Given the changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and our responsibility to adhere to University, local, state, and federal health guidelines, the following information is subject to change. Contact Business Manager Soeurette Germain at [email protected] with questions. 

Need help with developing a budget for your group or a specific event or activity? Need help with expense reimbursements or understanding raising funds as a student group? The information here can help. Your Pace Center staff adviser is available to you, as is the Soeurette Germain, the Business Manager for the Pace Center.

Developing a Budget

A budget is an important tool for creating a spending plan with the funds assigned to your service group or other service opportunity. A carefully developed budget will ensure having the funds for the activities, events and other things that you prioritize for your service group or project.   

1. Download the Budget Template

If you are a Pace Center student board member, service project or student organization student leader, we recommend starting a semester budget plan by downloading the Pace Center Budget Template. This template provides a basic framework to create a budget to manage the funds for your board, project, activity, or other planned event. You can easily customize this budget to add, remove, adjust items as are relevant to your activity.

If you are a Pace Center student organization with an assigned chartstring, contact Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain to request your group’s spendable balance and to confirm that your account has received incoming funds that you have raised. 

2. Complete the Budget

Work with your student leadership team to review your semester’s planned expenses and then identify and use (or include) the relevant line items in the basic template. It is often helpful to identify your larger semester budget and then individual budgets for any major activity or event.  If you have questions on developing a budget or completing the budget template, contact Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain

3. Meet with Your Staff Adviser

Once you have a draft budget, schedule a meeting with your Pace Center staff adviser to review the draft budget, funding sources, and financial best practices for managing a budget. Your budget must be approved before moving forward.  

  • For Pace Center student organizations, your staff adviser is Evan Schneider.
  • For Student Volunteers Council (SVC) service projects, your staff adviser is David Brown.
  • For Community House service projects, your staff adviser is David Brown.

Processing Expense Reimbursements

Reimbursements to students are done through Concur(link is external), the University’s expense management tool. Expenses for doing service can range from food to project materials to transportation and more. An expense must meet the criteria of a valid business purpose as defined by the University’s Business Expense Policy(link is external). Questions about allowable expenses can be directed to your staff adviser or Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain

Set Up a Concur Profile and Create Your Expense Report

Follow the step-by-step process outlined here to  set up your Concur profile and create your  expense reimbursements report. You can obtain the chartstring from your staff adviser or contact Soeurette Germain, the Business Manager for the Pace Center.

  1. Receipts are required for all expenses over $50.00. To upload receipts, visit Princeton Travel & Expenses. Although receipts are not required for expenses under $50, students must document the business purpose of each expense in the comments area in Concur with the name of the staff adviser who approved the expense (when applicable).
  2. When you have input all expenses into one report, you may submit the report. Approval by your expense approver should take approximately 1-3 days. Processing of your reimbursement by Finance and Treasury is usually done within a week. If you have direct deposit set up, the expenses will be reimbursed directly into your student account.

Virtual Fundraising

Following the Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Fall 2020 Guiding Principles and in support of the Princeton University Social Contract for students, the University only permits virtual fundraising. In-person fundraising events on- or off-campus are not supported by the Pace Center. The information presented here will be updated and changed, as necessary, based on the determination and evaluation of guidelines provided by University leadership in consideration of federal, state, and local public health guidance and mandates.

Fundraising is an integral part of what makes community organizations and projects possible. During this pandemic some of the more common (in-person) ways of fundraising such as galas, walk-a-thons, and auctions are not possible. However, there are ways to utilize the tools and skills of this moment to continue supporting causes. Virtual fundraising is a way to raise awareness, funds, and resources.

Guidelines for Virtual Fundraising

To ensure your group is compliant with University practices and policies for student fundraising, before planning any fundraising activities, please review the ODUS Guidelines for Donations and Fundraising and Rights Rules Responsibilities 2019 section 2.2.15.

