Alumni Impact Fund - for students


The Alumni Impact Fund (formally known as Hands Up) is made up of charitable donations Alumni Impact Fund studefrom alumni (graduates) of the University for the purpose of funding projects that are innovative and have an immediate impact on the student experience. All current students are eligible to apply, with applications opening annually at the beginning of term.

Applications will open Monday 24 September 2018

How does it work?

The Alumni Impact Fund -for students,  is a pot of money that has been charitably donated to the University by alumni. It is open to all students (individuals and groups) for applications that support student-led projects, demonstrate innovation and have a positive impact on the student community.

We usually fund projects up to £2,000. However, if you have a truly exceptional project which costs more, please come and speak to us at one of our drop-in sessions.

Who is my staff advocate?

  • Every application must have the support of a member of staff at the University, regardless of the amount requested
  • Guild affiliated groups – please list your advocate as a member of Guild of Students staff
  • UBSport affiliated groups – please list your advocate as a member of UB Sport staff
  • Non affiliated groups or individuals – please discuss your application with a member of staff who is either linked to you or your project. For example, this could be your tutor, your research group lead, staff from Careers Network or the Chaplaincy etc. They must be known to you and must endorse your project!

There is further information for staff advocates in the drop down box below.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of alumni and senior University staff. The panel will then decide which projects receive funding. Several projects will also be given the chance to double their money (DoubleUoBMoney) and will be asked to submit a video detailing why they should be awarded double funding. Videos are then uploaded to YouTube and shared across social media, and the video with the most 'likes' will win the additional funding.

All successful applicants will be asked to provide a thank you to our alumni donors and a full report of their project. 

Personal Skills Award

Undergraduate students who apply for Hands Up funding are able to claim PSA points. Visit the Personal Skills Award webpages for more information.


To be considered for funding, your project must clearly demonstrate:

  • That it is innovative
  • That it is student-led
  • That it enhances the student experience or has a benefit to the student community (this includes extra curricular, academic and pastoral activities)
  • That it offers an unique and innovative opportunity to students
  • That it is unable to be funded in any other way
  • The ability to recognise alumni generosity
  • Commitment to provide an evaluation of the project after its completion, showing how funding was spent and the impact it has had
  • Commitment of the Guild of Students, UBSport (if affiliated) or a staff advocate and the provision of a supporting statement if applying for more than £2,000

Terms and conditions

  • This money has been charitably donated to the University by alumni and all funded projects must reflect the spirit of this generosity and the ethos of the University
  • We reserve the right to consider the likely expectations of charitable donors about the use of their donation, and will not fund projects that could negatively impact on our future fundraising. We would not, for example, usually fund proselytising activities
  • Funding cannot be used with the sole aim of directly supporting another charitable cause
  • Funding cannot be used to cover the cost of catering or alcohol
  • Only one application will be funded per group/team/individual
  • If you were awarded funding through Hands Up in 2018/18 and did not complete your project, you are not eligible to apply in 2018/19

Key Dates and events

Monday 24 September 2018 - Applications open


Application Form

 Applications are now closed.

Information for Staff Advocates

Background of the scheme

The Alumni Impact Fund - for students (formally known as Hands Up), which has been charitably donated to the University by Birmingham alumni. The fund is open to all students (individuals and groups) for applications to support student-led projects that are innovative and have a positive impact on the student community.

Launched in 2014, our alumni have funded more than 30 student lead projects, from mental health badminton to the building of a robot. Read more about projects funded in the past in our resources section.

How it works

We usually fund applications up to £2,000. However this year we are accepting applications for more than £2,000 if the project is truly exceptional and a supporting statement by the staff advocate is provided.

Following a set of criteria, students apply for the funding via an online application form. Shortlisted applicants are then invited to pitch their idea to a panel of alumni and university staff who agree on the distribution of funding. The panel will also choose several projects to bid to double their money. These students will be asked to submit a video showcasing why they should win the additional money. Videos will then be shared on our social media channels, with the video receiving the most ‘likes’ winning the additional funding.

To ensure that the funding is accessible to all students, some projects require a member of staff to act as an advocate. Students who apply to Hands Up either individually or as a group not affiliated to UBSport or the Guild of Students must provide the name of a staff advocate who can oversee the projects funding and expenditure.

