UCF Communities Leadership Toolbox

This leadership toolbox serves as the official digital volunteer handbook and one-stop-shop for all information, forms, and content that a Knights Council volunteer would need to fulfill their duties. Before you reach out to your UCF Alumni Liaison, look here first to find tips on executing events, required forms and helpful documents, previous training videos and more!

Table of Contents

General Information

UCF Communities consist of alumni and friends of UCF in a particular area that engage with the University through a variety of social, cultural and educational events and opportunities. The UCF Knights Council volunteers lead these Communities by working with UCF Alumni to support the mission of the University to increase alumni participation and strengthen the relationships between UCF and its Alumni and friends. The Council members do this in large part by hosting signature events including watch parties, networking knights, service opportunities and fundraising events.

Goals and Duties

The goals of a UCF Knights Council include:

  • Develop a sense of community by engaging alumni, students and friends through specific programmatic elements. 
  • Promote philanthropy and fundraising to support the mission of the University of Central Florida. 
  • Energize a base of UCF supporters regionally. 

The duties of the council include:

 

  • Host events in a manner consistent with the policies and procedures of UCF Alumni.
  • Promote the good welfare of UCF Alumni in a manner that is consistent with the University and UCF Foundation’s direction.
  • Make a charitable gift of any amount to the UCF Foundation each year in leadership.
  • Raise funds consistent with the policies and priorities of the UCF Foundation.
  • Work with staff to develop an annual UCF Community operating plan, consistent with the mission of UCF Alumni.
  • Attend / volunteer at additional University and UCF Foundation events in your area when needed.
  • Maintain appropriate representation of UCF Alumni anywhere UCF Alumni has a physical or digital presence, including but not limited to events and social media.
  • Work diligently to promote and preserve the best interests of the University and its alumni, students and friends.

All council members are required to make a philanthropic gift to UCF each year they are on the board. Giving requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the Fiscal Year (June 30).

Requirements

To remain an active Community, each council must meet certain requirements each year. These requirements and the affiliated allocation given by UCF Alumni are determined by the Community’s classification.

Requirements include:

  • Events – each group must host events throughout the year 
  • Meetings – council members must hold meetings 
  • Leadership team composition

See the full Council Requirements

Council Leadership Position Descriptions

Below is a list of the leadership positions, including a position description and checklist. You can find a full checklist here.

The Chair shall be the main representative of the council and shall oversee all programming and events. He/she will preside over all meetings of the council and will display a thorough working knowledge of the policies and procedures outlined in the regional toolbox. The Chair will ensure all committee members are trained and fully understand their roles and complete their council giving requirement. In addition, the Chair will be responsible for incorporating philanthropy throughout all events and creating a leadership succession plan by overseeing the recruitment committee to establish a pipeline of future council leaders.

Chair Checklist

The Chair-Elect will assist the chair in the execution of his/her duties and act on the Chair’s behalf when necessary. He/she will actively participate and support the planning and execution of their respective events while also assuming the responsibilities of a traditional communications/social media chair. If the Chair-Elect does not directly execute social media, it is their responsibility to find someone who will execute social media and communication efforts for their respective events. The Chair-Elect will assume the chair position at the end of the current chair’s term or in the event that the current Chair is unable to fulfil his/her term.

Chair Elect Checklist

The Watch Party Lead will head the Watch Party committee and will be in charge of coordinating a watch party location for UCF Football games during the regular season. He/she will be responsible for finding a venue that can televise all UCF Football games and will accommodate alumni in an area with at least one dedicated TV to watch the games. This lead will also work with the Chair to develop a budget for watch parties that may include but is not limited to allocating funds for giveaway items, food, etc.

Watch Party Lead Checklist

The Knights Give Back (KGB) Lead will head the KGB committee and will be responsible for coordinating a community service event in the fall. This community service event will be held in conjunction with the Knights Give Back event that is hosted by OSI on UCF Main Campus. The date for this event will be announced well in advance. The KGB Lead will be responsible for finding a local organization to partner with in a singular event fashion.

Knights Give Back Lead Checklist

The National Networking Knight (NNK) Lead will head the NNK committee and will be responsible for coordinating a networking event in the spring in conjunction with UCF Alumni’s National Networking Knight. He/she will work with the committee to find a venue, and develop a program that can include but is not limited to having a guest or panel of speakers, speed networking, headshots, etc. This lead will also work with the Chair to create a budget for the event.

National Networking Knight Lead Checklist

The Fundraising Event Lead will head the Fundraising committee and will be responsible for coordinating a fundraising event supporting a UCF philanthropic cause, program, or UCF Community Scholarship. This lead will work to raise awareness and funds for the UCF cause, program, or scholarship to increase philanthropy and alumni participation for the University through a meaningful event that may take many forms. He/she will also work with the Chair to create a budget for this event.

Fundraising Event Lead Checklist

The Feast on the 50 Lead will head the Feast on 50 committee and will be responsible for organizing UCF Alumni’s participation in the Florida Citrus Sport’s Feast on the 50 event. He/she will work with council members to engage alumni at the Camping World Stadium in a meaningful way to raise awareness for the Greater Orlando Community and UCF Alumni events/initiatives.

Feast On The 50 Lead Checklist

Required to serve on at least two different committees. Members-at-large commit to making themselves available, when need be, to aid with attendance, planning, and other tasks.

Member-at-Large Checklist

  • April 1: Call for applications announced to all alumni in the region
  • April 30: Call for applications closes
  • May 1: UCF Alumni reviews applications
  • Mid-May: Community reviews applications
  • May 31: New council members are selected
  • June 1-30: Position transition begins between outgoing and incoming council members
  • July 1: Newly elected council begins term of service
 
Note: applications will also be accepted on a rolling basis. 

