The Students’ Union Fund (SUF) is a pot of money made of £150,000 provided by a range of donors from LSE University. It has been created in 2018 to enable LSE students to bring their ideas and initiatives to life, in order to positively impact the student community at LSE, and wider society.
This academic year (2022-23), the SUF becomes the main fund provided by the Students’ Union, including 3 different types of funding, to help and support LSE students:
THE suf projects:
→ To bring LSE students’ ideas and initiatives to life, with the possibility to get a financial help up to £5000
THE participation fund:
→ To provide financial assistance, up to £500, to LSE students who can’t afford extra-curricular activities from the LSESU.
If you want to find out more and apply for the Participation Fund, please head to the bottom of this page.
THE sports club grants:
→ To help any LSESU sports clubs, by supporting financially anticipated expenses such as equipment, competition fees, facility bookings (etc…) up to £5000.
Please, note that applications for the Sports Club Grants are now closed for the academic year 2022-2023. If you represent or are part of a club, and couldn't apply on time for the S.C.G. (or you need more funding), you can still apply for the SUF throughout the year, under the condition that you haven't alredy reached the maximum amount of £5000.
If you want to find out more about the S.C.G., please head to the bottom of this page.
Please, note that each fund can be applied several times, however, the maximum amount awarded over the academic year is not flexible.
The maximum amount you can apply as an individual LSE student, an informal group of LSE students, an LSESU club, or an LSESU society is:
- SUF = £5000
- SCG = £5000 (only for clubs)
- SCG + SUF = £5000 (If your club has already been awarded with the SCG but didn't reach the maximum amount of £5000, you can still apply for SUF up to the remaining amount to reach the £5000 limit)
- Participation Fund = £500 (only for individual LSE students - £50 with no need to show evidence e.g. bank statement)
Please, note that each fund is granted according to its own criteria, the amount approved can be flexible depending on the project, the need and the reasons detailed in the application.
the SUF is based on 4 main principles
The panel is looking to support any application impacting the LSE students community, whether on site or online, in line with these 4 principles (W.I.S.E.):
- Wellbeing ⇒ To be uplifting and inspiring: demonstrating a clear intention to improve life of LSE students by having a direct/indirect and positive impact on mental or physical health
- Inclusion ⇒ To be community building and inclusive: aiming to unify students or communities by bringing people together, tackling inequalities, and by being accessible to a wide range of students
- Sustainability ⇒ To be eco-conscious and sustainable: having an environmentally friendly approach (e.g., hiring catering company with a majority of vegan/vegetarian options, a strong policy on food waste and plastic free disposables) and aiming to be financially sustainable on a long term (i.e., requiring less money and less resources if same event repeated over the years)
Each application will be reviewed against the criteria listed below. Your project or reason to apply for funding doesn’t need to meet all the criteria to be approved, but the more criteria your project/reason to apply matches, the more likely it is to be funded.
- Student demand: We expect applications to demonstrate an existing need or a reason why students would engage
Participation Fund: when applying for it, make sure the 4 questions in the mentioned criteria are answered, if it’s not a first application, terms and conditions will apply
GUIDANCE AND CRITERIA
Who can apply and who is your audience?
- Any LSE students can apply (with a student number and ID to certify it)
- Students can be supported by their own department, but ONLY LSE Students can apply
SUF projects (events, trips, activities, conferences, competitions etc…) can be applied for by all LSE students (individual - informal groups - clubs and societies)
There is flexibility within the criteria, however, we expect applicants to demonstrate the following:
- The panel is looking to fund in priority projects which effectively reach a large number of students, essentially from LSE* but can be also accessible to a wider audience.
- Inclusion is a core value of the Students’ Union so your project must consider whether any groups of students may struggle to access it.
- Restrictions are possible under certain circumstances as the panel is keen to also fund projects aimed towards liberation groups (e.g. Women, BME, LGBTQA+ etc.) and engaging students who are frequently underrepresented within LSESU (e.g. postgraduates, international students and PHD students).
*It is required that at least 75% of beneficiaries should be LSE students. If it’s less than 75% attendees, we would need to see evidence of involvement from other universities or organisations providing partial funding.
HOW does it work?
Before applying, it is absolutely essential for the project to be budgeted in a realistic manner and to provide a clear budget breakdown (i.e., how the money granted will be spent and how does it contribute to the project?). Being a restricted fund, please note that our finance team won’t make any payment, and we won’t process any claim for reimbursement outside of what has been budgeted originally in your application.
You can apply for up to £5000 (per application and in total over the academic year) depending on:
- The financial capacity (for clubs and societies)
- The overall budget of the project
- The length of the project (How many hours/days?)
- The recurrence of the project (Is it a unique initiative?)
- The sustainable value of the project
BUDGETING INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
You can apply for the SUF to aid you with the following:
- Catering: If you are requesting money for catering or refreshments, please note that we support LSE and LSESU Catering in priority, and therefore encourage to hire their services if the event takes place on LSE campus. It is recommended to always consider the cheaper option when possible. Clubs and Societies may have discounts when they hire LSESU catering
- Accommodation: No standard rule applies here. Each case will be reviewed independently, and decision will be made upon the Panel’s appreciation
- Travel: Travel will be funded only for applicants and if it is via second class train or coach. Flights will only be funded up to 25% of the full trip, and only if proven that there is no feasible alternative to reach the destination. Due to environmental concerns, it is highly recommended to consider a “greener” alternative to planes.
