Organizations must be recognized each year to keep accounts active. Recognition is completed online through the Memorial Union Student Engagement.

Payment Processing Policy

The purchasing method of payment for student organizations is the student-held p-card.

Personal funds shall not be used to make purchases on behalf of the student organization. With few exceptions, the method of payment is the p-card (VISA) excluding the following for making payments to the vendor/payee directly.

  1. Emergency (this will be up to the COA manager's discretion). An example is someone stranded in an airport and needing emergency lodging.
  2. Vendor doesn't accept credit cards at all. Process a Miscellaneous Payment Request payable to the vendor directly.
  3. Stipend or honoraria payments which require a W9 for tax reporting purposes if the performer doesn't take a credit card.
  4. Mileage for ISU visitors (very few of these for ISU students/staff as we allow paying for fuel directly with a p-card).
  5. P-card transactions which have been moved to a U-Bill with proof of that billing, U-Bill payment, itemized receipt and any other documentation needed such as trademark approval or a prize form.

All funds spent from an organization's account must be for the benefit of the organization. No funds may be spent for personal benefit of individual member(s) without the express consent of the organization. Wages, fees for service, honorarium and stipends require special forms. 

Required Approvals

Both the organization treasurer and advisor must approve all expenses related to the student organization. No other person can delegate for the approvals. This ensures that both a university staff person as well as the student organization fiscal officer are both approving all expenses together and not without advice and organization approval. Changes of officers and advisors approved in the Student Organization Database are considered the officers of record for the university and therefore are considered the authorized approvers.

Gift Card Policy

Purchasing gift cards is only permitted when giving a gift/prize to someone. You must complete and attach the prize/gift form to the p-card transaction as well as the receipt before it is verified. In addition, if the gift card is for $100 or greater, the gift is taxable and a W9 must be completed by the recipient and submitted to COA.

The purchase of gift cards to purchase other goods is not permitted under any circumstance.

Depositing Income

Deposit all income from all sources into the organization’s program worktag. Please take all of your organized funds and deposit slip to the Memorial Union Business Office, located in room 3610 Memorial Union. Timely deposits reduce the risk of returned checks and lost or stolen cash. The university's policy is that funds collected must be deposited within 5 days, however if in excess of $100, it must be deposited within 2 business days. 

List all checks individually on the deposit slip. Endorse all checks with the name of the organization and your program worktag. Identify all income with a brief description of the source of income so the Campus Organizations Accounting Office may properly classify the income. Examples of income sources include: dues, fundraisers, T-shirt sales, banquet contributions, etc.

Accepting Gifts/Charitable Donations

Many organizations solicit gifts and donations from companies and other entities. When doing so, these sponsorships/gifts/contributions should be handled and processed through the ISU Foundation. Iowa State University Foundation (ISUF) staff members manage the comprehensive relationships that most companies have with Iowa State University. Companies benefit from a single point of entry and they are able to tailor the opportunities we present to them based on our knowledge of the company’s needs and priorities on campus. The ISUF is a 501(c)(3) organization and charitable contributions to student organizations are tax-deductible, provided the benefits a donor receives do not pose any potential conflict with IRS tax regulations. Their involvement in your solicitation helps them to maintain the most up-to-date record of a donor’s comprehensive relationship with ISU, and to make sure philanthropic gifts receive proper credit. Staff members there will record the gift, send the donor a postcard confirming the donation shortly after receiving it and allow the outside entity to obtain a receipt for tax purposes in late January which includes all gifts made in the prior calendar year.

Please do not deposit gifts or donated funds into your Campus Org. account, but rather direct the check to the ISU Foundation with an indicator of which student organization should receive the credit. The Foundation will then wire your funds to Iowa State University and credit your financial account. Use Workday to find information related to ISU Foundation income. Please visit the ISU Foundation to additional information and forms.

Prior to soliciting funding from any outside entity, please follow the steps below to inform the ISU Foundation of your intentions:

    1.Email with your advisor CC’d
    2.Advisors will be sent the Foundation Confidentiality agreement that must be signed before any information is released. All information will be released directly to advisors but they may share with student group members under their supervision
    3.Email should include
       •All solicitation materials with specific funding levels and benefit
       •A list of companies you would like to solicit, if you have files from previous years that include Foundation IDs this is incredibly helpful.
    4.If the Foundation does not have contact information on file for a requested organization, Student Groups are authorized to do their own research and reach out.
    5.There are some organizations that CANNOT be solicited by Student Groups. If you request one of these organizations we will let you know.

Revenue Collection Policy

Utilizing Paypal, GoFundMe, Kickstarter, OneSquare, Venmo, or other external revenue collecting services etc. is not permitted when a group fundraises. Receiving credit card payments in person may be done by reserving the Clover Flex machine and online through the Student Organization Marketplace or the FundISU platforms.


  • Travel Policy for student organizations can be found on the policy website.
  • For student organizations planning to travel, please complete the Student Organization Travel Authorization request and follow all travel policies and procedures found below. For additional information before planning your travel, please visit the Campus Organization Accounting Office, 1580J Memorial Union.
  • Travel for ISU students/staff should utilize a student-held procurement card. Fuel in a personal car for travel using the student-held purchasing card replaces the previous mileage reimbursement processes.
  • If utilizing Student Government funds, please remember that Student Government only allocates funding for commercial modes of travel. Rental cars will not be allowed - must only use university vehicles, airline travel and/or bus travel.
  • Visitor travel arrangements such as airline tickets and hotels must be paid by the student organization utilizing their student held p-card when arranging for a visitor/speaker/performer to campus. Mileage may be paid to a visitor up to $0.67 cents per mile during 2024. Total mileage paid shall not exceed the price of commercial travel. Please attach a mileage map and the calculation for the total amount. Any other expenses such as toll, parking, etc. may be reimbursed with an itemized receipt as well as proof of personal payment attached to the Miscellaneous Payment Request. As an added reminder, all payments for services must have a university contract before confirming any details with the provider.