Elected Chair and Chair-Elect(s) will serve a term of two (2) years (or until the end of the respective term of his or her predecessor if elected to succeed a person who has not completed a two (2) year term). The two (2) year term commences on July 1 and ends on June 30 at the end of second year

All other elected leaders will serve a term of one (1) year (or until the end of the respective term of his or her predecessor if elected to succeed a person who has not completed a one (1) year term). The one (1) year term commences on July 1 and ends on June 30 at the end of upcoming year

UCF Alumni has the right to add and remove chairs at its sole discretion

Term limits. The maximum continuous period any person can serve on the council in any one position is:

  • Chair/Chair-Elect; four (4) years, two (2) two-year terms
  • All other leads; three (3) one-year terms
  • Exceptions may be granted if a replacement has not been identified.

Resignation

A council leader may resign at any time by submitting a written resignation to the chair and UCF Alumni staff representative.

Removal

Any elected leader may be removed from office after two-thirds vote of the leaders present and voting when: the individual has two (2) regular council meeting absences in one (1) fiscal year, unless excused by the Chair; or whenever the interests of UCF Alumni or the specific UCF Community would be best served. An elected leader who fails to meet the giving requirement set forth by the council in a fiscal year may not be eligible to join the council the following year. Any elected leader who does not meet the duties and goals of their elected role may not be eligible to join the council for another term. Any leader may be removed by UCF Alumni at its sole discretion.

Council applications and elections run on an annual cycle, with an annual call for applications in the spring and Council terms beginning on July 1.

Documented meetings of the council will be held during each fiscal year. The respective chair will select the meeting, date, time and location. Requirements are as follows: 

 

  • Greater Orlando: minimum nine (9) meetings per year
  • Star: minimum of eight (8) meetings per year
  • Sword: minimum of six (6) meetings per year
  • Shield: minimum of three (3) meetings per year

A majority of the members entitled to vote will constitute a quorum at any duly noticed meeting. An affirmative vote of a majority of members present is required for approval of any action items.

The chair, or in their absence, the chair-elect, will preside at meetings of the Council. In the absence of both of the above, the meeting should be re-scheduled. Re-scheduling due to absence should be documented in the minutes.

Minutes of a board or committee meeting will be taken and maintained in accordance with the UCF Alumni template provided. 

Minutes must be sent to UCF Alumni within 7 days of meeting via the Upload Documents form.

The members of the council or a committee may participate in, and be included in the quorum of, a meeting in person, by telephone, video or any other means that allow members and all others in attendance at the meeting to hear and speak to one another simultaneously.

For the long-term viability of your community, it is important to develop and implement a plan for leadership succession. A leader’s most important job is to find their replacement. A leader has not completely fulfilled that role until a successor is ready to take the helm. Grooming potential leaders takes time. Advanced preparation will help build a pipeline of future leaders and ease the transition of a planned or unexpected departure of a key leadership role.  

  • Search for your successor right away  
  • Know when to step down
  • Avoid being a one-person show 
  • Follow a structured “order of succession” 
  • Leverage your network
  • Add-don’t merely replace 
  • Consider co-leaders 
  • Network at your own events 
  • Remember the power of peer-to-peer relationships 
  • Be willing to stay during a transition

History of UCF Alumni

Volunteers formally organized the FTU Alumni Association (now The UCF Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving)

The UCF alumni population had grown exponentially and the association needed a way to fund services, programs and communications to serve the alumni. The dues program was started in an effort to fill this financial void. 

UCF experienced unparalleled growth, becoming the second largest university in the nation. The UCF Alumni Association also evolved and was recognized as a leader among its peers. Yet, the funding structure did not change along with it. Dues no longer covered the costs and diluted the association’s ability to serve ALL alumni resulting in an exclusive, rather than inclusive, organization. 

Additionally, in recessionary times, traditional funding sources like state and federal money and investment income had all but dried up. The entire UCF community was vying for funds from the same small pool of sources. The number of new UCF graduates continued to flourish, and the association could not continue to operate the same way and meet the needs of the majority of alumni. To fill the gap, engaged alumni who care about their alma mater are needed. UCF Alumni must focus all its efforts on building relationships and creating a culture of philanthropy. 

The elimination of the UCF alumni dues program was recommended to begin this process. It was the initial step toward re-engaging the volunteers and shifting staff and volunteer actions toward fostering relationships with ALL alumni. This would allow UCF Alumni to focus on its primary responsibility: promoting alumni engagement and philanthropy in support of the university’s mission. 

UCF Alumni officially transitioned to a non-dues based model. From that point forward, a UCF graduate has an automatic affiliation with UCF Alumni without the requirement of membership dues.

During the implementation of the UCF “Collective Impact” Strategic Plan, the UCF Alumni Association became “UCF Alumni” and joined the Division of UCF Advancement. Further, the Office of Alumni Relations joined with the Office of Annual Giving and became what it is now: the Office of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving. We have moved away from primarily providing entertainment through events to more intentional and strategic programming initiatives, meaningful engagement and measured staff performance to achieve a culture of service and philanthropy.

Resources

All hail to Alma Mater whose banner black and gold,
will wave in fame and splendor as the passing years unfold.
May loyalty and friendship, within our hearts unite,
and light the star to guide us ever upward in our flight.
With honor and affection our friendships will re-new,
we sing of thee our Alma Mater ever true.

Video

UCF charge onto the field

with our spirit we’ll never yield

We’re singing Black and Gold

Charge right through the line

Victory is our only cry V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

Tonight our knights will shine.

Video

Events - Step 1

Concept

As a UCF Communities Knight Council, your team will be responsible for hosting pre-selected event types for constituents in your area. All events should relate back to the alumni engagement and annual giving goals in an intentional and meaningful way. 

Consider hosting events in a variety of locations and venue types throughout the year to maximize alumni participation. Avoid hosting all events in bars or pubs that are not conducive for conversations or where families may not be welcome or feel comfortable to attend. Popular event spaces that are also convenient to get to, are in a safe area and include ample parking will reduce barriers to your guests for attending. The key is to be sensitive and inclusive of your audience! 

