Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the University Purchasing & Management Cooperative (UPMC)?

UPMC is a purchasing cooperative for student organizations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. UPMC strives to save student organizations time and money by contracting with businesses providing a wide variety products and services.


Who should I contact if my student organization is interested in joining UPMC?

You can contact the Executive Director directly at upmcdirector@gmail.com or (608) 255-4821 with any questions or to learn more OR you can fill out the new member application found here.


What are some of the benefits of purchasing via UPMC?

Some of the top benefits of purchasing via UPMC include:

  1. Saving money with discounts exclusive to UPMC members
  2. Purchasing on UPMC’s credit – no need to pay businesses at the time goods are purchased or services are rendered
  3. Having your bills paid on time year-round – bills will not get missed or go unpaid over the summer or during your transition from one leadership team to the next
  4. Receiving just one, easy to understand, bill each month from UPMC for all of your purchases
  5. Receiving a rebate check at the end of each fiscal year based on your purchasing history with UPMC


What businesses can I use through UPMC?

The full list of UPMC’s current businesses (also called vendors) can be found here. We are always striving to add businesses to this list to best serve our members needs, so if you have any suggestions, please reach out.


Which businesses offer discounts to UPMC members?

If a business offers a discount to UPMC members, that discount is listed on our vendor list, which can be found here.


How do I make purchases via UPMC?

In most cases, your student organization can contact any of our businesses directly to make a purchase or arrange for service. There are a few businesses that require that you contact UPMC first so that you can be preauthorized. The businesses that require preauthorization have “Contact UPMC” listed next to them on our vendor list.


Many businesses will ask to see a copy of your UPMC membership card to verify your membership. Even if the business does not ask to see your UPMC membership card, make sure you provide the business with your name, the name of your student organization, and tell the business that you want to be billed via UPMC. The business should know what to do and then UPMC will handle the rest.


How often will my student organization receive a bill from UPMC?

UPMC will pay all of your student organization’s bills for you as soon as they are received. UPMC will then tally up all of the bills it has paid on your behalf and issue you a bill once a month.


Does my student organization already belong to UPMC?

A full list of UPMC’s current member organizations can be found here.


What is the Guaranty Fund?

To ensure that UPMC has enough funds on hand to pre-pay your student organization’s bills each month, UPMC adds a surcharge of one percent to your bill each month. Those funds get set aside in a dedicated account for your organization. UPMC bylaws govern the minimum amount needed in your guaranty fund, but if your guaranty fund grows larger than that, your organization can request some of your guaranty fund back. Should your student organization decide to leave UPMC, your guaranty fund will be returned to you.


Who should I contact if I have questions about my student organization’s guaranty fund?

You can contact the Executive Director at upmcdirector@gmail.com or (608) 255-4821 with any questions about your student organization’s guaranty fund.


Since UPMC is a purchasing cooperative,a do you issue patronage dividends?

If UPMC ends its fiscal year with positive net proceeds, a portion of the net proceeds are distributed to member organizations in accordance with the ratio their patronage bears to the total patronage.


How is UPMC governed?

There is an elected board of governors representing some of UPMC’s member organizations that set the direction and govern UPMC. If you are interested in serving on either the student or senior board of governors, contact the Executive Director at upmcdirector@gmail.com or (608) 255-4821 to learn more.


How can I learn more?

You can contact the Executive Director at upmcdirector@gmail.com or (608) 255-4821 with any questions or to learn more.