Please review the Finance Updates, Finance Policies, and Finance FAQ pages. Complete the Finance Orientation before requesting GSG funding.
2017-2018 Finance Reports
Spring 2018 Budget Update – This report summarizes adjustments to the GSG budget, reopening of funds, and distribution of RSO funds to date.
Fall 2017 Finance Report – This report includes data for RSO funding from Fall 2017 and any Spring 2018 applications submitted during the fall semester. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Calendar of Submission Deadlines
2017-2018 Funding Deadline Calendar: This calendar outlines all Budget Application and Expense Request submission deadlines for the 2017-2018 academic year. The calendar takes into account University holidays, semester breaks, exam days, and fiscal year deadlines.
Approved Vendors List (Catering) UPDATED 10/27/17: This is the current list of approved vendors, but contracts change frequently. Before listing a vendor on your application, call the approved vendor to confirm they still accept PO’s from USC. USE APPROVED LOCATIONS ONLY. If not, please email the Finance Director with a document from the vendor confirming they no longer accept PO’s.
Budget Application: This is the first form you must submit in the GSG funding process. If you have not already reviewed the updated funding process, please see the directions on this page. The Budget Application must be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the event date
Expense Request: Tentative launch date is August 7th. You must submit this form after approval of your Budget Application and at least 3 weeks in advance of your event. An Expense Request must be submitted for each individual vendor.
Post-event Form: This new form incorporates a post-event evaluation section plus a section to upload all related receipts, invoices, and memos. This will replace the old event evaluation form and the old practice of emailing important documents. This form must be completed within 5 business days after the event takes place.
Organizational Funding Distribution Program (OFDP) Agreement: Umbrella Organizations may choose to submit this agreement to enroll in the OFDP program, which enables them to gain access to organizational funds directly through their departments.
Sample Umbrella Organization Budget: This sample budget provided by the Viterbi Graduate Student Association (VGSA) is a fantastic guideline to follow, especially for those organizations enrolled in the OFDP program.
Intent to Use Form: Representatives of Umbrella Organizations must submit this form by February 14th expressing the intent to use all organizational funds by the end of the fiscal year.
Student Affairs VP Approval Form: Submit this form with a budget application for any requests regarding entertainment admission costs (Ex. USC Ticket Office purchase) or for individual prizes or speaker gifts worth $75 or more.
IR Transfer Request Form – Students located at HSC may request an IR transfer from UPC to HSC by filling out this form.
Sometimes new USC policies require us to add, remove, or change our GSG Finance Policies. Any changes to GSG Finance Policies or Deadlines are supported by the GSG Executive Board, and are communicated directly to Senators and through all available media streams. Organizations are responsible for following said media streams, as recommended by GSG, and for holding Senators responsible for conveying vital information. Organizations are therefore responsible for and expected to follow all new policies and/or deadlines.
Keep in mind that not all events are guaranteed funding if they have been funded in the past. Policies change over time, so only applications for events that adhere to the current Funding Policies and the Funding Process below will be considered.
How to apply for funding:
1: Become a Recognized Student Organization (RSO)
- Have your officers, Constitution, and other related information prepared.
- Get recognized through Campus Activities. You will be required to create or update your organization’s engageSC profile and attend a recognition workshop.
- All organizations must become RSOs to request funding.
2: Complete the Online GSG Finance Orientation
- The new online GSG Finance Orientation for the 2017-2018 academic year is now available. Complete it here.
- All individuals who wish to request funding for their student organizations must each complete the Finance Orientation. There is no set ‘deadline;’ rather, individuals can complete the orientation at any time before submitting their first applications of the year.
3: Know Your Resources
Note: All funding sources are first-come-first-served.
Note: When reviewing applications, the Finance Committee considers attendance, cost per student, and other factors in its decisions, according to the Finance Policies, as well as an event’s relative benefit to the community.
Note: For more detailed definitions, please see our Finance Policies page.
All organizations have access to $2500 per semester per EACH of these funding sources:
- Discretionary Fund:This Fund is open to all organizations for events applicable to a wide graduate student audience.
- Discretionary is reopening Friday, March 2nd, at 12pm.
- Joint Fund: This Fund is available for events organized by two or more organizations with disctinctly different student membership populations to encourage cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural relationships. Funding does not have to be split equally or be provided by all groups! Inform the Finance Director of all participating parties (with or without additional funding).
- Volunteer Fund: This Fund inspires, equips, and mobilizes USC graduate students to take action to serve their communities.