  • Is the venue large enough to handle a large scalable event? 
  • What is your attendance goal?
  • What is the maximum number of guests the venue can accommodate? 
  • Does the venue have private or semi-private meeting space available? 
  • Will the venue allow UCF or black and gold decorations? 
  • Is there adequate parking that is convenient and close to the venue? 
  • How can you set up registration/check-in? 
  • What documentation would the venue need to book the reservation? 
  • Can the venue provide the legal and accounting documentation required by the UCF Foundation (contractual agreement, W-9, certificate of liability insurance and payment invoices if applicable

Work orders are submitted by council leaders and serves as the official notification of intent from the council to UCF Alumni to host an event. If the concept and expenses are approved, UCF Alumni will use the information on the work order to support your event by: 

  • Creating an online registration page. 
  • Sending an email invitation to alumni in the region. 
  • Adding the event to the event calendar on the UCF Alumni website. 
  • Sharing the event on UCF Alumni’s social media channels. 
  • Monitoring registration activity/numbers. 
  • Providing registration lists and sign in sheets. 

Please note: As a regional volunteer you recognize and agree that you have a legal and ethical duty not to disclose personal or privileged information of any type to unauthorized users. You will share this information only with the UCF Alumni office and will in no way use it to communicate with alumni or friends of the university. The use of any data provided to you for profit or personal purposes is prohibited. This duty of confidentiality extends past any term served.

Information Needed: The following information is needed before completing a work order: 

  • Expected date, time and duration of the event 
  • Budgetary requirements for all event-related expenses 
  • Anticipated registration fees (if applicable) to cover expenses and Fair Market Value documentation 
  • List of items provided by the venue (such as appetizers, beverages – first drink free, rental space, etc.) 
  • Food and beverage discounts and specials (prices, products, duration provided, etc.) 
  • Any other agreed-upon information specific to the event (parking instructions and costs) 
  • Legal documentation for contracted venues or vendors (contractual agreement, W-9 form (Oct. 2018 version), certificate of liability insurance, additional insured document and payment invoices (if applicable) 

UCF Alumni is dedicated to helping UCF become a top 50 Public Research Institution as defined but the U.S. News and World Report. There are two key goals with which all programs must align to help reach that goal:

  • Increase the number of engaged alumni
  • Increase alumni annual donors


Our UCF Communities are an extension of our office and in turn are responsible for those two key metrics as well.

By tracking attendance we are able to pull reports and analyze data that is going directly to the President’s office. We are able to evaluate alumni engagement and interest for certain types of events, locate where the most engagement is taking place, analyze times of year that work best for event opportunities, and measure the breadth and depth of our alumni involvement.

Performance metrics heavily based on attendance and engagement are used to measure success and justify future funding. UCF Alumni has been tasked with the critical yet difficult task of quantifying the return on events. 

Social Tables is an app that can be used on any mobile device. Social Tables streamlines the attendance process at the entrance to your event.

UCF Alumni will upload a list into Social Tables specific to your event. Council leadership can then search for and check individuals in without having to put in additional information. Individuals can also be added manually if they are not in the list.

All event attendance should be tracked through Social Tables. If a paper sign-in sheet is used, it is critical that the required fields are not only completed, but are legible. If illegible, those alumni will not be recorded as attending your event and your attendance numbers will not accurately reflect the scale and performance of your event.

If UCF Alumni created the Zoom event for you, you do not need to worry about taking attendance, Zoom will track this for you.

If you utilized a personal or other Zoom to create the event, you will need to download the Registration and Participant Reports and send those to UCF Alumni via the Attendance Upload Form.

Facebook and other social media platforms are an excellent tool in promoting events, however it should not be used as the sole provider of event RSVPs. Utilizing UCF Alumni’s online registration feature allows for an accurate, up to date snapshot of attendees. In addition, Facebook is not a reliable source for reporting event attendees as the required information needed is not provided on Facebook.

Revenues and Spending

Community efforts should primarily focus on alumni engagement. 

However, charging event registration fees (at fair market value) and soliciting event sponsorships are welcomed practices to enhance allocated resources and help the council operate as a self-sustaining organization. If sponsorships are sought, those must be cleared through UCF Alumni prior to being solicited. For more information on fair market value, please contact your liaison. 

Generating individual gifts for UCF initiatives is also a welcomed practice and an expectation as part of our goal to create a culture of service and philanthropy. Individuals may donate directly to your community to help increase funds, which also aids in reaching our goal of increasing alumni donors. As community leaders, we hope you feel pride and confidence in this important role of securing UCF’s future!

Event registration, sponsorship revenue and donations must be processed through UCF Alumni and comply with the UCF Foundation’s policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure proper accounting and compliance with various state and federal regulations.

Note: Revenue may not be generated through the collection of membership dues. UCF Alumni is a non-dues paying organization, in which alumni have automatic affiliation without the requirement of membership dues. By extension, UCF alumni communities are prohibited from charging dues. 

All expenses must be approved by your UCF Alumni liaison prior to the agreement to or incurring of said expenses. Approved expenses associated with events or general necessities can be purchased by your staff liaison, with the exception of June 15 to July 15 due to UCF Foundation, Inc.’s year-end accounting procedures.

Compliance with this timeline will help ensure transactions for the current fiscal year are properly recorded and will not count against the subsequent fiscal year’s budget allocation.

UCF Foundation’s preferred method of payment is to pay by foundation credit card via your regional liaison. 

In the event a reimbursement is requested, see the process below.

If payments were not made via a UCF Foundation card with the help of your liaison, you MAY be able to be reimbursed. Speak to your staff liaison BEFORE making any payments, as reimbursements are not guaranteed.

Note: All reimbursements need to be tied to a specific event. UCF Alumni is not able to purchase items for potential usage, the items must be specifically purchased for the event at which they are used.

