Funding & Standards
Applying for Funding
- Application Procedures
Organizations interested in applying for SORF Funding will need to have their Treasurer attend a SORF Training. After completing the training, SORF will email the Treasurer the SORF application within 48 hours of completing their training.
Student Organizations interested in submitting an application should utilize this Budget Template (xlsx) when submitting the application.
The Student Organization Resource Fee is used to help fund programs and/or services of Registered Student Organizations.
The Student Organization Resource Fee supports Student Organizations by allocating funds to offset the cost of elements of services and programs that benefit the Illinois Campus Community. The SORF Board reviews applications with the belief that the program or service can still occur without funding from SORF. Student Organizations should submit funding applications with the understanding that funding is not guaranteed.
- Illinois Campus Community. Refers to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign student body.
- Program. A Program is an event, activity, or experience intended to share the mission/purpose of the Student Organization with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign student body.
- Illinois Student. An individual currently enrolled in at least one credit hour at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
- On Campus. On-Campus is defined as any property of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (i.e. Allerton, I-Hotel, etc.)
- Travel. Includes cost of transportation both to and from campus.
- Honoraria. A non-contractual gift to a speaker/performer.
- Charitable Event. Events intended to raise funds for a registered 501(c)(3). Student Organizations registered as a 501(c)(3) cannot raise funds for themselves.
- Total Funding. The combination of all allocations to a student organization regardless of application type.
- Unused Funds. Allocated funding not used by the student organization.
- Third Party Entity. Any official organization not affiliated with or under the purview of the University of Illinois system.
- Fiscal Year. July 1 – June 30.
- General Standards & Expectations
- Accessibility to the Illinois Campus Community. SORF Board Members will review each application to determine if the Program will be accessible to the Illinois campus community. Before any funding decisions are made, the SORF Board may adjust the allocated amount accordingly.
- SORF Representation & Acknowledgment. The “Funded by SORF” Identifier should be visibly included on all advertising, publicity, etc. for any Program receiving funding from SORF. Inclusion of the SORF identifier will make your Student Organization eligible for promotion through official SORF marketing channels.
- SORF Board Member Attendance. SORF Board members may attend Programs to ensure that SORF allocations are being used as intended. Any program that receives SORF funding must allow SORF Board members to attend free of charge. SORF Board members attending on behalf of SORF are present only to observe and are not eligible for any benefits or to participate in any part of the Program (including food, drink, prizes, etc.). SORF Board Members attending on behalf of the SORF Board will be in SORF attire and will communicate their attendance in advance.
- Updated Standards & Restrictions. Standards and restrictions are subject to change between academic semesters/years. The SORF Board will notify all Student Organization Treasurers prior to the new Standards going into effect.
- Maximum Allocations per Fiscal Year. The maximum possible allocation of total funding for any one Registered Student Organization (Student Organization) in a fiscal year is $5,000.
- Available Funding and Adjustments. SORF will divide its available allocatable funds equally across funding periods. Should a funding period not allocate all the funds allotted to it, those funds will be split equally between remaining funding periods. The SORF board will communicate available allocatable funds for the funding period at the launch of the application for that period. If needed, the SORF board will adjust each approved application equally to remain within the available allocatable funds for the funding period.
- SORF Orientation Requirement: Student Organization Treasurers must complete a SORF Orientation. Failure to complete the SORF Orientation process prior to submitting an application will result in the application being denied.
- Student Organization Standing. Student Organizations must be registered and in compliance with Department of Student Engagement.
- Application Timing. SORF will have four (4) funding periods for each fiscal year. The specific date ranges for individual funding periods can be found on the SORF website (sorf.illinois.edu).
- Submission of Applications. Only Student Organization Treasurers may submit funding applications on behalf of their organization. Applications must be complete for consideration. The application will be denied if not submitted by the Student Organization Treasurer as listed in Involved@Illinois.
- Changes to an Application. The only change or modification that may be made to an application is the Program date.
- Purchase Timing. All purchases must fall within the appropriate funding period date range for that application. The specific date ranges for individual funding periods can be found on the SORF website (sorf.illinois.edu).
- SORF Board Member & Treasurer Communications. Student Org Treasurers are expected to maintain diligent and timely communication with the SORF Board Member assigned to review their funding application. Failure to communicate within forty-eight (48) hours may result in a denied funding request.
- Good Faith. The SORF Board reserves the authority to decline any Student Organization’s funding application if it is believed the Student Organization is attempting to violate SORF Standards & Restrictions inclusive of Prohibited Types of Requests and Actions. Any Student Organizations denied funding based on this policy may appeal to the board. Such an appeal may require the Student Organization to explain organization operations, finances, and relative structures.
- Expense Report and Forfeitures. A critical component of the SORF Funding process is the submission of an Expense Report or Forfeiture Form. A Student Organizations failure to submit a complete Expense Report or Forfeiture Form by the deadline will result in the Student Org being ineligible to apply for SORF Funding for a defined period of time determined by the Board.
For all applications, Student Organizations must submit an expense report including proof of purchase(s) no later than twenty-one (21) days after the conclusion of the Program or after the final purchase for a Services application. Regardless of the Program or Purchase date, an Expense Report or Forfeiture agreement must be submitted no later than May 31st of the Fiscal Year. Any funds not reconciled after 21 days will be considered unused.
- Schedule of SORF Activities. All SORF funding application dates and activity/purchase date ranges are based on the fiscal calendar for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (July 1-June 30)
- Services Funding
- Description. Funding for items necessary for the success and operations of the student organization in alignment with the mission/purpose of the student organization as stated in governing documents on file with the Department of Student Engagement.
