Finance, insurance and risk assessments
General advice to help Groups be self-sufficient with their finances, insurance and risk assessments
Groups are entirely self-financing and do not pay any fees to the University. It is up to each Group to choose how they finance their activities: some charge annual membership or a one-off joining fee, while some Groups choose to add a small amount to their event ticket prices.
We advise Groups to keep a written record of all their income and expenses, together with a balance sheet. You may wish to nominate or recruit a member with experience in handling basic accounts to act as Treasurer. Many Groups have their own bank account for dealing with income and expenditure related to Group activities. It is recommended that Groups have more than one signatory to Groups funds, and that access is handed over as committee members change.
Groups who choose to charge annual membership or a one-off joining fee may wish to consider the following when determining an appropriate fee:
- The cost of any key communications or website fees
- Average expenses for guests speakers, including travel, accommodation and subsistence
- Subsidised events e.g. Fresher’s Events
- Discounts you may wish to offer e.g. reduced ticket prices for students and recent graduates
- Contributions to financial award schemes that the Group currently runs or may wish to set up
We advise Groups that charge a membership or joining fee to make it clear to members how these funds are used. It is also sensible to highlight any benefits associated with becoming a paid member of a Group e.g. discounted tickets for Group events, or the opportunity to vote at the Group’s Annual General Meeting.
We recommend that Groups try to run their events on a break-even basis, meaning pricing tickets at around the cost of the event. Groups may decide to subsidise certain events, especially Freshers’ Events, and therefore may choose to slightly increase the cost of other events in order to support these subsidised activities.
Membership or joining fees and event ticket prices should generally be kept to a reasonable level in order to make Group events as accessible as possible.
Recognised groups are eligible to apply for additional financial support through the Alumni Groups Award Scheme. This is designed to support Groups that would like to try a new activity in order to attract a new audience, or for events that otherwise may not happen. Please note that Groups wishing to apply to the Grant Scheme must have a Group bank account.
As each Alumni Group is legally independent of the University, Groups are not covered by the University’s public liability insurance. It is recommended that Groups investigate whether acquiring insurance is necessary. You may wish to consider insuring the Group’s assets and activities or insuring members of the committee against personal liability relating to issues such as negligence claims.
The law doesn’t expect Groups to eliminate all risks but does expect you to manage them and protect people ‘as far as reasonably practicable.' This means completing a risk assessment for your activities, which helps you to identify and limit the risks where possible. We can provide a risk assessment template on request.