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Student organization operating and programming funds processes have been impacted by the university's COVID-19 protocols. Please read below and review the Student Org Guidance Document for additional information. Please contact csls@osu.edu with questions. 

Funding Menu


CSA Funding

The Council on Student Affairs, or CSA, is a subscommittee of the University Senate. CSA has an Allocations Committee that offers funding support to registered student organizations through an allocation from the Student Activity Fee.

The two types of funding sources available to student organizations from CSA are Operating Funds and Programming Funds.

Who can apply for and receive funds?

Only registered student organizations can receive funds from CSA. An organization can be in Pending or Active status to apply for funds and must be in Active status to receive funds. 

The listed treasurer in the online roster is the only individual who is able access to the online application for CSA Funds via the Student Organization Management System.

All funding is available on an annual basis, resetting each year on July 1. Unused funds from one year do not roll over to the next year. The funding cycle ends on May 31 each year.

Operating Funds

Purpose: Operating Funds are intended for expenses necessary to maintain your organization through your general operations during the year.

Amount: Organizations can apply for up to $200 per year.

Application details: Applications may be submitted on a rolling basis from July 1-April 1 in the Student Organization Management System. Learn more about submitting the application through an instructional video.

Receipt of funds: Once approved, the check is provided up-front.

Audit submission: The audit for Operating Funds is due on or before May 1. See information below regarding audits.

Use of funds: The following chart shows examples of how organizations can and cannot use Operating Funds.

Budget Category Fundable Not Fundable
Advertising/Promotion/Printing Materials and events used to recruit members, announce meetings and organizational activities; including but not limited to t-shirts, banners, posters, flyers, newsletters, and website hosting  
Bank Charges/Dues/Legal Fees Charges associated with maintaining checking and savings accounts, costs of purchasing checks; Membership dues for the organization in its local, state, national, or international organization; fees associated with inquiries into 501C3 status and other official matters Insufficient funds penalties, interest on loans, or costs associated with use and maintenance of a PayPal account; Intramural sports team registrations; legal fees associated with issues of misconduct
Books/Subscriptions Literature central to the organization’s purpose and readily available to the entire membership  
Equipment/Facility Rental Charges for setup cleanup, non-refundable rain site deposit, electricity, water hook-up, etc. at OSU owned facilities; Rental of equipment Charges, including rental, of non-OSU owned facilities; expenditures for permanent items which become property of the organization
Food (limited to $100) Food for recruitment or marketing events General meetings, special or recognition dinners for members of the organization, meals when traveling
Membership Awards Plaques, certificates, non-monetary prizes, recognitions for organization members Fuel costs or parking fees for organization members
Office Supplies Stationery, pens/pencils, paperclips, stamps for general organizational use, and other consumable items needed to conduct business Office Equipment (including but not limited to phones, copiers, computers, printers, fax machines, etc.)
Travel/Transportation Transportation and lodging costs associated with traveling to a membership or leadership retreat, regional or national conference, educational field trip and/or competition where the purpose of the program aligns with the purpose of the organization; conference registration costs; parking fees or gifts for speakers at organization meetings Admission tickets for access to museums or other events in associated travel
Other Organizations may request funds for operating expenses that do not appear on this list if they are not prohibited; a rationale for inclusion will be required Expenditures designed for the financial gain or profit of the organization or individual

Above table from Student Org Guidelines, updated February 2020.

Programming Funds

Purpose: Programming Funds are intended to support programs hosted by your organization. Programs must be on-campus and open to any Ohio State student to attend.

Amount: Organizations may apply for up to $2,000 or $3,000 per year. Organizations with Active New/Re-Established I or II status can apply for up to $2,000, and organization with Active Established status can apply for up to $3,000 per year of Programming Fund support. Completing the annual registration process leads to active status. Learn more about registration and status designations on the registration page. 

Application details: The Programming Funds application has 5 specific deadlines throughout the year that are based on the program date. Late requests will not be reviewed. Applications are reviewed once the deadline passes. No advance notification can be given for early submissions, as each funding window is viewed as a collective. Learn more about submitting the application through an instructional video.

