Finances

Understanding and managing your Chapter’s finances is key to ensuring the Chapter’s immediate and long-term success. Strong financial management makes it possible to execute engaging events, programs, and activities. We understand that the prospect of managing your Chapter’s finances can be complex, so we want to provide as much helpful information as we can. As always, please reach out if there is something we can help with and, if you are a campus-based Chapter, remember your school’s support resources as well.

Here are our tips and resources for building and managing your Chapter's finances.

Create and Maintain a Budget

Every year, you should meet with your leadership team to discuss what income and expenses your Chapter will have for the upcoming year. Think about how this connects with your goals for programs and member engagement. Income includes things like member dues, marketing, and event fees, and any sponsors. Expenses include marketing, supplies, speaker fees, etc. Make sure your budget reflects all of your planned activities for the year.

It is important to maintain and update your budget as the year goes on. This will ensure your finances are on track and you can accomplish everything you want to do as a Chapter.

Securing Funds

Securing funds is important, but can sometimes be a complicated process. Here are some suggestions for how to raise money for your Chapter’s activities:

1. Seek out what resources your campus has to support your Chapter

  • Register with your school as a club or organization, as this may entitle you to a budget from your university or you may need to apply for one annually
  • Research other places to get university funding such as student activities and affairs, career services, Centers of Excellence, and Dean’s grants and awards
  • If you are planning a program or event, think of campus offices which might be able to provide financial or logistical support
  • You may be able to charge a membership fee, if that is allowed by your school

2. Fundraise

Unfortunately, Net Impact can't extend our nonprofit tax-exempt status to your Chapter. More information about this topic can be found below [internal link]. Campus-based Chapters may have tax-exempt status extended by their school and, with the backing of your university, you should be allowed to raise funds through these methods:

  • Charge admission at events
  • Host fundraisers such as galas, garage sale, raffle nights, etc.
  • Sell products such as Chapter t-shirts, reusable water bottles, mugs, etc.
  • Ask for in-kind donations from local organizations
  • Ask for donations from Chapter and/or university alumni
  • Host a crowd-sourced silent auction
    • Have members donate their time or expertise and invite professors and members of the community to attend the silent auction. Donations can be creative and based on members’ interests. Some examples would be an hour of personal training, a hand-knit hat, a private yoga class, or a foreign language lesson.
    • Have members donate their time or expertise and invite professors and members of the community to attend the silent auction. Donations can be creative and based on members’ interests. Some examples would be an hour of personal training, a hand-knit hat, a private yoga class, or a foreign language lesson.
  • Partner with a local restaurant or bar that has a "cause" or percentage night
    • Many restaurants will offer to give your organization a certain percentage of sales from customers who show a flyer, especially near college campuses. Consider checking around town for businesses that already offer this.
  • Membership fee - If allowed by your school, this can be a good way to raise funds

Make sure you know the rules that apply to your specific Chapter and college/university and be sure to follow them all.

3. Apply for Net Impact Central Supported Programs

Many of our programs will be executed in partnership with Net Impact staff and partner companies and organizations at no cost to the Chapter. Other programs provide funding for Chapter leaders to execute. Our programs provide a great way for your Chapter to easily implement a variety of low-cost activities to develop members’ skills, interests, and abilities in pursuit of impact.

4. Go for Gold Status and Chapter of the Year

Gold Chapters and Chapters of the Year receive great benefits like conference discounts and special recognition.

Can I Use Net Impact’s Nonprofit Tax Exempt Status?

Net Impact global’s nonprofit tax-exempt status does not extend to Chapters, so Chapters are unable to use Net Impact's tax ID. Tax laws are also extremely strict regarding fundraising and expenditure of funds, so Chapter activity that infringes on these laws could threaten Net Impact Central’s nonprofit status.

 

However, your Chapter can individually apply for 501(c)3 status if you would like to have more flexibility in forming permanent partnerships and securing cash or in-kind donations (if you are a campus-based Chapter make sure this is allowed by your school). For campus-based Chapters, your school likely extends nonprofit status to you as an official organization (check with your school for details). For international Chapters, we recommend that you refer to your country’s laws with respect to tax-exemption.