top of page

FUNDING GUIDELINES & PROCEDURES

Status Types

Open Membership

  • Can apply to SOFC Programming Fund

  • Can apply to SOFC Operational and Capital Fund

  • Cannot charge dues and cannot be selective in membership

Selective Membership

  • Can apply to SOFC Programming Fund

  • May be selective in membership

  • May charge dues

Competition Membership

  • Can apply to SOFC Programming Fund

  • Can apply to SOFC Operational and Capital Fund

  • May be selective in membership

We emphasize that we function as a subsidizing body, NOT a funding body. While a request may meet the policies outlined, we are not required to fund the request fully.

Untitled design_edited.jpg

Funding Request Protocol

SOFC Hearing Timeline 23-24.png

Operational and Capital Fund (OCF)  

A remodeled funding pool that assists student organizations with any basic operating or upfront expenses critical to the viability of their group at Duke.
 

Capital Expenditure Fund:

  • Funds used to acquire, upgrade, and maintain physical assets

  • Examples include, but are not limited to, tables, chairs, white boards, teaching materials, etc.

Operational Expenditure Fund:

  • Funds used for developing or providing non-consumables​

  • Examples include, but are not limited to, retreats, travel required national dues, competition enrollment costs, costumes etc. 

Student organizations are in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of the items funded through the Operational and Capital Fund. Students must keep these items for at least 4 years before requesting a replacement or upgrade.

Although there are no set caps for how much a group can request through the OCF, approved funding is determined at SOFC’s discretion.

  • Monthly hearings  (every first Tuesday of each month, except December, April, and May.))

  • Submit a request, 2-4 weeks in advance of event(s), on DukeGroups.

 
Is My Organization Eligible?
⚠️ Open-Membership and Competition Membership, part of MGC, part of NPHC, or are a DSG Affiliate are eligible to apply for OCF Funding. Closed-Membership are not eligible to apply. Refer to DukeGroups to identify your student organization designation.
⚠️ "Open Membership and Competition Membership" type groups in their first year of operation are limited to $1,000 in cumulative funding for the entire academic year.

How to Apply

  • Before applying for the Operational and Capital Fund, groups are encouraged to check their current account balances via DukeGroups:
    1. Navigate to your group’s page on DukeGroups
    2. On the left-hand bar, select the “Money” function
    3. In the “Accounting Book” section, you should be able to see the amount of funds your group currently has. We ask groups to not request additional funds if they feel they have sufficient funds for the following year saved in their account.
  • To apply, there are two main steps:

    💡 DukeGroups Application: This virtual application will allow you to explain in AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE the line you are requesting fund for and provide other important information.

    📢 Hearing: After you submit your application, SOFC will reach out to you to schedule a hearing with our committee to further discuss your application. Be prepared to answer questions about your application and specific line items! Questions (if applicable to your application) could include:

     
    1. Why is attendance at this conference important for your group?
    2. Where do you plan on storing these items to ensure long-term use?
    3. What are your plans for your retreat?
    4. Which line items are more critical than others? 

Policies

 

If your group is within its first year of operation, you are limited to $1000 of OCF funding.

Student Travel

  • We fund student travel which may be required to attend conferences, competitions, etc. All allocations are made on a case-by-case basis.
     
  • Any funds needed for travel to a service activity will be considered by SOFC's Campus Partner Duke Partnership for Service (dPS). Organizations should request funding through SOFC's programming process and we will refer your request to dPS (see Campus Partner Funding Opportunities for more information).
     

General Body Meetings

  • We will fund, in accordance with line-item policies, one closed general body meeting per semester per student group (up to $125/meeting)
    • For all events and GBMs open to all, please refer to the Programming Fund
Rationale
SOFC understands that general body meetings are often a crucial part of student groups and allow students to build community within their organization. To maintain equity and ensure we have the budget to fund all groups, we fund one meeting per semester per group. The $125 limit is based on previous student group funding requests to SOFC.
 

Reusable Items

  • We will fund the purchase of reusable items if they are proven to be needed in the long-term (as opposed to rented for more short-term use)
    • Examples: Cookware and bakeware, tents/outdoor furniture, games and sports equipment (e.g. netball), etc
  • We will fund costumes as long as they are older than 4 years.

Digital Costs

  • Website costs may be funded only if there is a significant reason for not using sites.duke.edu (a free site building service). A strong case must be made for why your group needs their own website. The SOFC logo must be displayed on the site if funds are allocated.
  • SOFC does not fund marketing costs (i.e. Facebook and Instagram ads).
 
