The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Apply for a grant

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Group grants from Bristol SU

Bristol SU has a limited pot of money with which to support student activities. Due to the large number of student groups that we support, and the relatively limited funds available, we need to judge all funding requirements by strict criteria. Please be aware you may not receive all of the funding you think you need.

Grant funding from Bristol SU should never be relied upon to support the group’s regular activity. You should always plan to be financially sustainable (not grant reliant) through general membership money, money from members for specific activities, sponsorship deals, or other fundraising efforts.

Apply here (for Group Grants and Start-up Grants)


When can we apply?

The application form will ‘open’ 2 weeks before the grant deadline, and decisions will be sent to groups at a maximum of 2 weeks after the deadline. Please make sure your group plans accordingly for the decision time! For 2017/18 the dates will be:

  • October 9th 2017- Grant form opens

  • October 23rd 2017- Grant form closes at 5pm

  • December 18th 2017- Grant form opens

  • January 8th 2018- Grant form closes at 5pm

  • February 12th 2018- Grant form opens

  • February 26th 2018- Grant form closes at 5pm

  • April 9th 2018- Grant form opens

  • April 23rd 2018- Grant form closes at 5pm


What are the eligibility criteria?

Full eligibility criteria can be found here. Please take time to read the criteria as it can seriously improve your chances of grant success!


How much can you get and how often can we apply?

The majority of grants are in the £100-£500 range.

The absolute limit to what a single group can receive is £3,000 per year. However, this amount would only be granted for an exceptional group (e.g. a Gold level Balloon Scheme group or an award winning Society) with an exceptional proposal (big impact, 2 or more Focus Areas and collaborative).

Any group applying for £1000 or over MUST meet with the Development Team before submitting. You can book a meeting with them here.

The number of applications a group can make is not limited. If you are bidding for two or more distinct projects then please submit two or more applications.


How do we spend it?

Money given as grant funding from Bristol SU goes into your union account. It may be added after you have claimed the amount, so don't worry if it doesn't appear in your account right away.

The grant money can be spent in the same way that you make all your union account claims and payments, in that you can spend the money yourself and then claim it back, raise a cheque directly to a company, use it to pay an invoice or raise a purchase order.

However, all grant money MUST be spent on the activity proposed in the grant application, and you MUST ensure you notify the finance team/student services that it is a grant payment so that they can code it correctly. If it is not coded correctly, we may assume it’s not spent and reclaim it!


What’s the deadline for spending money?

All grant money allocated to a society must be claimed/spent within 3 months of the money being granted, and this will be noted on your allocation email. We will only extend deadlines in very exceptional circumstances.

If you haven’t spent the grant money by the set deadline, it will be reclaimed and redistributed.


Can new groups apply?

Newly affiliated groups, those that are re-affiliating having been dormant for three years or more, and those that have been dormant for less than three years but have less than £100 in their account may only apply for a start-up grant of up to £100. The start-up grant exists to enable groups to fundraise and build membership. As a result, groups do not need 30 members to be accepted for a start-up grant. 

You may apply for an SU Group Grant at any point after receiving a start-up grant, but you are expected to indicate how you have used the funds to improve the sustainability of your group. 

The £100 start-up grant is not bound by the no food/drink requirement (although we still will not fund alcohol). Think about how best to turn your £100 into more money for your group. Maybe you'll purchase equipment that you can hire out, or hold a fundraising event; check out our ‘Money’ toolkits for some ideas!


What else will we need to do?

An additional requirement attached to receiving money from the SU Groups grant fund is sharing your success. As a minimum you will be expected to complete the Bristol SU Groups Grant Fund Feedback Form. But this is just a minimum - blog posts, videos etc. will boost your chances for future bids!


What happens if we’re only partly successful or unsuccessful?

You will receive (within 2 weeks of the Grant deadline):

  • The reason(s) your bid was unsuccessful.

  • A list of other, more appropriate, sources of funding (if applicable).

  • Guidance on how to rewrite the bid for re-submission.


Can I see previous grant decisions?

A few examples are available here:


What do other groups say?

"Goalie kits are expensive and the new kit means more people can get involved and teams aren't left without a keeper. No one should be excluded due to price" - Ladies hockey


“Pitch Fight was brand new last year, so the opportunity to compete in the competition this early on was invaluable. The Bristol Suspensions went on to win the whole competition in only their 2nd year of existence, beyond what we could ever have dreamed of.” - UoB A Cappella


“It was great that the grant application was processed so quickly as this allowed us to buy the equipment as soon as we needed it. Thanks!” - Windsurfing


“Since the grant there have been over 500,000 views on our YouTube channel, averaging over 2000 views a day. Our subscribers have also doubled in the past six months.” - UBTV