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Finance Best Practices

The University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA) is here to support your alumni group’s goals and initiatives in a variety of ways. One of those ways to provide guidance on important alumni group governance, such as finance.

Alumni Clubs and Special Interest Groups are encouraged to open a bank account specific to your alumni group.  An active checking account allows the UIAA to provide financial assistance to your group in addition to allowing the group to make payments to vendors, collect membership dues, and fundraise for alumni club scholarships.

Below, we have outlined some best practices for our alumni volunteer groups.   If you do not see a specific item that addresses your question or concern, please reach out to Tyler Gagai, Director of Alumni Clubs, at for further assistance.

Bank Account

For club and special interest group bank accounts, the UIAA recommends that groups follow these suggested best practices to ensure:

  • Transition to electronic record keeping.
  • Two signatures are required on each bank account and all financial transactions.
  • Max of two local accounts (group checking account & group savings account) per alumni group
  • President & Treasurer have access to all banking documents.
  • Weekly monitoring of all financial activities by President & Treasurer to ensure account accuracy.
  • Monthly bank statements should be sent from the bank directly to the Treasurer and preferably the club President. (This officer should review the statement, canceled checks and deposits for accuracy and appropriate use of funds). Email is an acceptable delivery method, but should be directly from the bank.
  • Provide copies of banking statements to the executive board at meetings. 
  • Utilize “banking alerts” for transactions over $x dollars. The group needs to decide what “x” is because it will likely be different for each group.
  • Alumni groups are encouraged to open bank accounts with business banking rather than personal checking. Business banking accounts are made only with a group and not an individual. This is helpful with alumni group leadership transitions and ensures continuity.
  • Ensure the name of the account matches the official name of your alumni club.
  • Alumni groups may need to establish EIN number in order to open a business checking account. If your financial institution requires an EIN, please report your EIN to the UIAA.
  • There is no UIAA-preferred bank for your group to open a checking account.
  • Ensure the bank can deposit US dollars.
  • Each bank may vary on documentation required in setting up accounts. Please contact Tyler Gagai if you have any questions regarding documentation requested by your financial institution.

Event Finance

For alumni groups that collect registration payments involving cash at events, the UIAA strongly recommends that two or more club leaders count and record monies collected during the event. This should be done prior to leaving venue and then documentation should be provided at club board meetings confirming accurate deposit. 

The UIAA recommends that your events go cashless when possible.  We recommend that your club considers a Venmo, PayPal, or Sqaure account to help facilitate cashless transactions.   A cashless option is also more favorable to younger alumni.

Illini Clubs are discouraged to provide gratuity for service in excess of 20% of the final bill.

The UIAA encourages alumni groups to create budgets for any event that involves financial commitments from the club and/or events that involve utilization of financial assistance from the UIAA.

Tier Funding Suggestions

Maximizing the potential of your club’s tier system finances

Alumni clubs who participate in the UIAA’s tier program are allocated $1250/$500/$250 in the form of reimbursements annually for their club’s events.  The intentions of these financial resources are primarily to help your club enhance its events and make events more financially friendly for alumni of all ages.   Below are some guidelines and suggested best practices to maximize the potential of your club’s tier system funding.   If you have any questions regarding any instance not specifically listed below, please feel free to reach out to Tyler Gagai, Director of Alumni Clubs, at for further discussion.

Guidelines and Restrictions

  • Tier funding reimbursements cannot be used towards expenses incurred related to NIL expenditures. Alumni clubs who choose to leverage NIL opportunities with student athletes must do so with their own funds.
  • Tier funding reimbursements cannot be used for donations to the club’s scholarship fund or another non-profit entity.   Recommendations for using funds to benefit your club’s scholarship fundraising efforts are outlined in the section below.
  • For Main Quad level clubs, you may request up to $750 reimbursement per event that you host.  Please keep in mind that your club’s reimbursement allotment is $1250, so please budget and spend wisely.
    • Illini Union and Morrow Plots tier level clubs can request up to $350 and $250 respectively in reimbursements per event
  • Your tier funding reimbursement allotments per club ($1250/$500/$250) can be used at your discretion, and don’t need to conform the 4/2/1 number of events that your club will host annually.   In other words, if you are a Main Quad level club and your club is planning to host 6 events annually, your club may request reimbursements for each of those events if the total amounts do not exceed the $1250 maximum per fiscal year.

Suggested Best Practices for Use of Tier Funding

Using your club’s funding to subsidize the cost of attending an event to make it more affordable for alumni is a great use of your club’s UIAA-provided funding. If your club is seeking to engage budget-conscious alumni, such as younger alumni or alumni with young families, using your funding to lower the registration cost is a great way to potentially engage these important constituencies.  

For example, if your club is planning to host it’s annual Cubs outing, your club can use this money to help pay for the group ticket allotment, and you can resell those tickets to your alumni at a discount. This is not only beneficial in engaging budget-conscious alumni, but also a way to demonstrate the value of engaging with your club to your local alumni.

Although the UIAA will not reimburse alumni clubs for contributions made to your club’s scholarship fund, there are still ways to utilize your club’s tier funding to aid in your scholarship fundraising efforts.  

Here are some recommendations on how to do so within our guidelines:

  • Purchase items that will be resold at either a live or silent auction
  • Utilize funding to pay for event space or catering for a scholarship fundraising event.  If your club is spending less out of pocket for a fundraising event, this allows the club to record a larger profit from the proceeds of the event.
  • Gifts from the club presented to their scholarship recipient at an event or banquet
  • If your club uses gameday events as opportunities to sell raffle tickets for your club’s scholarship fund, consider purchasing some unique “swag” items for the raffle drawings that would increase interest and donations

Using tier funding reimbursements is a great way to help pay for venue space, catering, a/v rentals, featured speaker thank you gifts, raffle items, and many other expenses related to special events. Alcohol may be included in reimbursement requests, but we strongly recommend that the club promotes responsible consumption of alcohol at all events. 

Below are some examples for specific event categories to provide you with some ideas on how to utilize this funding:

  • Community Service – Consider purchasing coffee and donuts or boxed lunches for your Illini to thank them for taking part in a park cleanup or other service opportunity.   Other opportunities to consider are purchasing trash bags, gloves, and custom t-shirts for these events.
  • Networking – If your club is hosting a networking event, consider using these funds to purchase appetizers for your attendees, or providing them each with a drink ticket at the event.
  • Arts – If your club is interested in a “paint and pour” event, these funds can be used to help lower the cost of attendance for alumni, or be used to help purchase the supplies for the event. If your club is interested in hosting a group outing to a museum or performance, utilizing funds to subsidize ticket cost or provide a reception with light refreshments would demonstrate greater value to alumni who seek to engage with the club.
  • Athletics – In addition to the aforementioned cost/ticket subsidy, your club can also explore using the funds for items such as a tent rental or catering for a pre-game tailgate, or using the funds to help enhance your game day events with free appetizers or better swag items
  • Learning and Labor – If your club is seeking to host a featured speaker that is not included in the UIAA”s speakers list, your club is encouraged to utilize it’s tier funding to pay for any costs related to the speakers’ appearance, such as hotel costs or mileage reimbursement.   Funds can also be used for venue and catering costs as well.
  • Wellness – Tier funding for wellness events can be used to pay for your yoga or fitness instructor’s fees, financial guru’s workshop fees, or a block of bays at the local Top Golf facility. Unless you’re using the profits to fundraise for a scholarship, we strongly recommend passing along the financial savings from these reimbursements on to your alumni in the form of lower registration costs.