Chapter Handbook

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P-Card Purchasing Procedure

How To Use the Purchasing Card (P-Card)

  1. Student/Mentor seeking to purchase goods/services for EWB-USA UMN (hereafter referred to as Purchaser) fills out the U Purchasing Card Receipts Form word document. This document is then submitted via email to President, Vice President, and Finance Officer. Purchaser must send email to all three for transparency and thorough oversight from administration.
  2. Finance Officer approves/rejects anticipated purchase. Finance Officer delivers email response to Purchaser, adding Faculty Advisor(s) to the email’s CC line and including U Purchasing Card Receipts Form.
  3. If anticipated purchase is approved Purchaser schedules a meeting to use the P-Card with a Faculty Advisor.
  4. PURCHASER IS TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT FOR THE PURCHASE. If the purchase is made online, Purchaser should request that a receipt be sent to their respective email ASAP.
  5. Purchaser should turn this receipt in along with the completed version of the “U Purchasing Card Receipts Form” to the CE accountants the day immediately following the day they made the purchase.

Note: The CE accounting office also has a P-Card that EWB-USA UMN has access to. This P-Card may be used if extenuating circumstances prevent the Purchaser from meeting with a Faculty Advisor. Talk to Finance Officer to communicate with accounting office.

U Purchasing Card Receipts Form

Reimbursement Procedure

Step 1: Before you make your purchase, check with a project lead or member of the admin board to verify that your intended purchase is necessary and can be reimbursed.

Step 2: Keep the receipt for your purchase.

Step 3: Go to the department of civil engineering website, office of accounting, forms page ( to find the reimbursement form. If you are a University employee, fill out the University employee form. If you are not a University employee, fill out the non-employee form. You don’t have to fill out the Vendor Authorization W-9 even if the reimbursement form asks you to.

Tips for filling out the forms:
  • Do not include taxes on the form. EWB cannot reimburse taxes on purchases.
  • Attach all receipts to the reimbursement.
  • Be as specific as possible. Detail who, what, where, why, and when.

Step 4: Place the reimbursement form with attached receipts in the Finance slot in Lind 109.

Step 5: Watch for an email from the EWB finance officer or from the Civil Engineering accounting staff. If something went wrong with your reimbursement, you will likely get an email notification. If you have any concerns about your reimbursement, please contact the EWB finance officer. Unless the accounting staff addresses you directly, DO NOT contact them about the status of your reimbursement. The finance officer will be able to help more effectively. If you have any further questions, please contact the Finance Officer.

Cash Advance Information

  • This "how to" guide is courtesy of Delaney Kolb, and outlines the necessary procedures to obtain a cash advance.
  • This Spreadsheet is a template for use of keeping track of the cash advance. It is also courtesy of Delaney Kolb.
  • This statement is to be used if a receipt is not given for a transaction using the cash obtained from the advance.

Plane Ticket Purchasing Procedure

See Plane Ticket Purchasing Procedure under Travel.


Contacting Businesses

The current guidelines for contacting businesses can be found on the Contacting Business Guidelines page.


Insurance and Waiver information

Appoint a Travel Coordinator


  • The travel coordinator must not be a traveler.
  • The travel coordinator will gather and retain all travel documentation and serve as a liaison between projects, insurance companies, the university, EWB, et cetera.
  • Gathers each set of forms together before sending them in en masse: knows who has submitted forms and how hasn't.
  • Ensures that the acting President (who may be the travel coordinator) has access to all travel information and team communications.
    • If both the President and Vice-President are travelling, or unavailable, an acting President must be appointed.
  • Distributes forms to travellers, not web links. In the past, it has been easiest to bring printed copies of forms to a meeting and get as many back as possible before leaving.
  • Safe guards scanned/photocopied passports.
  • Sends (prior to travel) summary e-mail to acting President including list of travellers and in-country contact information.
  • Securely disposes of collected forms and information upon the safe return of travellers.


  • Projects appoint their own travel coordinators.
  • If multiple projects are travelling simultaneously, a chapter-wide coordinator may be appointed by the Executive board.
    • This coordination will be to reduce load on Pagel and other supporters.
    • The chapter-wide travel coordinator is responsible for gathering and submitting documents from the separate travel teams.
    • Further duties may be delegated by the Executive Board.


