L & S: How to support a student organization

This document describes how a UW department can support a registered UW-Madison student organization. Step-by-step instructions are provided. This document includes a link to the form: Five Questions for Student Organizations.


 The only way a department can support a registered student organizations is with UW-Foundation funding.  To find out if the student organization is registered with UW-Madison please go to this website: https://win.wisc.edu/organizations

Departments can only support REGISTERED student organizations in this way. If the organization is not registered, there is no way for departments to provide financial support. This is a great incentive for student organizations to register.

UW Foundation is encouraging that you do the payment as an ACH rather than a check.  You will need to provide the routing number for the student organization's financial institution and the organization's account number.  there is a space for this information on the form.    

The process for providing support to the student organization is simple:

  1. Create a UW Foundation (UWF) check request payable to the student organization in the amount of support that the department currently wishes to give.  Use the UW Foundation Check Request.  Login, click on Fund Management in red navigation bar, then select "Check/ACH request" from the pull down menu.
  2.  Attach a completed FiveQuestiondocument The department or the student organization can fill out the form. NOTE: If you are unable to access the form please email mary.machaj@wisc.edu and I will send it to you. 
  3. Email the check request and five question document to Mary Machaj at mary.machaj@wisc.edu
  4. After the form is approved, it will take 1-2 weeks for UWF to process the ACH transfer.

There are two reasons for this policy, one is to keep student organization activity distinct from UW activity, and the second is to give the members of the student organization experience in handling their own financial affairs.  A by-product of the policy is that the department does not have to do so much for the student org and can concentrate more on departmental business.

The amount of support the department provides is wholly up to the department.  There is no maximum to the number of check requests or dollar amount of the payments to the student org.  In some cases, departments want to provide a lump sum that the student org can use over a length of time, covering various anticipated or unanticipated events.  Sometimes there's a specific invoice the department wants to provide support for, in that case, the department can provide the student org exactly the dollar amount of the invoice, or the department could decide to round up the dollar amount.  Sometimes the department wants to provide a set amount for a particular event, say $500 to support a student org conference.  Some departments provide a lump sum every year to the student org.  Again, the dollar amount and frequency of support is entirely up to the department.

Questions about this policy should be directed to Ben Ball in the L&S Budget Office, ben.ball@wisc.edu