SOAS Students’ Union is a registered Charity, which means that we must abide by standards on how we spend our money and how this is logged – this is why we must be robust with monitoring how Sports Team or Society money is spent and how this is audited.
Each Sports Team and Society have its own pot of money which sits under one bank account controlled by the Students’ Union. Some of this money will be from events you have done to raise money or membership fees, and some will be from our Society's fund which you can apply for. Societies and Sports Teams then operate like a mini organisations, so making sure your funds are well looked after is important.
Societies - Your account and Current Budgets
LINK TO CURRENT BUDGETS WILL BE ADDED SOON
All societies have their own reserves within the Students’ Union’s main bank account.
You cannot at any time hold money in any external accounts! (These include but are not limited to: Bank accounts held in committee member names, floats or petty cash)
Money can only be spent with the authorisation of the committee; SOAS Students’ Union staff will not do anything without your permission.
Your society accounts do not start anew each year. Any money/debts from previous years will be carried over to the following year.
Societies - Applying for Budget for Your Club
LINK TO TERM BUDGET PLANNING FORM WILL BE ADDED SOON
For you to run your societies and clubs SOAS SU can provide financial support. Each year we have a societies budget which is used to fund all things societies!
The overall Societies Budget is set by the Co-President Activities & Events, Sports, Activities and Events Co-Ordinator and the Finance and Officer Manager. This year's society budget is £20,000 (Nb. this £20,000 is not per society, rather a total amount between all societies).
At the beginning of a term, we send around a budget planning form to the treasurer of each committee to complete. We will then review and (hopefully) grant this allotted budget for that club to use that term. We may also come back to you with further questions to justify your spending.
Things to consider when completing the termly budget form;
- Is the amount you are requesting justified
- Will all members of your club benefit from the purchase of these items or the event you are planning to put on?
- Have you thought about every cost you may incur such as cleaning after an event
Reclaiming Your Own Money;
RECLAIMS FORM WILL BE ADDED SOON
Is it important when making purchases on behalf of a society or club that you keep a meticulous record of what has been spent including keeping receipts and invoices. Without a receipt we cannot refund you for a purchase.
When it comes to food, we will only reimburse you for half. However, we do not pay for alcohol.
If you want to reclaim money you have spent on behalf of your club/society, you will need your bank information (sort code and account number) as well as the receipts to fill out the reclaim form.
We will then process your reclaim form and you should get a refund within 2 weeks of sending in the invoice or receipt.
Please try to send in your reclaims form for the semester by the deadlines below;
Term 1: 29th December
Term 2: 5th April
Term 3: 28th June
Societies - Membership Fee Guidance
As a society you may want to consider setting a membership fee for your society. You do not need to do this, but it may be advantageous as it would create a small pot of money which you can use for your membership. For example, a choir might set a fee to pay for sheet music rights for their performances.
Whatever membership structure and prices you are going to choose for your group should be based on the activities and events you are going to deliver next year. So, have a think and complete a development plan and budget to help you with this. Also, consider accessibility in this!
Even if your society is free to students you may want to consider setting a fee for alumni. Please note that the cost of this membership will need to be reflective of the activity you run, so it will need to be higher than standard membership - the SU cannot subsidise their membership. In addition, only 20% of your membership can include alumni.
How to spend money?
Money spent by a society or sports team shouldn’t be a surprise to the Union. That’s why we ask for completed budget forms at the beginning of each term.
It is very easy to spend money, but you must ensure that it is being spent on things which benefit every member of your society or sports team. For example, you shouldn’t be spending money on Clothing, equipment or any other spend for a select group of members, e.g. committee clothing, committee meal out, personalised playing kit etc.
Anything bought for a society is held by the Union for Society and Sports Team use and should not be taken home as outlined in the constitution. It is important that societies and sports teams keep an inventory of what they have in their possession to ensure that nothing is lost or stolen at the end of the academic year.
You can either buy things on behalf of your Society or Sports Team and reclaim them back using our reclaims form or you can contact the Union to make a purchase for you. We would only expect you to contact the Union if the purchase is over £100. On the whole the Union would prefer to pay invoices or process reclaims instead of making a purchase.
Any concerns or queries around making purchases please contact our Finance and Officer Manager – Kai, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Activities and Events Coordinator – Sarah, email@example.com
Generating Income for your Club or Society
You may also wish to generate income from profits or sponsorships to support the aims, objectives and activities of society.
Consider what are the aims / ambitions of your society this year? Your ambition shouldn’t be to make money. Societies charge for entry so that students will invest in their events. It is better to have a great event that brings lots of people together than one that makes lots of money.
Money can be raised in a variety of ways. Many of it will come from Membership sales and the sale of ticketed events - all of which must be processed via the Union website using Native. You can find a guide on how to use Native here;
Any income raised should be kept in your Club’s or Society’s money pot held by the Students’ Union. This type of money will be carried over into the next academic year for your club to use.
We have card machines you can use within the Union. Where usually you may pay a transactional fee on payments made through a card reader the Union will cover those costs meaning that you will have no deductions on money processed through our card readers.
A few ideas of how you could generate income:
- Ticket profits from social events e.g. party at SOAS, dinner, theme night, etc.
- Membership fees
- Organising competitions amongst UoL societies
- Apply for external sponsorship
External Sponsorship is great way to get some extra money for your club or society. You may also be able to secure sponsorship for non-monetary items such as food and drink for social events or tickets to attend conferences and events for your members.
It’s worth thinking imaginatively about the type of company that could sponsor you; several companies may have never given money to a club or society before simply because they have never been asked. Also consider asking for support in other than financial forms such as training or materials.
Sponsorship applications should include some information about SOAS SU in general, something like a business plan for your society and a letter outlining the benefits, for the company, of sponsoring your society members or your activity.
For legal and political reasons, SOAS SU reserves the right to refuse any proposed sponsorship deal.
Money raised by sponsorship will be held by the Union. The same is true of membership fees, however if a society collects membership fees it must register this with the Union.
Please contact the Events and Activities Coordinator - Sarah, firstname.lastname@example.org for support on this.
Raising Money for Charity (RAG)
SOAS Students’ Union is a UK registered charity, so we have to follow certain legislation. It is against the law for charities to donate money directly to other charities.
As a UK registered charity SOAS SU is subject to the legislation contained in the Charities Acts. As part of SOAS SU, our Clubs and Societies are also subject to the same legislation. This means money or resources cannot be donated from your Club or Society account.
If you wish to fundraise, you'll need to ensure the money is being donated directly to the charity. To do this, you can set up QR codes that link to a charity's website, or to a JustGiving page.
If you have any costs associated with fundraising, they must come from the money you raise at the event, and not be reimbursed from your society account.
The charity that you raise money for must have a UK Registered Charity Number with the Charity Commission.
If you do wish to fundraise, please contact the Activities and Events Coordinator – Sarah, email@example.com so that we can support you from the start!
Sports Team - Budget for Your Club
All Societies and Sports Teams should consider the benefits to their members in everything they do, even when it comes to finances.
We get a budget for all sports teams for each academic year. At the beginning of each year each sports team should meet with the Activities and Events Coordinator to discuss their spending.
Each team will be allocated a budget which they will have to cover costs throughout the academic year.
No more money will be awarded to a team, so it is important to keep track of costs and stay within budget!
If you have any questions or want to know your team's budget, please contact the Activities and Events Coordinator – Sarah, firstname.lastname@example.org .