Plan an Event: Budget

Knowing your budget is critical because it will help your organization understand what type of an event is possible. Any event can be successful on a small budget. Our goal in OSI is to help your organization better understand your budget, along with how to most effectively use your finances. Listed below are some questions that will help you get on track with your student organization budget.

**Please note, this site provides a snapshot of budget policies and regulations. For a more in depth look at organizational funding, please visit the Student Organization Handbook at  Student Handbook  or attend a SAF-B Workshop.**

  1. How Do I Determine Costs for our Event?
    1. Determining costs for an upcoming event is one of the most vital- and sometimes the most challenging parts of planning your event. However, it can be broken down by looking at what costs might arise in the following areas:
      1. Equipment Rental (projectors, generators, inflatables, etc.)
      2. Food (outside vendors or Chartwells if more than $250)
      3. Speaker Fees (flights, local travel, honorariums, etc.)
      4. Supplies (event supplies, decorations, etc.)
      5. Security (as needed)
      6. Publicity (posters, oversized prints, etc.)
      7. Venue Fees (costs for rental, technology, etc.)
  2. Do you know what your total budget is for the event?
    1. Tip: It can be helpful to have an itemized budget for all of your expenses
    2. 900 account: This is your student organization account through DePaul University
      1. If you are not sure if your organization has a 900 account you can reach out to to find out.
  3. Fundraising
    1. Fundraising can happen in a variety of different ways. Student organizations, must submit a Fundraising Event Clearance Form to the Director of Gift Processing for Advancement if they are planning a fundraising event that meets AT LEAST ONE of the following criteria:

      If you organization is not sure if a donation should go through the Office of Advancement you can email

      1. The group is planning to mail invitations to Alumni, Corporations and/or Foundations to purchase tickets to attend the event
      2. The group is promoting the event as a formal affair (e.g. a formal sit down dinner) with proceeds supporting the group's efforts
      3. The group will be soliciting individual and/or corporate sponsorship support in the form of cash donations of $250 per donor or gifts in kind (such as catered food, auction items, apparel) of $250 or more per donor to underwrite the event
      4. The group is charging an attendance/entrance fee of $75 per person or more

      The Fundraising Event Clearance Form must be submitted to the Director of Gift Processing of Advancement prior to planning, mailing event invitations and/or publicly announcing the event in any way. The clearance form is available on the Office of Development website. It must be filled out 24 completely and include, among other details, the purpose of the event, the proposed event budget, how the event will be paid for, the types of invitees that will be invited (e.g. alumni, corporations, etc.) and the Fair Market Value of all benefits returned to attendees in exchange for their payments to attend.

    2. Bake Sales
      1. Student organizations may hold bake sales, as long as all sanitation guidelines and health regulations are followed. Student organizations need permission from Student Centers if the food is donated. Baked goods must be individually wrapped in clear wrap. The bake sale area must be orderly during the sale period and must be cleaned thoroughly immediately following the bake sale. If the food is donated, there may be tax implications for the donor. Please contact the Office of Advancement as well as Student Centers and be sure to review the Student Centers Policy Manual.
  4. Donations
    1. Your student organization also has the option to reach out to the Chicago community and ask different businesses for donations. **For specific guidelines on bake sales, auctions, raffles, and gifts see the Fundraising Events and Activities policy **
    2. The donation process will be specific to each business, but we suggest asking the following questions:
      1. May I please speak to the manager or anyone in charge of donations?
      2. What is the donation process for your company?
      3. How early in advance must I request a donation?

      Faculty/staff members or student groups that are considering soliciting gifts in kind for an approved event, including auction/raffle items, solicitation forms and donation-tracking forms can be obtained from the Director of Gift Processing. Please see both the Gift Acceptance & Processing policy and the Catering Donations Policy.

      All DePaul student groups are encouraged to consult with OSI prior to planning, publicly announcing and/or conducting fundraising events aimed at generating charitable contributions for DePaul, its schools, colleges, programs and/or student groups.