  • Section 6 of the EWB-USA Sourcebook contains all EWB-USA travel forms and a travel checklist.
  • Adam Pagel with the IT Office handles all IT student travel and our insurance. Please turn your forms in to him at least 1 month before travel. Also, make it easy on him, because he is great and he makes this easy on us.
  • All UMN travel forms are located at as of 8/14/13.
    • This site can be reached via Home > Travel > Insurance > International Travel, Health, and Security Insurance for Traveling Outside the U.S. > Student Application

Members Submit These To Travel Coordinator

*Disclaimer: Please make sure the forms you are using are up to date* *It also helps to be logged into EWB-USA to access all the forms needed*

Members Receive These

  • 1) Insurance Cards
    • The university will provide travellers with CISI insurance cards, typically to their e-mail account.
    • It is the travel coordinator's responsibility to ensure that each travel receives their card. You may need to be proactive about this.
      • On every trip taken so far at least one traveller has not received their card. The travel coordinator must contact the study abroad office to ensure that they have received coverage.
  • 2) Insurance Policy
    • The Travel Coordinator will distribute copies of CISI's UMN policy (available at as of 8/14/13) to all travellers.
    • Note that CISI is a reimbursement insurance. You must have sufficient funds to pay for your own medical expenses (typically this means having a credit card). Save all receipts and obtain appropriate documentation to receive reimbursement upon return.
  • 3) ISOS Cards

Travel Coordinator Submits All This

  • EWB-USA 608 Health Insurance Verification and 605 Volunteer Waiver for each traveller and 606 Emergency Contact Page are submitted to the Chapter Relations Manager (Ashley Templeton as of 8/14/13) prior to travel. These should be emailed to her neatly.
  • The UMN forms are submitted to the IT Travel Coordinator (Adam Pagel) as soon as possible to allow time to deal with insurance problems (at least 1 month prior to travel).

Members' Checklist

  • Submit (2 Waivers, 2 Insurances, 1 Health Checklist, 1 Passport - "WWHHIP")
    • EWB-USA Health Insurance Verification
    • EWB-USA Volunteer Waiver
    • EWB-USA Personal Health Checklist and Chapter Supplement
    • UMN Release & Waiver
    • UMN International Insurance Form
    • Scanned Passport
  • Receive
    • CISI Insurance Card (let travel coordinator know you received it)
    • CISI Insurance Policy Form
    • EWB-USA ISOS Card


  • I made an approved EWB-related purchase. How do I get my money back? Click here to learn how!
    • The information and files from the external link should be imported into the new wiki.
  • What should I bring with me? Check out the Guatemala Packing List

Member Doesn't Want Vaccination

Members may wish to avoid vaccinations due to health reasons or personal concerns.

  • In this instance, the member will provide the project lead or executive board:
    • The list of vaccinations they wish to avoid.
    • Any supporting evidence concerning what risk their avoidance will pose the travel team and the trip's success.
  • The project lead or executive board may approve travel in those instances where the travel team and the trip's success will be unaffected by the avoidance.
    • That is: those diseases which will cause difficulties during the trip may be grounds for refusing to approve travel.
    • Disease incubation periods will therefore be the primary determination in whether travel may be approved.

Plane Ticket Purchasing Procedure

First, check with the president, vice president, and finance officer to determine if the tickets should be purchased out of the EWB-USA account, or the CE account or if they can be purchased at all (travel approval must be granted from EWB-USA).

  • CTS is the University's preferred travel agent. They work well with EWB-USA also.
  • Email Connie Ploch at with the travel dates and the names and birth dates of all the travelers exactly as they appear on their passports.
  • It is highly recommended to get a range of dates and times for departure and arrival so Connie can find the best price.
  • Connie will get back to you with the tickets she finds. Do not feel pressured to accept these right away if they are not what you expected (extra long flights, expensive, etc.). Make sure her prices are similar to those you find on orbitz or google flights.
  • It is good to begin this process in the morning because the prices Connie gets are only good until the end of the day, and it is best not to pressure accountants to make fast payments.
  • When you settle on the final tickets their are two procedures depending on the payment method.
    • EWB-USA Account
      • Fill out the 506 Project Expense Report.
      • It is recommended to use the example, but just change the names dates, and prices. This can get confusing because CTS charges a $20 fee per ticket. Ask the finance officer or Reed Saunders ( if you are unsure.
      • Send it to Be sure to include the phone number of CTS.
      • Inform Connie that EWB-USA will contact her soon for payment.
      • EWB-USA accountants may ask you for a copy of the receipt from CTS.
    • CE Account
      • Fill out the reimbursement form (8/14/13) and send it to the finance officer along with the information Connie gives you about the tickets.
      • This form is not exactly meant for this purpose, so be sure to check out this example.
  • Send the itineraries from CTS to the travelers and project lead(s).