Rationale
SOFC understands that some groups may require specific softwares and tools that necessitate using third-party website platforms; however, since free platforms are available, SOFC will require justification for these costs. Moreover, student groups have access to Duke Groups, the SOFC Blast, and class Facebook groups for free and widespread advertising.

 

National Organization Dues

  • Fees may be subsidized for national organization dues on a case-by-case basis.

Conference Registration Fees

  • Registration fees may be subsidized for student organizations to attend conferences. See Student Travel and Lodging above for details about applying travel and lodging costs.
Rationale
SOFC understands conference attendance allows student organizations to build community, interact with other organizations, and advance its curiosity, interests, and educational aims. As such, SOFC will subsidize conference registration, travel, and lodging costs UP TO 12 students within an organization. Additionally, there is a 20 USD Cap per Full day per student (Up to 2 Full days)
Note: Reimbursements take 10 weeks to process

Retreats

  • Student group and leadership retreats may be subsidized at $15/Duke undergraduate, once per semester. 
Rationale
SOFC welcomes student groups and leadership retreats which can help build community within the organization and advance the curiosity, interests, and educational aims of student organizations. Given our limited funding and commitment to funding retreat costs for all student organizations, we've developed a limit on a per-undergraduate basis. This ensures equitable fund distribution independent from the size of a student organization. As a result, each retreat is funded at the same rate across all student organizations and based on the number of people attending the retreat. The $15 limit is based on analysis of previous student group funding requests to SOFC.
 

Not Funded

  • Any items on the Student Affairs restricted purchases list
  • We fund reusable decorations i.e., banners, but do not fund event-specific decor
  • Giveaways such as succulents, custom apparel, prizes, etc.
Rationale
  • SOFC is subject to Student Affairs regulations and must adhere to their policies prohibiting funds for items on the restricted purchases list.
  • Decorations: SOFC is committed to supporting all student organization and centers equity and transparency when developing its funding distribution policies. Given SOFC's limited funding, we are unable to fund decoration costs—which are often expensive—because we do not have the budget to honor all student organizations who request them. However, student groups are welcome to fundraise on their own for decoration costs.
  • Giveaways and Merchandise: Given SOFC's limited funding, we are unable to fund giveaway items—which are often expensive—because we do not have the budget to honor all student organizations who request them. However, student groups are welcome to fundraise on their own for decoration costs.

Note: Any and all requests that are sent with less than two weeks until the event date, are strictly discretionary. There is a likely chance the SOFC will not fund your request.

The Programming Fund

Overview

Supports the sharing of student organization curiosity, interests, and educational aims directly with the larger Duke undergraduate community.

  • Rolling (hearings every Tuesday)

  • Submit a request on DukeGroups by Sundays at 7 PM ET to be eligible for funding for an event taking place 14 days from your submission date.

  • Timeline:

    • Sundays: Applications due for the week by 7 PM ET

    • Mondays: Invitation to sign up for SOFC Hearing time slot is sent to groups

    • Tuesdays: SOFC Hearing

    • Wednesdays: DSG Senate Approval (only needed if the request is > $1,500)

    • Thursdays: SOP Finance initiated fund transfer (arrives the latest by the following Thursday)

Events must be accessible, open, and free to all Duke undergraduates. Groups must register their events in DukeGroups.

Examples of Funded Events:

  • Estimated attendance of 100+

  • Outdoor amplified sound

  • Events including a guest speaker

  • Political campaign events featuring political candidate for office and/or voter registration drives

  • Events requiring a contracts and/or paid performer

  • Events including off-campus attendees and participants (includes minors)

  • Events charging admission

  • Outdoor recreation events (5Ks, races, field days, etc.)

  • Events must be advertised where possible ("Class of" Facebook groups, Instagram, listservs)

  • We will support Duke-created, Duke undergraduate-centered conferences, provided that they are on Duke campus or platforms.

    • Conferences open to non-Duke undergraduate individuals will likely only be partially funded. The percentage of Duke undergraduates in attendance will likely determine the percentage funded.

If you plan to host the same event multiple times (ex: a series of classes, a roundtable every Friday, etc.) please submit one request for all the events. The committee can fund multiple events in a series so you don't have to fill out a request and attend a hearing each time. Please note that the committee might fund 50% of the events in a series to start so assessment on the success of the events can be done before further funds are allocated.

After the event, unused funds must be returned to SOFC via the Student Organization and Programming Finance Office, and all receipts must be submitted through the SOFC auditing Qualtrics.

Rationale
SOFC funds are collected from the undergraduate Student Activities Fee. As a result, SOFC programming fund policies and stipulations go towards fulfilling the mission of the student activities fund. SOFC hopes to fund as many student organizations and events as possible, therefore it is of utmost importance for every organization to return any unused funds.

