Dwight Hall at Yale works with students and organizations in a number of different capacities, from advising on service events, to assisting with incorporation of a non-profit organization.
Budgeting and Tracking Expenses
Consider downloading our Member Group Budget Template, or making a copy of this Google Sheet on your organization’s Google Drive. This was created as an initial tool to help you think through your student organization’s finances. If your needs are more complicated, connect with the Financial Coordinator of the Student Executive Committee or sitting down with a DH staff person.
Yale University and Dwight Hall at Yale do not provide member groups with bank accounts, and do not allow funding to be used to pay banking fees. Additionally, no Member Group may use Yale’s or Dwight Hall’s EIN to open a bank account for your group.
Groups still wishing to open bank accounts despite these challenges should talk to a DH staff about the best way of doing so. Groups should show that they have: (1) a track record of transitioning group leadership (including ability to transfer signatory), (2) the ability to keep sufficient records, and (3) a significant need.
If an existing DH Member Group does have a bank account, they must be able to provide DH with requested information.
Employer Identification Number
For groups that choose to open a bank account, they must apply for an EIN first. Under no circumstances should a student use their social security number to open a bank account for a Member Group.
An EIN makes it possible to open a bank account in the group’s name, but does not abdicate group leaders from personal responsibility. Each bank account must have at least one signatory, typically the treasurer of the group. To transition signatories, parties must be physically present at the bank, which often leads to difficulty transitioning leadership year after year.
An EIN and a bank account allow you to perform regular banking activity, however it does not confer the benefits of a nonprofit organization, such as receiving tax-deductible donations.
Starting a Nonprofit
Member Groups behave as non-profit organizations, but are not Federally Tax-Exempt Non-profit Organizations. Only the federal government can confer charitable status on an organization, which is done through a long legal procedure that commits the group to certain annual reporting procedures required by the IRS. For more information, please visit our overview on non-profit organizations.