Affiliated Support Organizations

Subject:             Governance and Organization

Policy:                Affiliated Support Organizations


Effective date:   October 1, 2005

Review date:

Reviewer:           Vice President for Administration and Finance

  • Table of Contents
  • 100.00      Introduction and Purpose
  • 200.00      Definitions
  • 300.00      Recognition Required
  • 400.00      Application for Recognition
  • 500.00      Application Procedures
  • 600.00      Approval
  • 700.00      Financial Requirements
  • 800.00      Use of Facilities and Equipment
  • 900.00      Formal Agreement Requirements
  • 1000.00    Use of Name
  • 1100.00    Use of Funds Raised On Behalf of University
  • 1200.00    Accounts Held By Affiliated Support Organization
  • 1300.00    Limitations On The Establishment Of Affiliated Support Organizations
  • 1400.00    Application For Recognition As Affiliated Support Organization

This policy specifies how an organization may apply to be affiliated with the University and the procedures by which it is authorized to use Montana State University's name or facilities to raise funds for the university or a university program.  This policy does not apply to Registered Student Organizations who have applied and been approved by the Office of Student Activities.

Montana State University wishes to acknowledge the service of volunteer groups and nonprofit organizations and to encourage their support on behalf of the University. These entities provide valuable assistance in fundraising, public outreach, and other support for the University's mission. To create a valuable relationship for both the group and the University, the University will require that groups working on behalf of the University are formally recognized by the University as an affiliated support organization.

Official recognition establishes the privileges and responsibilities of the relationship between these entities and the University, including use of the University's name, facilities, and resources for University related activities. Without such recognition, no group may (a) represent itself as raising funds or otherwise providing support on behalf of or for the benefit of the University, a campus, or any institutional unit thereof; (b) use the name of the University or any of its campuses, facilities, or programs either expressly or by implication in connection with such activities; or (c) use University facilities, equipment, or personnel in connection with such activities.

Montana State University adopts these guiding principles and policies as the framework within which it will work with Affiliated Support Organizations to attain the following objectives:

1.         To preserve the independent operation of any affiliated organization associated with Montana 
State University, and

2.         To clarify that the activities conducted on MSU's behalf must be conducted in a manner that is  consistent with the university's     goals and mission; and

3.         To assure that the fundraising activities conducted on MSU's behalf meet the standards and business practices outlined in this   policy.

200.00            DEFINITIONS:

Affiliated Support Organizations:     Affiliated Support Organizations provide service, programs and/or funding for the university's integral programs and usually are separate non-profit organizations with Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) status.  The University works cooperatively with these organizations but each organization is governed according to its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.  Examples of Affiliated Support Organizations include: MSU Foundation, Inc., Museum of the Rockies, Inc.; MSU Alumni Association, Inc.; MSU Athletic Scholarship Association, Inc.; Friends of the Libraries; Friends of Montana Public Television; Montana 4H Foundation.  Registered Student Organizations are not Affiliated Support Organizations under the terms of this policy.

Ad Hoc Fundraising Events:   Ad Hoc Fundraising events are events designed to raise funds for a university program that are not sponsored by an Affiliated Support Organization.

 300.00            RECOGNITION REQUIRED:   If any of the following conditions exists, an organization must apply for recognition as an   Affiliated Support Organization:

             1.         The organization raises money for the stated purpose of supporting a Montana State University

             2.         Montana State University's name, letterhead, logos, servicemarks, trademarks or other indicia of
                         relationship are used by  the organization in connection with its activities.  This provision does not
                         apply to licensees of the University's registered marks or organizations entering into business    
                         contracts with the University for purposes other than fund raising.
             3.        The organization  implies or conveys the impression that the organization is sponsored by,
                         affiliated with or  related to Montana State University.

4.        The organization proposes to use Montana State University facilities in connection with the program or fundraising activities of the organization.  Organizations whose relationship with the University is limited to the rental of facilities or space are excluded from this policy.

Ad Hoc Fundraising Events may be approved on a case by case basis by the Vice President who supervises the college, department or program which will receive the benefit of the fundraising event if the sponsoring organization is not an Affiliated Support Organization. 

 400.00            APPLICATION FOR RECOGNITION:  All organizations covered under this policy must  file a written application for recognition as an Affiliated Support Organization.  The application must be submitted to the Vice President who supervises the college, department or program  which will receive the benefit of the fundraising activities of the organization.  The application must be approved before the organization engages in activities or fundraising outlined in section 300.00 in support of the University or its programs.

 500.00            APPLICATION PROCEDURES:  Each organization seeking recognition shall complete the Application For Recognition As Affiliated Support Organization.

600.00           APPROVAL:  Upon receiving a completed application, the   appropriate Vice President will recognize the organization or submit a statement denying recognition.  This recognition is valid for five years from the date of recognition or such shorter period as may be appropriate for the nature of the university-related activity.


A.  Affiliated Support Organizations must use sound fiscal and accounting procedures. All revenues, donations or gifts obtained and all disbursements must be properly documented and comply with local, state and federal laws.

B.  Any University payments to an Affiliated Support Organization must be made in accordance with an existing agreement that complies with all University and Board of Regents' policies.

C. University employees who would normally authorize or accept a transfer of funds or donations from an Affiliated Support Organization to the University must not act in cases where the funds or donations could benefit them personally, but shall request that their administrative superior act in their place.

800.00            USE OF FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT:  Arrangements between the University and an Affiliated Support Organization concerning the use office space, storage space, office furniture and equipment, utilities, telephones, photocopying services, computer systems, or similar items shall comply with the Facility Use Policy and be memorialized in a Facility Use Agreement.

900.00            FORMAL AGREEMENT REQUIREMENTS:  All agreements between the University and an Affiliated Support Organization shall include, at a minimum, the following provisions:

 A.   A provision that protects both parties against conflicts of interest in the performance of the   agreement or contract.

 B.   A provision that binds the organization to fiscal and accounting practices that are sound, prudent, administered, and reported in accordance with law.

 C.   Such audit requirements as are deemed appropriate. 

 D.   Reporting requirements, including financial statements as may be appropriate, for the university to prepare its financial statement or to audit the records of the organization.

 E.   Such other provisions as may be necessary to protect the interests of the university.

1000.00  USE OF NAME.  No organization has the right to use the University's name unless it has complied with this policy.  Once approved, the use of the University's name and trademarks by an Affiliated Support Organization shall be in accordance with the Trademark and Licensing Policy and the Graphic Identification Policy.  The organization is barred from using the University's name if the University's relationship with the organization is terminated.

1100.00  USE OF FUNDS RAISED ON BEHALF OF UNIVERSITY.  Funds raised or received by an Affiliated Support Organization for the benefit of the University, or through the use of the University's name or trademarks, shall be expended for the benefit of the University or the Affiliated Support Organization.

1200.00  ACCOUNTS HELD BY AFFILIATED SUPPORT ORGANIZATION.  Accounts for the benefit of individual University departments or faculty members shall not be established with an Affiliated Support Organization or other non-University entity without the prior written approval of the appropriate dean of the college, the Provost (for academic departments) and the appropriate Vice President.

Generally, no Affiliated Support Organization should establish any banking relationship using the name or tax identification number of Montana State University.  Only the Vice President for Administration and Finance may authorize banking relationships for the university and such accounts will not be authorized unless there is a significant benefit to the university to do so.

1300.00  LIMITATIONS ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AFFILIATED SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS.  No University entity, department, program or employee shall establish a foundation or other University Affiliated Support Organization or initiate any fund-raising program or activity except as set forth in this policy.