- Group trips: Only trips with educational purpose will be funded. Please note that the SUF can fund only up to 50% of the total cost of a students’ group trip.
- Online event: We can fund your online event (equipment such as microphone or camera for speakers, catering through vouchers, specific license etc...)
Please note that the fund cannot be used for:
- Alcohol purchase (exception can be considered if part of Catering e.g. celebration menu/wine or champagne, or special event aligned with society topic such as wine tasting/ cocktail society etc…)
- Gifts or prizes for external guests
- Travel costs or accommodation for external guests
- Merchandise (e.g. lanyards/personalised clothing)
- When possible, seek external funding for catering including alcohol
HOW we support
LSESU can offer a variety of non-financial support to help you with your project. Depending on staff capacity, and whether you are applying on behalf of an LSESU sports club or society, however it might include:
LSESU Societies coordinators and sports coordinators are here to help you with your project. They cover administrative tasks such as booking rooms. Depending on availability the LSESU may be able to offer you space within our building to hold your event. Although we may not always be able to accommodate your booking requests as due to a large amount of space requests, we will support you to deliver your project in the most feasible way.
Societies contact: email@example.com
Sports contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to advertise your event, our Marketing & Communication team may be able to promote it via our social media channels. To make a communication support request, you can drop an email to email@example.com for specifics, or you can also tag in the social media post.
The Funds Coordinator can provide advice on your application, gives you feedback about the panel’s decision and follow up from the moment you apply until the finance part and how to get the money. He can also signpost you to more specialist support if required (for example, if you’re trying to reach out to a particular group or you have specific event requirements).
Funds Coordinator contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are applying to the Students' Union Fund on behalf of an LSESU club or society, you must still work with the Sports or Societies Team as usual if your project is funded by the panel. This means that you must, when needed, submit an event form (or a trip form) with a risk assessment, and a detailed budget breakdown to the Sports or Societies Team to deliver your event or project.
You can download the SUF Budget Breakdown Template at this link:
Once the spreadhseet downloaded, please complete it (with as many details as possible) and attach it to the SUF application form (link at the bottom). It is advised to do some research beforehand in order to have a clear idea of the costs involved in your project. The more accurate the prices are, the most likely the SUF amount claimed can be approved (if based on SUF terms and criteria).
WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE DECISION?
Your application will be reviewed by our team before being presented to the SUF Panel which makes the final decision. Please note that you might be contacted before the panel meeting if more information is needed to review your project.
The SUF Panel involves our sabbatical officers (elected for the current academic year), an LSE representative, the Societies development manager, the funds coordinator and other elected student club & society reps as appropriate to the fund applied for.
HOW to use the money granted?
Please, always let the Funds Coordinator know if your budget needs to be adjusted from what was agreed, and wait for a written approval before incurring any unapproved costs.
The SUF, once the amount allocated for your project is agreed by the Panel, is not sent directly to your account. To be able to use it, two methods can apply:
- INVOICES: If your project is ahead and you have invoices related to it, you can send them to email@example.com. Please, write in your message that the payment has to be made with the SUF money granted. They will then be processed in the correct budget codes and will be paid by the Students’ Union finance team.
- REIMBURSEMENT: If your project already occurred, and you had to pay for the expenses using your own financial means, you must then complete a Payment Request Form (sent along with the feedback email) to be reimbursed, and send it back over at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The PRF must be submitted along with:
- Receipts of purchase
- Proof of payment (screenshot of transaction or bank statement – showing account name and number)
- You will not be able to expense through the Expense 365 app. This is because the fund comes from a different account and the Expense 365 app can only be used to access your sports clubs or societies account.
- Please, allow 14 days maximum for any invoices or payment to be made. If payments need to be paid sooner than in a fortnight’s time, please let the Funds coordinator know.
- Please, always let us know in advance if your project changes or if your budget needs to be adjusted from what was agreed when it was funded by the panel and wait for our approval before incurring any unapproved costs.
WHEN can you apply?
Applications can be submitted anytime during the academic year. Although your application will be treated as soon as possible, please note that outside of term times, applications won’t be reviewed as frequently.
We ask every successful applicants to fill up a feedback form to describe your experience from the moment you apply to the realisation of your project. It takes just a few minutes and it is reallly important for us to improve the accessibility for future applicants, and it will also help to promote the SUF across the LSE community, to give everyone a chance to realise their project the same way you were able to do yours.
Click on the thumb to fill up the Feedback Form
You can read the feedback from previous successful applicants in the Feedback section at the bottom of this page...
Last bit of advice
In order to provide a good application and have better chances to get approved, you should:
- have read thoroughly the SUF Guidance and Criteria
- make sure that your project matches at least 2 out 4 of the criteria requested
- have started to plan your project ahead with clear guidelines
- have a detailed financial breakdown of the budget you claim out of SUF, and a good estimation of your overall budget
- consult the Funds Coordinator or Sports/Societies coordinators if you need more advice