Information Pack


Each year, Queen Mary Students' Union receives a block grant from the University to support student activities and a proportion of this is made available to societies through a bidding process.

This pack includes information on which pots of funding are available to societies and how to apply for funding. As the block grant is limited we cannot supply each society with funding. This is a competitive process, so please take the time to read through these guidance notes to help you write a successful bid

What funding can I bid for from the Students’ Union?

  • Societies Grant Fund (£47,500)

The Societies Grant Fund is a pot of money which all societies can apply to for assistance with events, trips, equipment and other costs to aid in the provision of their aims and objectives.

Bidding is restricted to 5 rounds throughout the academic year, with at least 60% of the pot being made available in the first semester.

Any left over money from each round will be added to the next round. Anything left after the final round will be at the Students’ Union discretion to use.

The total amount that a society can bid for is based on their membership numbers.A society which increases its membership throughout the year can apply for the difference gained between rounds.

The Societies Grant Fund is managed by the Societies Team ().

The application process

  • Societies must complete the relevant application form to clearly explain the purpose the money is needed for and the amount.
  • Application forms can be downloaded from the QMSU website and must be submitted to the relevant staff member, typed and electronically.
  • Applications for the Societies Grant Fund will be reviewed by the Societies Board, a group of 8 elected representatives from QM and BL societies and the 2 part-time Societies Officers. Any conflicts of interests will be taken into consideration before reviewing applications.
  • All approved and re-registeredsocieties for 2017/2018 can apply for funding from both pots.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.

How much is available and when can I bid?

Societies Grant Fund

Round / Opens / Deadline
1 / August 1st / September 1st
2 / September 25th / October 9th
3 / November 6th / November 20th
4 / December 11th / January 15th
5 / January 29th / February 12th

How much am I allowed to receive?

Societies Grant Fund

£47,500 might seem like a lot, but between 200+ societies it’s really not! To ensure that funding is distributed fairly, the Students’ Union has limited the amount your society is able to bid for and receive.

  • For the Societies Grant Fund, the maximum amount of funding a society can bid for per year will depend on the membership figures of the society:

Number of society members / Maximum amount of funding
Under 10 / £5 per member
10 - 24 / £10 per member
25 - 49 / £500
50 - 74 / £800
75 - 99 / £1,500
100 and over / £3,000
  • If a society bids for their maximum amount allowed, but does not receive it, they are allowed to bid for the difference in future rounds.

E.g. Game of Thrones Society has 95 members and bids for £1,500, but receives £500, they are then allowed to bid and receive up to £1,000 for the rest of the year.

  • If a society receives their maximum amount, then increases their membership, they are able to bid for the difference.

E.g. Game of Thrones Society has 95 members and has received £500 in grant funding. By round 3 they have increased their membership to 120. They are now allowed to bid and receive the remaining £2,500

  • A society whose Principal Officers have not attended the compulsory training will normally not be eligible to receive any funding
  • Monies granted are only to be used for the purpose for which they awarded. Societies that receive a grant will make their orders through the Union or be asked to evidence how they spent the money through receipts.
  • All unspent grant monies shall be returned to the Union at the date specified by the Union, unless otherwise agreed.
  • For items over £500 you should receive at least 2 quotes to make sure you get the most competitive price.
  • If you wanting to hold an event, you will need to complete a budget with the Societies Team and check if you require public liability insurance.
  • If you would like to buy or make food for an event, please ensure you have read the QMSU food hygiene documents.
  • We can only accept applications submitted by the society President or Treasurer.

What sort of projects and activitiesCAN be funded? (Subject to change due to elected yearly board members)

  • Society promotion

General society, events promotion, society literature and media (please note each society automatically receives a £50 grant which is to be used for Fresher’s Fair and initial start-up costs)

  • Affiliations & Entries

Competition entries, insurance, membership to national organisations

  • Events

Fees and hospitality, venues, equipment, general event costs

  • Travel

Coach hire, travel expenses, accommodation

  • Equipment

New equipment, replacing and maintaining equipment, hiring equipment

  • Training & Development

Training for members, developmental activity

What sort of projects and activities CANNOT be funded?

