The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Volunteering Grants

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Bristol SU Volunteering Grants

Student-led volunteering projects are eligible to apply for the Bristol SU Volunteering Grants. Such grants cover your essential annual costs to help you deliver your key annual activities. Such costs can include:

  • Trips and activities (non-food costs relating to running project activities incl. transport, entry tickets, etc.)
  • Food for activities (food and drink on volunteer project activities)
  • Small equipment and materials
  • Postage, printing and stationary
  • Facilities hire

Grant criteria

Bristol SU has a limited pot of money to support student activities. You may not receive all the funding you apply for. Bristol SU will sit down with you to evaluate your essential activity costs based on the following criteria:

  • Your activities need to be impactful (resources are used to maximise your group’s impact, such as achieving your project objectives or even widening depth and breadth of your activities)
  • Your activities need to be cost-effective (where possible you use free or low-cost alternatives without comprising the quality of your activity and safety of your volunteers).

To be financially sustainable, you are expected to raise your own funds to cover some of the costs by applying for external grants and organising fundraisers.

Please note that this Grant is meant to help you cover a gap between your expenses and your raised income. Where possible, you are expected to spend your own funds first. Please email for Bristol SU’s advice on external grants and fundraising.

How much money can you expect to be granted?

Most grants awarded are in the £100 - £500 range but larger amounts are also available.

How to apply?

To apply, you need to email your updated Strategic Plan to The following sections of the Strategic Plan must be completed in full:

  • Developing aims and activities
  • Planning resources Managing risk and impact

Submissions for 2019/2020 are welcomed during the re-affiliation period from April to June. The submission deadline is 31 June.

The Student Opportunities team will arrange a development meeting to discuss your Strategic Plan. You must attend the meeting for your submission to be considered. Such meetings can take place any time from 1 May to 30 September. Your group will be informed of the funding outcome within 2 weeks of the meeting.

You can only apply once a year. Extensions are only given at Bristol SU’s discretion. New groups can apply for the Grant as part of affiliation at any time during the year.

What is expected from your volunteering project?

To maintain the Grant, you must:

  • Spend the Grant only on the costs approved in the Strategic Plan.
  • Provide purchase receipts and adhere to our treasurer guidelines.
  • Meet the Student Opportunities team at least once a term.
  • Demonstrate evidence of searching for other funding sources.
  • Register all leadership roles on UnionCloud.
  • Encourage your volunteers to sign up on your Bristol SU webpage.
  • Keep your Bristol SU group webpage up to date.

The Student Opportunities team will explain our expectations in more detail during the initial meeting. You can also email for more information. Bristol SU reserves the right to withdraw funding if there is a concern about how the Grant money is spent.

How do you spend the grant?

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, use it to pay an invoice or raise a purchase order. Bristol SU will claim back any unspent Grant money if it is not spent by 31 June. Your group will be eligible to re-apply for the grant for the following year.