The full reimbursement package needs to be submitted to your staff liaison no later than 75 days from the purchase date. UCF Accounting will not reimburse items past the 75 day period. 

Complete the reimbursement request form including the following required items

  1. W-9 Form 
    1. The UCF Foundation, Inc. requires a W-9 form for use in processing reimbursements
    2. W-9 form must be password-protected. See these instructions for password protecting a document.
  2. Public notice of event such as email invitation, meeting agenda, event flier etc.
  3.  Scanned copy of original receipt (can be .jpg, .png, .pdf)
    1. Must show the itemized expenses, a zero balance and the last four digits of the card.
    2. If the receipt does not show the criteria listed above, also provide a copy of a bank or credit card statement showing the volunteer’s name, expense and the last four digits of the card. 
  4. UCF Alumni will review and submit the reimbursement for payment to Accounting.
  5. Reimbursement checks will be mailed to you.
    1. Checks may take up to two weeks to be issued. 

Note regarding tips: The UCF Foundation, Inc. will not reimburse for tips that exceed 20% of the total bill. 

If a vendor requires a deposit, an original invoice stating the amount due and a W-9 Form is required by the UCF Foundation, Inc. to issue payment. No more than 50% of the total amount can be paid in advance as a deposit. A deposit cannot be paid without an approved, signed vendor contract on file that states the need for a deposit. 

Once a vendor’s W-9 Form is on file with the UCF Foundation, Inc., additional forms are not needed for future expenditures with that particular vendor until the form is revised by the IRS. Check with your staff liaison to verify if a vendor’s current W-9 form is on file. 

Council Allocations

Operational funds are allocated annually at the start of each UCF fiscal year (July 1- June 30), budget permitting. Financial allotments vary by the level of activity expected and the quantity of alumni served. Allocation amounts may vary based on the budget year. Allocated funds must be used within the current fiscal year. Unused allocation money is returned to the UCF Foundation, Inc. at the close of each fiscal year.

Community allocations are not guaranteed from year to year so it is important to use allocation funds wisely with the focus of the funds spent on alumni engagement.

Note: Allocation funds cannot be used to award scholarships. Money for scholarships must be raised separately by the council.

  • Each community council has an operating account that is overseen by UCF Alumni staff through the UCF Foundation, Inc. to manage funds. A benefit of handling funds through the UCF Foundation, Inc. is the use of their tax-exempt status.

    A benefit of handling funds through the UCF Foundation, Inc. is the use of their tax-exempt status. 

    Any gifts made to the chapter or club and deposited into their account will roll over from year to year. These gifts are in addition to the allocation from UCF Alumni, which do not roll over from year to year. Non-UCF Foundation, Inc. accounts are prohibited. 

    Tier 2 clubs are not issued individual operating bank accounts. If you are interested in using your allocation money, contact your staff liaison. 

  • Any gifts made to the community and deposited into their account will roll over from year to year. These gifts are in addition to the allocation from UCF Alumni, which do not roll over from year to year. The use of Non-UCF Foundation, Inc. accounts are strictly prohibited.

Each fiscal year, the council is required to create a budget outlining how you plan to allocate funds to each event you will host to engage alumni and friends in your region. The final budget is due to your staff liaison by Aug 1 of each year.

Budget reports for community council accounts can be provided to council members upon request by your staff liaison.

Contracts

A contract is a voluntary, deliberate, and legally binding agreement between two or more competent parties that is intended to be enforceable by law. For university purposes, a contract is any document that requires a signature. Contracts can range from venue rental agreements to catering orders to vendor payments. 

UCF Alumni volunteers and staff DO NOT have signing authority to execute any contracts and/or documents. Only officially designated signers within the UCF Foundation, Inc. leadership team are authorized to perform this task. 

UCF Alumni considers a contract to be ANY document that requires a signature.

This includes documents from restaurants requesting a signature in order to agree on a minimum spend, confirming dates, menu/ catering selections, spacing options etc. Most documents requiring a signature are not called or titled “Contracts”, but if the document requires a signature, we treat it as a contract and it must go through our legal process. 

If you sign such a document, you will be held financially and legally liable for any expenses, injuries and damages. 

This can be a lengthy process, so ensure you leave enough time before your event to get any contracts signed before the initial date of promotion of the event. We recommend at least three weeks from the date of initial submission. 

  1. Council leadership identifies the need for a contract
  2. Council leadership initially negotiates with the vendor
    1. Your staff liaison can help with this process when necessary
  3. Council leadership uploads the contract to the Upload Documents Form
  4. UCF Alumni will review the contract and advise any necessary changes
  5. UCF Alumni will submit for review by legal and leadership
  6. Contract will be signed by a designated signing authority

Certificate of Liability

All UCF Alumni communities are insured by the UCF Foundation, Inc.’s insurance policies. These policies protect alumni groups and individuals acting on behalf of UCF Alumni during approved events.

Certificate of Liability Insurance from a vendor may be required as evidence of insurance and the capability of providing the required financial protection in the event of a loss.  

If a required vendor is unable to show proof of insurance via the Certificate of Liability Insurance and a worst-case scenario were to happen, the UCF Foundation, Inc. would be considered liable. It is imperative to only work with vendors who are adequately insured. 

The vendor should include the following comment in the “Notes” or “Additional Comments” section of the Certificate of Liability and should have a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence: 

The University of Central Florida Foundation, Inc.; University of Central Florida; 

The UCF Board of Trustees, on behalf of the Florida Board of Governors and its entities are additional insured(s) as respects to the general liability coverage, per enclosed.

Sample Certificate of Insurance

As part of the contract process, the certificate of liability insurance  will need to be collected from the vendor and provided with the contract for legal review. 

Other Policies

Some high-risk events may not be covered under the UCF Foundation’s insurance policies, for example events involving transportation, watercraft and/or children. In this scenario, the purchase of additional insurance may be required and would be the responsibility of the chapter/club to cover. The additional insurance should be budgeted as an expense of the event and rolled into the per person registration fee (if applicable). Check with the staff liaison for price quotes if applicable. 