Screenshot 2023-11-22 at 12.44_edited.pn

Catering

  • Allocations are given on a per Duke undergraduate basis. Non-Duke students or graduate students cannot receive SOFC funding for food.

  • A group cannot receive overlapping allocations (e.g. both Dinner and Pizza allocations) for an event unless it is for two separate meals.

  • Groups should account for utensils, napkins, plates, & tip in the allocation range.

  • We encourage organizations to support on-campus vendors when possible.

Food and Beverage Allocations

​Please note:

  • The amounts below are the MAX allocations

  • We fund based on the amount on your invoice UP TO the amounts listed below

  • Making a detailed itemized list when applying for food is mandatory

Screenshot 2023-08-10 at 6.40_edited.jpg

 

Submission Example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax will be written off if the organization uses a P-card to pay.

 

Rationale

Catering policies are on a per Duke undergraduate basis to ensure equitable fund distribution independent of the size of a student organization. SOFC determined allocations for each meal type based on analysis of past student organization requests and local catering prices. As a result, each meal type is funded at the same rate across all student organizations and based on the number of people being catered. In 2020, these rates were increased to reflect rising food costs.

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 8.32.57 PM.png

Speakers

  • It is possible we will fund speakers at the rate they request. In these instances it is encouraged to offer what we are able, seek additional outside funding (ex. departments) or keep exploring for other speakers. 

  • All events planning to host a speaker event must have a minimum of 10 guests in attendance.

  • In order to secure funding through the Programming Fund, SOFC needs to see a written proposal 4-6 weeks in advance of the event. See "Contract Process"

  • We do not compensate Duke employees.

Below are our “soft cap” funding ranges for speaker honorariums based on projected attendance. These “soft cap” allocation ranges provide general guidance on what we have funded in relation to past attendance levels.

Projected Attendance (# of Duke Undergraduates)
Allocation Range (USD)
5-19
100-400
20-49
400-800
50-99
800-1500
100-199
1500-2500
200+
2500-5000

  • Honorariums are proportional to the amount of undergraduate students in attendance

  • Soft caps refer solely to honorariums/other speaker fees. Travel and lodging for speakers are funded in addition to these ranges according to our "Guest or Speaker Travel and Lodging" guidelines.

  • To justify projected attendance, students should have an event action plan (marketing plans, past attendance, community interest, etc.) ready for discussion at the SOFC programming hearing.

Below are our “soft cap” funding ranges for speaker honorariums based on projected attendance. These “soft cap” allocation ranges provide general guidance on what we have funded in relation to past attendance levels.

Rationale

SOFC welcomes and encourages speaker events which can advance the curiosity, interests, and educational aims of student organizations. To this end, we strive to support as many student organizations as possible.We also understand that speaker engagement fees and honorariums vary greatly depending on numerous factors (scale, nature of event, labor, etc.). We determined soft cap ranges for speaker honorariums and engagement fees based on analysis of past student organization requests and average speaker fees.

Guest or Speaker Travel and Lodging

  • We welcome student groups that invite guests to campus to share their diverse perspectives with our community. Below are our typical funding ranges for hotel and flight expenses relating to campus visits for guests.

  • Please note that the Programming Fund only supports travel-related expenses for guests coming to campus. All student travel to conferences, competitions, and other events should be requested through the Operational and Capital Fund

  • While we believe there is a lot of value in supporting in-person programming, we also encourage organizations to consider bringing a speaker to a meeting or event using Zoom to reduce expenses and the environmental impact.

Guest or Speaker Hotel and Flight Allocation Rates

Screenshot 2023-08-10 at 6.43.37 AM.png
  • It is expected that SOFC will only be paying for one night of lodging unless speakers are coming for a multi-day event.

  • Flight allocation rates are for round trip airfare.

  • West region includes Alaska and Hawaii.

 

Rationale

SOFC determined hotel and flight costs based on analysis of past student organization requests and average hotel and flight costs.

Local Transportation

  • We provide Uber and Lyft allocations for short trips. Any long-distance travel or travel related to conferences or competitions must be funded through the Operational and Capital Fund.

  • Any funds needed for travel to a service activity will be considered by SOFC's Campus Partner Duke Partnership for Service (dPS). Organizations should request funding through SOFC's process and we will refer your request to dPS (see Campus Partner Funding Opportunities for more information).

Rationale

SOFC welcomes events in the local community which bolster relationships and community partnerships in the surrounding area and can enhance student interests. To do this, we subsidize local transportation through accessible and popular applications like Uber and Lyft.

