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Event Planning & Budget

Office of Student Involvement (OSI)- Registered Clubs and Organizations (RCO)

Procedures for Planning an Event

(Program, Speaker or Group)


Greetings Bobcats!  For all events, particularly conferences taking place at the University of California, Merced, the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) is the starting point for Registered Clubs and Organizations (RCOs).  Examples of events includes, performances, lectures, academic and non-academic conferences, and many more. Whether your event/conference is brand new or an annual function, the Office of Student Involvement is here to support you and your event. Our office provides a variety of services including training, event management, coordination, and implementation support.


We are excited about your upcoming event.  To ensure the success of your event, please follow the steps below.


  1. Register the event in CatLife


  1. Venue Reservation: Reserve space using the UCM Room Reservation system -OR- Housing/Conference Services Meeting Spaces Reservation


  1. Complete the Budget Form- rco_budget_template.xlsx


  1. Schedule a meeting with the RCO Coordinator or their designee. The OSI Purchasing Timeline Guide will help you in creating a timeline for your event.  RCO Coordinator/designee will need:
  • An agenda for the event
  • Timeline
  • Logistics (venue, number of participants, expected guests: UC Merced students, Merced community, UC, Cal State or JC students, etc.)
  • Proposed budget.  Demonstrate financial resources to cover expenses included but not limited to:
      • speaker fee/honorarium,
      • insurance Rider,
      • catering, and
      • personnel.
  • Discuss possibilities of event interference with Time Place and Manner (Policy 303.00) policies; and
  • Sponsorships (Share/provide proof of sponsorship)


  1. Get the event approved by the RCO Coordinator or their designee


  1. Request support/services from:
  • UCM PD- CSOs
  • Facilities (janitorial, electrical, and/or meet compliance requirements)
  • TAPs (parking, signage)
  • Catering (food)


       7.    Request support/services from:(continued)

  • EHS approval (if needed)
  • Fire Marshall approval (for outdoor events, excluding the Amphitheatre in most cases)


8.    Support Services and Fees


Hospitality Services

            Conference Room







            Facilities Services



            Policing and Security


Police Services Fees


Calculated Rate


External Academic

Police Officer Services




Sergeant Services




Dispatcher Services




CSO Student Services




CSO Supervisor Services




PSO Services (New Services)





Recreation Center Conference Rooms

            Recreation Center Conference Rooms



Information Technology Services

            Information Technology




Transportation and Parking Services


            Transportation and Parking Services



  1. Complete a Proposal and Performance form (PIF).  Use the provided link or get a hardcopy from the RCO Coordinator or their designee


  1. Meet with OSI Business Center to:
  • Submit and finalize the PIF;
  • Review Insurance and Performance Rider;
  • Provide information regarding travel (transportation/housing) needs;
  • Provide a list of event purchase/procurement needs; and
  • Discuss any remaining (non-traditional) event needs.


  1. Provide Proof of Insurance to the OSI Business Center as required by UCM Procurement Services


  1. Have a Successful Event!





Prior to committing to hosting a conference or event, a budget should be created to determine expenses and funding needed.  The budget template below should be used to prepare for the event.


Registered Clubs and Organizations (RCO): Event Budget Template

Enter your estimated revenue (from fees, ASUCM Bills (ICC or Senate), donations, etc.) and expenses to better understand what changes you should make to work within a budget that works best for your organization.

This template is set up to compare total revenues and costs, but you can also reorganize this worksheet to compare revenue and costs for any event that fits your organization's functions.

Please follow the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) Purchasing timeline to ensure timely preparation for your event.  You can refer to the OSI- RCO speaker/group procedure planning guide to ensure your group's success.

If desired, insert new rows to include new revenue sources (ticket sales, bucket drives, etc.) or expenses (event supplies, room reservations, advertising, etc.), but do not enter any information in the blue rows. These cells hold the formulas behind the chart.




Fees: Total amount of revenue collected from membership dues



Bill 1: Total amount of money received from ASUCM (ICC or Senate Bill)



Bill 2: Total amount of money received from grant (Departments, School, other)



Donation 1: Total amount collected from a (bucket drive) on (date)



Donation 2: Total amount collected from a (bucket drive) on (date)



Residual funds from in Club Account (if any)



Fundraising 1 (pre-packaged goods-bake sales, car washes, restaurant fundraisers, etc.)



Fundraising 2 (pre-packaged goods-bake sales, car washes, restaurant fundraisers, etc.)



Registration Fees



Additional revenue



TOTALS (Automatically Calculated)







Advertising (date/period/event): flyers, printing, sandwich boards, table tents, social media



Catering: Identify approved vendor, Meal costs, delivery fees- if any, etc.



Contract: Entertainment, Speaker or Group Fees/Honorarium



Event Swag: T-Shirts, give-a-ways, promotional items, etc.



Facility Expenses: custodial services, set-up, etc.



