Student Mini-Grants FAQs

Do you fund graduate student groups?

No. Student Mini Grants is unable to fund graduate student projects, our list of Other Funding Sources may be helpful to graduate students searching for funding.

Do you provide funding for food or beverages?


Do you provide retroactive funding?

No, SMG's are only for upcoming projects. The date of the event must occur after the given notification date to be considered for funding. Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

How many applications can our organization submit?

The committee will consider awarding an organization or applicant up to two times per academic year, as long as each application is significantly different from any previous projects that were funded. An exception to this are organizations who produce numerous independent projects under a single group heading (i.e., Basement Arts, Performance Ark, etc..). In these cases, we will limit our consideration to up to two awards a year per student, not per organization.

Do you fund Culture Shows and Festivals?

We do not provide general funding for applications for large annual events that are not centered around art. We may consider funding specific expenses that relate directly to the arts, like the cost of a specific performer or arts feature. These items should be clearly outlined in the budget section, and answers to questions in the application should apply directly to these components, and not just to the larger event.

What if my group plans to donate some of its proceeds to charity, can we still apply for a SMG award?

Yes, you can, although additional restrictions apply to projects that plan to make a donation to charity. Please indicate on your application if this is your intention. You may also have to set up a Designated Fund (DF) account, in addition to your regular SOAS account, for your specific charitable cause. For more information about setting up a DF account call SOAS at (734) 763-5767.

How much money can I get for my student group?

The maximum amount of an SMG award is $1,000. In the past several years, the average award has between $300-$400, and approximately 60% of applicants have received a grant for some amount.

What can I do to improve my application?

1. Write it as a Word document first. Have other people in your student group (or a friend, roommate, etc.) proofread it. Ask them if they understand what you've written and if they would award you a grant based on the application.

2. Write it ahead of time and bring it in to us — we're always happy to look over potential applications and make suggestions for improvement. You can also call us at 734.764.6413 or email with questions.

3. Look at the Sample Application on our website.

4. Keep the application succinct and to-the-point.

5. Try to answer all the optional fields and questions.

6. Make sure your math and budget add up.

7. Never ask for more than $1,000. It shows us that you haven't read our guidelines.

8. Provide a detailed, itemized budget. It demonstrates that you've done your research and have a solid plan to move forward with your project.

Will my application be saved online?

No. Once you have submitted your application online you will not be able to access it again. We recommend that you save a copy of your application as a Word document so that you can reference it easily in the future.

How will I know if my application has been granted funding?

Whether or not your application has been awarded funding, you will be notified by e-mail on or before the appropriate notification date. Click here for the exact notification dates.

Can I apply for a project happening off-campus?

While the committee is willing to consider applications for projects happening off-campus, it is a requirement that your project be open and accessible to the U-M community. Funding will not be given to projects happening in venues that will not be easily accessible to U-M students.

What do I have to do if my group receives a SMG award?

We require you to use the Arts Initiative logos in all printed and web material (flyers, posters, programs, websites etc.) related to your funded event. The applicant is required to complete the Feedback forms, as well as solicit feedback from activity participants. Grant recipients will also be asked to submit information about their project to Arts Initiative for inclusion in our Arts Info email, and any links to documentation of your project as they are available. You are also responsible for informing us of any major changes in your planned activity (i.e. change of date, time, venue, name).

Can make an appeal if my group doesn't receive a SMG award?

Sorry, the decision of the Student Mini-Grant committee is final. As decisions are made at a meeting of the members of the committee, we cannot consider appeals for funding.