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Student Organization Business Office

The Student Organization Business Office (SOBO) is a free, banking service for student organizations.  All registered student organizations at the University of Tennessee are able to utilize the services of the SOBO.

If you have additional questions or questions about your organization’s account, please contact Donna Mount in the Student Organization Business Office:

Phone: 865-974-3168


Office Location: Student Union 174W

Frequently Asked Questions

The SOBO is open during the same hours as the CSE, M-F: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.  The SOBO often closes from 12:00 PM-1:00 PM for the lunch hour.  There is a drop box for after hour drop-offs or drop-offs for when the SOBO is closed.

  • Register with Center for Student Engagement
  • Come to the Student Organization Business Office in 174W Student Union
  • SOBO office will open an account and assign an account number and a disbursement book
  • Need to sign a signature card at SOBO office – President, Treasurer, and Advisor signatures are needed

Unfortunately, we are unable to deposit funds directly from online fund sharing apps like Venmo or Cash App.

Fill out blue disbursement form completely

Attach a receipt or invoice to every disbursement. This proof of documentation for disbursement protects your organization and this office if any questions are ever asked about your records. Checks without proper documentation for each disbursement will not be issued until the appropriate receipt or invoice is provided.

A current signature card must be filled out completely and on file in the office before checks can be disbursed

The advisor and the authorized organization officer must sign disbursements requests that exceed $100.00

An Advance disbursement can be obtained also before an event. To do this, bring disbursement with the amount that the organization needs to be processed with proper signatures. Receipts or invoices will need to be turned in to the SOBO office within three business days of the event.

Deposit should be dropped off at 174W Student Union between 8 am and 3 pm.

Endorse checks with organization name on the back of the check. A written numbered receipt for each deposit will be issued, but the deposit will not be verified at that time. Upon verification, if any discrepancies are detected, the individual who made the deposit will be immediately contacted to determine the source of the error.

A new receipt will be issued for the correct deposit amount.

When receiving checks from individuals or companies please have them make checks out to the organization. DO NOT make them out to the University of Tennessee. If a company or individual makes a donation to the organization and needs a receipt for tax purposed, the process will need to be handled differently.
If the check needs to be processed for tax purposes, it will need to be made out to the University of Tennessee and that deposit will need to be made with Mark Alexander at 515 Andy Holt Tower. He will need to deposit the check into a restricted account set up for student organizations, he will need to know how the donor wants the money spent and then the invoice will need to be sent to him also to process payment out of the account for the expenditure the donor wants it spent for.

Yes, there is a dropbox available for when the SOBO is closed.  The drop-off is located in the Student Engagement Suite in the Student Union, Suite 174.

  • Fill out a disbursement in the amount of the balance in the account minus the yearly bookkeeping charges
  • The disbursement needs to be made out to the organization (No disbursement will be processed if made out to an individual)
  • Advisor of the organization must send a memo and sign the disbursement with their authorization to close the account
  • A check will be processed and can be picked up in 5 business days

Registering your organization with the Center for Student Engagement does not cover you under the University of Tennessee tax-exempt number.  A student organization is NOT authorized to use UT’s tax-exempt identification number for purchases.  Your organization is not “Tax-Exempt” unless you have applied for and been granted that status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If it becomes necessary for the organization to incorporate, this action is to be undertaken after consultation with the Center for Student Engagement. Any organization that incorporates must do so strictly on a nonprofit basis and in a manner that perpetuates its undergraduate status. Organizations that seek tax-exempt status are required to apply for such status through the United State Internal Revenue Service.

Online Application: 

If you have any questions about the information outlined herein, or if you wish to seek assistance with any of your organization’s financial or tax matters, please contact Ashleigh Moyer, director in the Center for Student Engagement.

Non-Profit & Tax-Exempt Status

All student organizations are required to operate as non-profit organizations that do not generate income for individuals and/or the organization itself. Student organizations, however, are not automatically registered as 501(c)3 organizations, and do not, therefore, automatically receive tax-exempt status.

If it becomes necessary for the organization to incorporate, this action is to be undertaken after consultation with the Center for Student Engagement. Any undergraduate organization that incorporates must do so strictly on a nonprofit basis and in a manner that perpetuates its undergraduate status. Organizations that seek tax-exempt status are required to apply for such status through the United State Internal Revenue Service.

Obtaining Federal Tax-Exempt Status

The benefits of 501(c)(3) status include exemption from federal income tax and eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.  To qualify for these benefits most organizations must file an application with and be recognized as exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(3) by the IRS.

Organizations with Gross Receipts of Not More than $5,000 per Year

An organization that normally has gross receipts of not more than $5,000 per year (see gross receipts test below) and which is organized and operated exclusively for tax‐exempt purposes will generally be recognized as tax‐exempt under Internal Revenue Service Code (IRC) Section 501(a) without applying to the IRS for approval of IRC Section 501(c)(3) status.