  • Retrospective bids

You cannot apply for funding for things you have already paid for – all applications must be made in advance of any spending/the event or activity having taken place.

  • Donations or affiliations to a charity or a political body

As the Students’ Union is a registered charity ourselves, you cannot donate Students’ Union funding to other charities, political parties, campaigns or trade unions, nor are you allowed to apply for funding to subsidize charity fundraising.

  • Ultra Vires spending

Grant funding must be spent on activities/projects that relate to the aims and objectives specified in your society’s constitution. Everything that your society does should be ‘for students, as students’ and ultimately be benefitting them.

  • Food and drink

No grant allocations will normally be made for alcoholic drinks, food and soft drinks where these items are not a core part of the event/activity e.g. AGM refreshments. You are allowed to apply for funding to purchase food and drink where it is a core part of the event e.g. Craft Beer & Real Ale society organise a craft beer tasting event and ask for funding to subsidize the cost of the beers.

How to Fill In a Grant Fund Application

Please refer to the Grant Application Form when reading this section of the information pack

SECTION 1: Your details

The form should be completed and submitted by the President or Treasurer of the society; howevergrant application forms should be discussed with the other committee members of the society.

SECTION 2: Information about your society

Here you will need to confirm your society’s aims and objectives. You can summarise these or copy them from your society’s Development Plan. You will also need to record here how many members have paid their membership to your society. If you have been made an administrator of your society’s webpage on the QMSU website, then you can view how many members you have using your admin access. If in doubt, please ask a member of the Societies Team for confirmation of your membership figures.

You will also need to state here whether or not the Principal Officers of the society have registered for or previously attended compulsory society induction training, for the academic year 2015-2016.

SECTION 3: Your idea

Please describe in this section what you are applying for funding for. Please provide as much detail as possible.There are several things the panel reviewing your application will take into consideration when reviewing grant funding applications:

Will the funding aid in meeting the society’s core aims, objectives, purpose and activities?

How many members will benefit from the funding?

Have the society filled in the application form correctly and made a suitable amount of effort in completing the form?

How many members have the society got signed up online to the QMSU website?

Is the amount applying for realistic?

Has the society made an effort to research specific costs and obtain quotes from other sources where necessary?

Has the society thought about if and how it will contribute to the costs involved?

SECTION 4: The budget

Provide a detailed breakdown of expected costs. If you bidding for several different types of activity, organise the breakdown of your budget to clearly show this. The more detail you provide will help with the success of your bid.

SECTION 5: Additional questions, safeguarding and signatures

Here you will be asked how much money your society currently has in its subs account. This requires you checking with a member of the Societies Team first to find out how much money there is in your account.

If you do have a significant amount of money in your subs account, you will have to explain on your application form why this money cannot be used for whatever you are applying for funding for. It might be that you simply do not have enough to cover the costs, or that you’re planning on spending this money on something else.

If you have received funding previously in the year, please also state this on your application form.

We also like to know about your fundraising/sponsorship efforts! If your society has made any special efforts to raise money for yourselves e.g. through fundraising, securing sponsorship etc. since the beginning of the academic year, then please tell us here.

, please tell us why this money cannot be used for

If your project/activity involves working with children and young people or adults at risk, you will need to demonstrate that you have given careful consideration to operating safe practices. This includes ensuring anyone involved with the delivery of your project has completed adisclosure and barring service check (DBS). For your application to proceed, we need you to submit your DBS check with the application form. QMSU will review the DBS and make a note of your disclosure number. This must be current and either completed in the last 6 months or specifically for this project. You are also expected to commit to ensuring all volunteers involved with the project are DBS checked before they commence involvement. We can offer you advice on how to get a DBS check.

Please submit applications to the Societies Grant Fund electronically via email* to

*Handwritten submission will not be accepted unless special permission has been given.