    3. In – Kind donations
      1. All In-Kind donations must go through the Office of Advancement.
    4. Cash Donations
      1. If a student organization is receiving a cash donation from an outside donor, the donation must go through the Office of Advancement
      2. Donations received from a bake sale or similar type fundraisers do not have to go through the Office of Advancement.
  5. PayPal/ Other forms of payment
    1. The use of PayPal or Venmo is not supported by the Office of Student Involvement and DePaul University. Student organizations seeking to have money donated to them electronically should work with the Office of Advancement and have funds donated to the student organization through Gift Processing
  6. Funding Your Event
    1. Funding for student events can be obtained by student organizations that participate in funding board process. Your organization may qualify for multiple funding boards. You can also connect with the Coordinator for Student Organizations to answer any questions about the funding board process.
    2. SAF-B is the DePaul allocation board to request funding for different on campus and off campus events. You can find out more about SAF-B by attending a Workshop, reading the below documents: Student Activity Fee Overview
      1. Tip: Make sure to pay close attention to the SAF-B application deadline: Hearing funding: requests over $1,000 Discretionary funding: requests under $1,000
  7. Club Sports Funding Board
    1. If your organization is a sports organization, you are able to request specific Club Sports Funding.
    2. LINK -TBD
  8. Cultural Allocation Board
    1. If your organization is a Cultural Organization, you also qualify to request funding from the Cultural Allocation Board. To find out more about the Cultural Allocation Board funding process and to begin the application form, please follow the link below:
  9. The Graduate Organization Fund (GOF) represents a source of financial assistance for graduate groups that plan on traveling and/or plan events in the DePaul community Graduate Organization Funding.
    1. Please click here for the GOF information sheet.
    2. Please click here for the GOF training presentation.
  10. Processing Payment for Your Vendor
    1. Vendor payments are made in a number of ways. If you have an invoice from a vendor, please bring it to the Office of Student Involvement so that paperwork can be processed. This ensures that the vendor will receive payment by university check. Please note that DePaul’s payment terms are NET 30, so a vendor will receive payment 30 days after the service has been completed.
    2. If the purchase can be made online, please make an appointment with the Office Manager in the Office of Student Involvement (, and the purchase can be made with the University’s credit card. Any payments over $2,500 must have a purchase order, which must be requested prior to the goods or services being rendered. Only a professional staff member in the Office of Student Involvement can request purchase orders for items over $2,500.
  11. Contacting a Vendor
    1. Student organizations must use DePaul’s standard performance and vendor contract(s) when working with all performers and vendors. Please review the following policies and procedures regarding contracts. Failure to comply with the policies, procedures and expectations of the Office of Student Involvement will result in the loss of organizational status or privileges. See the sanctions listed below. This can also be found on our website. All contracts must be signed by both parties before the event takes place. Please inform all vendors that DePaul’s payment terms are Net 30, so they will be mailed a check 30 days after the event takes place. There are two types of contracts/agreements, which include:
      1. Vendor Agreement: Process a vendor agreement when your organization is ordering goods or services such as staging/ lighting, equipment rental or provision of a service.
      2. Performance Agreement: Process a performance agreement when your organization is bringing someone onto campus such as a speaker, performer, DJ or when a talent is being showcased
  12. Issuing Reimbursements
    1. Reimbursements can be submitted to the Office of Student Involvement for expenses that have been awarded through SAF-B and for funds in an organization’s on-campus account. To request a reimbursement, please fill out the payment processing form found in DeHUB. This must be filled out with all documents (original receipts, invoices, etc.) prior to submitting it to the Business Coordinator. You will be responsible for reading the award letter to know the dates of when receipts/invoices should be given to the Business Coordinator. If you miss the deadline, you will NOT be reimbursed and you will be responsible for all invoices. In other words, your award letter will be null and void.
    2. Reimbursements and invoices will be paid 30 days from when accounts payable receives the paperwork. Because of the numerous reimbursements and invoices that come in to the Office of Student Involvement, please allow 10 business days for the Business Coordinator to complete the paperwork. All receipts must be original, not copied. The receipt should show the following:

      All food purchases (catering or from a store) must have a notation indicating the business purpose and a list of names taking part in the event. The person who makes the purchase will be the person 6 reimbursed. If what is turned in is only a confirmation of the purchase, you will need to show proof of purchase (i.e., canceled check, bank statement, credit card bill, etc.).

      1. Vendor
      2. Amount
      3. Date
      4. Items Purchased

      The reallocation process can also be found here:

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