Programming Funds application deadlines are as follows:
April 15: events occurring June 1 - August 15
July 1: events occurring August 16 - October 15
September 1: events occurring October 16 - December 31
November 1: events occurring January 1 - March 15
February 1: events occurring March 16 - May 31

Receipt of funds:  Funds are issued on a reimbursement basis upon successful completion of an audit within 30 days of the originally scheduled program date.

Audit submission: The Programming Funds audit is due within 30 after the program date. See information below regarding audits.

Use of funds: The Program Examples document provides a sample of possible programs. The following chart shows examples of how organizations can and cannot use Programming Funds:

Budget Category Fundable* Non-fundable*
Speaker Costs (donated time is limited to $250/hr in the budget) External speaker/presenter travel costs, including event parking, transportation and lodging Speaking fee Gift not to exceed monetary value of $100 OSU personnel/faculty speaking on a topic unrelated to OSU position or research If gift cards are used, recipient names must be included in audit OSU personnel/faculty for services rendered if they are included within the services for which they are employed by the University
Entertainment DJ, artist, rental of licensed copy of film or other entertainment media Rental costs for non-licensed copies of films
OSU Physical Facilities Charges for setup and cleanup, including electricity, water hook-up, tables and chairs at OSU owned facilities; Non-refundable rain site deposits contingent upon event occurrence Charges, including rental, of non-OSU owned facilities Parking passes for staff and faculty who are not speakers or entertainment Bar set-up fees
Personnel Costs associated with providing uniformed or plain-clothes officers, EMS/Fire prevention officers, catering/event staff, or referees/officials as programming/activity may demand; Costs associated with service fees for catering Bartender, non-essential personnel
Equipment Rental Rental of equipment, linens, costumes not available for free from the university Purchase of costumes, equipment or electronics, including digital cameras, software, cell phones and PDAs
Consumable Supplies Costs associated with consumable supplies not available for free at the university including but not limited to decorations, paper goods and plastic cutlery, flowers, building materials needed for temporary set construction, printing of tickets for a program Costumes, props, etc. Tickets purchased for a program Purchase of a permanent photo booth
Food and Beverage (limited to 40% of total program cost) Costs associated with providing food and beverage at a program. In accordance with the Coca-Cola contract, competitive products may not be purchased or distributed Food and beverages will not be reimbursed if they violate your venue regulations (e.g. outside food cannot be brought into the Union without permission) Alcohol and bartenders are not permissible expenses.
Publicity (limited to 20% of total program cost) Costs for publicizing a program with flyers, giveaway items prior to the program, posters, advertising in local media If gift cards are used, recipient names must be included in audit  
Take-Aways (limited to 20% of total program cost) Costs associated with supplies for an item produced at a program, or received during or at the conclusion of a program. Food can be placed in this category if it is not consumed at the event, but rather given at the end of the event. If gift cards are used, they must be given to all attendees and names must be used in the audit. Plaques, prizes, door prizes, certificates, raffles. Items given to individual(s) at the event and are not given to all attendees
Apparel (limited to 20% of total program cost) Costs associated with apparel for the publicizing of a program; Costs associated with apparel for all attendees, participants or volunteers at a program; Rental of costumes not available for free from the university General apparel for the organization members, costume purchase Apparel sold as a fundraiser
Service Travel (limited to 50% of total program cost) Up to 50% of the transportation and lodging expenses associated with a Program that is a service project not on campus  

*View the Student Organization Guidelines to view the expanded information on Programming Funds.

Above table from Student Org Guidelines, updated February 2020.

Audits

Student organizations that receive funding are required to submit a CSA Funding Audit. While organizations must meet the audit deadlines, they are welcome and encouraged to submit audits as soon as they are able.

Operating Funds audits are due by May 1. Organizations in receipt of operating funds that fail to turn in an audit by May 1 will forfeit future funding and registration status. Organizations that did not receive operating funds during the fiscal year are not required to submit an operating funds audit.