Technology and Data

Picture Uploading Procedures

Pictures are housed here.

  • If you need to upload pictures and you have not yet set up an account, follow the link and click "Register" in the upper right corner.
    • Fill out the page to create an account and await administrator confirmation.
    • Once you have been confirmed, you may proceed as a regular user.
  • Log in.
  • Navigate to the album you wish to add photos to by clicking on the names of the preexisting albums. They are organized like this: Country>Trip>Name of Uploader.
  • If the album you wish to add photos to does not yet exist, you may create one by navigating to the album you wish for your new album to be in, mousing over "Add" and clicking "Add an Album". Please name your album according to the aforementioned organization system.
  • Once inside the album you wish your photos to be in, mouse over "Add" and click on "Add photos".
  • Click "Select photos".
  • Find the photos on your computer and select them. To upload multiple photos at once, hold ctrl/command and click on more than one photo. To upload many photos in a row, click the first, hold shift, and click the last.
  • Select open and wait for your photos to upload.
  • You may add a tag to all photos at once at the bottom of this upload window.
  • Select "Done"
  • Tag your photos appropriately. Useful tags include the following:
    • Location ex. "Bugonzi
    • System component ex. "First Flush"
    • Publicity label ex. "Community Member", "Teamwork", "Meeting" etc.
    • Phase of project ex. "Tank site leveling"
    • Activity ex. "Mixing Concrete"

Standardized Documents

Meeting Minutes




CAD Templates

Press Release

Press releases should be released within a month of the trips return. A rough draft of the press release with general and specific information about the trip will be written by those who traveled and sent to the Public Relations officer for editing and publishing.

  • Upon return of a trip, the 526 or a summary of the trip with quotes will be sent to the PR.
  • The PR will edit the release and add the ending general information about the chapter.
  • The draft of the release will be sent to all admin for review.
  • After a week of collaborative input, the press release will be final.
  • The release will be sent to the CSE publicity team and The Daily as well as be published on the website.

The EWB USA template is below: EWB-USA Press Release Template

Monthly Newletter

The monthly newsletter comes out once a month. It has historically been released in the middle of the month. There is a format that the past ones have followed. It outlines the highlights of the month for the chapter as well as educates the public about EWB in general.

  • The week of the first of the month send out three monthly update questions to see what the project leads, fundraising, and or any other admin have to report. (This could be sent out a week earlier to if desired.
  • Give them a week to respond.
  • In the first few days of the second week format and write the newletter.
  • Send the newletter to admin for editing.
  • Edit and publish the newsletter on facebook, the website, twitter, and have it emailed out to the chapter.
  • Send the newletter to the CSE fundraising staff as well as the CSE publicity staff.

Past newletters ar[[Media:Media:Example.ogg]]e published on the publicity page for refrence.



Below are standard operating procedures (SOP) for planning events. As there are a variety of events that occur, it is important to be sure that it falls under the correct SOP in order to maintain consistency.

General Events

Most events are planned in response to a request through email. It is imperative to stay in contact with event administrator if there is one; if not, continue to be in contact with other event volunteer participants. The Yearly Admin Retreat does not follow general event planning procedures and a guide to planning it is listed below.

Event Categories

+Outreach +Recruitment +General Meetings +Seminars +Other

  1. Determine Date/Time/Location of Event.
  • Given: Create doodle to find volunteers.
  • Created: Create doodle to find date then create doodle to find volunteers.
  1. Reserve location if needed.
  • Reserve a location on campus through [2].

Yearly Admin Retreat

Planning this retreat is the responsibility of the president. It should happen every year during the last weekend in August. Tentative steps:

  1. Early June:
    1. Draw up guest list. Include future project leads, faculty advisors, and admin. Invite past admin and professional mentors as you see fit.
    2. Confirm location. Previous location has been Tim LaPara's cabin, and he has offered to let us keep going there. Contact him to make sure it is available.
    3. Confirm date. Send out e-mail to guest list reminding them to save that date for the retreat.
    4. Draw up list of discussion sessions. Limit number of topics to 5-6.
    5. Ensure that Tim or a Faculty Advisor will be planning the menu.
  2. July:
    1. Flesh out the discussion sections. Make a list of everything that needs to be covered and questions that need to be answered. Set goals for each session, and potentially draw up a minutes template.
    2. Lay out the schedule. Make sure to leave time for meals, fun, and relaxing! It is reasonable to expect that people will be ready to work around 10am. Example Schedule
    3. Potentially meet with the vice president to confirm all these things.
  3. Early August (about 4 weeks before retreat):
    1. Send out an RSVP! A google spreadsheet works great for this. Determine who can drive, where to meet, and what time everyone can leave.
  4. Mid August (about two weeks before retreat):
    1. Confirm with the people who said they would drive.
    2. Decide on final meeting location and leaving time.
    3. Send out final confirmation e-mail to those who said they could go. Include final schedule, what to bring (important docs, etc.), and questions to think about/answer before arriving.
    4. Make sure Tim sends out an e-mail detailing the menu for the weekend, directions, packing list, etc. If he is not hosting, make sure that is included in confirmation e-mail.


Mentor Qualifications

  • Qualities that our chapter looks for in a mentor. Many of these can be learned on the job, so a willingness to learn as well as teach is number 1!
  • EWB-USA technical mentor and lead mentor qualifications: EWB-USA Document 405

Becoming a Mentor

If a party expresses interest in becoming a mentor for EWB-USA UMN, they should choose a project to become involved in by one of the following ways:

  • A project lead or admin member recommends which project would best suit their interests and expertise
  • They read over all projects on the EWB-USA UMN website, and decide which would be the best fit for them
  • They look at all the project meeting times on the EWB-USA UMN website and determine which meeting time is most convenient for them

Once a project has been chosen, the potential mentor should attend at least 1 project meeting to make sure it is a good fit for them. Once this determination has been made, they should get in contact with the project lead either through e-mail or after a project meeting, in order to schedule a short meeting to go over mentor expectations (which can be found below).

Mentor Expectations

Time Commitment

The time commitment can vary from person to person. While it is desirable that mentors attend weekly project meetings, the only requirement is that they are contributing to the advancement of the project in a meaningful way. Though if they are not able to attend weekly meetings on a reasonable, regular basis, it is expected that keep in close communication with the project lead(s) so that they are informed of the mentor's continued involvement.

Roles within a Project

The mentors have many possible roles within a project, but not each mentor has to fulfill every role. These roles include, but are not limited to:

  • Attend weekly meetings
  • Have some particular set of skills that can be contribute to the advancement of the project (design, construction, project management, cultural, public health, business, etc.)
  • Have a willingness to teach students
  • Aid the project in finding other, capable mentors
  • Be a professional voice for the project
  • Have the possibility to travel
  • Give an outside or critical opinion on project

Expectations of Project Leads

  • The project leads will keep the mentors informed of project progress, even if the mentor can not make it weekly project meetings
  • The project leads will alert the mentors as to when they will be needing help, and with what. They will do this far enough ahead of time such that the mentors can be fully prepared.
  • The project leads will ask the advice of mentors when they are unsure of where to go with the project
  • The project lead will let the mentor know if they would like the mentor to contribute more/less to the team

Terminating Mentorship

If a mentor wishes to end their relationship with EWB-USA UMN at any time, it is their right to do so. Out of courtesy to the chapter, we ask that they give us ample notice so they we may look for a replacement mentor and have time transfer all knowledge of the project to said new mentor. Reasons for termination may include, but are not limited to:

  • The mentor moves away
  • The mentor does not have enough time to contribute to a project in a meaningful way
  • The mentor decides they no longer wish to be associated with EWB-USA UMN

EWB-USA UMN also reserves the right to terminate the relationship with a mentor at any time. The reasons for this action may include, but are not limited to:

  • The mentor moves away without notice
  • The mentor stops contributing in a meaningful way
  • The mentor becomes a hindrance to the project or chapter
  • The mentor steps outside the mentor role an attempts to run the project/chapter
  • The mentor violates EWB-USA or EWB-USA UMN rules and regulations

The best way to transfer knowledge between a new mentor and the one who is leaving is to have a meeting with both mentors, the project lead, and potentially the Projects Coordinator. At this meeting, make sure that:

  • Any project documents (drawings, charts, documents, pictures, etc.) are sent to project lead
  • All knowledge of technical, economical, social, cultural, and environmental aspects of the project is documented and given to the project lead
  • Old mentor discusses their role within the project, and how the new mentor can help to fill that role