Michigan State University
Controller's Office

Administration Bldg
426 Auditorium Rd, Rm 305
East Lansing, MI 48824
517 355-5020

SECTION 47: Membership Dues, Sponsorships and Donations

Last updated: December 2010

I. Membership Dues

  1. General Dues

    The University recognizes that memberships in professional organizations and associations may benefit faculty and staff members when carrying out their respective University responsibilities. Because of limited resources to carry out the mission of the University, funds are not available to pay all the numerous and various membership dues.

    In view of the above, one of the following criteria must be met before membership dues to professional organizations or associations will be processed for payment using either a Purchasing Card or Disbursement Voucher (including employee reimbursement).

    1. The payment of dues can be for an institutional membership (in MSU’s name) and not on behalf or in the name of an individual faculty or staff member.
    2. Occasionally, it is necessary to pay nominal membership dues in order to obtain needed subscriptions. When subscriptions are for departmental use, the membership may be in the name of the chairperson or director of the department or school.
    3. The Medical Service Plan (MSP) may continue to pay membership dues for MSP members as authorized by the respective college and/or department in accordance with provisions of the Plan.
    4. Under special circumstances, memberships or combined membership-subscription dues may be allowed on an annually-approved basis if essential to a specific research project. If the expense is to be charged against a restricted contract and grant account (the “RC” sub-fund), the expense must be specifically approved by the funding source. This information must be documented and included with the payment supporting documentation (i.e., imaged and attached to the transaction e-doc).
    5. If an individual membership in an organization is necessary and essential to an employee in performing the duties and responsibilities of their jobs, a memo explaining the job relatedness must be included with the payment supporting documentation (i.e., imaged and attached to the transaction e-doc). The memo must be signed by one of the following: AVP/Dean/Assoc-Ast Dean/Chair/Director.

    In all cases, with either institutional or individual memberships, the membership payment must be supported with a valid business purpose – in line with MSU and department missions.

  2. University Club of MSU – MSU Official Business Only Dues – “OBO”

    MSU, with its limited resources to carry out the mission of the University, recognizes that University Club membership for official business may benefit departments in carrying out their respective University responsibilities. As a result University Club membership for “MSU Official Business Only” (“OBO”) is now available to permit qualified full-time MSU faculty and staff use of the Club for official MSU business only. Payments for “OBO” memberships are to be made on an Internal Billing e-doc. All charges incurred from “OBO” memberships must be business-related only, specify the business purpose for each business transaction, and be processed on Internal Billings.

    The following criteria apply to this category of membership dues:

    1. The University Club, as a non-profit membership organization, follows IRS regulations which require memberships to be in the name of an individual faculty or staff member and resulting business to be transacted by the member. No “corporate” or “departmental” membership is allowed.
    2. The member is expected to be present and personally sign for all charges to his or her account, whether private dining or banquet charges. Non-member colleagues and family members may not charge to the account.
    3. All costs must be charged to an MSU account number and paid by the department. “OBO” members will not receive monthly statements. Food, beverage, audio-visual, room charges, and other miscellaneous fees must be charged to MSU accounts following current MSU policies (refer to Sections 45 and 46).
    4. Membership privileges are limited to business-related dining, banquets, and functions only. Members in this category will NOT be allowed to use the pool, enjoy reciprocal privileges, add on any membership options (fitness, golf, tennis), use child care, enroll in recreational programs, dine or attend special member events for personal enjoyment (except as the guest of a full Social member), conduct personal banquet functions, or engage in any other services for any purpose other than official MSU business.
    5. “OBO” members may “upgrade” to a full Social membership and personally pay the difference; “upgrades” are not chargeable to a University account.

    In order to process payments for University Club “OBO” dues, the following is required:

    1. Prior to initiating a dues payment, contact the University Club for specific information needed.
    2. Obtain an “OBO” membership application. As with all membership dues or fees, obtain AVP/Dean/Assoc-Ast Dean level approval on the application form.
    3. Prepare an Internal Billing e-doc to charge the department's account and to credit the University Club's account.
    4. Specify the individual's name obtaining the “OBO” membership in the explanation section of the Internal Billing, along with the time period of the dues and the rate used in determining the cost. Dues must be pre-paid through fiscal year-end.
    5. Dues can NOT be charged against a restricted contract or grant account.
    6. Include the Membership Dues & Fees object code 6545 on the e-doc.

II. Sponsorships and Donations

Due to the limited resources available to carry out the mission of the University, careful consideration should be made when departments sponsor or donate funds to external entities. In all cases, sponsorships or donations must be in support of academic, programmatic, or broader University missions. An explanation thoroughly documenting the business purpose of the sponsorship must be provided with all transactions. Payments for Sponsorships and Donations should be recorded under object code 6588 – Sponsorships and may only be processed on a Disbursement Voucher (use of the Purchasing Card is prohibited). Sponsorships and Donations do not include honorarium. Sponsorships/donations require AVP/Dean/Assoc-Ast Dean level approval to be accomplished via ad hoc routing of the Disbursement Voucher or a signed memo attached to the Disbursement Voucher.