Alumni Impact Fund - for students

Round stamp with the words Alumni Impact Fund for Students

The Alumni Impact Fund, made up of charitable donations from the alumni community, funds innovative projects that have a positive impact on the student experience.
All current students are eligible to apply, with applications opening annually.

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

With Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games later this year, we are shaking up the Alumni Impact Fund to ensure the wider student community benefits and makes the most of this opportunity.

Could your student group broadcast from the athletes village? Dance in the city centre? Deliver a food and culture workshop on campus? Showcase your groups' skills and experience, while engaging with the local and global communities visiting Birmingham during the Games over the summer.

In line with Birmingham 2022's aim to be the first carbon-neutral Games, and to support the green goals of the region, we are also looking to fund projects that have a long-term, sustainable impact.

We are particularly interested in hearing about projects and activities taking place around the Commonwealth Games. However, we also welcome projects that engage with the student community taking place during Semester Two, which relate to sustainability, sport and outreach. For example, in 2020/21 the Windsurf Club received funding to purchase more female wetsuits, to encourage more women to participate and stay in the sport. And WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) used funding to develop their school outreach programme, inspiring more young girls into STEM.

The projects we fund must be innovative, collaborative, support inclusion and diversity, and/or support the skills development of members.

The Alumni Impact Fund (AIF) is open to all students, groups and Sports clubs, and we're offering up to £2,000 in funding. No idea is too big or too small! If it's £50 for a new microphone or £1,500 to rent an event space, make your community project a reality.

Applications are now closed.

For more information about applying to the fund, please contact Laura Graham.

How does it work?

The Alumni Impact Fund is a pot of money that has been charitably donated to the University by alumni. It is open to all students (individuals, groups and Sports clubs) applying for funding towards brand new, student-led projects.

We are looking to fund a broad range of projects, particularly those delivered by students during the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2022, as well as funding student community projects that promote sport inclusivity, community outreach, and support long-term sustainability goals of the West Midlands region. AIF funded projects must be innovative, collaborative, support inclusion and diversity, and/or support the skills development of members, and have a positive impact on the student experience and wider community.

Not sure if your project/activity can be funded by the Alumni Impact Fund? Email Laura Graham with an outline of your activity, or come and speak to Laura in the Student Groups office at the Guild on a Wednesday.

Application and pitch

To apply for the Alumni Impact Fund, you need to complete an application form with details of your project, ensuring it meets the criteria (see below). Please include a breakdown of the project budget, as this will increase your chances of your application being shortlisted.

Once applications have been shortlisted, the selected candidates will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of alumni and senior University staff. The panel will then decide which projects will receive funding. Several projects will also be given the chance to double their money, 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 once completed. 

Who is my staff advocate?

  • Every application must have the support of a staff member 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 UoB 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.

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.

Criteria

To be considered for funding, you must demonstrate that your project meets most or all of the following criteria: 

  • Innovative: this must be a brand-new activity, rather than funding the core activity of your group
  • Collaborative: between different student groups, and/or external organisations
  • Offers skills development opportunities for group members, such as training courses or attending conferences. Your application must demonstrate how these developed skills and experience will benefit the wider society and/or local community
  • Encourages inclusivity and diversity
  • Student-led
  • Enhances the student experience and/or has a benefit to the student community
  • Unable to be funded in any other way

The project organisers should be able to provide:

  • Commitment to providing an evaluation of the project after its completion, showing how funding was spent and demonstrating the positive impact of the project
  • Recognition and thanks towards alumni donors
  • Support from 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 
  • Funding cannot be used with the sole aim of directly supporting another charitable cause, for instance as a direct donation to another charity
  • 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 2020/21 and did not complete your project, you are not eligible to apply in 2021/22

Key dates and events

Monday 10 January 2022: Applications open

The Alumni Impact Fund team will be running drop-in advice sessions on Wednesday 26 January by the Student Groups Office in the Guild of Students, and Thursday 27 January on Zoom (book a timeslot).
At these drop-in sessions you can:

  • find out if your activity is eligible for funding
  • speak to staff about your application
  • get tips on how to fill out your application effectively

Please email Laura Graham to find out what times these drop-in sessions will take place, and book a slot.

Monday 14 February - Noon: Applications close

Friday 18 February: Shortlist announced

Friday 4 March: Alumni Panel. Student groups pitch 'Dragon's Den' style to a panel of alumni and staff

March 2022: Student groups informed of funding

September 2022: Evaluation Report deadline

Application form

Applications are now closed. 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 will then 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, which will then be shared on our social media for our alumni community to vote on.

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

Has your group previously received AIF funding?

If your student group has received funding from the Alumni Impact Fund in previous years and would like to apply again, we encourage you to look carefully at our new criteria (see above). 

We are constantly evolving the Alumni Impact Fund to meet the changes in student demands, support initiatives throughout the University, and to benefit the wider student community.

Going forward, the Alumni Impact Fund is looking to fund new activities. Therefore, we will not be accepting applications for the same projects that have successfully received AIF funding in previous years.

We have made this decision to ensure that specific group projects and activities do not become reliant on the Alumni Impact Fund to continue, as it is not guaranteed funding year-on-year.

The Alumni office and our colleagues throughout the university may be willing to support groups in identifying longer term sources of funding, if this would be of interest to committee members.

We would like to be clear: student groups that have received funding previously can apply again to the Alumni Impact Fund, it just has to be a brand-new activity for which they are bidding, that meets our new criteria (see above).

If you have any questions or further clarification is needed, please contact Laura Graham.

Resources

Hints and Tips

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

Branding

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.

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Instagram

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