UCF Alumni communities are permitted to host events with alcohol as long as a licensed third-party vendor, such as a caterer, bar or restaurant, checks IDs and serves those who are 21 years of age or older. The third-party vendor must be the only one who pours and must refuse service to individuals showing signs of intoxication. BYOB events are prohibited. 

Allocation money may be used to purchase alcohol for community events. It is recommended to plan for one drink per person per hour for liability purposes. Food should also be provided if alcohol is being served. 

Due to liability concerns, communities are not permitted to host events where food is prepared at someone’s home and brought to an event, nor is grilling meat or preparing food for a picnic or barbecue event permitted. All picnic or barbecue events must be either catered by a licensed and insured caterer or the prepared food must be purchased at a grocery store or restaurant.

In order to protect contact information, UCF Community emails are sent by UCF Alumni on behalf of the council through a software that can provide designed templates, measures analytics, and manages bounce back and unsubscribe requests.  

Requests for new emails should be made to your staff liaison at least two weeks prior to the preferred email date via the work order form.   

Plan for up to four emails per event, including the initial invitation, follow-up reminder, Know-Before-You-Go (KBYG) and thank you message, sent within a three to six-week time frame. 

Emails are geo-targeted to alumni living in the counties surrounding your area. Encourage alumni in your area to update their contact information so they don’t miss out on any events hosted by your community. Contact information can be updated on the Contact Update Form.

Football watch parties adhere to a special email work order timeline due to the frequency of games and the quantity of community watch parties scheduled per game.

Make sure you’re always adhering to UCF brand standards. Here is a quick guide to alumni and athletics graphics to get you started. If you have any questions about whether or not a graphic can be used, always reach out to your alumni liaison BEFORE using it.

Each regional community is represented on the UCF Alumni website under Chapters and Clubs. Alumni searching for information on a specific community can find:

  • Contact email for the community
  • Social media links for the respective community
  • Names and titles of the current council members 
  • A link on how to get more involved and become a council member 

The following reports are available upon request: 

  • Heat Map of your county/state 
  • Alumni-owned businesses in your area 

Events - Step 2

Nothing brings UCF fans together like cheering on your favorite team at a Watch Party! Football Watch Parties have consistently engaged the highest number of alumni and friends amongst regional events. Every Council is required to host football watch parties during the fall season. Watch Parties for other UCF sporting events may also be permitted with prior approval.

We ask that each council hosts a watch party for every game they can during the regular football season. When hosting a Watch Party, it is important that our alumni and fans get a similar experience no matter where they are in the world. 

Each Watch Party venue must provide the following items:

  • Venue will be able to play all UCF games including those on ESPN+
  • Venue will provide at least 1 tv to watch the UCF game with sound
  • Venue agrees to open up at least 30 mins prior to kick-off

Additional items that are not required but are highly encouraged at our watch part locations:

  • Venue is alumni-owned and/or operated
  • Venue hangs/displays UCF/black and gold decorations during game days
  • Food and drink specials during the game
  • UCF themed drinks/food available
  • UCF swag/giveaways are awarded in a chance drawing at halftime

When securing a Watch Party location be sure to search for venues that are inclusive of all types of people, such as kids and families, is easy to travel to and has ample parking.

Note: Due to the proximity to UCF Main campus and the football stadium, the following communities may only host away game Watch Parties: Greater Orlando, Lake County, Space Coast.

  • The Monday before a scheduled football game, UCF Alumni will send an email invitation to the alumni in your area informing them of Watch Party locations. You must submit a watch party work order two Monday’s before the schedule game to have your community included in the email promotion.

What to bring: 

  • Phone or tablet to take attendance, paper sign-in sheets (as backup), pens, name tags, decorations, giveaways, any community signage (if applicable).


During the Event:

  • Council members will check-in every individual that attends the watch party. 
  • Greet guests as they arrive, engage with alumni and friends, promote other events and activities of the council.
  • Take photos.

After the event: 

  • Clean up and collect council materials. Always leave venues cleaner than when your arrived.
  • If necessary, send UCF Alumni the paper attendance sheets.
  • Post photos and an event recap on your group’s Facebook group or other social media channel. 
  • Connect with UCF Alumni Liaison to settle any outstanding charges or get reimbursed.

2024 Football season graphics will be here in the fall!

Right click on the image then choose “Save image as.” 

Networking opportunity for UCF alumni professionals in-person, on the first Thursday in March, in multiple cities across the nation.

Each council should host a community service event that is activity-based and preferably in partnership with a local organization / entity. This event should take place on the same day/weekend as the OSI event on campus as its OWN event. It should NOT occur during a watch party. Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Organizing donations at a food shelter, warehouse or facility
  • Beach cleans / restoration projects
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Feeding America
  • Ronald McDonald House

 

Canned food and other donation drives are not encouraged.

UCF Alumni will send email invitations to the alumni in each of the areas of participating groups. Please submit work order before the deadline to be included in this email. A day or two before each event a “Know-before-you-go” email will be sent out to registrants with final details.

What to bring: 

  • Phone or tablet to take attendance, paper sign-in sheets (as backup), pens, name tags, materials/supplies (if applicable).

During the Event:

  • The KGB Lead will check in with event coordinator and ensure everything is ready to go.
  • Council members will check-in every individual that attends the event. 
  • Take photos.

After the event: 

  • Clean up and collect council materials. Always leave venues cleaner than when your arrived.
  • If necessary, send UCF Alumni the paper attendance sheets.
  • Post photos and an event recap on your group’s Facebook group or other social media channel. 
  • Connect with UCF Alumni Liaison to settle any outstanding charges or get reimbursed.
Knights Give Back logo

Networking opportunity for UCF alumni professionals in-person, on the first Thursday in March, in multiple cities across the nation.

