Financial Procedures

All student organizations and programming boards are required to follow all financial rules, regulations, and policies outlined by Johns Hopkins University and the Dean of Student Life. Proper fiscal management is taken very seriously and failure to uphold institutional policies could result in disciplinary action.

General Guidelines

  • The JHU fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th. All student organization financial transactions must be completed by the last day of final exams. This includes purchases, reimbursements, cashing of petty cash vouchers, etc.
  • While Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI) manages an account for your student organization, it does not mean there are available funds. Financial transactions will not be processed if funds are not available. If an account is in deficit, the Treasurer must work with SLI to determine steps to quickly correct the situation.
  • Accounts for active groups with no financial activity for two consecutive semesters will be reviewed and may be closed with loss of any funds in the account.
  • Student organization accounts start with ‘800’ which is an internal order (IO) under fund center 1311000005.
  • Student groups may not maintain an external bank account unless the group is affiliated with a national organization that specifically requires them to do so.
  • Do not state that your student group will provide cash prizes or give out cash prizes out at an event. Coordinate with SLI to obtain gift cards from vendors such as amazon.com.
  • Cash Payment to vendors or students is prohibited.
  • The purchase of alcohol and/or alcohol related items (shot glasses, bottle openers, beer mugs etc.) with student organization funding is prohibited. Students will not be reimbursed for any alcohol related purchase.
  • Any items purchased using student organization funds are the property of JHU.
  • All funds (ticket sales, fees, etc.) received by JHU recognized organizations is the property of JHU.
  • Student Organizations recognized by SGA are required to follow Student Activities Commission guidelines. Email Student Activities Commission (SAC) for questions related to SAC funding.

Financial Officers

  • The first and primary financial officer is the group’s Treasurer/Financial Officer. The secondary Financial Officer is the President of the student organization.
  • Only financial officers may initiate financial requests for their organizations. This includes purchase requests, account balances, and reimbursements.
  • The Treasurer/Financial Officer is responsible for keeping track of the group’s budget and must keep a running ledger of the group’s financial activity. We have created a Student Organization Budget Ledger Template for groups to use as a resource.
  • Financial summary and YTD Detailed Reports will be sent to organizations twice a semester. Student organizations are responsible for reviewing their financial reports for accuracy and reporting any discrepancies to SLI financial staff as soon as they are discovered. Positive amounts on the Detailed Report reflect outgoing money; negative amounts are incoming money. A negative ending balance on the Summary Report means there are available funds in the account.
  • A graduate student cannot be a financial officer of an undergraduate group.

Paying a Vendor with a Federal Tax ID Number

This type of vendor is incorporated and has a Federal Tax ID Number (i.e., XX-XXXXXXX). To pay a vendor with a Federal Tax ID Number you must complete the Student Organization Purchase Request Form on Hopkins Groups at least 30 days in advance of your event. You will be required to submit the following documents along with your request, so please have them prepared in advance:

  • An original itemized invoice (excluding Maryland state sales tax) or contract. The payment document must say “Invoice” or “Contract” to be valid. Payment documents with “quote”, “statement”, or “estimate” are invalid and will not be processed. Under no circumstances should a student sign any contracts! All contracts must be reviewed by SLI staff before they are submitted to Purchasing. Make sure your payment document (invoice, contract) does not include Maryland sales tax. Provide the vendor with the JHU Maryland Sales PDF Document: Tax Exemption Card prior to them creating the invoice or contract.
  • A W-9 is required for all vendors unless they are already in the JHU Accounting System. If you are not sure whether a PDF Document: W-9 is required, ask the Budget Specialist in the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.

