Budgeting: A Quick Guide

Preparing a good budget requires forethought and often some research to find out accurate estimates for costs and realistic expectations of funding sources. It should be clear and can be very simple.

Potential Sources of Income

  • Contributions from your organization (from StudCo appropriations, dues, or other sources)
  • Co-sponsorships, grants, or fee allocation from other University funding sources
  • Revenue from ticket sales, entry fees, or registration fees
  • Event-related merchandising
  • Sponsorships or advertising from private businesses
  • Contributions from individuals (students, parents, alumni, etc.)
  • Cost-sharing with program participants, performers, speakers, etc. (e.g., a visiting speaker may offer to pay her own expenses, or they may be covered by her home University)
  • Grants from external foundations or other private funding sources (corporate, etc.)

The major categories of expenditures include (adapted from the University Programs Council Handbook):


All expenses related to producing (holding) the program. Examples include:

  • Rental, set-up, delivery fees, etc. for equipment, tables and chairs, etc.
  • Technical services (lights, sound, etc.)
  • Security (required at many venues for certain types of events)
  • Catering (program meals, reception refreshments, backstage hospitality, etc.)
  • Printing of programs, tickets, etc.
  • Space/facility rental
  • Travel (participants, speakers, performers, etc.)


All expenses related to publicizing or promoting the program. Examples include:

  • Fliers and posters
  • Table tents
  • Paid advertising in student or local publications or on radio
  • Promotional products (buttons, key chains, cups, shirts, etc.)