The theme of this event can range from informal to formal. Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Social networking at a bar/restaurant
  • Speed networking
  • Business card exchange
  • Guest speaker/panelist Q&A
  • Rent out a room or lounge for the event
  • You can offer to pay for the first drink, appetizers, headshots, etc.
 
 

If you plan on securing a rental space, a contract/agreement with most likely be required. Please refer to the “Contracts and Risk” section under “Events – Step 1” for more details on completing a contractual agreement.

UCF Alumni will send email invitations to the alumni in each of the areas of participating groups. Please submit work order before the deadline to be included in this email. A day or two before each event a “Know-before-you-go” email will be sent out to registrants with final details.

What to bring: 

  • Copy of Contract/Agreement, Phone or tablet to take attendance, paper sign-in sheets (as backup), pens, name tags, materials/supplies (if applicable).

During the Event:

  • NNK Lead will work with the council to arrive early and set up the space for the event. They will also check in with event coordinator (if applicable) and ensure everything is ready to go.
  • Council members will check-in every individual that attends the event. 
  • Take photos.

 

After the event:

  • Clean up and collect council materials. Always leave venues cleaner than when you arrived.
  • If necessary, send UCF Alumni the paper attendance sheets.
  • Post photos and an event recap on your group’s Facebook group or other social media channel. 
  • Connect with UCF Alumni Liaison to settle any outstanding charges or get reimbursed.

Contracts

A contract is a voluntary, deliberate, and legally binding agreement between two or more competent parties that is intended to be enforceable by law. For university purposes, a contract is any document that requires a signature. Contracts can range from venue rental agreements to catering orders to vendor payments. 

UCF Alumni volunteers and staff DO NOT have signing authority to execute any contracts and/or documents. Only officially designated signers within the UCF Foundation, Inc. leadership team are authorized to perform this task. 

What is Considered a Contract?

UCF Alumni considers a contract to be ANY document that requires a signature.

This includes documents from restaurants requesting a signature in order to agree on a minimum spend, confirming dates, menu/ catering selections, spacing options etc. Most documents requiring a signature are not called or titled “Contracts”, but if the document requires a signature, we treat it as a contract and it must go through our legal process. 

If you sign such a document, you will be held financially and legally liable for any expenses, injuries and damages. 

This can be a lengthy process, so ensure you leave enough time before your event to get any contracts signed before the initial date of promotion of the event. We recommend at least three weeks from the date of initial submission. 

  1. Council leadership identifies the need for a contract
  2. Council leadership initially negotiates with the vendor
    1. Your staff liaison can help with this process when necessary
  3. Council leadership uploads the contract to the Upload Documents Form
  4. UCF Alumni will review the contract and advise any necessary changes
  5. UCF Alumni will submit for review by legal and leadership
  6. Contract will be signed by a designated signing authority

Certificate of Liability

Certificate of Liability Insurance

All UCF Alumni communities are insured by the UCF Foundation, Inc.’s insurance policies. These policies protect alumni groups and individuals acting on behalf of UCF Alumni during approved events.

Certificate of Liability Insurance from a vendor may be required as evidence of insurance and the capability of providing the required financial protection in the event of a loss.  

If a required vendor is unable to show proof of insurance via the Certificate of Liability Insurance and a worst-case scenario were to happen, the UCF Foundation, Inc. would be considered liable. It is imperative to only work with vendors who are adequately insured. 

The vendor should include the following comment in the “Notes” or “Additional Comments” section of the Certificate of Liability and should have a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence: 

The University of Central Florida Foundation, Inc.; University of Central Florida; 

The UCF Board of Trustees, on behalf of the Florida Board of Governors and its entities are additional insured(s) as respects to the general liability coverage, per enclosed.

Sample Certificate of Insurance

As part of the contract process, the certificate of liability insurance  will need to be collected from the vendor and provided with the contract for legal review. 

Other Policies

Events Involving Transportation and Children

Some high-risk events may not be covered under the UCF Foundation’s insurance policies, for example events involving transportation, watercraft and/or children. In this scenario, the purchase of additional insurance may be required and would be the responsibility of the chapter/club to cover. The additional insurance should be budgeted as an expense of the event and rolled into the per person registration fee (if applicable). Check with the staff liaison for price quotes if applicable. 

UCF Alumni communities are permitted to host events with alcohol as long as a licensed third-party vendor, such as a caterer, bar or restaurant, checks IDs and serves those who are 21 years of age or older. The third-party vendor must be the only one who pours and must refuse service to individuals showing signs of intoxication. BYOB events are prohibited. 

Allocation money may be used to purchase alcohol for community events. It is recommended to plan for one drink per person per hour for liability purposes. Food should also be provided if alcohol is being served. 

Due to liability concerns, communities are not permitted to host events where food is prepared at someone’s home and brought to an event, nor is grilling meat or preparing food for a picnic or barbecue event permitted. All picnic or barbecue events must be either catered by a licensed and insured caterer or the prepared food must be purchased at a grocery store or restaurant.

Email

In order to protect contact information, UCF Community emails are sent by UCF Alumni on behalf of the council through a software that can provide designed templates, measures analytics, and manages bounce back and unsubscribe requests.  

Requests for new emails should be made to your staff liaison at least two weeks prior to the preferred email date via the work order form.   

Plan for up to four emails per event, including the initial invitation, follow-up reminder, Know-Before-You-Go (KBYG) and thank you message, sent within a three to six-week time frame. 

Emails are geo-targeted to alumni living in the counties surrounding your area. Encourage alumni in your area to update their contact information so they don’t miss out on any events hosted by your community. Contact information can be updated at ucfalumni.com/contactupdates

Football watch parties adhere to a special email work order timeline due to the frequency of games and the quantity of community watch parties scheduled per game.

Make sure you’re always adhering to UCF brand standards. Here is a quick guide to alumni and athletics graphics to get you started. If you have any questions about whether or not a graphic can be used, always reach out to your alumni liaison BEFORE using it.

