1. Must a local Club obtain both Board and Member approval for year-end donations?
Answer: You should review your By-laws for you local Club and if there is no specific reserve power to the members with respect to approving year-end donation, approval by the Board should be adequate.
2. If members of student organizations travel to a local Club to make a presentation or present a program, is it permissible for the local Club to cover their travel expenses with a mileage reimbursement or gas card? Is this considered deemed income to the student?
Answer: Yes, the Club should follow the IRS rules on reimbursement for mileage, which is currently 50 cents per mile (3/09). The gas card or reimbursement is not deemed income, but reimbursement of expenses.
3. Our Club has received requests for donations from clubs that are not listed on the Student Organization lists. How do we handle this? Can we give a donation that is not listed?
Answer: There are about 800 organizations on campus. The mission and purpose of the Federation and each local club is to support Texas A&M and its students and giving to those student organizations certainly complies with our mission. However, those organizations may become University recognized and then lose their University recognition quite often, depending on whether they are diligently keeping up with the requirements for recognition set forth by the Student Activities office. If you are wondering about an organization’s University recognition status check the student activities website. Each organization is listed and it’s current status. There may be some organizations on the Accounts Chart on the Federation website that are no longer recognized and vice versa. We will update that list each February, but it will undoubtedly be out of date by the next month. The website search link to check an organization’s recognition status is: https://studentactivities.tamu.edu/online/search/index
Even though the vast majority of the organizations that other Aggie Moms Clubs give to are on campus and University recognized, each year a few dollars are also given to organizations that are not University recognized and a few that are off campus, such as Breakaway Ministries, other groups or events at the surrounding churches and the off campus bonfire. It’s up to your club whether to make donations to these organizations. For each particular situation, ask your club’s members and/or board to determine whether giving to one of these organizations complies with your club’s mission and current By-Laws. A few of these clubs are listed at the bottom of the list provided by the Foundation on our website aggiemoms.aggienetwork.com.
If you are giving a donation to an organization that is not University recognized and off campus, request a receipt. If it is an organization that is on campus, but not University recognized, you can still give through the A&M Foundation. It is recommended that you make your donations to on campus organizations through the A&M Foundation because you always get good paperwork for tax purposes. Just send the Foundation a check and a cover letter telling them how to distribute the funds. They are normally very timely in depositing the funds into the organization accounts. Check the instructions on the Form E on the Federation website.
2. Our club receives a lot of letters mainly by email from different organizations, clubs, sororities etc. asking for monetary donations, auction items, lunch bags and other items. Many of these events such as the “Saddle and Sirloin” club are hosting an event in February and are asking for snacks and or money to help them make this event successful. Our club typically decides in March or April who to give money to. In the past we have given to Carpool, Rudders Rangers, Singing Cadets and many more but all of these groups are ongoing organizations. Do you know of any “Aggie Mom” clubs that give to organizations through out the year or are most clubs like ours that only give to groups that they have previously voted on in the spring.
Answer: All of these clubs would be overjoyed with any donation that they receive and at any time, so do what works best with your Aggie Moms Club. You should not feel pressured into matching an organization’s event timing if it makes things more complicated for your process. Also, a donation to the example Saddle and Sirloin event is actually a donation to Saddle and Sirloin (an ongoing organization). In this case, you may decide to help them with a donation or decide that you can’t help them this year, but give money to them at the end of the year with your other donations to aid them in the event next year. It is truly up to your club to do what you think that your club would want done with your funds set aside for organization donations.
If you are giving a monetary donation, I recommend that you give it through the A&M Foundation with a letter indicating to which organization you wish to give the donation. The donation paper trail is best through the A&M Foundation for tax purposes.
As far as giving auction items, snacks, etc. to clubs, that is also done differently by each Aggie Moms Club. Organizations are less consistent about giving receipts for those types of donations.
Last, make sure that what you are doing is in accordance with you Club’s current By-Laws or — does it indicate the need for a By-Laws revision?