is made. You should also provide a breakdown indicating for what purpose these funds were received. (For example: Total deposit: $150 of which $75 was collected for annual club contributions and $75 was collected as Happy Hour event revenues). The GAA will track this information for you on your club’s monthly reports.

When you need to write checks, simply write checks as you would normally do. However, your club must notify the GAA of the exact amount of each check on the same day the check is written. This can be as simple as a phone call or an e-mail, but notification must be received at the GAA on the same day. In addition, you should provide information indicating for what purpose the check is written. (For example: $50 rental fee for park pavilion for barbecue event.)Again, the GAA will track this information for you on your club’s monthly reports.

A detailed account summary will be sent to each club at the end of each month. (The report will track the information provided when you send information about each deposit and check as noted above.