Financial Guidelines

The overarching principles regarding use of Society/Club funds are:

  • Funds must be used in line with the aims and objectives of the Society/Club as defined in their recognised and approved Constitution
  • Funds must be used in the interests of all members of the Society/Club
  • Funds may not be used in contravention of stated SU policy or in any fashion that has the potential to bring the Society/Club, the SU or the University into disrepute
  • Funds provided to the Society/Club in the form of grants or sponsorship must be used exclusively in line with the documented purpose for which they were provided
  • Society/Club Execs have a responsibility to their members to achieve best value for money in using Society/Club funds
  • Representatives of the SU have a responsibility to act on behalf of the Trustees in ensuring that Society/Club expenditures are reasonable and in line with SU policy

Procedural Pre-Requisites

In order to use Society/Club funds in relation to an event, the expenditure must be detailed in the Event Planning Pack relating to that event (see Event Planning Guide).  More general expenditure should be justified by reference to the Society/Club’s Constitution.

Use of Society Funds

As a general guide, the following guidelines apply to the use of Society funds within the overarching principles.  Where special circumstances apply Societies Coordinators within Student Activities can advise – in all instances it is worth checking with your Coordinator in advance of employing Society funds to avoid any complications.  Where a decision is required as to what constitutes “reasonable” the nature and scale of expenditure will be considered in conjunction with the aims and objectives in the Society’s Constitution and the balance of their accounts.

Catering at Society Meetings

Food and refreshments can be supplied for all-member meetings, provided a reasonable per capita limit – agreed in advance with your Societies Coordinator - is adhered to.

Subsidising Event Costs

Funds can be used to subsidise members’ participation at the Society’s events, providing this is within reasonable levels and maintains a sensible level of retained funds to ensure the long term sustainability of the Society.  Treasurers should liaise with their Society Coordinator to ensure they are working within reasonable tolerances.

Exec Clothing

Society funds may be used to contribute a maximum of 50% of the cost of providing each exec with a single item of clothing (hoodie, polo shirt, t-shirt, etc) – the remainder of the cost must be provided by the individual.

Alcoholic Beverages

Society funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic drinks, except as part of catering for an event covered by an approved Event Planning Pack, or where alcoholic drinks are intrinsic to the nature of the Society as defined within its Constitution (Real Ale Society, Cocktail Club, etc).  Purchases related to these exceptions should be discussed in advance with your Societies Coordinator.

Transfers between Societies

Funds may be transferred between Societies to support shared events and activities, provided these activities are appropriate to the aims and objectives of the transferring Society and subject to the unanimous approval of the Society’s Exec.  If the amount exceeds 25% of the transferring Society’s balance (excluding funds reserved for a specific purpose such as grants) a vote of all members must be taken to approve the transfer (using the Poll feature on the SU Website Online Tools).

Tickets to 3rd Party Events, Training Courses or Conferences

Execs may attend 3rd party events, courses or conferences with up to 50% of the ticket cost subsidised by the Society, provided the Society will derive a discernible benefit from that attendance.  This includes 1st Aid courses.

Fundraising and Donations

Societies may undertake activities to raise funds for their Society, and may receive donations from their members or other individuals to support their activities, providing the purpose of the funds is unequivocally clear at the point of giving.  Societies may not mislead potential donors or portray themselves as charities.

Societies can raise funds for external registered charities – this should be undertaken in line with the Charity Fundraising guidance on the SU Website.

Website Development and Maintenance Costs

It is recommended that website costs for a Society should not exceed £250 – if this conflicts with a Society’s plans they should discuss the situation with their Societies Coordinator.

Ongoing rental or maintenance costs can be funded by a Society, but any Direct Debit transactions should be set up by an Exec member of the Society and reclaimed in arrears using the Money Request system.  It remains the responsibility of the Exec to review, cancel or transfer the ongoing costs each financial year or more frequently where appropriate.

Transport Costs

Society funds may be used to pay for the provision of transportation (coach/minibus hire) provided that use of the transport is in line with the Society’s aims and objectives and participation is open to all members.

Gifts for Speakers

Society funds may not be used to provide gifts for speakers or other volunteers.  Reasonable travel and subsistence costs can be covered, provided these are agreed in advance with your Societies Coordinator.

Use of Sports Facilities

Society funds may be used to hire sporting facilities, including from Warwick Sport, provided that participation is open to all members, limited to one hire per month.