Student Group Financials

Student Organization Budgets

Recognized student organizations* are provided with an amount of YLS funds on a yearly basis.

*A recognized student group is a group that receives funding from the Office of Student Affairs. All recognized groups are responsible to adhere to the policies and procedures set forth by OSA and Yale University.

Student organizations have two accounts:

  1. YLS General Allocation: YLS funds provided by the Law School and does not roll over from year to year.
  2. Discretionary: Gift funds through organization fundraising and 3L class gift. These funds roll over from year to year.

Spending Guidelines

  • Merchandise/Swag: Costs of swag can only be paid for out of discretionary funds; YLS general allocations cannot be used on swag. Swag spending is limited to a maximum of $75 per person per fiscal year.
  • Yale University funds cannot be used to purchase gift cards. This is a university policy and there are no exceptions.
  • YLS Food Service Tipping Policy
    • Table Service: up to 15% (up to 20% for exceptional service)
    • Delivery: up to 10%
    • Pick-Up: up to 5% (only appropriate for large orders)

Student Spending Quick Facts:

Bank Accounts: YLS does not allow the usage of outside bank accounts because of the University's non-profit status.

Misuse of Funds: Failure to make filings or inappropriate use of funds would be the legal responsibility of the students on the account and would jeopardize individual student's bar admission.

Non-profit status: All student organizations are required to operate as non-profit organizations that do not generate income for individuals and/or the organization itself.  Student groups cannot donate funds to non-profit organizations.

Student Group Responsibilities: Student groups are fully responsible for its own finances. Officers should be aware that they are responsible for the payment of debts incurred during the period for which they are responsible for the organization. It is important that budget officers regularly monitor their spending and update their accounting books in their respective YaleConnect portals.

Board Transitions: Names and e-mails of all newly elected officers must be submitted to OSA each spring in order to be eligible for funding for the next year.

The fiscal year at Yale runs from July 1 to June 30. All unspent General Allocation funds revert back to the University, all bills are billed to next year's budget, and all errors in billing or accounting are irrevocable. Any gift funds that a student group has will carry over from year to year.

Making purchases

  • Purchase Requests

    OSA is will work with a student group to make a purchase using our Yale Purchasing Card. You may submit a purchase request by completing our Financial Intake Form. Requests should be submitted no fewer than 3 business days before an event.

    This is used for non-GrubHub food purchases (through Instacart or Amazon), non-food purchases, gifts for speakers (under $100 per the IRS) Please note that we cannot purchase gift cards. This is a University policy and there are no exceptions.

  • Invoicing

    Student groups can make a purchase by having the vendor invoice the Law School. You can submit our Financial Intake Form and attach bill to the request, and OSA will cut a check to the vendor after the request has been processed.  Per the University, this is in the form of a check or direct deposit to the vendor or speaker after 45 days from when the service/product was rendered.

  • Reimbursements

    Student groups can also make purchases using a member's personal credit card and submit the charge to be reimbursed by the Law School. To do so, you can complete a Financial Intake Form.

  • GrubHub Credits

    Student groups can arrange for GrubHub meal credits for virtual events through Yale's corporate account. To request GrubHub credits, complete the Financial Intake Form.

  • Coffee Cards

    Student groups can arrange for $10 Coffee Cards that are redeemable at Starbucks. Depending on availability, cards may take up to 6 weeks to be available after requesting. To request Coffee Cards, complete the Financial Intake Form.

Types of Non-Food Purchases:


  • TYCO can invoice the Law School directly  - You would not have to submit an Invoice Request Form
  • Yale Printing and Publishing Services can charge expenses directly to your group's University account for any printing expenses
  • OSA will print five copies of your event poster for free. You can request this service by contacting prior to your event. Copies will be made available for pickup in the OSA office.


  • Supplies can be ordered and delivered to the Law School and charged directly to your group's account
  • The University's preferred vendor for supplies is W.B. Mason - Contact OSA to make a W.B. Mason purchase. The Yale discounted pricing rates are not reflected on their public site.

Sweaters, Tees, Hats, etc

  • All requests must be approved by submitting your request to  OSA works with Public Affairs and the University Licensing Office for approval.
  • Please note there are strict guidelines on the use of the word "Yale" and student groups are required to spell out their organization's name and make clear it is a student group.  Guidelines and requirements can be found here.
  • Email to receive a list of approved vendors.
  • You will need to receive approval on each new design regardless of logo approval.

Mailing & Courier

  • Mailing and related expenses can be charged directly to your group's accounts.
  • A Postage Form for the YLS Mail Room must accompany all letters and packages for U.S. mail. Then the mail will be processed through the mail room and charged to the student organization account.


Recognized YLS student organization may solicit gift funds from outside sources to benefit the organization.

Prior to soliciting funds, student organizations must submit their solicitation materials and a solicitation recipient list to the Office of Student Affairs and the Development office in this form.

Alumni: Soliciting financial support from alumni and other outside sources (such as law firms, foundations, and corporations) MUST be authorized by OSA and Development. Organizations must provide a statement describing the purpose of the solicitation and the names and affiliations of prospective donors, as well as exact copies of all proposed solicitation materials. OSA will refer these documents to Development for final approval. An organization may not contact prospective donors until it has received authorization in writing from OSA to do so.

For groups that are just starting the fundraising process, please get in touch with the OSA to discuss. OSA strongly encourages all student leadership to save these materials within their group's YaleConnect portal for future reference.

How to receive contributions:

  • For gift payments made by check:
    • Yale Law School Office of Student Affairs
    • PO Box 208215
      New Haven, CT 06520
  • For gift payments made by credit card:
    • Credit card gifts can be made online here, by selecting “other” from the “view other / give to multiple funds” option. The student group name should be entered into the “please specify what you would like to support” field.
  • For gift payments made through wire transfer:
    • Please e-mail for wire transfer information. Make sure the student group in the title of the transfer so that the University knows where the amount should go.


Reminder: Because recognized student groups are an entity of Yale University, all gifts made to a student group are actually made to the University. As such, gifts are subject to a 12% assessment fee. This is imposed by the University to cover accounting, tax reporting, and other stewardship costs. This is not a YLS charge.

Fundraising from Yale Sources to Benefit Official YLS Student Organization

Funding sources within Yale University include:
  • The Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
  • The Yale College Council
  • Office of International Students and Scholars
  • Yale Cultural Centers
  • Student organizations at other Yale schools

Student Organization Fundraising to Benefit an Outside Entity

Fundraising to benefit an outside organization may affect the Law School's tax-exempt status. Fundraising must be proposed to OSA and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Gifts made to a fundraiser to benefit an external organization are not considered charitable gifts to the Law School or Yale, and therefore donors will not receive a tax receipt.

Goods (i.e., clothing, box, toys, food) will not be considered a fundraiser. Student organizations that wish to sponsor a collection of goods at the Law School must contact Building Services at and copy

Student organizations may not sponsor a fundraising event for a political candidate and any and all fundraising efforts must comply with Yale's Policy on Political Campaign Activity.

YLS Student Organizations Donating to Outside Entities.

Click here for the University policy on gifts to outside entities.

  • Federal law and regulations restrict the use of University assets to make gifts to individuals or other organizations. The University must therefore provide for proper accounting treatment in the limited instances where such gifts are allowable.
  • In a limited number of instances the University’s objectives may also be achieved by making a contribution to another organization. However, in every instance such contributions require prior approval by the Controllers’ Office in consultation with the Provost’s Office, General Counsel or an Officer of the Corporation as appropriate.