Paying an Independent Contractor

An Independent Contractor (IC) is an individual or non-corporate business entity that provides personal services while retaining control over the means and methods of accomplishing the work. The IC uses a personal SSN (i.e., XXX-XX-XXXX). Examples of ICs are a DJ, a guest director, a speaker, a contest judge, and a dance instructor. To pay an Independent Contractor you must complete the Student Organization Purchase Request Form on Hopkins Groups at least 30 days in advance of your event. You will be required to submit the following documents along with your request, so please have them prepared in advance:

  • An original itemized invoice (excluding Maryland state sales tax) or contract. The payment document must say “Invoice” or “Contract” to be valid. Payment documents with “quote”, “statement”, or “estimate” are invalid and will not be processed. Under no circumstances should a student sign any contracts! All contracts must be reviewed by SLI staff before they are submitted to Purchasing. Make sure your payment document does not include Maryland sales tax. Provide the vendor with the JHU Maryland Sales PDF Document: Tax Exemption Card prior to them creating the invoice or contract.
  • A W-9 is required for all vendors unless they are already in the JHU Accounting System. If you are not sure whether a PDF Document: W-9 is required, ask the Budget Specialist in the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.
  • A completed PDF Document: Independent Contractor Short Form (PDF) with the vendor’s signature, title, and date at the bottom of the second page.

Due to Federal tax laws and penalties, never pay an IC directly via check or cash. JHU will not reimburse a group member if this happens.

Paying a JHU Student Employee

JHU is obligated to follow all Federal employment laws. If you want to hire a JHU student you must complete the Student Organization Purchase Request Form on Hopkins Groups at least 30 days in advance of your event. You may not pay the student directly for their service.

Purchasing Goods & Food

SLI believes that students should not have to incur a financial burden in order to participate fully in their organization. For this reason, we encourage student groups to plan in advance to purchase supplies and goods. If you would like to make an order you must complete the Student Organization Purchase Request Form on Hopkins Groups. Submission deadlines vary depending on what type of order you are placing. Please review the instructions outlined below for our most common types of online purchases and their requirements.

Orders will only be processed for events registered in Hopkins Groups, so please make sure that is done in advance.

Imprinted Goods

If you would like to order imprinted goods (postcards, cups, mugs, giveaways, etc.) your Student Organization Purchase Request Form must be submitted at least 6-8 weeks in advance. Items branded with the JHU logo/name must meet JHU brand guidelines. You will be required to submit a draft of your design as part of your purchase request, so please have it prepared in advance.

Goods & Supplies

For online orders (Amazon, Office Depot, etc.) your Student Organization Purchase Request Form must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of your event. Student Leadership and Involvement has created corporate accounts through Amazon and Office Depot in order to help streamline the ordering process and save student organizations money on their orders.

  • Office Supplies: All office supplies (markers, paper, tape, etc.) must be purchased through Office Depot. Simply visit the Office Depot website and write down the item number, quantity, description, and amount for the items you would like to purchase and submit the information along with your Student Organization Purchase Request Form. An Excel Document: Excel Document: Office Depot Order Template has been created to streamline the process. Note: Prices listed on the Office Depot website will not reflect the JHU discount, so your final amount may vary.
  • Amazon Orders: To make an Amazon order simply visit amazon.com and create a wish list. When you submit your Student Organization Purchase Request Form you will be prompted to enter the link to your wish list. Once your form has been approved, a staff member will place your order. We ask students to use Amazon as the primary source for their online purchases of supplies and goods.
  • Other: If you are unable to purchase your required items through Office Depot or Amazon please submit the Student Organization Purchase Request Form along with the completed Online Order Template. Once your form has been approved, a staff member will place your order.

Catering & Groceries

To provide better service and streamline the catering order process, student organizations can pick from the following options when ordering food for their event:

