The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Bristol SU Group Grants

Bristol SU has a limited pot of money to support student activities. Due to the large number of student groups we support, our grants have strict criteria. Please be aware that you may not receive all the funding you apply for.

Grant funding should never be relied upon to support your group's regular activities. You should always plan to be financially sustainable through other sources of funding such as membership, ticketed events, sponsorship and fundraising.

Most grants awarded are in the £100 - £500 range and we will award groups a maximum of £3,000 per year. Any group applying for over £1,000 must meet with the Development Team before applying.

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

The decision-making committee consists of elected students (including a member of the Sports Network, a member of the Societies Network and a Full Time Officer) and is supported by Bristol SU staff.


Groups must:

  • Be an affiliated Sports Club or Society (Networks and Volunteer Projects are not eligible for Bristol SU Group Grants)
  • Have at least 30 members (registered through the SU website)
  • Have a good financial standing with Bristol SU
  • Meet with the Development Team if applying for over £1,000 (book a meeting here)

Applications must:

  • Be submitted by a committee member
  • Fit with the constitutional aims of your group
  • Fit with Bristol SU's values

Applications must not be for:

  • Activities that would be more appropriately funded elsewhere
  • Activities that have been funded by Bristol SU in the last 3 years
  • Activities that would be paid for more than 3 months after the grant is awarded (see below about spending grants)
  • Personalised items
  • Food and drink
  • Social events (including intramural fees)
  • Unsustainable marketing materials such as posters, flyers and stickers (we will fund banners, flags etc.)
  • 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)
  • Supporting political parties directly including transport or marketing materials for party promotional activities (as Bristol SU is a charity, it cannot use its funds to support political parties)

Strong applications will be for activities that:

  • Represent value for money
  • Are well researched and evidenced
  • Are 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
  • Are scalable and/or will have an ongoing benefit to students
  • Fit within a wider strategic plan for the group
  • Have other fundraising/support from other sources or is being match-funded by the group
  • 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 (e.g. could the group self-fund this activity in the future if they increased their fees, without having a knock-on effect on membership numbers)
  • Are being proposed by a group that has a history of excellence (e.g. Balloon Accreditation Scheme, award-winning) or evidence of recent momentum (e.g. a new committee trying to restart a failing group)
  • Are being proposed by a group that has completed our Group Grant Feedback Form if they have previously made a successful application


Round 1

Grant form opens: Monday 28th September

Grant form closes: Monday 12th October 5pm

Round 2

Grant form opens: Monday 9th November

Grant form closes: Monday 23rd November 5pm

Round 3

Grant form opens: Monday 25th January

Grant form closes: Monday 8th February 5pm

Round 4

Grant form opens: Monday 8th March

Grant form closes: Monday 22nd March 5pm

Decisions are sent to groups a maximum of 2 weeks after the deadline. If your application is unsuccessful, we will let you know why.

Apply here (for Group Grants, COVID-19 Support Grants and Start-Up Grants)

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 Team 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!

All grant money allocated to a society must be 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.

Start-Up Grants

Newly affiliated groups (that have affiliated in the last 6 months) may 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 you can hire out or hold a fundraising event!

Covid-19 Support Grants

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to groups needing to cancel events, shows, tours and trips at short notice as well as incurring additional costs to run their group in a safe way. The University's Alumni Board have provided us with funding to support student groups that have been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic to enable them to recover costs and keep their group afloat.

COVID-19 Support Grants can only be applied for in Round 1 (October) and Round 3 (January/February) and should be for either:

  • Loss of income due to the impact of COVID-19
  • Additional expenses incurred due to the impact of COVID-19

The panel will consider COVID-19 Support Grant applications based on the following questions:

  • How much?
  • What was it going to be used for?/What have you had to purchase and why?
  • What impact will the loss of this income/these extra expenses have on your group in 2020-21?
  • If you do not receive this grant or are only part-funded, do you have a plan to reduce the impact on your group?