Class Finances

What are the appropriate uses of class treasury funds?

The class treasuries have 501(c)3 status under Yale's umbrella, and are therefore governed by relevant IRS regulations. As such, funds are intended to develop a strong and enduring Class structure in order to further the interests, welfare, and educational purposes of the Class and of Yale University. In addition to the cost of your class's group subscription to the Yale Alumni Magazine, which is sent to all classmates, treasury monies may be used for:

  • class communications including mailings & websites
  • volunteer reimbursement for expenses related to class business
  • promotion of class events
  • support for the 5-year reunions in New Haven
  • class directory or reunion book publication
  • some classes also send the magazine to widows/widowers of deceased classmates.

Because classes have 501(c)3 status, contributions to the treasuries - such as dues - are tax-exempt contributions. Other treasury income, such as event fees, is not tax-exempt. In addition, event-related vendor payments may or may not be exempt from state sales tax. State laws vary quite a bit, and even in states where sales tax is not charged to 501(c)3 organizations, Yale may not hold a tax-exempt certificate, and the class would need to apply for one on its own.

Generally speaking, other than 5-year reunions in New Haven, most classes choose to price events to be self-supporting beyond the cost of promotions. The reasoning is that non-reunion events such as class dinners and mini-reunions usually involve a relatively small percentage of the class, and class leaders would prefer to direct funds to serve all or most of the class (such as general communications, the YAM, classbooks, and your 5-year reunions). Your AYA staff liaison would be happy to discuss these questions with you and help you to determine what makes the most sense for your class based on the event specifics and your current financial status.

Class treasury funds may be used to support Yale in other ways, with the approval of the class officers and class council if there is one. Some classes support student fellowships or AYA Community Service Summer Fellowships. Classes have also made contributions to the Athletics Department, Dwight Hall, or the like. Please note that because of IRS rules, treasury funds may not be used to support charitable projects outside the University.

From time to time, a class will raise the issue of a special Yale fundraising project. Any such project must be cleared with the Development Office before soliciting classmates, and the AYA will therefore share with the Development Office for review any class mailings that include a fundraising solicitation other than that for annual class dues.

 

The classmate organizing an upcoming mini-reunion would like to pay for one of the events himself, as a contribution to the class. Is this a tax-deductible contribution?

From time to time, classmates indicate an interest in supporting class activities financially, either with a cash gift or by providing an in-kind gift of goods or services. Examples in the past have included a classmate who hosts a cocktail party or other event during a mini-reunion, or a classmate who donates the wine for a class dinner. In such situations, the classmate is usually interested in receiving a gift acknowledgement for his or her federal income taxes.

With the approval of the class officers and the event organizer, it is possible for Yale to provide a gift acknowledgement, in one of two ways:

  1. The classmate may make a contribution directly to the class treasury. Personal checks or credit card information may be sent to your AYA staff liaison, who will take care of crediting the gift appropriately. The classmate should also provide details on what the funds are intended to cover for accounting purposes.
     
  2. The classmate may choose to cover the relevant expenses "out of pocket" and then provide documentation to your AYA staff liaison in the form of receipts. The classmate should make clear that he/she is seeking a gift acknowledgement, rather than reimbursement of expenses. The classmate should maintain records of expenditures for IRS purposes.

 

It is important to communicate to classmates who may make such a donation that they will not receive University or reunion gift credit, since the gift is to the class, not to Yale.

 

Our AYA delegate and the class officers will be attending the November AYA Assembly and we'd like to cover the travel expenses out of our class treasury. How do I do that?

First, let your AYA staff liaison know that you (as class secretary or treasurer) approve the expenditure of your treasury money. Each person should then submit their receipts for reimbursement. This applies to any travel-related expense. AYA delegates are also asked to make a voluntary contribution to help cover the cost of the Assembly. If your class chooses to cover this contribution, the delegate should not pay out of pocket. We will make an internal funds transfer in the amount you designate instead.

In addition, all volunteers should know that if they choose not to be reimbursed, they may be able to claim their travel expenses as a deduction on their income taxes (individuals should consult their tax advisors for details). The AYA can provide a certificate of attendance for this purpose.

 

We've just held a class event/council meeting, and one of my classmates needs to be reimbursed for expenses.

After letting your AYA staff liaison know that you approve the expenditure from the class treasury, the classmate should submit original receipts for reimbursement to the AYA. Yale's accounting regulations are very detailed, and abiding by them preserves your class's tax-exempt status in the event of an IRS audit, so please consult your AYA staff liaison with any questions.

 

How do I get a report on our class treasury balance?

Please contact your AYA staff liaison or Janet Cappiello. If you need the report for a class council or other meeting, please allow one week for processing your request.

 

 

 

 

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