UCF Alumni Website

Each regional community is represented on the UCF Alumni website under Chapters and Clubs. Alumni searching for information on a specific community can find:

  • Contact email for the community
  • Social media links for the respective community
  • Names and titles of the current council members 
  • A link on how to get more involved and become a council member 

The following reports are available upon request: 

  • Heat Map of your county/state 
  • Alumni-owned businesses in your area 

Philanthropy

As public resources decline and the cost of higher education increases, philanthropy becomes the last line of defense for universities like UCF to ensure continued growth. Annual giving, in particular, provides a critical and sustainable foundation as a collective effort to support initiatives such as First Generation Scholarships, Areas of Greatest Need, Knights Helping Knights Pantry, Student Emergency Fund.

How can you help? 

  • As a Community Council:
    • Make a commitment to a UCF cause annually to give your members something to rally around. 
  • As a Council leader:
    • Make your annual gift and consider joining the President’s Circle with a leadership annual gift.
    • Become a Social Media Ambassador.
    • Set an example for fellow alumni and be confident in your support of annual giving.
      • Share that annual giving is an important way to stay involved with your alma mater – as important as keeping your information updated in the alumni database, promoting UCF wherever you go and attending university academic and athletic events. 

Believe in what you do! Support your chapter or club directly with a private gift to fund the operations of your group. One-time or reoccurring gifts can be made online.

 

In the designation section, select your chapter or club from the drop-down. If you don’t see your chapter or club, reach out to your alumni liaison to find out how to give to your specific group. 

Private gifts are integral to your college’s mission of providing quality academic programs and scholarship opportunities for students and promoting excellence in faculty endeavors. 

 
  • In the designation drop-down, select Colleges.
  • Select your college from the new drop-down
  • Select the fund of your choice from the third drop-down that appears. 

If you don’t see the fund you would like to give to, try selecting your college from the left-side menu of “More Areas to Support.” If you still don’t see the fund you would like to give to, reach out to your staff liaison.

Donating to the Alumni Excellence Fund allows UCF Alumni to direct funds to areas within the department to provide the best programming and events possible to alumni and friends. 

 

In the designation section, select UCF Alumni Excellence Fund. 

The UCF Fund is dedicated to enriching the lives of UCF students. Gifts have an immediate and direct impact on the daily lives of UCF students and faculty. Donors may designate gifts for specific purposes (restricted funds) or allow UCF to direct the funds to where they are needed most (unrestricted funds). 

UCF Fund Areas of Focus:

  • Area of Greatest Need gifts are used to address the university’s most critical and pressing needs, offering the greatest impact to the university. Select Area of Greatest Need from the designation drop-down.
  • First Generation Scholarship gifts support first-generation student scholarships and are matched 2:1 by the state of Florida.
  • Knights Helping Knights Pantry gifts help the pantry provide students access to free necessities if they fall on hard times
  • Student Emergency Fund gifts help provide a security net for students who are housing- and food-insecure or who need emergency funding to get through this difficult time.

Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and double employee gifts. Some companies will also match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses. Rules vary by employer, and forms are available through your employer’s human resources office. Get more information on our matching gift program.

UCF Alumni awards more than $75,000 in scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Select “Scholarships” as the designation and select the scholarship you wish to give to. If you don’t see the scholarship you are looking for, reach out to your alumni liaison to find out how to give to your specific group. 

Scholarship applications are available each spring (in early January) with an application deadline at the end of March. A university committee reviews the scholarship applications and determines the recipients. The scholarship winners are announced over the summer and the monetary awards are distributed at the beginning of the fall semester. 

An endowed scholarship is created by one lead gift from a single individual. Once the endowment is created ($25,000) any individual is able to donate to the endowment to continue its growth. Once the minimum of $25,000 is invested for a full 12 months, the scholarship will be eligible for awarding. Scholarships are awarded off of the interest earned. The UCF Foundation, Inc. Investment Committee manages the scholarship investments and determines the accounts spendable. 

Money in scholarship accounts can be used only for said scholarship. It cannot be withdrawn or transferred to another account with the exception of the recipient’s UCF student account. If monies are not awarded, it remains in the account until a recipient is named. Monies can be used to pay for tuition, textbooks, fees and any other items included in the cost of education. 

All gifts to the scholarship account will be considered charitable gifts to UCF. Each donor will receive a gift acknowledgement letter for their contribution. 

Some communities have created scholarships for students based on their majors or hometown residence. Communities who have raised $20,000+ for their scholarships are eligible to create a separate UCF Foundation, Inc. account(s) in the scholarship’s name. Work with your staff liaison to develop a gift agreement and establish a new account. 

Community scholarships can be included in UCF Alumni’s online scholarship application for extra exposure but must follow the same timeline for award selection and distribution as the overall UCF Alumni scholarships. 

Scholarships need to be a main focus for a chapter/club in order to be created. The chapter/club needs to come up with a plan on how they expect to maintain the scholarship and grow it to eventually become an endowed scholarship. Please consider the following before reaching out to your staff liaison to begin conversation.  

  • What is your goal of the scholarship? 
  • Who do you want to award the scholarship to? 
  • How much are you wanting to award? 
  • What is the long term concept for the scholarship? 
  • What will your annual fundraiser event be? 
    • Is the event a new event or a current event that you would want to change to fit the new concept? 

Annual giving is considered regular, philanthropic support in the form of an annual gift from alumni and friends. Annual Giving is an important part of the University’s success. As a vital component of university philanthropy, annual giving supports key priorities that advance UCF’s strategic mission. Top priorities include: recruitment of faculty, student scholarships and strategic partnerships. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference! 

Funds raised by Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving serve as the foundation for all university fundraising efforts. These collective gifts provide a stable and ever-increasing source of support to meet the needs of the university. Gifts are counted as annual gifts if they meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Fiscal year giving totals less than $25,000 in cash or cash equivalents (gifts of $25,000 or more are classified as “major” or “principal” gifts).
  • The gift is expected to be annually recurring. 
  • The gift can be directed to any school, college, unit or program. 
  • The gift can be used for current operations. 

