Allowable Use of Funds Chart

Expenditures paid from State, University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF), Research Foundation (RF) Non-Sponsored, and RF Sponsored funding sources are subject to specific requirements.

Refer to the appropriate chart to determine allowability based on funding source.

Food and Beverage

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Food and Beverage Expenses

 

 

Purpose

Details State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored
(1)

Hosted Business Meals

 

Provided when hosting external beneficiaries at events related to UB’s mission of education, research, and public service

 

The ratio of UB to non-UB attendees must be appropriate to the circumstances of the event

Hospitality when hosting visiting dignitaries, speakers, performing artists, and community leaders Yes Yes Yes No
Alumni events No Yes No No
Donor events where the primary purpose is to cultivate and steward existing or prospective donors No Yes No No
Events to support industry engagement and economic development to foster partnerships that support the mission of the university   Yes Yes Yes No
Parent days and weekend Yes Yes No No
Events to enhance relationships with the community surrounding our university which we seek to draw resources from, or foster mutual understanding, trust, and support No Yes No No

Recruiting meals hosted to interview faculty, staff, professional, or graduate candidates

Meals may be provided for the candidate, the spouse of the candidate, university employees involved in the decision-making process, and their spouse or partner to the extent that they are necessary to facilitate interaction, directly benefiting the university

Yes Yes Yes (2,3)

Student Meals

 

Provided with the primary beneficiary being current or prospective students

 

The occasion must contribute to the academic mission of the university

 

The ratio of student to faculty or staff in attendance must be appropriate to the circumstances; at least one faculty or staff must be in attendance

Events to support student curriculum or promote student morale, retention, recognition, or student life activities

Expenditures must support the purpose of the program

Yes Yes
Yes
No

Student club or organization meetings or events

Complimentary offering to students as they participate in focus groups, tutoring, or advisement with faculty, staff, or student employees

Yes Yes Yes
No
Commencement ceremony Yes Yes Yes (3)

Internal Business Meals

 

Food and beverages provided to internal beneficiaries with the primary purpose of the event to involve substantive business discussion or to build employee morale

 

All food expenses for faculty and staff are restricted to the applicable GSA per diem rate

Professional development, training retreats, seminars, workshops, or strategic planning

The event must be infrequent (i.e., lengthy interval of time between occurrences) and non-routine
Event objectives must incorporate sharing subject matter expertise or communicate initiatives or other material that is not part of the employees' day-to-day responsibilities

The agenda time must not otherwise offer the opportunity for an independent meal   

Yes Yes Yes No

Staff appreciation, recognition, professional achievement, or employee relations events to build morale

The event must be occasional (i.e., not more than twice per year)

The activities must be equitable to all employees

No Yes No No

Work beyond normal business hours

If schedules require employees to work over a mealtime, the reasonable cost of a meal is permissible

No (4)
Yes No No

Occasional food and beverages for university staff, when they are engaged in business meetings during normal business hours

Generally, "occasional" is not more than monthly; this should be tracked and adhered to by the office requesting reimbursement

This does not include routine or individual meetings held at meal times

No Yes No No

Employee celebrations must be modest and reasonable

 

Guest(s) are limited to instances where the guest accompanies a specific employee who is being recognized or honored; guests at holiday parties must be pre-approved an an exception

 

Examples of employee celebrations include but are not limited to professional achievement, holiday parties, new employee welcome, retirement recognition

No Yes No No
Personal celebrations (e.g., birthday, wedding, administrative professional’s day) No No No No

Sponsored Meals

 

Food and beverages, when required for performance of a sponsored project, and is allowed as a direct cost to the project

Provided to human subjects required to remain on site for several hours as part of their participation in a study

The purchase of food or beverages must be necessary for the effective performance of the project

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Juice or light snack provided to human subjects participating in a study where blood is drawn as necessary for the technical conduct of the project
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lunch or light snacks provided to individuals involved in all-day or major-portion of the day training sessions to fulfill project requirements Yes Yes Yes Yes
Provided to non-UB project personnel involved in recruiting community participants or students Yes Yes Yes No
Gratuity and delivery charges when related to allowable food and beverage purchases

