Club Leaders Handbook

A resource guide for club leaders


Welcome to the Purdue Alumni Association Club Leaders’ Handbook, a compendium of important information and a myriad of resources designed to help a club leader run a successful club that benefits its members and the university.

I am very excited to present this revised Handbook to you. It outlines the club recognition program, the process to start a club sanctioned by the Purdue Alumni Association, tips on successful events and meetings, financial information and programming ideas. It also includes several appendices containing policies, sample documents and legal requirements.

Assuming a leadership position at a local level is a critical role in the Purdue Alumni regional club network. You become an integral part of the Purdue Alumni Association, and your work directly impacts the effectiveness of a club and contributes to the overall success of the Purdue Alumni Association.

We are dedicated to providing the tools necessary for club leaders to be successful and believe this Handbook offers a useful guide to help you do that. We welcome feedback on the Handbook and will make ourselves available to answer any questions you might have or provide any assistance we can to help you run the best club in the Purdue network.

Hail Purdue!

Courtney Magnuson
Senior Director, Alumni Outreach Purdue Alumni Association

Club Program

Purpose of Sanctioning Clubs

In order to encourage diversity in programming by groups wanting to form clubs, the current club program was implemented with expectations and criteria for success clearly defined. The Purdue Alumni Club Program highlights the strategic initiatives of the Association: Membership, Relationships, and Being a Pillar of Strength for Purdue.

Each year, groups must meet specific criteria in order to be sanctioned by the alumni association. These requirements must be completed between July 1 and June 30, aligning with the university’s fiscal year. The Purdue Alumni staff liaison for a group, with the group’s assistance, will keep track throughout the year of activity as it occurs. After June 30, club status is granted to those groups completing the requirements detailed below.

All sanctioned clubs must complete the annual requirements plus organize a total of five events, with a minimum of one event in a programming category other than Personal. All sanctioned clubs will receive the support provided by the alumni association listed on pages 7-8.

Annual Requirements

In order to coordinate with the Purdue Alumni Association and to comply with university guidelines and federal law, there are several steps we require clubs to take. These are not meant to be onerous or time- consuming exercises that aren’t valuable. Many of them will help us monitor all of our clubs’ engagement efforts as well as share best practices among clubs. They also will ensure that the clubs are not pursuing activities or implementing policies that conflict with Purdue Alumni. We all want to strive toward the same goal – engaging alumni and increasing membership.

Below is a list of the requirements for all clubs. Some of them are one-time activities while others are annual necessities.

  1. Submit written Club Agreement (Appendix A) not to collect club dues, annual activity fees, etc. going forward. Collecting individual club dues, annual activity fees, etc. directly conflicts with the goal of increasing Purdue Alumni membership, which specifically supports our clubs.
  2. Submit written Club Agreement (Appendix A) to adopt Purdue Alumni Club online scholarship application and awarding timeline (only for clubs that maintain scholarship funds at Purdue University and select their own recipients). March 1 is the application deadline for students. April 15 is the awarding deadline for clubs. Purdue Alumni will provide the online scholarship URL for distribution and promotion in the fall.
  3. Submit Disclosure Agreement for Student Addresses (Appendix C).
  4. Submit Purdue Alumni-approved club bylaws/constitution (in years changes made).
  5. Incorporate member/non-member pricing for all fee-based events and follow pricing guidelines listed in Appendix Q.
  6. Maintain a club web presence with a website and/or Facebook page. Promote all club events on these sites. Web presence will be reviewed quarterly by Purdue Alumni staff liaison.
  7. Maintain club community in the Purdue Alumni Association Portal, which includes posting all events and responding to inquiries posted to the community within two business days.
  8. Participate in all campaigns organized by the Purdue Alumni Association. This could include, but is not limited to, membership campaigns, promoting Purdue Alumni initiatives via social media, and scholarship fundraising efforts like Purdue Day of Giving.
  9. Submit roster of club officers. All must be Purdue Alumni members at the PLUS tier or higher.
  10. Submit a post-event information form and payment request form online no later than one month after the event date. Forms submitted more than one month past event date will not count as a qualified activity for the club recognition program or be eligible for dues sharing reimbursement. Submitting event information in a timely manner helps Purdue Alumni recognize and track overall monthly engagement. In addition, it builds an events library of ideas and best practices for all clubs to use and share.


