Event Finances and Relevant Forms

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Due to University of Michigan legal policies, alumni club leadership and the Ross Alumni Relations team cannot sign any contracts.

  • Vendor contracts must be sent to the U-M Procurement Department for approval and signing. This process takes approximately two weeks.
  • Forward any contractual information to the Alumni Engagement team at MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu; we will provide it to the Procurement Office. 
  • To allow for the two-week processing time, please send us these materials AT LEAST TWO WEEKS in advance. In the rare but possible circumstance that a contract is not approved, utilizing another vendor or venue may be required.   

Financial Restrictions — University Policy:

The following restrictions regarding maximum per-person costs apply to all alumni club events:

  • Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and happy hour events: $30 maximum per person
  • Dinner events: $70 maximum per person
  • Alcohol spending: $20 maximum per person (in addition to food costs), per event, including tax and tip
  • The following items are not included in the per-person cost for hosting: venue deposit/rental, linens and decorations, AV/equipment rental, Bartender or wait-staff fees or other service/management fees (not including gratuity)

For example, if your club is hosting a networking lunch, the budget spend can be no more than $50 per person—up to $20 on alcohol and up to $30 on lunch. The University of Michigan will not reimburse you for food/drink payments in excess of the set per person maximum amounts. 

In addition to these limitations, please remember to set up and monitor your own club budget and stay within it to avoid financial complications.

Club Expense Payments (Pay via University Credit Card):

All events which are paid for through club funding must be documented.  U.S.-based clubs in particular are encouraged to use the Michigan Ross Alumni Relations credit card to finance all payments, including payments to vendors, whenever possible.

Please contact the Alumni Engagement team at MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu as early as possible in your event planning process to discuss the best way for our staff to pay for your club-related expenses – even if Michigan Ross’s handling of your payment may appear challenging given your particular purchasing case. We may be able to find a creative solution.

  • Payments made through our university credit card are eligible for tax exemption if you are in CO, CT, FL, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, DC, or WI. Depending on the charge amount, this can equate to sizable savings.  
  • *When the Ross credit card is used, itemized receipts and event guest lists must be sent to the Alumni Engagement team at MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu within 5 days. No further reimbursement action is necessary. For your convenience, we have created an Alumni Club Event Sign-In template. Please use this, or your own attendance list, to track your club’s alumni participation.
  • Alcohol purchases must be broken down and included separately on the itemized receipt (i.e., if coffee and alcohol were served, do not group both as “beverages”—list alcohol separately).
  • Here is an example of an itemized vs. non-itemized receipt. It is important that we receive the payer’s signature on the charge receipt. 
Itemized v. Non-Itemized Receipt Example

Reimbursements (Domestic Clubs):

Again, we strongly recommend that U.S.-based clubs utilize our Alumni Engagement credit card to pay for events. Reimbursements, however, may be made to any Michigan Ross Alumni Club member, though most payments generally stem from the club’s leadership team. For purchases made with a credit card to be reimbursed, the itemized receipt signature must match the credit card utilized.

Within 45 days of your event, please send to MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu:

  • Your club’s name
  • Date of the event for which the reimbursed purchases were utilized
  • Guest list
  • Itemized receipt(s) with payer signature to indicate proof of payment if credit/debit card used
  • The name and address of the persons to be reimbursed

*Please use this Reimbursement Form for easy filing.  Once received, reimbursements typically take two to three weeks to process.

 Reimbursements (International Clubs):

Transferring money internationally can make the process of accessing your stipend complicated. As an international alumni club, the most straightforward way to access your club’s funds is through the University of Michigan’s international expense reimbursement process.  For U of M to process your reimbursement to be processed, all required paperwork must be received within 45 days of your alumni club’s event.

  Other notes: 

  • The University of Michigan will not reimburse you for any expenses in excess of your set club stipend’s dollar amount.
  •  U of M will only reimburse individuals, not companies or organizations. If you’re paying with a credit card or check, make sure to use your personal account.
  • Keep a comprehensive guest list and all receipts from your club events. 
  • You only need to complete some parts of the attached forms. In the Clubs- International Reimbursement Guidance Package.pdf, I have highlighted in pink the specific sections of each document you must fill out. Leave un-highlighted sections blank.  
  • Once you have submitted your Alien Certificate and W-9BEN and/or W9, you do not have to complete them again for future reimbursement requests unless your information changes. 
  • We encourage you to call our Office of Alumni Engagement (+1-734-647-3979) to provide, your social security number, tax identification number, or other sensitive information these forms require.