Food (non-catered): water, snacks, beverages, meals during a planned meeting, etc.



Insurance: Event insurance, Insurance Rider






Registration Fees



Security/Safety: CSOs, UCMPD staffing



Supplies: Equipment, Decorations, Paper products, etc.



TAPS: Parking, Signage, Equipment



Technology: Audio/Visual, IT support, Video production, Texting Service, etc.



Travel: Vehicle/bus Rental, Lodging, Mileage Reimbursement, Airfare



Venue: Room Rental- UCM Housing Spaces, UCM Room Reservation, Off-Campus Rentals



Vendors: DJ, Decorations, Food Trucks, etc.



Website/Administration Fees



Unplanned event: use this to budget extra funds for emergencies



Unplanned transportation: use this to budget extra funds for emergencies



Unplanned media/advertising: use this to budget extra funds for emergencies



TOTALS (Automatically Calculated)




PART 3: RESULTS (Automatically Generated from Parts 1 & 2 Above)









VARIANCE (This is how much over, or under, your budget you are.)



Download the Budget Spreadsheet: rco_budget_template.xlsx



Purchasing Procedures and Timelines

The Business Center in the Office of Student Involvement (formerly OSI) is committed to providing outstanding customer service and resources for RCOs and the UC Merced community. Our services include assistance with RCO funds, purchase orders, reimbursements, procurement purchases, declining credit cards and Inter-department recharges.  Our goal is to make purchases necessary for your event as efficient and effective as possible.  We collaborate with various departments on campus (e.g. Travel Services, Procurement, TAPS, UCM Police Department) to support your event, therefore it is very important that you/your RCO adhere to timelines and procedures for purchasing.  For your convenience, below is the chart of Purchasing Procedures and Timeline for purchases after approval to host the event:


Type of Purchase:

Time need to process

Next steps

Declining Balance Card requests

3 – 5 days

Submit PO request in CatLife, arrange a time to meet with Connie McBride to check out a declining balance card.

Purchase request involving purchasing merchandise in town using UCM credit card (procurement card)

3  - 5  days

Submit PO request in CatLife, and coordinate with Connie McBride a date and time between 4-5pm. (shopping cart will need to be ready to be paid for).

Purchase request involving an established vendor

3 - 5 days

Submit PO request. (See frequently used vender list on OSI Website under resources.)

Purchase request involving a “new” vendor


1-2 weeks

Submit PO request in CatLife with vendor information. OSI Business Center will send the business UCM’s W9 procedures, which need to be completed by vendor before PO request can be processed.

Purchase request involving campus recharge units, catering, bookstore, Recreation and TAPS

5 days

Submit PO request in CatLife, when approved contact the OSI Business Center for further instructions.   

Purchase request involving campus recharge units Police or Facilities

1-2 weeks

Submit PO request and then meet with Jim Greenwood who will put in your request.

Purchase request for non-travel reimbursements


Submit no later than 2 weeks after purchase.

Submit PO request and then bring in original receipts to OSI Business Center.  When possible please check in with OSI before using your own money, we may have a better way to purchase. Any reimbursement over $200.00 must be pre-approved.

Purchase request for travel reimbursements

Submit no later than 3 weeks of travel

Submit PO request in CatLife and bring in original receipts to OSI Business Center.  Receipts must be itemized and mileage claims must have mileage printout.

Purchase request for vehicle rental or Bus *

2-3 weeks

Drivers must first be pre-approved through taps. Submit DMV Pull, and copy of DL to Connie McBride.  Submit PO request in CatLife and also fill out vehicle rental info sheet*

Type of Purchase

Time need to process

Next steps

Purchase request for performers, speakers or facilities that require a contract agreement. *

4 weeks

Submit PO request in CatLife and meet with Cathy Oliver, for further instructions.  Preliminary Information Form must be completed (PIF)

Purchase request for hotels rooms *

4 weeks

Submit PO request in CatLife and fill out Group Lodging form. Contact Cathy Oliver for more information

Purchase request for flights *

5 weeks

Submit PO request in CatLife and fill out Flight Request info sheet.  Contact Cathy Oliver for more information.


Training- Purchasing

For annual or recurring events/conferences, our office provides training to ensure your RCO’s knowledge and practice of navigating University policies. This training will prepare club officers to manage their club funds through Catlife and learn the OSI Business Center policy and procedures for purchasing and travel.


Training covers the following:

  • Club Accounts: Deposits and ASUCM v. Club Funds
  • Club Deposits
  • Cash Handling Guidelines
  • Purchase Orders and Requests
  • Procurement Card Purchases
  • Declining Balance Cards
  • Reimbursements
  • Campus Recharge
  • Travel & Lodging- Airline Flights, Ground Transportation, and Hotels
  • Contracts- Performer, Speakers and Facility Use agreements


If you have questions, contact:

RCO Coordinator or OSI Business Center