Space Rentals

  • SOFC can fund any costs associated with campus space rentals, assuming the space size and cost are necessary for an event to take place. Please note that SOFC will ask for justification for spaces that require a fee.

  • Many spaces on campus are free for organizations to use and only require that they are booked in advance.

  • All booking information for spaces on campus can be found here under "What Reservable Space is Available?"

  • Some space reservations require a contract. The SOFC Programming Fund application will require student groups to submit a filled-out contract for these spaces. The contract should not be signed until SOFC funding is approved. If your student organization does have a contract please submit it to us through the Programming Fund application or email.****

  • Space reservations that can be made without cost must also be documented when making a request for SOFC funding. You will be asked to share a PDF or a screenshot of the request confirmation in the SOFC Programming Fund Application.

  • SOFC will strongly prioritize on-campus events over off-campus events.

Rationale

SOFC strives to support as many student organizations as possible. In order to do so, we strongly encourage student groups to take advantage of the many free spaces on campus (library spaces, outdoor spaces, spaces in the Brodhead Center, etc.). If that's not possible, we will fund space rental costs, assuming they are necessary. SOFC will ask for justification for spaces that require a fee during the programming fund hearing. SOFC will prioritize student groups that take advantage of on-campus spaces over off-campus spaces because campus spaces are more accessible, inclusive, and affordable.
 

Print Event Programs

  • We fund printed performances or event programs (e.g. the program of a dance show) up to a maximum of $40/event.

Rationale

 We understand printed programs are an important element of in-person performance and event programming. SOFC determined a $40 limit for these costs based on an analysis of previous student organization requests as well as average printing costs for event programs.

Rented Equipment

  • We will not fund the purchase of reusable items, including but not limited to appliances or merchandise; however, we will fund and strongly encourage the renting of these items. Contracts must be prepared and presented to SOFC but cannot be signed until after appropriate funds are allocated.

  • If your organization wishes to purchase equipment and store it for repeated use, please request funds through the Operational and Capital Fund.

  • All technology purchases must be approved before funding.

Rationale

 The Operational and Capital Fund assists student organizations with any basic operating or upfront expenses while the Programming Fund focuses on short-term funding needed for events. Accordingly, SOFC funds items that will be used repeatedly in the future (equipment, appliances, etc.) during the Capital and Operations Fund but not during the Programming Fund. This is to ensure the Programming Fund is not depleted by large up-front costs and expenditures. For example, if an organization has an annual cooking related event that requires the same appliances each year, this organization can subsidize the rental of these appliances through the Programming Fund or subsidize the purchase of these appliances through Capital and Operations Fund.

Event Supplies

  • We will fund one-time-use supplies (spray paint, tie-dye, ingredients needed for cooking or baking recipes, etc.) needed for an event (assuming they are NOT decorations).

  • All reusable items must be purchased through the Operational and Capital Fund.

Art Supplies

Exception: While some crafting supplies are considered "reusable items" (for example, a canvas, succulent, or painted pot can be kept and used for continual enjoyment), we do fund arts-related supplies. We limit all costs for art supplies (reusable and non-reusable arts supplies) to $5/person for a given event. We ask that any group requesting a reusable arts item please explain during their hearing why it is a crucial part of the creation process and is not just a "giveaway" item to participants.
 

Rationale

In order to fund as many student organizations as possible, we do not fund reusable items, giveaways, or prizes. However, after consultation and feedback from DuArts and other organizations, this policy has evolved to fund one-time-use supplies and differentiate some crafting supplies from reusable items (again, we understand that it's unhelpful to consider a canvas a reusable item though it can be kept). In order to have the budget to fund all student groups and maintain equity, we still cannot fund these items for the purpose of prizes or giveaways. SOFC determined the $5 limit based on past student organization requests, the average costs of crafts popularly used in events, and consultation with student leaders in DuArts.

Fundraising Costs

  • We will support costs for fundraising events, e.g. food for a bake sale or a space rental for a charity ball, up to $200/event.

  • The proceeds from the event, not the allocation money given from SOFC, must be donated to a 501(c)(3) organization.

  • Consistent with the Programming Fund stipulations, student groups cannot require payment from students, but can recommend a suggested donation.

Rationale

SOFC's funds come from the undergraduate Student Activities Fee and are subject to particular stipulations (see "Programming Fund Policies"). This includes a requirement to make all events free and open to all undergraduate students. As such, students cannot require payment during fundraising events. SOFC determined the $200 based on analysis of past student organization requests, the frequency of these requests, and the SOFC programming budget. Requirements around electronic fund collection come from the Student Affairs policies and regulations. The University cannot transfer funds to any other organization unless it has 501(c)(3) status.

