male working on a laptopFinancial planning is important for your organization’s stability and effectiveness in accomplishing goals. Here are some important questions to consider when budgeting for your organization:

  • What are your priorities for the year?
  • How does your organization plan on financing its operations?
  • Does your organization have any sources of income (membership dues, donations, fundraising)?
  • Reviewing last year’s budget, what was successful, what didn’t work well?

Bills are a priority

Student organizations must pay all bills owed to the university first when receiving funding. Room reservations, catering, security, parking, etc. should be paid before requesting reimbursements for personal expenses. Unpaid university bills will go into collection and the person who arranged for the purchase can be held personally responsible for the expense. Additionally, unpaid university bills my result in a student organization losing its RSO status

Know deadlines

Be knowledgeable about when funding applications are due and when spending deadlines are. Don’t lose out on money due to poor timing!

Evaluate successes and failures

Fundraising was a flop? Event fell short? Missed out on a funding opportunity? Evaluating your organization’s successes and failures is an invaluable tool for growth. Using past experiences will help your organization reevaluate planning, preparation and execution of activities. Be sure to maintain documentation of what has happened for future reference someplace that the organization has ongoing access.


One of the most challenging times for an organization is during leadership transition. Too often, organization leaders dedicate themselves to successfully leading their groups for an academic year and at the end of their term, leave the position without passing knowledge onto the incoming officers. Talk to your CSI Liaison about resources and support around leadership transitions.