- Volunteer is reopening Friday, March 2nd, at 3pm.
- Social Justice Fund: This Fund creates systemic change that leads to equitable access to opportunities and resources through education, holding space, and community organizing.
Umbrella and Sub-Umrella organizations have access to an additional fund:
- Organizational (Umbrella) Fund: This Fund is directly available to Umbrella organizations and indirectly to Sub-Umbrella organizations, and can be used for closed events. Umbrella organizations represent the majority population of a school/dept and may fund closed events for its respective graduate student population. Organizational funding is calculated at $16 per student enrolled for the year (based on previous year’s enrollment numbers). Sub-Umbrellas CANNOT apply directly for organizational funding and may only access this Fund by requesting an allocation from their respective Umbrellas.
[UMBRELLA ORGANIZATIONS ONLY]
- You may opt into the Organizational Fund Distribution Program (OFDP) – a program that provides certain pre-approved Umbrella Organizations with their designated organizational funds at the beginning of the Fall semester.
- Complete the OFDP Contract: a form available on the GSG website which details conditions for the lump disbursement of organizational funds. Must be submitted at the start of each fiscal year, no later than Sept. 1st.
- You must complete an Intent to Use form each Spring semester, formally stating your intent to use remaining organizational funds for the academic year, or else your organizational funding will be forfeit to the University.
Other Funding Opportunities:
Please note that these are separate application processes from the GSG RSO funding process on this page. Review the links provided and direct any questions to the contacts provided through those links.
- Green Engagement Fund: The University of Southern California Green Engagement Fund (USCGEF) was created in 2014 to fund student-driven, innovative projects aimed at increasing sustainability at USC while increasing awareness in environmental stewardship. Thus fund is support by both GSG and USG.
- Travel Grant Program: The travel grant program was started in 2011 to be a supplemental fund for students going to present original research at academic conferences. It has since grown to include students attending conferences for their own intellectual benefit, and encompasses all disciplines.
- Childcare Subsidy Grant Program: This GSG program provides a limited number of awards to assist eligible student parents with the cost of childcare.
- Emergency Fund: This GSG program is designed to help students with unforeseen expenses arising from a crisis.
Scheduling a Space:
- Schedule the use of a room at USC through Trojan Event Services.
- If you are using Trojan Event Services or Facilities Management Services (FMS), you are expected to review and meet the requirements through their offices.
- Vendor: any company or individual that provides services for your event.
- Internal Requisition (IR): form of payment for all USC departments and vendors (including Express Catering, Lab, Radisson, Rosso Oro, USC Hospitality, Traddies, Eateries at the Tutor Campus Center or HSC campus, Transportation, Facilities Management, Bovard Auditorium, Tutor Campus Center, etc.)
- Internal Billing Requisition (IBR): electronic form of payment for Facilities Management Services (FMS)
- Purchase Order (PO): approved vendors with a contractual agreement with USC are paid with a PO.
- Approved vendors can be verified with the USC Purchasing Office
- You need to verify that the vendor is an approved vendor before listing on the Budget Application.
- If a vendor is chosen and is not approved through USC, the vendor will NOT accept a PO. You MUST use an approved vendor for a PO to be accepted.
- Procurement Card (P-Card): a credit card that can be used for non-approved, non-USC vendors (Smart and Final purchases only). Available on first-come-first-served basis and cannot be removed from the GSG Office without an approved GSG representative.
Advertising through GSG:
- Events funded by GSG, except through Organizational Funds, must be open to all graduate students and advertised through GSG, as well as include the GSG logo on all advertisements.
- Follow guidelines for branding and fill out this form to advertise on the GSG event calendar page. To request publicity on our Facebook page or in the newsletter, see requirements and instructions here.
GSG Funding Deadlines:
- All application deadlines are absolute, based on the time required for the Finance Directors and Finance Interns to process required paperwork. If you do not submit your applications on time, it is not guaranteed that you will get the funding that you need. The deadlines are only as flexible as the workload of the Finance Directors, Finance Committee, and Finance Interns.
- Abide by the deadlines outlined in the Calendar of Submission Deadlines above. The calendar ensures that your submission will meet the required deadlines by ensuring you submit before the Finance Committee review sessions on Mondays.
4: Apply with a Budget Application
- Budget Application: to be submitted AT LEAST 6 weeks in advance to request funding for an event. It must include amount requested, event description, line items with costs, in addition to other details.
- Abide by all Application and Allocation Policies when applying.
- Use whole numbers in numerical fields (round up to the nearest dollar).
