Introduction: How to Apply for Annual Grant Funding With the Stanford Undergraduate Senate

Picture of How to Apply for Annual Grant Funding With the Stanford Undergraduate Senate

Each Winter Quarter in Stanford University, we offer the opportunity for Stanford student groups to apply for funding for greater than $6,000 through the Annual Grant Process. This process may seem complex at first, but this Instructable will demystify the entire process! Also, all groups have access to $6,000 under Standard Grants, so confirm that Annual Grants fits the needs of your groups before beginning the process.

This guide will answer the following questions:

1) Is an Annual Grant right for my student group?

- Am I eligible?

- Does it fit the needs of my group?

2) How should I make my budget?

- Navigating myGroups

- What is the committee looking for?

3) How do I submit my budget?

- Navigating myGroups

4) What's left after submitting my budget?

- How to make sure my application is reviewed?

- How do I submit proper documentation?

Step 1: Deciding If an Annual Grant Is Right for My Group

What are annual grants?

Annual Grants are the yearly allocation process that the ASSU undergoes to raise and allocate resources to Student Groups with significant budgets over $8,000. They help fund student-led activities that contribute significantly to the Stanford community such as the annual Frost Music & Arts Festival where we've brought notable artists like Steve Aoki, Modest Mouse, MGMT, Kaytranada, Fetty Wap, and Flume, run large programs that all the student body can involve themselves with like the various Club Sports, or many of the large community-centered groups.

If this sound like a good fit for your group, you'll need to make sure you have the following things in order before you begin:

You are a registered VSO with registered leadership

This means that you have completed all the necessary forms with Students, Activities, and Leadership to ensure your group is recognized. You can attend any drop-in hours on the second floor of Old Union in the SAL office to resolve these issues. Groups are funded with Stanford student funds, so we want to make sure Cal isn't secretly using our funds to create a group to promote their Golden Bear.

Your group FO has attended a banking workshop

It also is required that your Financial Officer (FO) has attended a banking workshop in order to access the platform where you'll be submitting your budget (myGroups). You can view any banking workshops by searching "Banking" at CardinalSync. How many FOs does it take to screw a lightbulb? A single banking workshop trained FO is all it takes to both screw the lightbulb AND reimburse you for the lightbulb.

You have a plan for how you will be spending funds

We will only be funding planned events or programs where you can provide quotes or estimates for every expense, so work with your group's leadership to create a plan for what you're envisioning next year. No. We will not fund "event supplies for many events." Please provide a breakdown of both the events and the event supplies to us.

Step 2: How Should I Make My Budget?

You've decided that an annual grant is a right fit for your group, but now you're unsure of the exact process for making a budget?

To start off, begin by planning the events or activities you'd like to do with your group. Then, review the funding guidelines (use these for Standard Grants) and form a budget for each event using the line items listed in the spreadsheet. While creating your budget, make sure what you're planning for aligns with the mission of the group. We will not fund Segways for the running club. If you need any support surrounding creating a budget or if you believe you may not have considered all the possible expenses, go to the SAL Peer-advisor drop-in hours.

Once you've formed this budget, your FO must go to myGroups in order to begin the process of submitting it. Only your FO can do this part. If you are not the FO and try to do the next steps, you'll receive a warning letting you know you're not the FO and do not have access.

Step 3: Creating a Budget on MyGroups

Picture of Creating a Budget on MyGroups

Once the FO is in myGroups, select the funding tab in the top-right to enter the funding menu. Then, on the left-hand side of the page in the funding menu select budgeting. This should open a list of all the budgets you have created. Select the green plus sign at the top of all the listed budgets. This should take you to page pictured above that looks very blank. Name your budget with a unique name, then press "Add Budget." The name can be anything you want, but make sure you remember the name.

There will now be a new set of green plus signs in the same general area as the first one. The one we will be looking for will say "Add Budget Line Item." This will create a pop-up where you can fill in the Category of expense, the Event, the Budgeted Amount, and the Description of what you are budgeting for. Fill these sections in and repeat the process for all your line items. You're almost there...

Step 4: Submitting Your Budget for Review

Picture of Submitting Your Budget for Review

In the left-hand side Funding Menu, select "Applications." This will take you to a page with all your funding applications. Select "Start New Application" at top of all your funding applications. This will take you to the image pictured above. Under the three drop-down menus respectively select "Budget Funding View," the budget you just created, and the most recent academic year available. After this, press "[Request]" on one of the many line items from your budget.

This will open a pop-up with 3 drop-down menus and two writing spaces. Respectively fill in each drop-down with "Funding Source," "ASSU Special Fees," "Undergraduate Special Fees," fill in the spaces appropriately, and, finally, press "Add." Repeat this for all your line items. If you are submitting a Standard Grant, select Undergraduate Senate (this will only appear if you are asking for funds from this current academic year, so make sure to check that off). If you are submitting a budget modification, for Funding Source select your "My Own Accounts."

After you finish requesting all your line items, select the "Questions" tab then... you guessed it. Answer the questions. Next, select the "Agreement" tab and fill in the box at the bottom once you either understand the "Agreement." You're not agreeing to give us your soul, or are you... In any case, read to make sure you're aware of what you're agreeing to. Finally, go to the last tab "Submission," and press the submit button. Saving the application will not submit your application and instead will send you to the beginning. Avoid the temptation to press the save button as the application is automatically saved after each change you make.After this, you're done with submitting the application! All that's left is submitting verifying documents and meeting with a committee member.

Step 5: Next Steps

You've submitted all your applications. What's left? You'll need to go to this document submission form to submit any relevant proof that all your expenses have been calculated and are expected. The proof can take the form of quotes from the vendor or receipts from a previous year. Next, attend an Office Hour session (calendar available here) to speak with a member of the Appropriations Committee. We will walk through your application with you to make sure we have all the relevant information and you've completed the application properly.

After this, you're done! Pat yourself on the back: you did it. The rest is on us. We will begin the process of creating a recommendation for your funding application, which will be presented to the student body for a vote during the first weeks of Spring Quarter. If you disagree with our recommendation, you can file a petition, which, if successful, will result in your version of the budget being presented to the student body. This process is outlined here.

If you have any remaining questions, attend any of the Office Hours mentioned in this document and we'll be happy to help you out!

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