Gratuity is limited to 20% of the pre-tax total bill

If per diem is applicable (i.e., internal business meals), the gratuity must be covered by the per diem maximum

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alcoholic beverages and license fees

Per person reimbursement for alcoholic beverages is restricted to the lesser of the cost of two (2) alcoholic beverages or $15  

Applicable to all meal types (i.e., Hosted Business Meals, Student Meals, Internal Business Meals, Sponsored Meals)

Itemized receipt is required 

License fees are not included in the $15 per person limit

No Yes No (3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Human Subject Consideration

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Human Subject Expenses
Purpose Details State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored
(1)

Gift cards (including campus cash cards) as consideration or incentive for participating in surveys, volunteering, or services provided to the university
 
The Taxble Income Reporting Form and appropriate tax form (W-9 or W-8) is required for amounts of $100 or more

For gift cards issued as prizes, gifts, or awards, refer to the Gifts, Prizes, and Awards Policy

Consideration to human subjects for participating in studies or research surveys that support the mission of the university

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is required

No Yes Yes (3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Clothing

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Clothing Expenses
Purpose Details State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)

University-branded items worn by faculty, staff, or student employees to easily identify individuals as a representative of the university

 

Must have a defined business purpose

 

Cannot be designated as a gift

Clothing or uniforms must be related to a specific university event or university position where is it beneficial for the individual to be easily identified as serving on behalf of the university Yes Yes Yes
(3)
Commencement cap and gown rental, purchase, or cleaning costs

Provided to individuals asked to participate in a university commencement ceremony on behalf of the university

 

This does not include personal or customized regalia

Yes
Yes Yes
(3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Registration

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Registration Expenses

Purpose Details State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)
Admission to non-university charitable events which have a clear mission, outreach, or business-related purpose

The event must benefit a 501(c)(3) (evidence required)

 

The primary purpose must be to raise money for a cause, charity, or non-profit organization

 

UB does not condone supporting specific religious or political organizations

No
Yes No
(3)
Registration or admission to business events

Must have a clear mission, outreach, or business-related purpose

Excludes recreational or social events (e.g., golf, happy hour, boat cruise)

Yes Yes No (3)
Registration or admission to recreational events Admission to an event that is included in the registration fee of a conference or seminar for the purpose of continued networking or outreach   Yes
Yes No No
Student attendance or participation at an event that is tied to a specific academic program with the purpose clearly defined to support student curriculum
Yes Yes No No

Tickets to sporting, theater, music, and student events or activities

Development or donor relations activities to promote a relationship that benefits the university

No Yes No
(3)
As part of a program of academic study
Yes
Yes Yes (3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Decor

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Decor Expenses
 Purpose Details
State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)
Decor for display at a specific university event with a well-defined business purpose Flowers, centerpieces, or other decorative items for display at university events (e.g., commencement) that support the mission of the university Yes Yes No
No
Purchasing, framing, or printing items to be displayed in public areas or areas frequented by students or recruits

Items must support the university brand and provide motivation, inspiration, or learning opportunities to those visiting the area

 

Items not specific to the UB brand or mission (e.g., plants, items used for the beautification of a public area) are allowable at a modest and reasonable level

Yes Yes No
No

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Appliances

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Appliance Expenses
Purpose
Details
State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)
Coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves, and other appliances used in public or shared spaces

Must be located in areas used by the public (e.g., visitors, students) or in a shared space used by faculty, staff, or student employees

 

Appliances may not be purchased for individual offices

Yes Yes No
No

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)

Memberships

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Membership Expenses
Purpose Details State UBF RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)
Store membership or subscription (e.g., BJ's, Sam's Club)

Membership must be used to support university business needs and result in overall cost savings

 

Limited to one employee per functional area

Yes Yes No
No
Membership fees for professional organizations or societies
Must pertain to the employee's specific position for the purpose of continuing education or networking
Yes Yes Yes (3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Must be related to a "to be named" position

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award. Contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Specific State funds allow for meals to be provided to Campus Life employees when students benefit directly from their service (e.g., opening or closing residence halls)