Programming Fund audits are due no later than 30 calendar days after the scheduled event date. Organizations approved for programming funds will be reimbursed after submitting their audit. The items for which the organization will be reimbursed must comply with the Student Organization Guidelines fundable expenses. Failure to submit programming fund audits within 30 calendar days may result in the audit being void and not reimbursable. Date changes to events must be communicated to the CSA Fiscal Coordinator to ensure funding will remain available.

For spring semester 2020, audits and receipts must be scanned and emailed to CSAfunding@osu.edu. Organizations may not submit audit materials in-person. The following audit forms are available.

Please use a copy of the appropriate form to complete and include with your receipts and documentation.

Tips for submitting audits:

  • Audited items may deviate from the original budget as submitted on the request form, as long as expenses submitted are still fundable
  • Use original, itemized, legible receipts
  • Provide cancelled checks and/or bank statements along with any invoices, pick-up slips, delivery orders, etc. that do not show proof of payment
  • Provide accurate, specific information on the vendors, amounts, and description of expenses
  • Do not subtotal any expense categories - list all receipts individually
  • For direct payment to Ohio State University vendors, write 'please pay directly' on invoices being submitted
  • For reimbursement to other Ohio State University departments, please provide appropriate chartfield information
  • Do not highlight expenses on thermal register receipts

Additional fiscal support and resources

CSA Funding Office Hours

If you'd like to ask questions about the funding applications, processes, and fund use, please drop in to our open office hours. The next CSA Funding Office Hours session will be:

For the September 1 Programming Funds deadline:

November 1 deadline Office Hours TBD

Treasurer action items:

  • Treasurers are required to complete annual registration requirements to keep the organization in good standing/Active status, which allows the organization to receive funding support. 
  • Treasurers are the only organization member who can access the funding applications for CSA Operating and Programming Funds in the Student Org Management System.
  • Complete an AP Compliance Form before receiving funding, which establishes a vendor account with the university. This allows organizations to receive checks from the university and must be on file before any funds are distributed.
    • The AP form can be filled out electronically, but must be printed and turned in hardcopy.
    • All required fields must be completed, partial forms cannot be submitted.
    • Fill out the full student organization name where it says Business Name
    • Use the primary leader or treasurer's phone number
    • Enter your EIN.
    • Sign, print name, and date the form.
    • Return form to the Resource Room within the KBK Center for Student Leadership and Service (second floor of the Ohio Union), Attn: Angela Britton.
  • The Student Organization Success Framework has tips on budgeting and financial management, risk reduction, and fundraising and philanthropy, which can be helpful in building a financially strong organization. 
  • During officer transition, be sure to transition ownership and access of the bank account to new officers as well as the EIN associated with the account.
  • Be familiar with the Student Organization Guidelines, which details expanded information on CSA Funding requirements.

Fundraising

There are many different ways to raise the funds necessary to make your organization successful. Here are some go-to steps to develop fundraising strategies:

Tax Information

Student organizations are not legal entities of the Ohio State University, and thus are not tax-exempt or nonprofit by virtue of their existence as a student group. This means that fiscally, organizations may bank with any bank of their choosing and are in charge of their own tax-related responsibilities. 

EIN

An EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. Any organization who wishes to obtain funding from CSA must have an established bank account, which means there must also be an EIN on file with the IRS. An EIN can be obtained from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-4933 or by applying online.

When you apply online, you will be asked to identify your organization's type of legal structure. Select: "View Additional Types, Including Tax-Exempt and Governmental Organizations" then "Social or Savings Club."

  • Learn more about the legal designation of a Social Club on the IRS website.

Treasurers may login to the management system and click on "View Org Information" to view the EIN on file for the organization.

Non-profit status

Student organizations can apply to be considered a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization (501c3). These organizations may be subject to additional restrictions in accordance with the IRS rules and regulations. For more information on the policies associated with being a nonprofit and for more specific directions on how to apply for non-profit status, you can go to the IRS Charity/Non-Profit webpage, or review the 501C3 general information section (for educational purposes only).