The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Grant Criteria & Eligibility

Image of students shaking hands on badminton court


(Please note: only current committee members are able to put in applications on behalf of their group.)

To be eligible for a grant your group must:

  • Have at least 30 members (registered through the SU Website)

  • Not have an external bank account (or have an action plan to close it agreed with Bristol SU).

  • Have a good financial standing with Bristol SU.

In addition, the activity must:

  • Fit with the constitutional aims of your group

  • Not be more appropriately funded from elsewhere

As of February 2018, groups are no longer required to charge a minimum £2 membership fee in order to qualify for grants. However, the overall financial sustainability of the group (including membership income) will still be considered.

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

What isn’t eligible?

The following are not funded and must be paid for by members instead:

  • Activities that have been funded by Bristol SU in the last 3 years

  • Personalised items

  • Food and drink

  • Unsustainable marketing materials (such as posters, flyers, stickers). We will fund banners, flags, etc.

  • Social events

  • Travel to events (however, if this is part of a larger event bid, we will consider it)

  • Fundraising for other charities: As Bristol SU is a charity, it cannot use its funds to support events or fundraising for other charities. See the RAG page for more information.


What to apply for - the Focus Areas

The grants committee will be looking for bids that relate to one or more of the four following areas:

1. Access, Equality and Participation

Will this bid help the group’s activities become more accessible and diverse?


  • Ladies Lacrosse receiving equipment and pitch hire costs to run beginner’s sessions

  • Run a ‘Give it a Go’ Bristol SU Sports event

  • Clay pigeon to purchase more female-specific equipment to encourage women to participate.

2. Collaboration and Community

Does this bid involve more than one group and/or have a positive impact on a wider student/local community?


  • Bristol Screenwriter’s running the ‘Art in the Blood’ TV pilot project, collaborating with multiple SU affiliated groups and the wider artistic community in Bristol.

  • UoB Fine Art society running the ‘Interact’ art fair for student artists

  • Table tennis to buy barriers for their tables so they can share the rooms with other groups

3. Economic, Environmental & Social Sustainability

Will this bid help existing activity become more sustainable and/or proactively create new opportunities to engage people in sustainability? Will this bid help the group become more financially self-sufficient? Will it help the group to retain or increase their membership numbers?


  • Canoe buying new bumpers to increase the safety of their members and the life-span of their boats

  • BUST - buying seeded paper, soil and compost to hand out as their flyers at Fresher’s fair (which grew lettuce when planted)

  • Switching to fairtrade kit/equipment

4. Student Development and participation

Will this bid help your members develop, or increase participation and member recruitment?


  • Part-funding instructor training for Pole Fitness Society so that a member of the society is trained and insured to deliver sessions

  • Funding for qualification of coaches/officials in various sports clubs in order to prevent paying out for external equivalents, and develop individuals members’ skills


Who Decides and How?

The committee consists of three elected students and is supported by Bristol SU staff. The committee should include at least one member of the Sports Network, at least one member of the Societies Network and at least one Full-Time Officer.

Bristol SU staff will provide a set of recommendations to the committee based on the following criteria.

The activity/bid:

  • fits within at least one Focus Area

  • will be accessible to a broad range of people (or have a well evidenced case for targeting a particular group)

  • will have a significant impact on students

  • fits within a wider strategic plan for the group

  • fits with Bristol SU’s values

  • is scalable and/or will have an ongoing benefit to students

  • has other fundraising/support from other sources, or is being match-funded by the group

  • represents value for money

  • is well researched and evidenced

  • cannot be financed by the group themselves, unless there is a good reason why they are not doing so

  • cannot be financed by the group charging a realistic membership fee (eg. could the group self-fund this activity in the future if they increased their fees - without having a knock-on effect on membership numbers).

  • has been made by a group that has a history of excellence (eg. Gold/Silver/Bronze Balloon Scheme groups, award winning Societies or other evidence) or evidence of recent momentum (eg. a new committee trying to reboot a failing group)

The committee will then use these recommendations to decide how the grants are allocated. Other factors can be taken into account (not least how many applications have been made and how much is left in the grants fund) but these would be noted accordingly. The amounts requested and granted will be published (with all relevant notes and commentary) on

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