Manage Your Finances
Need help with develop 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 Pace Center Business Manager.
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 Elsie Sheidler.
- For Student Volunteers Council (SVC) service projects, your staff adviser is David Brown.
- For Community House service projects, your staff adviser is Charlotte Collins.
Reimbursements to students are done through Concur, 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. Questions about allowable expenses can be directed to your staff adviser or Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain.
Set Up a Concur Profile
The following is a step-by-step process for setting up your Concur profile which must be done first in order to submit expense reimbursements.
- Login to Concur at travel.princeton.edu, and click the Concur button labeled “Login to Concur;” follow the prompts for NetID and Password
- Locate the Profile tab 3. Under Contact Information, complete all required fields and update the “Device Name” and “Country Code” sections. [Note: You must press the OK button which you will find by scrolling down.]
- Verify your email address; now you can email receipts to email@example.com and have them automatically uploaded to your receipts folder in Concur.
- Set up the Concur App on your mobile phone; see “Mobile Registration” in Profile settings. You will be asked to create a PIN; remember this PIN! You can now take a photo of your receipts and send them directly to your Concur expense report.
- Set your Expense Settings; while under the Profile tab, navigate to the sidebar under Expense Settings, and click "Expense Approver." Type in the name of your staff adviser [Note: If you are creating expense reports for reimbursement from other departments or sources, you must change your "Expense Approver" from your Pace Center staff adviser to the administrator authorized to review and approve your report.]
Create Your Expense Report
- Under the Expense tab, select New Expense Report. Complete the request header. Provide a descriptive name for your report, reflecting the service project or group activity/event (e.g: Community House PEEK supplies; SPEAR April 2020 conference catering meals)
- Under “Allocation” enter your chartstring. The chartstring consists of a department, fund, and possibly a program code; you must ALWAYS provide a department and fund code. You do not need to worry about the site, project, and activity fields; you can leave them blank. You can obtain the chartstring from your staff adviser or contact Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain.
- Add expenses from the list of Expense Types. [Note: It is good practice to avoid using the Expense Type of Miscellaneous]. Here are a few general points about some common expenses:
- Food Products – Grocery/Bulk: The majority of study break foods can be labeled as this expense type.
- Group Meals/Entertainment: This is for meals and all entertainment activities that have more than two people participating. Input the names of all individuals who participated in the meal or you will receive an error message. For groups of less than 10, you must input each participant's name. For groups of 10 or more, you may input a group identifier (e.g. SVC El Centro).
- Project Materials: This includes a broad selection of purchases including items such as post-its, posters, paint, and more.
- Travel: Many travel expenses will require itemization. Be sure to fill out all required information.
4. Attach receipts to all expenses including those under $50.00. Although Concur only requires receipts for expenses of $50.00 or more, the Pace Center policy is to attach all receipts to your Concur expense report. In addition to uploading receipts from your computer, you can upload them to your Concur account by sending photos of receipts from your verified email account to firstname.lastname@example.org or from your mobile app. [Note: If you do not verify your email, as explained in Part 1, then you will not be able to email receipts].
5. 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. Otherwise, you will receive notice that a check is available for pickup at the Financial Shared Services Center at New South. If any errors have been made in the submission process, your expense report will be sent back to you for correction and re-submission.
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. If you are planning a fundraising event on or off campus, we strongly encourage you to schedule a meeting with Elsie Sheidler, Senior Associate Director to review your fundraising plans and receive approval to move forward.
Once fundraising is approved, students must register the fundraising event details through the Campus Life Event Registration (CLEVER) system. Please submit 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. This documentation consists of:
A letter from the outside organization acknowledging the fundraising effort and welcoming such funds from the named Princeton student group. The letter must be on the outside organization’s letterhead and include an organization contact and their contact information.
The letter from the organization must include how the funds will be used to benefit the organization.
The letter from the organization must stipulate the start and end dates of the fundraising.
[Note: Political campaigns or other partisan efforts are not permitted as organizations that can benefit from student fundraising.]
While fundraising for an outside organization, funds may be collected in three ways:
1. Cash or checks: You can obtain a cash box from the Pace Center to facilitate the collection of cash and checks. Checks should be made out to “Trustees of Princeton University” and in the memo field denote the name of your student group and its chartstring. Cash is to be deposited during the fundraising period by bringing it to the Financial Service Center at New South, 7th floor. Here you will complete a deposit form noting your student group chartstring. If you have contiguous days of fundraising, you can deliver the cash box for safekeeping to the Pace Center or to Public Safety after hours. Under no circumstances are students to keep cash or checks in their possession.
2. Via your student organization account: If you are selling tickets to an event, the profits from the sale will be deposited into your student organization account, using your assigned chart string. With your written consent, the University can assist in transferring the proceeds to the organization you are supporting with the proper documentation in place.
3. Direct donations to the outside organization: If the outside organization benefitting from your group's fundraising has a donation portal on their website, donors are encouraged to provide their funding support directly whenever possible.
The University can facilitate payment from the student group to the organization benefitting from the group's fundraising ONLY when the funds are accompanied by the noted approval from Elsie Sheidler at the Pace Center AND the benefitting organization letter noted above.
For additional information about transferring funds to an outside organization; directing funds to your student group account; receiving individual and corporate gifts; or applying for outside grants, contact Pace Center Business Manager, Soeurette Germain.