Leadership annual gifts are yearly gifts that total between $1,000 and $24,999 ($500 for young alumni – 32 years and younger) in a single UCF fiscal year (July 1-June 30). These gifts qualify the donor for membership in the UCF President’s Circle, a prestigious group of alumni and friends who make the commitment to support UCF. Learn more about the President’s Circle

Learn more about all of the UCF Giving Societies.  

Social Media

UCF Alumni has various social media channels available for communities. 

  • Primary – available to all communities
    • Facebook Group
  • Secondary – available to sword and star communities
    • Instagram
    • Twitter

**Access to Twitter and Instagram will be granted upon request and approval.

Maintaining an active social media account can be difficult to manage. Remember to master one social media platform before requesting multiple. In the same regard that events should be quality versus quantity, the amount of social media platforms a group utilizes should be viewed in the same way. 

Make a request with your UCF Alumni liaison today!

Communities should never create a new social media account on their own. All social media platforms are an extension of UCF Alumni and are created and administered by UCF Alumni with the council leadership as an authorized admin/editor. 

Communities should not create their own social media logos. 

Note: UCF Alumni serves as administrators on all social media accounts. Passwords and e-mail accounts connected to chapter or club accounts should not be changed. Emails associated with social media accounts should be the respective vanity email provided by UCF Alumni.

Check out the Communications – Social Media Events Happy Hour Training

If you would like your Council to have further training in social media best practices, please send your UCF Alumni liaison a request and they will work with you to schedule it.

Ensure information is accurate and appropriate. If editors are unsure of a potential post’s accuracy, please seek out the correct answer before posting. If a mistake is made, delete the initial post and immediately correct the error on a new post highlighting the change.

Community social media accounts are communication tools designed to spread university news, UCF Alumni messages and chapter or club events. Remember that your audience is AlumKnights in your area. Postings should connect back to the university in a meaningful, relevant way. The UCF Alumni Blog or UCF Alumni social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are great resources to pull from when searching for content to post that comes directly from the university. Also, it’s okay to be casual and employ a conversational tone, but posts must maintain an appropriate level of professionalism and proper grammar.

Admins/editors are representing UCF Alumni and the University. Every post should reinforce UCF Alumni’s brand, its values and purpose. Posts should be reflective of the leadership position you hold– especially on Facebook groups.

There are times when admins/editors may want to voice strong opinions on social media. Be mindful of others’ opinions and how your actions may affect fellow UCF alumni/alumni groups. Make sure that all graduates would feel comfortable reading your content. Remember, as a board member, you are an extension of UCF Alumni, UCF Advancement and University of Central Florida. Your messaging should reflect that. If you are an admin to a UCF social media account, be mindful which account you are posting to. Never post personal opinions to the UCF brand account. If you are posting something personal, verify you have switched off of the UCF account and back onto your own before posting. 

Community social media accounts are communication tools to spread university news, UCF Alumni messages and community happenings.

Social media accounts were created for two-way communication purposes. Be sure to check your comments and direct messages frequently to answer questions in a timely manner. If you are uncertain of how to respond to a question, forward questions as needed to your Alumni Liaison.

UCF Social Media Ambassadors are a group of volunteers who use their platform to advocate on behalf of UCF Advancement, the fundraising division for the University of Central Florida throughout the year on their personal social media profiles, or via email, phone calls or text messages. Basically this group of Knights is proud of UCF and they want people to know it!

Want to create your own graphics?

We would love to see your creativity, but make sure you’re always adhering to UCF Brand guidelines. Here is a quick guide to alumni and athletics graphics to get you started. If you have any questions about whether or not a graphic can be used, always reach out to your alumni liaison BEFORE using it.

Finance

UCF Alumni’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

UCF Alumni awards more than $75,000 in scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students.

For more information visit the Philanthropy Section of the toolbox.

The purpose of sponsorships are to enhance allocated resources and help the community operate as a self-sustaining organization.

Trade – an exchange of goods and/or services for advertising in relation to an event

In-kind donation – a “product” donation that adds value to an event and that offsets costs related to the event. In order to be considered an in-kind donation, this must be at least $5,000 or more. For more information, check out the gift-in-kind form.

Sponsorship (monetary) – a “cash-in-hand” donation made by check or credit card.

UCF Alumni requires all sponsorship deliverables to be fair and representative of the value of what is being provided to the sponsor for cost.  All communities must follow these guidelines when considering sponsorships. 

Internal discussions with your staff liaison are expected prior to finalizing sponsorship levels or contacting sponsors for an event. Sponsorship packages and Fair Market Value forms are subject to UCF Alumni approval before sponsorship packages can be distributed to potential sponsors. 

A sponsor may lose tax benefits for the sponsorship if the company is given a designated advertising/marketing area at an event or other return benefits. 

DO

  • DO work with your staff liaison to finalize sponsorship packages and the FMV form.
  • DO gain approval for all sponsorship solicitations PRIOR to solicitation.

DO NOT

  • DO NOT solicit the following types of companies due to an exclusivity contract: credit card providers, credit unions. 
  • DO NOT solicit for on-campus events: cable providers, soft drink companies and bookstores. 
 

Training Videos

Happy Hour – Football Watch Parties

Aug. 9, 2023

Social Tables (iPhone)
tutorial

 

Email and Social Media Tips and Tricks

Aired: Aug. 18, 2021

UCF Knights Network and Events

Aired: July 30, 2020

Philanthropy


Aired: Oct. 13 2021

October Chair Happy Hour


Oct. 6, 2022

Happy Hour – Selecting Council Members

June 8, 2022

Happy Hour – Recruitment


May 11, 2022

Happy Hour – Latoya Jackson and UCF Athletics

Nov. 17, 2021

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