Creating an Event Budget
Cost Recovery Spreadsheet - Template (MSU Employees Only)
Cost Recovery Spreadsheet - Example (MSU Employees Only)
To view a pre-recorded training webinar regarding how to use the above cost recovery spreadsheet, click here.
One of the first things you should do is develop a realistic budget for your event. For many people, just the word budget makes them cringe, but a budget is critical in planning any event. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be as cumbersome as many people think. By taking it one piece at a time, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
In terms of your trip through event planning, the budget is your roadmap and is critical to planning a successful event. A good budget can help you determine what price to set your registration to ensure your event is profitable or will at least break even. The budget will also help give you a clear picture of where to spend the resources you have for your event. If properly maintained - updated on a regular basis (daily/weekly) throughout the event, the budget will provide you with an outline of how your resources are being spent. A good budget can also help you with future events - by creating more accurate budgets for future events, as well as determining whether or not it’s financially beneficial to hold the event again.
Budgets can be as simple or as detailed as you need them to be. You can easily create a simple budget using an excel spreadsheet or use the template we’ve provided above. Remember, budgets are just estimates of what you think you may spend, as you won’t have the exact figures until after the event is finalized. Your first budget will be the hardest one to create. As you hold more and more events, it will become easier to estimate the cost of items and you can use previous budgets as starting points.
Whether you’re new to event planning or a seasoned pro, keeping an event budget will help you stay organized and prepared for any financial inquiry—and help you avoid going over budget. If you keep your budget updated throughout the entire event planning process, you can easily see where you’ve saved money, allowing you to spend more on other items.
**Tip from the Pros: Budget high on expenses and low on your income to insure that you have enough funds allocated for your event.**
Form templates listed on this site are provided only as resources and examples. Not all of them are required, although MSU does have an expectation that some of these will be used for all events, in order to mitigate risk. Separate forms can be formatted to fit on a single page; however, a separate signature line is needed for each. For a sample of the form, click on the form title.
All MSU programs for minor participants (under 18 years old) are encouraged to have a consent form. The purpose of this form is to ensure that participants and parents/guardians understand any risks associated with the program and agree to full participation. The form should be adapted to cover the specifics of your program, i.e. do you transport youth by bus or minivan; are they engaged in activities that have special risks associated, etc.
Media Release Form (This sample is set up two forms per page)
Use this form if photos, video or any other kind of image recording will take place during the program and used for promotional purposes. If you do not have a signed form on file, every effort should be made to exclude that participant from all photos, video, etc.
Use of a signed Code of Conduct is suggested to ensure that youth participants and parents/guardians understand the behavior expectations for those who attend the program and the consequences for violating the expectations. This alleviates the challenge of someone claiming they did not understand the expectation if a behavior issue occurs.
A signed copy is needed for each program participant in case medical attention is needed during the program.
This form should be used to collect participant permission (or parent/guardian permission for youth involvement) if you plan to distribute a participant list with contact info so participants may contact each other. Creating such a list can be especially useful for helping participants arrange carpooling to and from your program.
Suggested for programs which allow participants a lot of autonomy in determining where they will be when. In the event a participant ends up missing, the information provided on this form can be used to identify someone.
If your audience is youth, MSU Extension’s Volunteer Selection Process needs to be followed to ensure that children attending your program are treated with respect and dignity and they are provided with a safe, caring environment in which to learn and have fun. A reference check and criminal history check is needed for volunteers and staff who will be in prolonged and/or unsupervised settings with children. The results of the criminal history check should be treated with confidentiality.
MSU Extension can conduct a criminal history check through the Michigan State Police Web site called the AInternet Criminal History Access Tool@(ICHAT). This is a free service provided by the Michigan State Police Applicant Identification Team for programs with non-profit status; otherwise there is a nominal fee. Information on ICHAT includes only criminal convictions in the State of Michigan.
• Organization name
• Telephone number
• Federal ID number (for government agencies and school districts)
• A copy of your 501(c)3 certificate (for all other nonprofits)
• Name of contact person
You will be issued an Agency Code and information to access the system. Once you have registered, you will be able to perform (and access) your background checks immediately through the ICHAT Web site. For more information about ICHAT, go to its FAQs section on the Web at http://apps.michigan.gov/ICHAT/FAQs.aspx.
Accidents involving personal bodily injury or property damage that may give rise to a claim should be reported immediately. A copy of the Incident Report Form should be given to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance as soon as possible, with a copy of the local police or investigator’s report if available.
MSU Policy Information Related to Risk Management
The following information outlines policies and risk management options that all program coordinators should be aware of.
Use of 12- and 15-passenger vans is prohibited. More information on vehicle restrictions can be found in Volume 1 of the MSU Manual of Business Procedures.
Drivers transporting youth on behalf of MSU must be 21 years of age or older. Verification of a valid driver’s license and current liability insurance is required for any adult driver.
Insurance Coverage Information
It is important to understand the types of insurance coverage that is available and which insurance is appropriate in various situations. The two basic types of insurance that exist are:
Liability Insurance is provided to MSU employees or volunteers deemed by Michigan State University to be acting within the scope of their duties of performing services for the University. This insurance protects MSU volunteers and employees in the event they would be sued for claims of negligent acts that result in bodily injury to someone else, personal injury such as libel or slander, or damage to property of others. Liability insurance coverage is automatic and is provided for all who are registered as MSU volunteers or employed by MSU. You will find this on the Web at:
When transporting others to and from an MSU program in privately owned vehicles, MSU liability insurance coverage is provided as a secondary insurance. That means that the insurance maintained by the person who owns the vehicle would provide the first insurance coverage and the MSU insurance be the second coverage. Coverage by the liability policy means that the liability insurance will provide defense in court for a registered volunteer or employee to cover allegations of a negligent act even through the allegations may be fraudulent or false, and will pay the damages in which the covered insuree is legally liable to pay. Report any incident that involves bodily injury or property damage which may give rise to a claim immediately in a written report. You should cover as much information as possible about the incident. Follow up contact will then come from MSU directly to the parties named in the incident report.
Accident and Illness Insurance is not provided by Michigan State University to program participants or volunteer workers and is not mandatory. Programs or groups can take out a special policy available through some insurance companies. Illness coverage depends on the type of coverage selected. Eligible covered expenses are paid in excess of any other valid and collectible insurance. Overviews of two known options are described below.
American Income Life Insurance
There are three levels of rate options for blanket group accident and illness insurance for 4-H and Cooperative Extension Service at 15, 20, and 23 cents per day. All plans provide primary coverage with no deductibles. This insurance covers:
- Medical expenses – maximums of $1,000, $2000, and $3000
- Dental expenses from injury – maximums of $300, $400, and $500
- Medical and Hospital Expense for Illness—maximums of none, $500, and $1,000
- Loss of life – maximums of $2,000, $2,500, and $3,000
- Dismemberment varies based on severity.
For more information, visit:
P.O. Box 50158
Indianapolis, IN 46750
Their rate table provides further clarification at: http://www.americanincomelife.com/TOBSpecialActivities.aspx
The MSU Camp Insurance rate is $1.40 per youth participant regardless the length of the camp or program. (Rates may fluctuate a small amount from year to year based on the number of enrollees into the program.) This insurance covers medical and dental expenses from injury – maximum $24,500; dismemberment – maximum $12,500; loss of life $12,500. The deductible is $100.