The Purdue Alumni Association is a membership-based organization with the goal of enhancing the value of membership for alumni and friends of the university. We seek to develop and embrace emotional connections as a tool to encourage membership as well as communicate to our constituents what we believe as an organization. Our alumni club leaders are the greatest ambassadors Purdue Alumni has throughout the country and it is paramount that we cultivate and grow — inside Purdue Alumni and with club volunteers — a culture that understands that a strong financial stewardship program is key to our long-term success.

Thus, Alumni Clubs play a significant role in promoting the value of membership to alumni in their respective areas and will be counted on to participate in membership campaigns organized by the Purdue Alumni Association.


Relationships are the “WHY” at the very core of what we do, and our Alumni Clubs are an important part of the Purdue Alumni Engagement team. The multitude of events planned throughout the year should appeal to a wide variety of alumni interests. Our ultimate goal is to create exceptional experiences for our constituents by incorporating a high level of professional planning prior to events and engaging in critical self-evaluation after events. Clubs will be asked to plan events, incorporating member/non-member pricing, in the following engagement programming categories:

  1. Personal (e.g. social events, family-friendly events, sports game watches)
  2. Professional (e.g. networking events, mentorship program, dinner for 12)
  3. Intellectual (e.g. special interest events, arts, lifelong learning, diversity events)
  4. Scholarships/Student Recruitment (e.g. scholarship fundraiser, student recruitment/PART program, student retention, student send-off)
  5. Service (e.g. volunteerism)

The number and types of programming ideas for clubs are as diverse and varied as the clubs themselves. We encourage you to contact other club presidents in your area for suggestions and ideas as to what your club can do to get involved and reconnect with Purdue, no matter how far away from campus you are.

Submitting your event information to us in a timely manner after your event will help us to better understand and track overall monthly engagement, as well as help build an Events Library to compile them, and share them with other clubs in an effort to communicate best practices.

Club Recognition

There are three tiers of recognition – Gold, Silver, and Bronze – for clubs that are based on the number of engagement programming events planned during the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30)

Sanctioned clubs that meet the annual requirements will be awarded their Gold, Silver or Bronze status at the annual Alumni Leaders Recognition Luncheon at the Alumni Leaders Conference. After a year at Gold status, a club will receive a flag, personalized with the club name and the Purdue Alumni logo. Each year, any club that achieves Gold, Silver or Bronze status will receive a “P” in the respective color each time they achieve this level and with the year it was attained.

Please refer to the chart for specific requirements and financial benefits of each tier.


Gold Silver Bronze
Operational Support
  • must meet annual requirements
  • $500 operational support funds
  • $250 speaker reimbursement
  • $250 travel reimbursement to ALC
  • must meet annual requirements
  • $500 operational support funds
  • $250 speaker reimbursement
  • $250 travel reimbursement to ALC
  • must meet annual requirements
  • $500 operational support funds
  • $250 speaker reimbursement
  • $250 travel reimbursement to ALC
Dues Sharing $2.50 per PA member $1.50 per PA member
Scholarships $1,000 for scholarship account held at Purdue University
$600 for scholarship account not held at Purdue University
$500 for scholarship account held at Purdue University
$300 for scholarship account not held at Purdue University


Engagement Requirements
Total Events Required 8
Must have at least one per category
Must have at least one per category
Must have at least one event in a category other than “Personal”
(e.g. social, family, sports)
1 1 1
(e.g. networking event, mentorship, Dinner for
1 1 1
(e.g. special interest events, arts, lifelong
learning, diversity event)
1 1
Scholarship and Student Engagement
(e.g. scholarship fundraiser, student recruitment, student retention, summer send-off)
1 1
Service 1 1

Dues Sharing and Scholarship Donations for Gold and Silver Clubs

Purdue Alumni offers the following support for sanctioned alumni clubs that earn Gold or Silver status for each fiscal year:

Dues Sharing: Each Gold club will receive $2.50 per Purdue Alumni member in their club area for programming purposes. Each Silver club will receive $1.50 per Purdue Alumni member in their club area. These funds are for programming purposes and are distributed on a reimbursement basis. Please refer to the Payment Request Form for dues-sharing procedures, as well as qualified and unallowable expenses. See Appendix A and Appendix P for details.

