The Community Service Fund (CSF) is a funding body that allocates part of the Student Activities Fee toward events that are focused on community service. All RSOs are eligible to apply for this funding. CSF supports activities designed to improve the quality of life of the Chicago community, as well as national and international communities.
CSF is operated by a committee of six to seven RSO leaders. In order to apply to CSF, you must submit a budget and have a member of your organization appear before the CSF Committee. The CSF Committee meets the Tuesday evening of third and seventh week of every quarter.
CSF provides funding on both a quarterly and annual basis. Quarterly allocations are for events happening within the quarter. CSF also has an Annual Allocations process where RSOs can receive funding for the upcoming year. The Annual Allocations process takes place in Spring Quarter.
The CSF follows many of the same guidelines at the Student Government Finance Committee; however, there are some specific stipulations for CSF funding:
- At least 50% plus one of the individuals benefitting from the event or program must be from the community. (For example, at an event attended by 100 people, 51 must be from the broader community).
- At least 10% of the event/program’s budget must be raised through partnerships with other RSOs, departmental support, or money from other fundraising.
- CSF may fund only up to 50% of a speaker’s honorarium.
- PCC groups, CAT members, and Sports Clubs are not eligible to apply to the CSF.
- The date of your event or start of your program should be at least 11 days after the date you meet with the CSF Committee. CSF cannot fund any events retroactively.
- Participation in the event or program should be open to the entire student body (i.e., all students should be able to become members of your RSO).
How to Apply:
- Download the CSF application here.
- Complete the application, and make sure to include all details such as confirmed dates and locations, an estimate for expected attendance, an event description, a brief report on your CS/RSO’s current account balance, and the actual itemized budget for your event or project). Be sure to include information about how this program or activity is in service to the community as part of your event description.
- It is important to note that the SGFC Cost Guide is neither By-Laws nor Guidelines for CSF. However, it is particularly useful to understand how the CSF committee usually views various requested items that are commonly included in budgets. The Cost Guide includes appropriate suggestions for budget items such as equipment rentals, advertising, food, and information on speaker, honoraria, and performance fees, and costs.
- Send your CSF application to your ORCSA advisor no later than noon on the Friday before the committee will meet.
Tips for a successful application to CSF:
- Take time to read and understand the SGFC Cost Guide as well and the CSF Guidelines before applying. Please refer to the Guides section of this link.
- Discuss your application with your RSO advisor to make sure all relevant details are included.
- Make sure to indicate on your itemized budget the amount of fundraising your organization will be contributing.
- Include in your application not only a projected number of participants, but also how you plan to engage these audiences in your program. Include details about how the program will be marketing, who is invited to participate, or any organizations with whom you are partnering.
- Be sure to include all items that you are seeking funding for. The more clear and specific you are, the better.
- The individual who attends the CSF Committee meeting should be knowledgeable about both the details of the event and the specifics of the budget, in addition to the finances of the CSRSO.
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