  • Bon Appetit: Hopkins on-campus catering service. To place an order, visit Bon Appetit’s online ordering system.
  • Foodify: Foodify is a local company allows us to order catering online from a wide variety of local restaurants and pay for orders directly through an invoice. This means that you no longer have to use your own money for catering or coordinate with and SLI staff member to pay for catering using their purchasing card. You can select from a wide variety of restaurants and have the option of searching restaurants based on type of cuisine, price, and rating. They also have categories for JHU Green and Hopkins Buy Local! Please visit https://www.foodify.com/ to review your options. If you cannot find a caterer to meet your dietary needs, please discuss with your Category Coordinator or SLI staff. Foodify works closely with us to add restaurants to add restaurants to their system. Once you have determined your order, please submit the Student Organization Purchase Request Form and once our form has been approved, a staff member will work with you to place your order. Please note that SLI is required to follow SAC policies regarding food orders and will not be able to process requests not approved by SAC.
  • Grocery Delivery: Student groups are encouraged to purchase all groceries for their events using Amazon Prime Pantry. Deliveries are convenient and quick! To order groceries please visit Amazon Prime Pantry to compile your order and then submit the Student Organization Purchase Request Form to place your order.

Reimbursing a Group Member

Reimbursements will be issued only for expenses under $100 that are pre-approved by the organization financial officer and Student Leadership and Involvement staff members. To request pre-approval for a purchase, submit the Student Organization Purchase Request Form on Hopkins Groups at least 10 business days in advance of your event or expense. SLI believes that students should not have to incur a financial burden in order to participate fully in their organization. For this reason, we encourage student groups to plan in advance to secure advance payment (purchase order, check request, etc.) for purchases. Reimbursements are reserved for instances when advance payment is not possible. They will be approved on a limited basis. See Travel Reimbursement section below for specific travel reimbursement procedures.

After your expense has been approved, you may make your purchase. To get reimbursed for your expense, you must submit the Reimbursement Request Form along with a scanned copy of your receipt(s) within 30 days of the receipt date or by the last day of final exams for that semester, whichever is sooner. The Reimbursement Request Form can only be used for expenses less than $100.

  • Itemized receipts must show a breakdown of items purchased (including food), as well as the method of payment (i.e., credit card type, cash, etc.). A credit card payment receipt alone is not enough.
  • JHU does not reimburse sales tax. To make a tax exempt purchase you must give the JHU Maryland state PDF Document: sales tax exemption certificate to the vendor or online business before making the purchase. It is illegal to use a Maryland tax exemption certificate for personal purchases.
  • You may submit multiple receipts as long as the total is less than $100.
  • Once your Reimbursement Request Form has been processed SLI will create a Petty Cash Voucher. When it is ready, you will receive an email letting you know it is available to be picked up from the Student Monitor in SLI.
  • Only the student being reimbursed can pick up the Petty Cash Voucher.
  • You must bring your original receipt when you visit SLI to pick up your Petty Cash Voucher. If you do not have your original receipt, you will not be able to pick up your voucher. This is due to the regulations of the Petty Cash Office. To redeem your Petty Cash Voucher visit Cash Accounting (Garland Hall basement) Monday through Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • If a petty cash voucher is not cashed in within 30 days of SLI issue, it is no longer redeemable. Any unclaimed Petty Cash Vouchers will be voided on the last day of final exams for that semester and can no longer be cashed.
  • For audit purposes, a financial officer cannot request a payment to themselves. The President or Second Financial Officer must complete and sign the Purchasing and Reimbursement Request Form.
  • Students are not authorized to pay a vendor or individual out of pocket and will not be reimbursed for these types expenses.

See the Travel Reimbursement section below for specific travel reimbursement procedures.

Travel and Hotel Accommodation Request Form

Student groups or individuals participating in travel sponsored by a JHU organization or on behalf of a student organization are required to submit a Travel and Hotel Accommodation Request Form at least 30 days in advance of travel but preferably as soon as the trip has been confirmed. Transportation (airplane, train, rental car, etc.) and hotels must be booked in advance by the Budget Specialist in the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement through World Travel Inc. All student organization travel and hotels will be booked at a standard accommodation level. Students will not be reimbursed for travel related expenses not pre-approved by the organization advisor or Student Leadership and Involvement staff.

