Student Unions & Activities : University of Minnesota

Student Unions & Activities logo

Grant Funding FAQ

Before applying for grants, consider the following recommendations that have been offered by Student Activities Advisors in order to assist in writing the best possible grant application.

When should my group apply?  Apply as early as you can. While applications need to be submitted at least one month in advance of your event (see the Grants Deadlines), groups can apply as early as June for any events taking polace during the upcoming academic year. Groups are advised to apply multiple grant cycles prior to their event in order to ease the event planning process and to ensure adequate time to re-apply or seek out other funding sources if not funded. View event planning resources and recommended timelines here.

How can we make our application stand out? In your application, be sure to emphasize how your group's program or event promotes student development, enhances diversity, and/or benefits the campus community. This is the key criteria that the award committee is looking for.

How much detail should our application include? Assume that the people reading your application have no prior knowledge about your group, program or event. The more detail your application provides, the easier it is for the committee to understand the value of your event. When in doubt, don’t take it out!

How much detail should our budget include? Your budget should be as specific and accurate as possible. Groups are encouraged to contact vendors for quotes prior to applying for grants so that the committee can see that your budget is complete and that your expected income and expenses match. Additionally, make sure that the information in the budget reflects the information in the application.

What types of supplies can SUA grants fund? Supplies that are specific to the event (i.e. rental, food, honorariums, etc.) are considered programming expenses and can be funded by SUA grants. Supplies that are intended for group use beyond the event (i.e. computers, audio equipment, etc.) are considered operational and are not eligible for funding.

Can SUA grants fund our student group meeting expenses? No, meeting expenses are considered operational. SUA grant funding is intended to support activities, programs, and special events that promote student development.

Can SUA grants fund our recruitment and/or fundraising events? No, recruitment and fundraising events are considered operational and are not eligible for funding.

Can SUA Grants fund 100% of our event? No, SUA Grants can only fund up to 90% of the total expense of an event. Grant applicants are required to submit a budget that lists all estimated income and expenses, so make sure that your group plans ahead and is prepared to fund at least 10% of your event expenses.

Where can we find additional funding? Some ways that groups have done this in the past include membership dues, fundraisers, other grants, and partnerships. See our Funding Page and Related University Grants for more information and ideas.

If my group is not awarded, can we reapply for the same event? Yes, your group can apply again, as long as your event date aligns with the application deadline. This is one reason why we recommend applying multiple grant cycles prior to your event date. Our staff is happy to meet with any group and provide feedback from the Grants Review Committee to help improve your application.

Can someone meet with us to review our application before we apply? Yes, the Student Activities Office is staffed with advisors that are more than happy to meet with you, answer questions, and review your application prior to submitting. We can also offer guidance with regard to fundraising opportunities, room and space reservations, and general event planning strategies. To set up a meeting with a Student Activities Advisor contact our office at sao@umn.edu, or via phone at (612) 626-6919.

If we are awarded, how long will it take to receive our grant funding? Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will be able to pick up their grant check from the Student Activities Office 3-5 weeks after attending their pre-event meeting. Campus Life Programs (CLPs), University Departments, and individuals will receive their grant award through EFS transfer.