Email your completed paperwork together to MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu. Reimbursements typically take 2 – 3 weeks to process.

On Funding, Resources, and Generating Additional Club Revenue

Michigan Ross provides domestic alumni clubs with a financial stipend, alumni club leadership resources, logistical guidance, an alumni club website, and full-time staff support.

Any revenue that alumni clubs collect themselves (primarily through attendance or membership fees) rolls forward yearly; unused Michigan Ross stipend funds do not, and end-of-year requests for remaining stipend use must be submitted by Apr. 30 annually. Your Michigan Ross alumni club’s website provides a safe and easy eCommerce platform for you to collect club revenue, which will be added to your club’s general funds. 

To stretch your club’s funding, or to generate additional revenue, consider these strategies: 

  • Identify alumni or companies with (or without) University of Michigan ties that would be willing to act as corporate sponsors or venue hosts for your activity. Michigan Ross Alumni Engagement staff will provide support in this endeavor where possible.
  • Charge an attendance fee for club events. Depending on the event, the fee can be anywhere from $5 to $45. Event fees are standard practices for many Michigan Ross Alumni Clubs. Attendance fees carry a number of benefits, but foremost among them are:
    • Alumni who have paid to attend an event are more likely to attend it, reducing the number of no-shows.
    • An event fee places a value on an event’s quality. Alumni want to attend events that are worth their time. A dollar value provides a numerical translation of that time into quality.
    • Attendance fees help hold club leadership teams to the highest event planning standards. The realization that people have paid money to attend an event you are organizing adds a certain sense of accountability that might not be present otherwise.   
    • To charge a registration fee, you must create a registration page that is associated with your event. View this pdf, “Alumni Clubs Event Registration Setup,” for full photo instructions describing this process. Instructions for setting up a basic registration webpage and adding a registration fee are provided.  
  • Consider holding a more exclusive “signature event” that serves as your club’s major source of revenue for the year. Some clubs have secured full corporate sponsorships for a gala, highly-placed keynote speaker, reception or cocktail hour, so all income generated from attendance fees flows back into the club’s operations budget.

Concerned alumni won’t be willing to pay for a club event in your region? If so:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity. This applies to Tier 3 and 4 clubs especially. A few content-driven, high-quality lifelong learning or professional development events that charge an attendance fee can generate more excitement and consistent engagement amongst a broader alumni segment than several free happy hours.
  • Be consistent. Consistency breeds trust and alumni must trust that their local alumni clubs will deliver interesting/useful programming for those alums to take time out of their busy lives to participate. It is possible for all clubs to be consistent in delivery and quality — even if the club is smaller and only offers a few selections per year.
  • Explore free local events (including already-planned UMAA events) and volunteer opportunities.
  • Utilize public meeting space or organize meet-ups in fun locations like parks, museums, or zoos.
  • Take advantage of University of Michigan alumni activities being hosted in the area

Remember that the purpose of the Michigan Ross Alumni Clubs is to bring alumni together to catch up, network, and to further their lifelong learning and development beyond the classroom with events that evoke the Michigan Ross experience. There must not necessarily be an expectation of free food or drinks. 

Attendance Tracking and Event Documentation

In a department-wide effort to improve alumni data and metrics, Michigan Ross is committed to measuring and tracking alumni activities and engagement across the School, including through the alumni clubs.

Currently, the clubs are required to submit an attendance list with event expense paperwork. We request that alumni clubs also send us attendance lists for ANY club events that are free/not funded through Michigan Ross. This is the only way the School will be able to develop an accurate record of global alumni engagement!

For your convenience, we have created an Alumni Club Event Sign-In template. Please use this, or your own attendance list, to track your club’s alumni participation.

Other tips for collecting sign-in information:

  • If you have a list of RSVPs, print out that sheet and use it to check off alumni as they arrive.
  • Write “walk-ins” on the bottom or back of your sign-in sheet to capture non-registrants.
  • Make a concerted effort to greet people as they come in and check their names off.
  • Put the list on a “welcome” table and ask that people check in as they arrive.
  • Ask people to pass around the list at the event and check their names off.

Thank you in advance for supporting the School’s data-tracking needs!