As a staff advocate you will:

  • Be able to provide a supporting statement if the application is for more than £2,000
  • Be a University budget holder and signatory
  • Hold any successful grants in your budget element 2 code
  • Oversee and authorise expenditure
  • Provide your element 2 code once funding has been allocated. The funds will be made available to you in an FSX distribution account under your local element 2 code - any unspent funds will be removed automatically at the end of the financial year
  • Be responsible for ensuring the project meets University health and safety requirements and risk regulations, and University financial regulations

For any further queries please email Fiona Newell, Gift Accounting Officer:

Projects funded in 2017

University of Birmingham Dodgeball Club

Funding for coaching and referring qualifications

University of Birmingham Polo Club

Funding to develop team and coordinate University League  - a new regular participation programme

UoB Athletics and Cross Country

Funding to support events celebrating the Ivy League partnership with the universities of Penn and Cornell

Birmingham Cheerleading Squad

Development of squad

University of Birmingham Gymnastics Club

Funding to support a the hire of venue for the Birmingham Open Gymnastics Competition

Women’s and Men’s Basketball

Funding to support the development of both third teams

University of Birmingham Rugby League

Purchase of camcorder to record games and enable post-match analysis in order to improve results

Women’s Football

Introduction of new Football for all scheme

Psychology Society

Mental Health First Aid training for students


Purchase of equipment to develop edible garden on campus


Development of car for Shell Eco Marathon

Projects funded in 2016

Mentoring Scheme – Ballroom and Latin American Dance Society

Scheme to train a team of ten mentors using professional coaches to help beginner dancers during weekly practices.

Equipment – Ice Hockey Team

To make equipment available to hire for students who are studying at Birmingham for a short period of time.  

Brussels Trip – PPE Society

A three day trip for PPE students to visit the EU institutions and meet alumni in Brussels.

University Interclub and Self Protection Course - Muay Thai Boxing Society

A national friendly competition and a free self-protection class for students and alumni.

National Student Television Association Awards and Conference - Guild TV

Funding to host the biggest celebration of student television at the University of Birmingham.

Team Building Weekend  Knowledge and Skills Exchange Society

Team building weekend for the newly formed inter-professional healthcare Society.

Workshops and Development Programme - UBRobotics

Preparatory workshops for beginner students in the UBRobotics Society.

The Road to BSTF Nationals – Taekwondo Society

Equipment to host train for and host a national taekwondo competition.

Video Reply System – UB Swimming

The introduction of a GoPro to view swimmers from a previously unavailable angle and help improve swimmers abilities.

Themed voluntary sessions - Selly Oak Play Scheme

A scheme that provides volunteers with resources to create ‘themed weeks’, which involve a range of activities for children in the local area.

Late Night at the Science Museum – Maths Society

Hire of coach to take 50 students to the London Science Museum for an evening at the “Lates” events.

Disco Football Festival – Women’s Football

Event to increase football participation and encourage more girls to play.

Contemporary Theatre Career Development Scheme – 3BUGS Society

Provision of professional physical theatre workshops and career advice sessions.

Projects funded in 2015

Bicycle Recycle Scheme - Rebecca Bird

A scheme to upcycle abandoned bikes on campus, which can then be distributed to students in need of one.

Buddy Scheme - History of Art

Funded trips to art galleries across the UK to strengthen the buddy scheme between first and second year History of Art students.

Developing a Global Community; Fighting the Refugee Cause - Freedom from Torture

A day of workshops, debates and talks regarding the refugee crisis across Europe.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival - A Capella Society

Funding to help the society travel to and perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Equipment Stability Programme - UB Archery 

With success of the team being tied to the quality of equipment, new bows were funded for the UB Archery.

Eurobot Competition - UBRobotics

Funding to build and enter a robot into the Eurobot Competition in London.

Experience the Music Industry - New Street Records

A project which enables the society to oganise a careers event for their members and funding for professional recording sessions in studio.

Fusor Project - Sam Powell-Gill

The build and showcase of a nuclear fusor.

Let's Talk about Sex - Women's Association

Project providing a series of education workshops on sex positivity and the issues facing young people today.

Mental Health Badminton

Badminton sessions run by and aimed at students with mental health conditions to help reduce the isolation felt by many students.

PPE Forum - PPE Society

Birmingham's first PPE Conference with distinguished guest speakers discussing a range of global issues.

Redbrick Careers - Redbrick Newspaper

Careers project including editorial training for editors of the newspaper, hosting of a careers and networking events and expansion of the careers section of the newspaper to profile successful alumni.

Rome Trip - Birmingham Ancient History, Classic and Archaeology Society (BACAS)

Funding for entry into art galleries in museum while on a society trip to Rome.

Swimming Development Equipment - UB Swimming

Funding to replenish old equipment for the swimming team as well as for a range of coaching sessions, additional pool time and competition entry for all members of the team.

West Midlands League - Handball

Funding to enter the Handball Society into the West Midlands League after a significant increase in membership.

Winter Mountaineering Equipment - Wayfarers Hiking Society

Training and equipment to allow Wayfarers Hiking Society to run trips during the winter months.


Hints and Tips

Take a look at our Flickr album to see images from past projects.

View videos from past panel pitches, Double UoB Money videos and thank you videos to alumni on our YouTube channel 


If successful, you will be expected to use Hands Up branding in the promotion of your activity. 

Hands Up Logo (JPEG, 980KB)

Contact us

If you have any questions drop us an email or call Jane on 0121 414 5212.

Make sure you are following us on social media to keep up to date with Hands Up events and activities as well as hints and tips from previous applicants. 




Use #UoBHandsUp to let us know when you've applied!