Scholarship Donations: Each Gold club will receive a $600-$1,000 scholarship donation. Each Silver club will receive a $300-$500 scholarship donation. These funds are for scholarship programs and the amounts each Gold or Silver club receives depend on whether a club’s scholarship account is held at Purdue University or elsewhere.

Support for Sanctioned Alumni Clubs

Sanctioned Purdue Alumni Clubs are an essential part of the alumni association mission. Keeping people connected to each other and the university is what these groups can provide alumni in their area within a specific structure required by Purdue Alumni. Sanctioned Purdue Alumni Clubs are formally organized and are the perfect fit for those who want to participate in the club recognition program. The type of support Purdue Alumni offers sanctioned clubs, provided that they meet our Annual Requirements, is listed below.

Operational Support Funds: A $500 check will be provided at beginning of fiscal year if the club has a bank account in the club’s name. Otherwise, $500 will be available on a reimbursement basis using the payment request form. In addition, a $250 speaker reimbursement and $250 reimbursement for travel to the Alumni Leaders Conference will be available to each club during each fiscal year. See Appendix A and Appendix P for details.

Staff Liaison: A professional staff member is assigned to work with each club.

Online Services: A variety of services, including the Purdue Alumni Association Portal, club website hosting, e-mail forwarding, events calendar on the Purdue Alumni website and promotion on social media.

Club Promotion: Club activities listed on the university calendar, mass e-mails, and in university and alumni association media.

Event Box: Sent for social events or other designated events; includes name tags, brochures, pencils, “P” lapel pins, table covers, pom poms, static clings, etc.

Scholarship program: A staff liaison will assist with the scholarship process and serve as administrator between the club and the Division of Financial Aid. Purdue Alumni will also provide student e-mail addresses to clubs to communicate club scholarship opportunities.

Student Recruitment: Purdue Alumni will provide e-mail addresses of prospective students to clubs to communicate scholarship opportunities and a link to the PART program,, which includes materials for college fairs. For this program, Purdue Alumni staff will serve as liaison between the club and Admissions. See Appendix C for Disclosure Agreement for Student Addresses.

Tax Identification Number: Purdue Alumni will obtain a tax identification number so clubs can open a checking account, if requested.

Alumni Leaders Conference (ALC): Free annual training conference held on the West Lafayette campus for alumni leaders and volunteers. Space is limited. For more information, visit

Club Handbook: Online reference manual for club leaders.

Liability Insurance: Coverage available to clubs at no cost.

Speakers: When feasible and applicable, speakers can be provided for club events. The club is responsible for any speaker fees, as well as travel and accommodation expenses. If eligible, the club may use their speaker reimbursement funds.

Visit from Purdue Alumni Staff: Tell us which event you would like us to attend in a year and we’ll make an attempt to be there.

Golf: Assist with promotion of event and provide golf-specific giveaway for each participant. Purdue Alumni will secure participation of and provide transportation for invited guests, when feasible and applicable.

Purdue Alumni Club Awards: Boilermaker Pride Award and Club Recognition Awards

Beginning a Sanctioned Alumni Club in Your Area

While Purdue Alumni currently has alumni clubs in most metropolitan areas across the country, there are geographic areas where faithful Boilermakers have not come together as an organized group. Our experience tells us that strong leadership and commitment help build and matriculate gathering alumni into a strong club. To start an alumni club in your area, we recommend the following steps.

Become a Purdue Alumni member (if you’re not already). All club leaders must be current members.

Go to the clubs listing page to find out if there is an active club in your geographic area (within a 50-mile radius of your city). If not;

Contact Courtney Magnuson – Senior Director of Alumni Outreach, at [email protected] or 765-494-0430 to express your interest in organizing a group.

Courtney and the regional liaison from your area will work with you to determine if there are enough alumni and Purdue friends in your area to create a sanctioned club. We will request a report covering a 50-mile radius around your city to assess the number of alumni/friends in that area. At least 350 alumni/friends need to live in the area to become a sanctioned club.

