As we enter a very strange time for Student Opportunities, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to review our budget process for activity groups and develop this from feedback over the last few years to make sure it really works for you.
Historically, we asked you to submit your budget proposal to us as part of the affiliation process during the summer months. We understand that so much change can happen from submission to term 2, as ideas and opportunities shift and evolve, so we want to reflect this by offering a new budget process to support our activity groups, no matter how big or small.
As a society or sports club, we want to support you in the best way we can. To keep things simple, there is now one application form regardless of what or how much you are applying for. This funding doesn’t have to be paid back; and is designed to help your society or sports club develop and meet its objectives by providing funding for things it couldn’t afford otherwise. It is designed to supplement the bulk of your funds that will be raised through memberships, sponsorships and fundraising. We know that things pop up throughout the year that are unforeseen, so we hope that by having this application process available all year (From September until May), groups can apply on a case-by-case basis suited to specific and individual needs.
The total funds available as part of this process is £32,000, of which approximately 70% is available to sports groups and 30% to societies. Funds are split in this manner due to the significantly higher running costs of Sports Clubs.
What this means for groups
We will be working with you over the course of the year (Treasurers shout out to you especially!) to help ensure that your membership income helps to cover as much of the running costs/day to day essentials for your group as possible. E.g. facility hire, instructor fees, etc. You may want to increase your membership price to cover this, or get creative with fun sponsored and fundraising events to make up any gaps.
This funding opportunity is for the additional unforeseen expenses and development opportunities – ways you can take your group to another level and reach new audiences. We will do what we can to support groups to become self-sufficient.
All groups are eligible to apply, and there is no limit as to how much you can apply for (but please remember to be reasonable – all 160 groups would like additional funding!) Not all applications will be successful. All applications will be reviewed against set criteria and may be rejected, part-funded or fully funded.
A maximum of £200 of your group’s money can be carried over each academic year, so please make sure your membership income is spent during the year, and, if you’re extra mindful, leave a little to help next year’s committee out.
If your group overspends and is in debt, we cannot bail you out. This debt will be carried into the next academic year for the next committee (not a very nice present!) Our financial year ends in July, so all payments and finances need to be wrapped up by June at the latest. Make sure all invoices are paid by then!
You must declare if at any point during the year your group receives any additional funds such as sponsorship. Not declaring this may deem your group ineligible to apply for future funding or result in your funding being retracted. Please let us know!
Funding applied for and not spent that academic year will not be carried over.
What we can consider contributing towards
Where membership and fundraising is significantly insufficient to cover:
- Facility and room booking costs
- Guest speakers & Instructors
- Essential equipment
- Affiliations to national governing bodies
- Ways to attract new members
What we cannot support funding for
- Food or drink (including alcohol)
- Individual Kit or equipment (e.g. personalised kit)
- Charitable donations (As The SU is a charity in and of itself)
- Activities that have already taken place
2020 Term 1: Submissions will be accepted until October 31st. Any submissions after this date will be considered with the next round of submissions.
2020/21 Term 2: Submissions will be accepted until January 31st. We will not be accepting submissions after this date.
If there is a significant amount of funding remaining, we will publish a further application date in Term 2.
Funding will be decided twice yearly, in the week after the submission date. The applicant will be notified if your group has been successful and informed on the next steps thereafter.
Initial decisions are made by the sport & society coordinator, then passed to The SU President Student Experience and Student Opportunities Manager for approval. You will then be notified on what funding we can contribute and given recommendations if the full application amount cannot be met.
- Proposed item / activity / opportunity must be necessary and appropriate for the group and must not be normally covered by memberships or fundraising.
- Item/activity/opportunity must link to group aims and objectives as outlined in their constitution.
- There should be significant involvement of the group/ members / new members.
- Reasonable research must have been undertaken to provide a variety of options at different price points.
- The item/ activity / opportunity should aim to meet The SU Mission "To have a positive impact on every member’s personal student journey" and align with SU core values: Inclusive, Collaborative, Empowering.
- The item/ activity / opportunity should aim to deliver long term, sustainable benefits, new skills, networking opportunities etc. to members.
- Where a single piece of equipment makes up the majority of the project costs, it must be shown to be integral and vital to the group and have a clear legacy beyond the lifetime of the project.
- Opportunities should be exciting, imaginative and relevant to students involved, and inclusive to the group as a whole.
- The project must provide clear benefits for the students that they could not obtain without acquiring the funds from The SU.
- The project / activity / opportunity must prioritise environmental & sustainable practices where it is practical to do so.
Good luck everyone. We wish you every success with your application!