Entertainer

  • SOFC will fund entertainers up to the following amounts:

    • DJ = $400​

    • Photographers = $300

    • General Entertainers = $1500

  • Student groups must complete the contract process for all paid performers/entertainers. 

  • SOFC will not pay performers to rehearse.

Rationale

SOFC welcomes and encourages events involving performers/entertainers as they can help advance the curiosity, interests, and educational aims of student organizations. To this end, we strive to support as many student organizations as possible. Given our limited funding and commitment to funding speaker costs for all student organizations, we will subsidize at our own discretion.

We also understand that performer/entertainer costs and fees vary greatly depending on numerous factors (scale, nature of event, industry, labor, etc.). As a result, we will fund costs and fees, assuming they fit within average costs of performers/entertainers in the corresponding industry/sector. The contract process is required by Student Affairs).

Not Funded

  • Any items on the SOP Prohibited List

  • Decoration of any kind, including banners

  • Giveaways such as succulents, custom apparel, prizes, etc.

  • Marketing – we do not fund online, social media, or printed advertising

  • Reusable items, including but not limited to appliances or merchandise; however, we will fund and strongly encourage the renting of these items. We will only fund reusable items as part of the Operational and Capital Fund process.

Note: Student groups are not allowed to host events after the last day of classes. However, they can host a Study Break. Study Breaks must be open only to group members and last no longer than two hours. SOFC will fund two-thirds of the group’s member count. Study Breaks cannot involve any entertainer, vendor, or speaker contracts. Examples include a group pizza party or group breakfast. Study Breaks are only open to group members and SOFC events must be open to all students to qualify for the Programming Fund; however, SOFC will make an exception for Study Break events.

Rationale

SOFC must adhere to policies of Student Affairs and Duke University at large.

Decorations: SOFC is committed to supporting all student organizations and centers equity and transparency when developing its funding distribution policies. Given SOFC's limited funding, we are unable to fund decoration costs—which are often expensive—because we do not have the budget to honor all student organizations who request them. However, student groups are welcome to fundraise on their own for decoration costs.

Giveaways: Given SOFC's limited funding, we are unable to fund giveaway items—which are often expensive—because we do not have the budget to honor all student organizations who request them. However, student groups are welcome to fundraise on their own for costs associated with giveaways.

Marketing: Given SOFC's limited budget and the availability of free marketing tools, we cannot fund marketing costs. Every student group has a page on Duke Groups and is required to register their events in order to request SOFC funding. These events are included in the Duke Groups event calendar which can be seen by every Duke undergraduate. In order to bolster student groups' events and further support marketing, SOFC also includes events in it
s weekly newsletter which is sent to every Duke undergraduate. Additionally, student groups can create posts advertising events on social media for no cost.

Reusable Items: Given SOFC's limited budget, we cannot fund Reusable items such as equipment, appliances, or merchandise in the Programming Fund. However, student groups are welcome to fundraise on their own for reusable item costs. Note that SOFC Open Membership student organizations qualify for OCF and can request funds for reusable items as part of that process (see "Organization Types and Funding Options").

Contract Process 

​Please note the contract process can take 4-6 weeks, so be sure to plan ahead!​

 

⚠️ An educated estimate must be provided to SOFC at the hearing and included in the application. Student Organizations may never sign agreements for any reason. Student Involvement and Leadership sign all agreements on behalf of your organization.

 

  1. Students should identify the third party they are considering contracting with and determine service details (date, time, cost, etc.).

  2. Authorized Spenders will submit a payment request form on DukeGroups to initiate the contract process.

Auditing

SOFC will have two auditing processes: self-auditing and in-person auditing. The goal of SOFC’s auditing process is to help student organizations make informed decisions when requesting funding, based on their past events and student attendance. When groups transfer money back to SOFC, please put ‘SOFC Programming’ or ‘SOFC Funding’ in the box where it asks for SOFC’s fund code.

Self-Auditing

Students organizations are required to fill out SOFC’s Self-Auditing Form 48 hours after every event, to ensure both the committee and organization are efficiently keeping track of money spent. Before organizations can apply for funding to support a future event, they must fill out the self-auditing form

Student organizations are allowed to keep unused funds $5 and under.

In-person Auditing

To ensure that events are being accurately presented by group representatives in hearings, SOFC analysts will be (at random) attending events to perform in-person audits. If student organization hosted events do not meet the attendance requirements that they requested funding for (ie. catering, art supplies, honorariums, etc.), SOFC will work closely with the organization after that point to ensure that the given funds are accurately used.

Events eligible for in-person auditing:

  •  Over 200 guest are attending

  • Requested $2500+ in SOFC funding

bottom of page