  • Due to liability issues, JHU Risk Management policy does not let students travel over 300 miles round trip in any personal car, rental car, or JHU van. Public transport (i.e. airplane, train, or bus) must be used. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • Names, birth dates, sex, and email addresses must be given for each traveler. For international travel, passport numbers and expiration dates are also required.
  • If a student organization needs to cancel or change their travel plans it is their responsibility to make adjustments by the deadlines indicated by the vendor. If a trip is not canceled by the designated deadline or if individual(s) fail to show up for a scheduled trip the organization account will be charged the full amount billed to JHU.

Travel Related Reimbursement Policies

Transferring Funds

  • Transferring of funds occurs when a student organization wants to move funds from their account to another group account or to another Johns Hopkins entity. This can also work in reverse when a group receives funds from departments or other student groups.
  • For fund transfers out of a student group account, bring SLI a completed Funding Transfer Request Form.
    • Part I is completed by the financial officer or financial administrator of the group or department giving the funds.
    • Part II is completed by the financial officer or financial administrator of the group or department receiving the funds.

Receiving & Depositing Money

All funds collected on behalf of a sponsored student group or organization are the property of Johns Hopkins University and cannot be used for personal purposes. To make a deposit bring checks and cash along with a completed Word Document: Deposit Transmittal Form to the Student Leadership and Involvement office, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Weekend and after hours deposits can be made at either Levering Hall or Mattin Center. For after hours deposits, please see the monitors in either Levering Hall or the Mattin Center. Do not leave deposits in the Student Leadership and Involvement mailbox or under the office door.

  • Checks: Checks must be deposited within 48 hours of receipt. To make a deposit into your organization’s revenue account you must bring a completed Word Document: Deposit Transmittal Form, check, and the envelope it arrived in. All charitable donations will be processed through the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. Please note a 4% processing fee is assessed. If a check is for a charitable contribution and the donor wants a tax deductible letter from JHU, be sure to denote that on the deposit form. Do not mix charitable and non-charitable deposits on the same deposit form. If there is a national organization, JHU cannot accept the donation. Make and retain copies of all checks before you turn them into SLI. This is important if a refund is required later.
  • Ticket Sales: All online event tickets are required to be sold through JHUTickets.com. You may not sell tickets through EventBrite or other ticket sale platforms or collect money directly for ticket sales (see JHUTickets overview below).
  • Cash: Cash boxes with locks are available for events collecting under $250 in revenue. Events with revenue over $250 are required to accept J-Cash and use JHU Tickets as a payment source instead of accepting cash. Contact slandi@jhu.edu coordinate cash box arrangements.
  • PayPal, VenMo, etc.: At this time, the university does not have the capability to accept electronic donations from PayPal, VenMo, Kickstarter, or similar platforms. Groups are not permitted to use these platforms to raise funds or conduct other transactions for their groups.

Fundraising Guidelines

Student Organizations seeking to raise money on behalf of their organization or on behalf of an outside organization must comply with the Student Organization Fundraising Guidelines. The term fundraising covers any occasion where money is collected by a student organization. Some examples include bake sales, ticket sales, raffles, grant applications, and the solicitation of donations.

  • JHU Grant Programs: Johns Hopkins University has several grant programs available to student organizations. Please visit the Grants page for more information about the various grants, their requirements, and deadlines to apply.
  • External Grant Programs: Student Organizations may not independently solicit grant funding from outside organizations. Grant management is monitored very closely by the University because the process for proposing/receiving/managing/closing out a grant is often a multi-year process that involves entering a contractual agreement. Students are not authorized to sign contracts! If you are interested in applying for an external grant you must contact Student Leadership and Involvement to discuss your proposal.
  • Donations from Local Businesses and External Organizations: Groups often reach out to local businesses and outside organizations to sponsor their organization. All funds collected are considered charitable donations and will be processed through the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. (See section on Receiving & Depositing Money for information on depositing your monetary donation.) Non-monetary donations of goods do not require documentation through the Office of Development & Alumni Relations unless the donor wants a tax-deductible letter from JHU. Either way, make sure to send a thank you card!
  • Fundraising for Other Organizations: If you would like to host a fundraiser for an outside organization please work with your advisor, Category Coordinator, or SLI staff member to make arrangements.
  • Bake Sales/Tabling Fundraisers: If you are hosting a bake sale or other tabling fundraiser you are required to follow the Cash Handling Procedures which outline the procedures for collecting and depositing cash.
  • Collecting Donations through JHU Giving Page: Student Organizations can work with Development and Alumni Relations to create giving pages through JHU’s secure site: https://secure.jhu.edu/form/givenow. Students, alums, and community members can choose an option from the list or if your group is not listed they can select the Other designation and write in the name of your group.
  • Note: Please do not solicit JHU alumni directly on behalf of your organization. If you would like to reach out to alums, please contact Amanda Colaianni in Alumni Relations and she will help advise your organization.
  • Reminder: Groups are not permitted to accept electronic donations from PayPal, VenMo, Kickstarter, or similar platforms to raise funds or conduct other transactions for their groups. Organizations can collect electronic donations using JCash.