Step 1: Gauge Interest

Once it has been determined there are enough alumni/friends in the area, the next step is to gauge the interest of those alumni/friends in starting a sanctioned club. We recommend one of the following events as a way to get people together for this purpose:

  • Dinner at a restaurant or family-friendly bar
  • Picnic
  • Family activity (bowling, roller blading, camping, etc.)
  • Cookout at a volunteer’s home
  • Game watch party

Take time to plan a quality event that will reflect well on you, Purdue and the Purdue Alumni Association. This event will set the tone for the support and participation area alumni/friends will give the club. The activity should appeal to a range of age groups. For guidelines to put on an event, see Appendix D.

Purdue Alumni staff will coordinate an email communication to promote the event. We recommend that a survey attempting to gauge interest either accompany the event email or is shared at the event itself. A sample survey is available in Appendix E.

Step 2: Form a Steering Committee

Form a steering committee consisting of four to eight people, based on interest gathered from your survey. This group will meet to discuss the possible future of a sanctioned club. If there is not enough interest in forming a sanctioned club, yet some of those in attendance at the organizational meeting wish to stay active, the group can remain an unsanctioned club by simply informing Purdue Alumni of their decision.

Step 3: Develop a Draft of Constitution/Bylaws

If the steering committee decides to organize as a sanctioned alumni club, it should establish a constitution using the required template provided in Appendix F.

Step 4: Have a Meeting to Adopt Constitution and Elect Officers

Following the steering committee meeting where a constitution is developed, a meeting should be called to adopt the constitution and elect officers.

It is also recommended that the steering committee create an agenda for the meeting. A sample agenda for the first meeting would include the following:

  • Sign-in sheet with name, address, and e-mail address.
  • Welcome by organizer and introduction of attendees if feasible.
  • Suggest everyone wear name tags. Send attendee names to your regional liaison one week before the event, and name tags will be made and sent to the organizer.
  • Thank you to steering committee for work completed to date.
  • State reason(s) for gathering and share future plans and goals.
  • Distribute proposed constitution and ask for input.
  • Vote on constitution.
  • Elect officers.
  • Encourage everyone to join the Purdue Alumni Association. Repeat thank you and adjourn the meeting.

Step 5: Recommended Officers and Job Descriptions

All successful clubs share one thing in common: there is at least one identifiable person responsible for each important aspect of the club’s activities. Don’t underestimate the influence of a strong, organized leader!

Some clubs have a small leadership team and rely on a few people to accomplish its goals. In others, many people are involved. Whenever possible, it is best to divide responsibility among many leaders to avoid burnout, encourage involvement, and train future leaders. The more people you include, the more likely their return and commitment.

Purdue Alumni recommends each club have a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and risk manager. The possible duties and responsibilities of these officers are detailed in the following sections.


Purdue Alumni recommends electing a club president to serve a one- to three-year term. This individual will be a liaison between Purdue Alumni and the local alumni to serve the interests of both groups. She/he should ensure that strategic plans are developed and finalized for the club. As the presiding officer, the president is responsible for leading club meetings and functions, often operating as a master of ceremonies at social functions and meetings. In addition, the president also serves the role as an ex-officio member of all committees formed by the club so that the president is aware of the activities of each committee. Lastly, the president serves a “co-worker” role, to always be in contact with the vice president and committee chairs. Volunteers need frequent reminders to complete tasks. The president is responsible for the distribution of e-mail information sent by Purdue Alumni (e.g. ALC registration), and coordinating the details for any visits from a Purdue Alumni staff representative.

Vice President

Purdue Alumni recommends that the term of the vice president mirror the president’s one to three years. The most common obligation of the vice president is to stand in for the president as needed. It involves being ready to assume the position as president, which in turn means this individual must be informed of all plans or policies. The vice president should also serve as the chair of some of the club’s most important events, as it keeps she/he connected to the planning and supportive of the club membership.


As secretary, this individual is the head record keeper responsible for keeping information related to alumni in the club area. This can be time consuming, and as such, Purdue Alumni recommends a term of one to three years for the secretary. The secretary also takes minutes to provide a written record of meetings.

Lastly, the secretary serves as the communicator to the club membership. She/he is responsible for reminding committee members of upcoming meetings, as well as notifying Purdue Alumni of any board member or officer changes.