All fundraising must be pre-approved by your staff adviser. Once fundraising is approved, students must register the virtual fundraising event details through the Campus Life Event Registration (CLEVER) system. Please submit virtual fundraising event requests at least two weeks prior to the date of your event.

If your fundraising activities are to benefit an outside organization, your student group must obtain supporting documentation from the outside organization.
If your fundraising activities are to benefit an outside organization, your student group must obtain supporting documentation from the outside organization. Please contact the Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain, for more information on this process and the required documentation. [Note: Political campaigns or other partisan efforts are not permitted as organizations that can benefit from student fundraising.]

While fundraising for an outside organization, donations can be made directly through the outside organization’s website via their donation portal. Under no circumstances are students to collect cash, checks or other forms of donations on behalf of an outside organization.

Getting Started

To help you get started in planning your virtual fundraiser, consider the following: 

  • If you are working through another department/center be sure to check with them and any advisers on fundraising guidelines. (ex. Athletic teams must meet with their compliance staff)
  • Schedule a meeting with your Pace Staff Adviser to discuss fundraising.
  • Who will benefit from your fundraising? 
    • What are their needs (monetary or supplies)? 
    • What is your donation goal?
  • What kind of fundraiser do you want to have? 
    • A simple social media fundraiser where people are asked to donate
    • An event-based fundraiser (Examples are speeches or lectures, open mics, music performances, trivia or games, conversations or dialogues.)
  • What type of platform do you want to use?
    • Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
    • Group meeting sites like Zoom and Google Meet.
    • Fundraising sites like YouCaring and DonorChoose 

Virtual Fundraising Checklist

To ensure a successful virtual fundraiser, you can reference this checklist to remind you of the important components of this kind of event. 

  • Community partner communication 
    • It is important to communicate early and often with community partners and/or the nonprofit receiving the funds that are being raised. Ask their permission for your fundraiser, include them in the planning process, feature them during your promotion and event, and keep them updated on a regular basis.
  • Advertising
    • Advertising is an important part of fundraising. You can utilize social media; personal messages through texts, emails, and phone calls; flyers and more. 
    • Work with your community partner to source the contact info of past donors, volunteers, and group members to be contacted and even work alongside you on your fundraiser. 
    • Develop your messages featuring the important details of the event such as date, time, cause, goals, other partners and/or guests.
  • Tech equipment
    • Technical equipment like computers, microphones, and cameras can be useful tools for a virtual fundraiser so it’s important that everyone knows how to use them and when. Do a rehearsal before the event so you can test the equipment and can work through any issues beforehand.
  • Recruitment of speakers, artists
    • If you are recruiting speakers, artists, or other guests for your fundraiser, reach out to them at least a month before the event. Work with your Pace Center adviser on recruitment, any potential honorariums for guests, and a communication plan.
  • Donation site platform
    • There are a variety of fundraising sites you can utilize depending on the partners you are working with, your cause, and the type of fundraiser you are having. 
    • Some community organizations already have donation sites set up.
  • Review your options with your Pace Center staff adviser
    • Research sites that interface well with your event and do not take a large amount of money to host your fundraiser.
  • Run of Show
    • For any event it is important to create a timeline of tasks and a Run of Show checklist for the day of the event. Be sure to include all steps and tasks you need to take for a successful fundraiser, including deadlines, timing, and assignment of tasks.
  • Donor engagement  
    • Create sign-up forms for people interested in donating before the fundraiser or engaging with your event. Use this form to send updates about the fundraiser and keep everyone involved in the process. During the event, consider ideas for engaging donors and participants throughout the fundraising event, such as shout outs, trivia, or polls.
  • Gratitude expression
    • Share gratitude throughout and after the fundraiser. Create videos, emails, or cards to send to your partners, guests, and donors to thank them and share the end goal of the fundraising efforts. 
  • Sustain engagement 
    • Give you, your team, and your partners, the space and time to reflect on your fundraiser, the challenges and successes. Think through possible continued engagement around your cause whether that is another fundraiser, creating ways for people to volunteer virtually, or other options.