Associations are responsible for all costs associated with invitation postage, catering, decoration, audiovisual, valet, room rental, deposits, taxes, gratuities, and performance fees. Contracts are signed by association officers but may be sent to Alumni and Parent Programs for review. Usually, the costs of appetizer, drink, and dinner of the special visitor(s)/presenter(s) are absorbed by the association or covered by the College.
Please remember that most bills for events tend to be slightly higher than originally anticipated. Per person charges indicated on the invitation should cover some reserve for unanticipated expenses.
Providing a reduced rate for the youngest five classes encourages recent graduates to attend. Associations absorb the difference in cost, unless it is a presidential event.
The College may subsidize presidential and other selected events. Alumni and Parent Programs will inform associations of any arrangements for subsidies in the early stages of event planning.
If there was a prior agreement that the College would reimburse some expenses, the actual bill(s) needs to be forwarded to Alumni and Parent Programs shortly after they are received with instructions concerning to whom the check should be made payable. The College’s fiscal year ends June 30, which means that bills submitted after that date for an event that occurred within the 12 months prior are no longer eligible for reimbursement.
Dues and Bank Accounts
Established associations organizing more than one event per year rely on dues to build a reserve to pay for mailing costs, deposits, young alumni subsidies, and miscellaneous expenses. Annual dues range from $15-50 dollars. Solicitations need to be sent out at least once a year with one or two reminders. Feel free to ask Alumni and Parent Programs for assistance in preparing dues notices.
At this time, associations that collect dues and have a designated treasurer should maintain a checking account in the association’s name. It is recommended that two officers have signing authority. The College cannot provide a tax identification number to open a business bank account, since associations (and classes) are independent organizations without non-profit status. An association may apply for its own tax identification number if it wishes through the proper government channels.
Sometime in the 2008-2009 academic year the College expects to begin offering association bank accounts in the form of funds held in trust by the College. More information about this new system will be forthcoming.
Alumni and Parent Programs reserves the right to inquire about the balance of an association’s account when there are postage bills unpaid, requests for subsidies, or when there are changes in association leadership.
The treasurer should make sure that all those who attended an event have paid. Obviously, bills, especially those sent to an alumnus/alumna who hosts an event at a club, need to be settled promptly.
Associations are charged the actual postage costs, while Alumni and Parent Programs pays for labor and photocopying. Postage bills are sent quarterly to the treasurer (unless the president wishes to be the designated recipient) as the College’s accounting system only allows for one person in each association to receive an invoice. The College reserves the right to withhold future mailings until bills are settled or a payment plan is discussed.
Several associations support current Amherst students through scholarship awards. In addition to dues, the association membership is asked to contribute to the scholarship fund. It is up to the individual association to fulfill any obligations with the Office of Financial Aid. Associations should not undertake a new scholarship program unless the association is in good fiscal shape and there are adequate financial resources from dues to cover mailing costs. Amherst does not participate in the book award programs that some local alumni clubs from other colleges sponsor.
Co-sponsorship and Fundraising Events
Co-sponsoring events with other college alumni groups is an effective means of combining forces and ensuring broad appeal and a diverse crowd. Occasionally, however, corporations or other organizations will ask to invite association members to free events or fundraising events for causes other than Amherst, and this is not something the association mailing list can be used for. Any event whose main objective is to collect names or e-mails or sell products or services to Amherst graduates, even by an Amherst graduate, falls into this category. Association participation in walk-a-thons, race for the cure, etc. can only be arranged with an agreement that the collection of funds is not mentioned in the marketing of the programs and fundraising is not a prerequisite for participating on the day of the event.