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 projects that have a positive impact on the student experience.
All current students are eligible to apply, with applications opening annually.

The projects we fund must be innovative, collaborative and/or support the skills development of members. For example, in 2022/23 the Christian Union received funding to offer bottles of water, a listening ear and help with finding a cab or to walk people home and the Snooker and Pool Society received funding to train current members in the sport so they can teach others. 

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 organise a company trek, you can make your community project a reality.

Applicants will not only be in with a chance to earn funding towards a project for their club or society but also enhance their Graduate Attributes, which will aid their career development.

Whilst we will review all applications, this year we are encouraging students and student groups to use the Alumni Impact Fund to host activities during Summer Term and UoB Xtra, which will take place after the exam period. For example, a club could arrange an alumni sports day, a society could organise a play in seven days or a group could host a dissertation exhibition to pass on your knowledge. Find out more about Summer Term and UoB Xtra.

We also have now opened the Alumni Impact Fund for University staff, to enable students to work on a staff-led project that will have a positive impact on the student experience.

Applications are now closed.

For more information about applying to the fund, please contact Lydia Buffery.

Alumni Impact Fund for Dubai students - information

Please read the rest of the information on the webpages before submitting an application.

Applications for the Alumni Impact Fund for Dubai students opens on Monday 19 February and will close at 9am on Monday 11 March.

Key dates

Open at 9am on Monday 19 February

Close 9am on Monday 11 March

Shortlisting panel and student pitch will be held Thursday 2 May.


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, groups and Sports clubs) applying for funding towards student-led projects.

We are looking to fund a broad range of student community projects. 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 Lydia Buffery with an outline of your activity, and arrange a meeting.

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 our @birminghamalum 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?

NB: If you are looking for information on the Alumni Impact Fund for staff, visit the appropriate webpage.

For the Alumni Impact Fund for students, applicants are required to include a staff advocate. This person will be expected to provide ongoing support and advice to successful applicants for the duration of their project. Remember, the Alumni Impact Fund for students is for student-led projects, while the Alumni Impact Fund for staff is for staff-led projects.

  • 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.

The Birmingham Award

Undergraduate students who apply to the Alumni Impact Fund are able to claim points towards The Birmingham Award


To be considered for funding, the project should be exciting and of benefit to the wider student community. Applications will be considered by a panel of University staff and alumni.

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, alcohol, organise a ball or a religious event.
  • Only one application will be funded per group/team/individual
  • If you were awarded funding through Alumni Impact Fund in 2022/23 and did not complete your project, you are not eligible to apply in 2023/24.

Key dates and events

Monday 15 January 2024: Applications open

The Alumni Impact Fund team will be running drop-in advice sessions, 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 Lydia Buffery to find out what times these drop-in sessions will take place, and book a slot.

Monday 19 February 2024, at 9am: Applications close

Friday 23 February 2024: Shortlist announced

Friday 1 March 2024: Alumni Panel. Student groups pitch 'Dragon's Den' style to a panel of alumni and staff

March 2024: Student groups informed of funding

Application form

Applications are now closed.

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 led 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
  • 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 Engagement Manager, 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 Lydia Buffery.


Hints and Tips

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

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact Lydia Buffery.

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!