Cash Handling Procedures

For events on non-business days and/or ending after 4:30 p.m.

  • You may use a Cash Box at your event as long as your revenue is under $250, events over $250 must use JHU Tickets or J-Cash.
  • Thirty minutes before you stop collecting money at your event, call the Levering Student Monitor at 410-516-8197 to let them know you will need a security officer to escort you to the safe. Deposits must be made 30 minutes before the building closes.
    • Levering Hall: Sunday through Thursday the monitors are available until 11:30 pm. Fridays and Saturdays the monitors are available until 1:30 am.
    • Mattin Center: Available until 11:30 pm, every day.
  • With the security officer, walk to either the Levering Hall Monitor or Mattin Center Monitor (whichever is closest) to deposit the money into the drop-safe.
  • With the monitor…
    1. Count the money and place the money into an envelope with your name, email, group name, and budget number (if known)
    2. Sign and Take a Receipt with you
    3. Deposit the money into the drop-safe
  • On the next business day, the Financial Coordinator for the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement will pick up the money from the drop-safe and deposit the money into your account. It may take a few days to be processed into your account.

For events on business days ending before 4:30 p.m.

  • You may use a Cash Box at your event as long as your revenue is under $250, events over $250 must use JHU Tickets or J-Cash.
  • When your event is over, go to Mattin 131: Office of Student Leadership and Involvement
  • Tell an Office of Student Leadership and Involvement staff member your group name and budget number (if known)
    1. Count your money in front of them and give them your money
    2. Sign and take a receipt with you
  • The Financial Coordinator for the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement will deposit the money into your account. It may take a few days to be processed into your account.

JHU Tickets

To have your event eligible for JHUTickets.com, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Student organizations must be registered on Hopkins Groups.
  • All the logistics of the event must be confirmed prior to the tickets going on sale (i.e. the room is reserved, entertainment is confirmed, contracts are signed, etc.).
  • Student organizations must have an on-campus account.

When filling out the form, please keep in mind the following ticket information:

  • Online ticket price must remain the same during the entire time it is on sale.
  • Sales must begin on a weekday and must end no later than noon on a Friday to assure you will receive the reservation list.

There are three options for distributing tickets:

  • Print Option: The purchaser can print their ticket upon purchasing the ticket. At the event, scanners must be rented to scan the ticket. To rent a scanner, it costs $.50/ticket. The company requires a ten-day advance warning and 200-ticket minimum.
  • Reservation Option: The purchaser does not have the option to print the ticket. Their information will be collected and at the door, the students can have their name checked off a spreadsheet.
  • Print and Reservation Option: The purchaser will print out a ticket and a reservation list will also be provided.

There is a service fee attached to using this system:

Free Tickets = $0.25 per ticket service fee
$0.01-$9.99 = $0.50 per ticket service fee
$10.00-$19.99 = $1.00 per ticket service fee
$20.00 and above = $2.00 per ticket service fee

When you register your event in HopkinsGroups you will automatically be directed to submit your JHU Ticket request!