The Finance Committee advises the Board of Directors and senate on budget and financial matters, provides financial input on the development of the Society’s long term strategic plan, and assists in preparation of the proposed three-year rolling operating and conference budgets. The committee reviews the monthly financial statements of the Society, maintains the Finance Manual so all treasurers have a set of basic information to follow, and provides training and support to section/MAL treasurers on financial matters such as IRS forms and safeguarding funds.
The information in this FAQ applies to the following SWE Entities:
- Professional Sections
- Collegiate Sections
- Members-At-Large (MAL)
- See SWE's requirements for a section vs. affiliate, here.
- Sections are able to fund raise and hold funds as a subordinate of SWE's Tax Exempt Policy and are required to file annual financial reports and with the IRS as appropriate.
- Affiliates are not allowed to fund raise or hold funds and do not need to file annual financial reports or with the IRS.
- All global groups are required to be affiliates at this point
- SWE Financial Report Due July 30th (Required of all Sections regardless of IRS Filing)
- IRS Filing Due Nov. 15th (Required of Sections that have an EIN, not for Collegiate Sections covered by their University's EIN)
A section in good standing has:
- Approved bylaws
- Financial report filed with the Society
- Current on IRS filings
- Submitted leadership roster with all roles filled by paid SWE members
The section must complete an action plan to get current. The action plan is submitted for review by the society. Sections may reach out to SWE Director of Membership to help construct and review their action plan.
- All Professional Sections have their own EIN. Collegiate Sections can either have their own EIN (for financial accounts outside the university), or could be covered under their University/College EIN (for financial accounts run by their university/college).
- Current fiscal year section Presidents and Treasurers are able to access EIN and subordinate status information through the SWE Leadership Portal. Direction on how to access that information can be found here.
- Latest filing status with the IRS can be found here: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/
- You will need your section’s EIN or location (by mailing address) to search the database.
Section and Society efforts can lead to surplus cash accumulations. While having excess cash available can feel good, the money needs to be allocated to support society and section goals to meet our nonprofit status. See “Excess Cash and Fund Management” training under “Self-Paced Training” for further details. This training covers:
- How to assess your ratio of unrestricted assets to budget
- The Society of Women Engineers Endowed Fund (SWE-EFI) for programs and endowed scholarships
SWE sections strive to have finances transparency that is objective, fair, complete, and accurate. The best way to ensure this is to appoint a financial subcommittee to perform a SWE Financial Assessment on an annual basis and take action on the results. A copy of the latest Financial Assessment Procedure and a Financial Assessment Tool can be found under “Document Repository”. See “Financial Assessment” training under “Self-Paced Training” for further information. This training covers:
- The definition of an assessment versus an audit
- The steps to perform a financial assessment of your section
- How to take action on your assessment results
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Most sections use a combination of corporate funding, individual donations and grants to fund their activities. See “Fundraising 101” training under “Recorded Training” for further information. This training covers:
- The definition of income sources
- Donation record keeping and privacy practices
- IRS rules to be aware of when it comes to fundraising
Micro-grants are available to support the strategic activities of SWE Entities. The society PDG committee accepts applications throughout the calendar year to fund innovative events focused around the mission of SWE. Complete application details and FAQ’s can be found here.
The Society of Women Engineers Endowed Fund (SWE-EFI) can be used to endow funding for scholarships and designated programs. It is managed by the SWE Board of Trustees (BOT). Further information can be found here.