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Hints in Organizing Activities

Use of the Name and the Logo of the University

http://www.hku.hk/uid/detail.html

Legal Status of Student Organizations

The University of Hong Kong is a statutory body incorporated under the University of Hong Kong Ordinance (Chapter 1053). However, the Hong Kong University Students' Union (HKUSU) and the Postgraduate Student Association (PGSA) are not, by statute, a part of the University. They are in fact organizations registered under the Hong Kong Societies Ordinance. All full-time undergraduates of the University are automatically members of the Students' Union while membership with PGSA is voluntary.

All faculty and departmental societies, sports clubs of the Sports Association, independent clubs of the Independent Clubs Association, as well as Hall Students' Associations are sub-organizations of the Students' Union. The official name of any student organization formed within the University should be duly affiliated with the Students' Union and with its name bearing the initials of Hong Kong University Students' Union i.e. HKUSU. As a parent body, the Union is legally and financially responsible for all the activities of its sub-organization.

Fund Raising

It is not unusual for student organizations to raise funds from the public to finance the organization of activities of one kind or another. Experience in past years shows that fund raising from the public is no easy task. Furthermore, money matters, if not handled properly (be it due to ignorance or inefficiency), may adversely affect the fair name of the student organization, if not that of the entire University.

There are several major points of particular interest to potential donors, sponsors and advertisers. A handout or pamphlet should be prepared and distributed to them with the following information:

  • Nature and objectives of the club or society

  • purpose of fund raising

  • target amount to be raised

  • credibility of the society

  1. Provide names and positions of presidents, patrons, advisers, etc, of the organization. However, make sure that prior permission of these people is obtained before their names are utilized for the purpose of fund raising. To give consent to be a patron, president or adviser does not mean automatic consent for the use of their names for fund raising;

  2. Provide name and position of the auditor, who should not be a member of the organization and should preferably be a person with a responsible position, like a teacher in the University; and

  3. Provide a reference or recommendation letter about the fund raising exercise from a staff member of the University who is aware of the activities of the organization.

Post-Activity Work

A fund raising exercise does not end with the collection of all the necessary funds. As a matter of courtesy and for the benefit of future fund raising by student organization, all donors or advertisers should be appropriately informed of the results of the activities and how their donations have been spent. The following are some hints in relation to post-activity work:

  • An acknowledgement of all donations should be prepared and sent to all donors or advertisers.

  • A financial statement for the activity should be properly prepared and audited as early as possible and sent to all donors, together if possible with a simple report of the event.

  • For journals and other publications, a copy of the publication should be sent to each and every advertiser or sponsor when the publication is ready.

Action Relation to Change in Plan

If there is any change in plans of the activity after the necessary funds have been raised, it is essential that all donors or advertisers be kept informed. The donors or advertisers should be consulted if the purpose of the activity has changed substantially. In the event that the activity has to be cancelled for whatever reason, an offer must be made to return all donations to the respective donors or advertisers without delay. It is however quite proper to seek the donor¡¦s agreement to divert the funds to another purpose. The decision is the donor¡¦s not the organization¡¦s.

Fund Raising through an Outside Agent

The Union Council has ruled that no sub-organization of the HKUSU may use the services of an outside agent or organization for fund raising or publication purpose.

Financial Management

Even the smallest student organization involves the handling of money, such as the collection of membership fees and the payment of incidental expenses, for which the treasurer is responsible. Financial management involves budgeting, bookkeeping, preparation of annual accounts and auditing. The following are some hints on financial management:

Budgeting

  • Estimate the potential sources of income and the expenditure involved in the plans of the organization for the coming year and then prepare an annual budget.

  • Prepare separate budgets for individual activities detailing their expected income and expenditure.

Bookkeeping

  • Write up the transactions in a cash book, listing receipts and payments in reasonable details.

  • Receipts listed should be cross-referenced to the numbered receipts issued, duplicate copies of which should be retained by the treasurer.

  • Payments listed should also be cross-referenced to the invoices of vouchers issued by the payee.

Financial Statements

  • Prepare a complete set of financial statements at the end of the year for presentation to the members of the organization at the Annual General Meeting: 

    • a balance sheet showing the financial position of the organization at the end of the year; and

    • a profit and loss account listing all sources of income and expenditure during the year. The surplus or deficit should be added to or deducted from the organization¡¦s Accumulated Fund.

  • Prepare separate financial statements on special activities, particularly those funded by external sponsors and donors.

 Audit

        Appoint an auditor, preferably not a member of the organization itself, to:

  • examine the accounts prepared by the treasurer; and 

  • report to the members of the organization on the accuracy of the accounts.

The Students' Union issues every year a set of financial regulations to be followed by all student organizations. The CEDARS is ready to offer advice and assistance as required.

Hints in Organizing Activities