The treasurer oversees and maintains all club finances, including the club checkbook, and provides reports of financial status to be included in the minutes. She/he also manages the money for events. Purdue Alumni recommends electing or appointing a treasurer for a period of one to two years. Some clubs choose one person to serve as secretary and treasurer. See Appendix G for a list of treasurer’s duties.

Risk Officer

The risk officer will be responsible for implementing and assuring compliance with loss prevention practices (See Appendix H and Appendix I). One of the officers above may assume this role/task.

Step 6: Financial Considerations

When a club starts handling money, it is a good idea to open a club bank account. To do this, you will need a federal ID number. A club can obtain that number by completing IRS Form SS-4 or by contacting Purdue Alumni, who can send you the form. Call your regional liaison for help.

Because clubs receive operational support funds, as well as dues sharing in many cases, from Purdue Alumni, under no circumstances are clubs to collect their own club dues, annual activities fees, etc. This is in direct conflict with the goal of increasing Purdue Alumni membership, which directly supports our clubs.

Individual club events should be self-supporting unless they can be subsidized from funds already in the club treasury, operational support funds, or dues sharing. Additional meeting costs can be recovered through an admission charge (i.e. actual meal cost = $10, amount charged = $12). Additional meeting costs could include, but are not limited to:

  • Cost of the meal for Purdue Alumni representative and/or speaker attending event
  • Rental costs for AV equipment needed for a speaker
  • Bartenders for cash bars at restaurants or clubs
  • Room rental charge in addition to the quoted “per meal” cost
  • Decorations with Purdue theme on tables (Purdue Alumni will supply an event box)
  • Raffle or giveaway items (Appendix J)

As one of the Purdue Alumni Association’s annual requirements listed for sanctioned clubs, member vs non-member pricing, following the guidelines outlined in Appendix Q, must be incorporated for fee-based events.

Non-Profit Designation

The Purdue Alumni Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization; however Purdue Alumni does pay tax on income from activities that are unrelated to its tax-exempt status. Local alumni clubs are not part of the legal entity known as the Purdue Alumni Association, and thus are not tax-exempt by virtue of having a relationship with the association or the university. If you’d like to know more from the Purdue Alumni Association perspective, please contact your regional liaison.

Club Communications

Club Mailings to Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect personally identifiable student information and student record information, in addition to giving students certain rights regarding their records. The Purdue Alumni Association, as an autonomous yet affiliated extension of Purdue University, must follow Purdue’s interpretation of FERPA, just as any other school or department within the university. Therefore, student home address distribution is treated as private information. Purdue Alumni CAN share this information with alumni clubs, but in order to ensure adequate scrutiny in distributing personally identifiable student information, Purdue Alumni requires each club fill out a Disclosure Agreement for Student Addresses (Appendix C) by contacting your regional liaison. For more information regarding FERPA and Purdue’s interpretation of FERPA, click here.

Email Communications

Each year, Purdue Alumni will support club efforts by either:

  • Sending professionally designed e-mails. This service will be limited to no more than 12 times per year per club. Content for the e-mail will be the responsibility of the club. Purdue Alumni staff will put the e-mail together and send. Clubs are expected to provide Purdue Alumni two-weeks notice for requesting an email. Content for the email should be provided via pre-event information form online. Information about other club events coming up in the near future is encouraged to be included in the e-mail.


  • Provide a digital resource for clubs to send emails to constituents themselves. Trainings will be provided and stored in

Sanctioned Club Websites

Purdue Alumni provides server space to any sanctioned club that wants a website. All club websites are based on a common “template”, so that each one maintains the brand image of Purdue Alumni but can be tailored with varied information to suit the club. If your alumni club does not wish to actively maintain a website, a landing page will be created for you that will link visitors to your social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Purdue Alumni reserves the right to solicit advertising that may be included on an individual club’s website.

Alumni Portal

Purdue Alumni Association has launched its Alumni Portal,, to provide the following to its constituents:

  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • Mentorship connections
  • Job board
  • Events information
  • Membership benefits and resources

Each club has its own “community” page represented in the Alumni Portal to connect alumni within your area. It is recommended that your club designate someone to oversee administration of your community page, which includes promoting all club events here and responding to posts within 2 business days. Both of those page maintenance items are requirements for maintaining status as a sanctioned club. We also encourage all alumni club volunteer leaders to create their own personal profile in the Alumni Portal to help contribute to the robust digital network we strive to build.

