Apply for School Funding to get to #SSDP2018

Apply for School Funding to get to #SSDP2018

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy International Conference is closer than you may think! With the early bird rate ending January 6, 2018 we want to make sure that SSDP students have every tool available to #StartMakingPlans to get to Baltimore in March.

This blog post is a primer on how chapters can get funding from their school to cover costs and get as many people to #SSDP2018 as possible. With 300 campuses worldwide, these instructions may not apply to everyone, but I hope that they give folks a good starting point to navigate the school funding process.

  1. Check your school’s student funding process. More often than not, student organizations get funded through the Student Government. So search for “your school name student government funding” and see what comes up. If it’s not managed by student government, it may be managed by something similar to “Department of Student Affairs.” Try a similar search for that and see what comes up. If you can’t find funding information with those searches, consider asking your faculty advisor or consulting any emails that you may have received from the school when you became a registered student organization on campus.
  2. Identify upcoming deadlines. Once you’ve identified the organization that handles student funding on campus, check their website for deadlines and paperwork. Student funding deadlines can often be far in advance: some schools even want budget requests a full semester ahead of schedule. It is imperative to identify, clarify, and follow any student funding deadlines you can find. If there’s no information listed, get in touch with the organization and ask them for specifics around when and how to apply for funding.
  3. Write your budget application. After you figure out when your application needs to be turned in, it’s time to start the process of writing it all out. Again, funding processes vary widely between schools, and sometimes may seem intimidating. Fortunately, you can break them down into discrete steps and ask your Outreach Coordinator for help anywhere that you’ve got problems. When requesting funds from your school, ask for the full amount and do not factor CAT points in to the application. This will make it more likely that you’ll get as much money as possible, and your chapter can figure out how to supplement with CAT points later on. Most applications will ask for the following details.
  4. Submit your application. Follow the organization’s guidelines and make sure to follow up. Often, funding bodies will tell you when to expect an answer, but it never hurts to check in as those deadlines come closer and offer to clarify any questions or concerns they have. Again, contact your Outreach Coordinator if you’ve got any problems during this part of the process.
  5. Confirm your funding. Often times funding boards will provide funding promises and then ask for follow-up details. If you receive money from your school, read the documentation carefully to identify any other supporting documents you may need and deadlines you may have to actually receive your money. This is a crucial and easy to miss step.

Following these steps, I was personally able to bring twelve people down to #SSDP2014 when I was President of SSDP at the University of Connecticut. In addition to the information listed above, our student government asked for some clarifying information on the application. You can read the full PDF of our funding paperwork here as an example and feel free to pull from it as much as you’d like, just make sure that your own application meets all the requirements for your own school.

Another great benefit of requesting funds from your school is that you’ll receive CAT points for successful applications. We award 1 CAT point for every $10 raised – which can help to supplement any budget shortfalls, or lift you out of CAT debt if you’ve still carried some over from Reform 2017.

Finally, we understand that not every school has a robust funding program available to students. In that case, make sure to talk to your Outreach Coordinator about other creative fundraising ideas, and check out our fundraising blog post from #SSDP2017 for additional inspiration.