- You must submit all forms online, in completion and without significant errors. Any incomplete/erroneous forms will be automatically rejected.
5: Get Confirmation Email
- GSG Finance will email you with an approval, partial/conditional approval, or denial of application.
- If you would like to contest a decision, please contact the GSG Director of Finance, email@example.com within 5 business days.
- An approved budget application is NOT a guarantee that you will recieve the funding. You must submit expense requests to secure payment to vendors. If you do not complete the expense requests on time, you forfeit your funding!
6: Apply with an Expense Request
- Expense Request Form: to be submitted after approval of the Budget Proposal and AT LEAST 3 weeks in advance of the event. Organizations must submit a separate Expense Request Form for EACH different vendor used.
- A quote for each vendor must be provided. Quotes for FMS may take additional time, so you are encouraged to contact FMS as early as possible. An expense request cannot be submitted for IRs, POs, or IBRs without a quote.
- An acceptable quote includes the following: a good quote includes the vendor name and logo, quote/invoice#, a payable address for the vendor, phone and email if available. If you cannot find a phone or email contact, simply input the GSG email and phone number as place holders. The quote information must be clear and legible. Most vendors, including Express Catering, must be called in order to obtain a formal quote. In the event you cannot obtain a formal quote, include all necessary information in an organized excel file and upload as a PDF.
- An Expense Request must be submitted and processed before orders are placed and before Smart and Final appointments are scheduled.
- The requested amount should reflect what was approved for in your budget application. Use whole numbers in numerical fields (round up to the nearest dollar). Your quote will provide more specific information, and the final amount provided in the Post-Event form will reflect exact numbers.
- You must submit all forms online, in completion and without significant errors. Any incomplete/erroneous forms will be automatically rejected.
- For all open events sponsored by GSG, advertise according to branding and advertisement submission guidlines.
7: Pay for the Event
- P-card: If the P-card is available, you will need to arrange a date with the GSG Finance Intern to come in and use the card for your purchase. Schedule 7 business days in advance! Smart and Final appointments may be scheduled by contacting the Finance Interns at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must reference your Budget Application ID# and your Expense Request ID# when you make your appointments.
- Smart and Final Appointment Schedule (subject to change): appointments are subject to the availability of our student interns. Please ask for our current appointment availability by contacting the finance interns at email@example.com
- You must call the interns at the time of your appoinment to alert them you are ready to check out. The intern will meet you at the location and has the authority to deny any unauthorized purchases.
- You must notify the Interns immediately of any cancellations or if you anticipate being late for your appointment. Any missed appointments may result in forfeit of approved funding.
- IR: When the IR is ready, you will be emailed. Pick up the IR from the HSC or GSG Offices. IRs that are not picked up within two weeks of email notification will be forfeit. Students located at HSC may request an IR transfer from UPC to HSC by filling out the IR Transfer Request Form. IRs that are not picked up within two weeks of email notification will be forfeit.
- PO: When the PO# is ready, you will be emailed that number. You MUST place your order with the vendor referencing that number, which will be accepted as payment.
- IBR: an electronic will be made directly to FMS once generated from the Expense Request.
8: Hold the Event + Have a Good Time
- Please note that GSG has the right to attend/audit any event using GSG funds.
- Post-Event Form: new online form containing Event Evaluation and Receipt/Invoice/Memo information. Submit within 5 business days after your event takes place.
- Failure to submit within 5 working days will add your organization to the Blue Probationary List, which bars your organization from any immediate funding.
- Failure to submit within 10 working days will put your organization on the Black Probationary List, prohibiting funding to your organization for the semester following the offense (Example: Black Listed in Spring semester, barred from Funding the following Fall semester).
- Invoices: you may or may not have an invoice for an IR, but PO’s ONLY provide invoices as receipts.
- The Invoice must include the following information: “Invoice” as the heading; invoice#; invoice date; vendor’s name, address, phone#, and logo; Payable to USC; your budget application#; your PO#; itemized with a final total (exact amount requested from GSG).
- If the Invoice does not meet requirements, the Invoice is rejected until errors are rectified, prolonging the payment process and tying up Interns’ valuable time!
- An Invoice must be submitted, even if one was previously provided with the Expense Request as a quote.
- If not provided within 5 days, your organization is Blue Listed; if not within 10 days, your organization is Black Listed, as mentioned above.
- Recipient Memo: Submit a memo identifying any gift/raffle/Honorarium recipients within 5 days of the event. You will be placed on the Blue Probationary List if you do not do so.