University Speakers at Club Events

University speakers can significantly enhance club events. Purdue Alumni is always open and willing to attempt to accommodate as many requests for speakers as possible. Unfortunately, scheduling and financial realities play a large part in Purdue Alumni’s ability to secure a speaker for any given event. Purdue Alumni simply cannot provide every club the speaker they want—or occasionally, any speaker at all. In order to increase the odds of having a particular club’s chosen speaker, Purdue Alumni asks clubs to follow this process:

  • At least three months prior to an event, and once a club leader has an idea that they would like to have a speaker at that event, they should contact their appropriate Purdue Alumni staff liaison.
  • When contacting Purdue Alumni, provide at least a first and second choice of speaker. If you are uncertain as to whom to invite, the club staff can assist in choosing a speaker that will suit the theme, population, and tone of the event.
  • In addition to a first and second choice of speaker, provide several specific, available dates for the event. Please note that our speakers will NOT respond to requests for “any Tuesday in the summer.” It MUST be a specific date.
  • If possible, provide details regarding the event. For example, will it be a golf outing or a picnic?
  • Please be patient! Even Purdue Alumni staff does not have direct contact with many of our most requested speakers. It may take a few days for us to have any information to provide you; however, we will make every attempt to secure your first choice.

While it may seem easier to contact your first-choice speaker directly, we STRONGLY DISCOURAGE club leadership from extending the invitation. Just like you, University speakers are volunteers at club events. Purdue Alumni is respectful of time commitments and scheduling issues these speakers may have while maintaining a relationship. We ask that our clubs be equally respectful, by allowing the Purdue Alumni Association to handle the negotiation process.

Purdue Alumni Awards Program

There are several awards given by the Purdue Alumni Association. A list of previous award winners is available on the Purdue Alumni Web site.

Small Steps, Giant Impact Award

Established in 2018, this award is intended to recognize Purdue graduates whose “small steps” of kindness and service make a giant impact. Nominations are open until April 1 when the judging phase begins. A panel of judges will evaluate each nomination and advance the best submissions to a voting round. Voting is done by you – the Purdue Alumni – and will determine the winner of the “Small Steps, Giant Impact” award.

Boilermaker Pride Award

Established in 2005, the Boilermaker Pride Award was introduced to recognize a club leader who has contributed time and service to the alumni club program and the Purdue Alumni Association over a significant period of time. Nominations are due each May 1. Requirements include current or previous service as a club officer and being a current Purdue Alumni member. Winners are chosen by a special awards committee composed of Purdue Alumni staff and presented with a plaque at the Annual Alumni Leaders Conference each year. Also, a nameplate is added to the plaque in the Alumni Association office. See past recipients.

Special Boilermaker Award

Established in 1981, the Special Boilermaker Award honors a member of the Purdue faculty or staff who has contributed significantly to improving the quality of life and/or bettering the

educational experience for a substantial number of Purdue students. Purdue students, alumni, faculty or staff may make nominations. Nominations are due June 1 of each year. Winners are selected by a university committee led by a Purdue Alumni staff member. A special memento is awarded at homecoming. A nameplate is added to a plaque in the Association office, as well as a kiosk located in the Engineering Mall. See past recipients.


Appendix A: Purdue Alumni Club Agreement

Appendix B: Volunteer Data Access and Compliance Form

Appendix C: Disclosure Agreement for Student Addresses

Appendix D: Event Checklist and Budget Estimate Sheet

Appendix E: Sample Alumni Interest Survey

Appendix F: Constitution Template

Appendix G: Treasurer’s To-Do List

Appendix H: Liability Insurance Coverage and Waiver Form

Appendix I: Accident Reporting and Investigation Form

Appendix J: Auctions and Raffles as Fundraisers

Appendix K: Agreement to Maintain Funds for Purdue Alumni Club

Appendix L: Steps to an Effective Club Board Meeting

Appendix M: Sample Club Board Meeting Agenda

Appendix N: Timeline When Alumni Staff Visit Club Event

Appendix O: Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct

Appendix P: Speaker and Travel Reimbursement

Appendix Q: Member vs Non-member Pricing Guidelines

Updated 7/22/19