Funding Options

The majority of funding for undergraduate student organizations comes from the undergraduate Student Activities fee, which is distributed by the Undergraduate Finance Board (UFB) to student groups recognized by the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS). However, other sources of funding are available.

The process for acquiring funds from the following sources and moving them into your student group's financial account will vary depending on the source. Please look for more information under each funding opportunity and under Deposits and Donations on the Financial Management page.

Departmental Funding

Unless your recognized organization is a DUG or otherwise department-sponsored, meet with SAO staff to review your request and overall event or activity planning before submitting a request for department funding. Offices may inquire with the SAO about your event prior to granting funds.

Money from University departments requires an internal transfer from that department to the SAO. Please have the department call the SAO as soon as possible - not only for your account number but for the correct sub code to access our set of accounts. 


Once other funding opportunities have been exhausted, your student group may qualify to solicit funds from alumni who were members of your group as well as parents of both current and former group members.

Fundraising for a national organization? Connect with your SAO adviser.
Planning a bake sale or charity event? Connect with your SAO adviser.
Are you hoping to connect with alumni or current parents for fundraising purposes? Connect with your SAO adviser and read on to learn more about this option.

Fundraising from Alumni and Parents

Once other funding opportunities have been exhausted, your student group may qualify to solicit funds from alumni who were members of your group as well as parents of current and former group members. 

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, your group must meet the following criteria:

  • The group has been established for 5 years or more and has a pool of alumni from which to seek support.
  • The group is able to provide a list of all current members and any former members to their knowledge.
  • The student group is advised by the Student Activities Office (SAO).
  • The student group's recognition level is (Undergraduate Council of Students) UCS-Category II.
  • SAO has determined that the resources requested are not available to the student organization through other channels.
  • The group has a developed budget and objective.

If you believe your group meets the above criteria, you may apply for assistance from the Division of Advancement by filling out and submitting a Student Group Fundraising Request Form

You must reach out to [email protected] and connect with your group’s advisor to ensure they are aware of your intended application.

Fundraising efforts must be coordinated with Student Activities Office and the Division of Advancement in order to ensure that all contact between the University and constituents reflect Brown's high standards. 
Fundraising from alumni and parents is restricted to February, with a January 1 application deadline. 

If you have further questions about fundraising from alumni or parents, please contact [email protected].


The Graduate Student Council has limited funds to co-sponsor events or activities that are of interest to the Brown University graduate student body. The maximum funding that may be requested from the GSC for any one event or activity shall be $400 or half of the total budget for the event or activity, whichever amount is less. Funding requests shall be submitted to the GSC Treasurer at least 1 week prior to a GSC meeting in order to be considered at the next meeting.


Individual students and student groups interested in traveling to pursue a community engagement, engaged scholarship or social innovation opportunity can apply for travel funding through the Swearer Center's Edward Guiliano ’72 Global Fellowships. For more information on the Fellowships, please visit the Swearer Center website.


Occassionally there are funding opportunities that student groups may be eligible for posted on UFUNDS.


*The UCS Initiatives Fund is a block grant that UCS administers to student groups for new initiatives (events, projects, etc). Any groups that have been established within the last three sesmesters and are not UCS Category III who need funding for a project that will enrich the Brown community are encouraged to apply! 


Only UCS Category II groups are eligible for annual and supplemental funding from UFB.  If your group is not yet UCS-Category II, you may advance from I to II category through a process called Re-Categorization. To learn more about re-categorizing your group visit UCS's website.

University Capital Improvements & Major Equipment Requests

There are times when student needs for and use of facilities may raise questions about available building infrastructure or when safety issues may go beyond a student group’s capacity to manage within their annual budget.  The Student Activities Office, Undergraduate Council of Students, and the Undergraduate Finance Board have developed guidelines for helping student organizations determine avenues and responsibility for funding of such equipment or facilities.

Last updated 9/23/2019