Analysis of club funding

By Caroline Ingold
editor-in-chief

With the annual Student Union budget meeting rapidly approaching, clubs are assessing their financial situations and preparing to fight for additional funding in the upcoming weeks. The magazine drive provides the funds that will be distributed to clubs during this meeting, and each club receives a set amount of money based on how much their members sold during the magazine drive.

“Every club will have to submit a roster, which tells you which students are in that club,” Student Union treasurer Andrew Holland said. “For each student, every magazine they sold, their club will automatically get 25 percent.”

However, for students who belong to more than one club, that 25 percent is divided between the number of clubs they participate in.

Once clubs have turned in their rosters, the money given to them from the magazine drive is considered a set amount and cannot be taken away by Student Union. However, some clubs elect not to receive this automatic amount.

“NHS has opted out of receiving their automatic amount, so that money goes back into the general pool,” Holland said.

If clubs forget to submit their rosters, they also will forfeit the magazine drive money.

“This year, German club, French club, alpine and NAHS won’t get their automatic so they’ll have to fight for their funds in the pool,” Holland said. “The pool is just everything that’s left over after the automatic amounts are distributed.”

Student Union keeps 40 percent of magazine drive profits, with half of that amount being distributed to clubs and the rest used for charity, school events and scholarships. This year, Student Union has roughly $13,460 to distribute in total. Despite being a set percentage, the amount Student Union receives to distribute to clubs fluctuates from year to year.

“Last year I believe it was $15,000, the year before that I believe it was $12,000, so it’s a pretty small range,” Holland said.

However, not all of that money gets used up by the automatic amounts given based on magazine drive sales. Clubs that require additional funding must argue amongst each other at the budget meeting in April for the remaining money, which happens to be around $3000 this year.

One such club that requires extensive funding is speaking society.

“I think we get about $1,400 every year,” club representative Luke Hotchkiss said. “The money funds the debate program, the fall play, the spring musical, Renfair, basically anything speaking society does. We need a lot.”

Another club that requires funds beyond those provided by magazine drive sales is Youth in Government, or YIG. Because of their limited size, YIG does not receive as much funding from magazine drive sales as bigger groups.

“We don’t tend to get that much, but we require a lot of funding,” club representative Anna Doering said.

Most of the money YIG requires goes towards their annual trip to Lansing, where members are able to actively simulate the legislative process by attempting to pass bills in both the House and Senate.

“It’s four nights in Lansing that we have to pay for, and the bus ride
down and back,” Doering said. “So that cost and scholarships for students are our main expenses.”

Unlike YIG, Key Club receives large amounts of funding due to their huge membership size.

“Usually we get about $500 or $600 because we have so many members, because you get money based on how many members you have in your club,” Key Club vice president Alexa Meier said.

However, Key Club doesn’t always require all the money they receive.

“We usually take the $500 and either keep it or give back a few hundred dollars,” Meier said.

If any club wishes to give back some of the money they received in the automatic distribution, it will be put back into the general pool of additional funding.

“We mainly just spend it on DCON, which is our equivalent of states,” Meier said. “Per person, I think we pay for a third of the cost and we only take 15 people at most. We try not to make our club members pay too much for DCON because it’s really expensive and Kiwanis also pays for us.”

However, Meier says that DCON costs have gone up this year, meaning they will most likely not be giving any money back.

Unlike Key Club, many student groups are forced to request large amounts of additional funding to keep their club going. Holland explains what factors determine how much additional money certain clubs receive.

“How actively you fundraise during the magazine drive is usually a big factor, but also how much money your club needs to function is also a factor,” he said.

Virtually all clubs around DHS have participated in some sort of fundraiser, from bake sales to pop can drives. Included in the list is speaking society, whose Renfair performance is considered the largest fundraiser to take place at DHS.

“We try and fundraise more so that Student Union knows we’re actively trying to keep our funds up; if you fundraise more Student Union is more willing to give you more,” Hotchkiss said. “It shows that you’re trying to keep yourself afloat.”

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