Alumni Impact Fund - for students

The Alumni Impact Fund (formerly known as Hands Up) holds charitable donations Round stamp with the words Alumni Impact Fund for Studentsfrom alumni to fund innovative projects that have an immediate impact on the student experience. All current students are eligible to apply, with applications opening annually at the beginning of term.

Got a great idea? Our alumni want to fund it!

The Alumni Impact Fund (AIF) is excited to announce its next round of funding opportunities. Open to all students, we're offering up to £2,000 to help make your community project a reality - no idea is too big or too small! Check out past AIF recipients below.

Applications open: 9am, Wednesday 23 September
Deadline: 9am, Monday 26 October

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
  • UoB Sport and Fitness 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 college's Student Experience Officer, personal 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 asked to create a short video, that will pitch their idea to a panel of alumni and senior University staff. The video will be scored on content, not style- it is about showcasing the details and impact of your project. The panel will then decide which projects will receive funding. Several projects will also be given the chance to double their money (DoubleUoBMoney), with our alumni community voting for their favourite project on social media.

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 to the Alumni Impact Fund are able to claim PSA points. Visit the Personal Skills Award webpages for more information.


To be considered for funding, you must demonstrate that your project is: 

  • Innovative
  • Student-led
  • Enhances the student experience and/or has a benefit to the student community (this includes extra curricular, academic and pastoral activities)
  • Offers a unique and innovative opportunity to students
  • Unable to be funded in any other way

The project organisers should be able to provide:

  • Commitment to provide an evaluation of the project after its completion, showing how funding was spent and the impact it has had
  • Recognition and thanks towards alumni donors
  • Commitment of the Guild of Students, UoB Sport and Fitness (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 Alumni Impact Fund in 2019/20 and did not complete your project, you are not eligible to apply in 2020/21

Key dates and events

Monday 23 September - Applications open

The Alumni Impact Fund team will be running drop in advice sessions every Wednesday, where you can speak to staff about your application, and get hints and tips on how to fill out your form effectively. These drop in sessions will be taking place via Zoom. Please email Laura Graham to find out when these drop in sessions will take place and book a slot.

 9.00am Monday 26 October - Applications close

Thursday 29 October - Shortlist Announced, and student/groups asked to submit a video to pitch their idea (please note we will be scoring on content, not style of video)

Thursday 5 November - Deadline for shortlisted project video submission

Week commencing 9 November -  Student/groups will be invited to show their video pitch submissions to a panel of alumni and University staff meet who will be allocating funding. Date will be confirmed closer to the time.

Tuesday 17 November - Student groups informed of funding

Wednesday 18 November - Double your Money opportunity on @birminghamalum social media

Friday 23 April 2021 - Spending Deadline

Friday 18 June 2021 - Evaluation Report deadline

Application form

Applications open on Wednesday 23 September. Fill in the online form.

Information for staff advocates

Background of the scheme

The Alumni Impact Fund - for students (formerly known as Hands Up), is a pot of money that 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. 

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 asked to send in a video, 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. The pitch 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 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 Eleanor Woulfe- Student and Recent Graduate Partner, DARO


Hints and Tips

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 the Alumni Impact Fund branding in the promotion of your activity. 

Alumni Impact Fund logo (JPEG, 980KB)

Contact us

If you have any questions drop Laura Graham an email.

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




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