- Funding Percentage. The SORF Board may fund a maximum of 100% of the requested allocation for each application but will take into consideration current Student Org General Fund Balance, previous Services Allocations, the usage of other funding sources when determining an allocation, and overall student org budgeted revenue and expenses. The SORF Board will also examine the Student Organization Mission and/or Purpose to determine if the requested item is necessary for the success and operations of the Organization.
- Item Maximum Allocation. The SORF Board may fund a maximum of $999.99 for each item requested.i
Category/Type of Expense Fundable Not-Fundable Essential Equipment Essential equipment item must be necessary for the success and operations of the Organization. Equipment not necessary for the success and operations of the organization. Uniforms Uniforms required by a third-party entity to compete or participate in an activity. A mock-up of the uniform must be submitted with the application. Uniforms must have University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign branding included. Shirts, Membership Apparel, Line Jackets, Program Specific Apparel, Recruitment Apparel, non-required uniforms, costumes, training/warm up apparel, customized uniforms/jerseys (i.e., player’s name) Recurring Space Rentals Funding for recurring space reservations necessary for the organization to function. (i.e., specialty spaces that are required due to the function of the organization.) This may include rehearsal or practice space prior to a program. Long term storage rentals. Program specific space rentals. Fees Registration Fees for Individuals or Groups to participate in an activity necessary for the success and operations of the student organization. Legal Fees, Membership Fees, Intramural Sports Registration Fees, Fees for Registering Organization for Non-Programs/Events, Insurance Fees, Subscription Fee. Travel/Lodging Travel to and/or lodging at an Event, Conference, Or Sporting Meet hosted Off-campus necessary for the success or operations of the student Organization. Payment for On-Campus Related Speakers or Facilitators. Parking of Any Kind. Vehicle Rentals.
i Each single, unique item cannot exceed this value. Multiple instances of the item (i.e., multiple jerseys, plane tickets, etc.) can exceed the maximum item value but not the maximum allocation amount.
- Programs Funding
- Description. Funding for items and expenses related to a Program hosted by the requesting student organization. See definition of Program above.
- SORF will not fund Program applications related to funding for meeting spaces, activities, or events related to the governance or operations of a Student Organization. Events, Activities, or Experiences exclusive to members of the Student Organization are not fundable. SORF will not fund study sessions or Programs affiliated with an academic course.
- Recurring Programs should be submitted in a single application. Programs are considered recurring if the spirit of the event remains the same across all the recurring events.
- SORF may fund events designed to raise funds for a charity at the percentage outlined below. Proof of donation must be included in the Expense Report.
- Student Organizations with Programs that are designing or creating projects may receive funding if the project is open to all students and not exclusive to student org members.
- Required Advertising. All Programs that receive SORF funding must advertise the approved Program on the Student Engagement Digital Marketing Screens and on Involved@Illinois at least one week in advance of the Program. Proof of Digital Marketing Request must be included with the Expense Report for all Programs.
- Funding Percentage. The SORF Board may fund a maximum of 100% for each requested Programs application but will take into consideration current Student Org General Fund Balance, the percentage of Illinois Students expected to attendii, and the usage of other funding sources when determining an allocation. The SORF Board will also examine the Student Organization Mission and/or Purpose to determine if the requested item is necessary for the success and operation of the program.
- Maximum Allocation. Programs will be assessed and funded as follows:
Criteria - Program/Event is/has: Potential Funding
- No financial costs for Illinois Students and
- On Campus
- On Campus and
- Charging Illinois Students
75% Funded Charitable Events 50% Funded
- Off Campus and
- No financial costs for Illinois Students
Category/Type of Expense Fundable Not-Fundable Programming Supplies Items or supplies necessary for the execution of the applied for Program. Food, Beverages, and Single Use Serving items necessary for the Program. Items not related or necessary for the Program. Food not related to the Programs stated purpose. Advertisements Printed Flyers and/or Digital Advertisements on campus for the specific Program. Must include the advertisement, with the SORF Identifier, at the time of applying. Recruitment Related Ads, Social Media Advertisement Costs Space and Equipment Rentals Fees for Renting Event Spaces, Stage Set-Up, Lighting, Sound, Equipment, Costume Rentals Long Term Storage (> 1 Week) or Rental Fees, operational meeting reservations Contractual Services Contractual Honoraria or contractual payment for a speaker, performer, or referee Student Org Members providing services to their own student organization including, but not limited to Serving as a Speaker, Performer, or Referee (See Prohibited Items 7). Non-contractual honoraria or Gifts for Speakers, Performers, or Referees Travel/Lodging Travel and/or lodging costs to bring a Speaker, Facilitator, or Performer to/from Campus. Gas reimbursement for Speaker or Performer if driving.iii Travel and/or lodging costs to bring a University of Illinois Employee or Local Speaker, Facilitator, or performer to come to campus. Local Lodging for Illinois Students. Parking of Any Kind. Vehicle Rentals. Travel off campus. Per Diem/Food Expenses during travel to/from campus.
ii SORF may adjust funding for the program based on the percentage of UIUC students expected to attend (i.e., if 30% of attendees are UIUC students, then 100% funding will be reduced be 30% of the requested total).
iii Gas calculation must be done using the IRS Federal Gas Calculation. See the SORF website for the link.
- Description. Funding for items and expenses related to a Program hosted by the requesting student organization. See definition of Program above.
- Prohibited Types of Requests and Actions
The SORF Board prohibits and will deny the funding for the following items:
- Alcohol & Drugs. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco/tobacco products, marijuana products/THC, prescription drugs of any kind, illegal or illicit substances, or any activity or communication, which incorporates a reference to alcoholic beverages/drugs or promotes or is supported by an alcoholic beverage/drug manufacturer, distributor, sales organization or vendor.
- Revenue creation. Programs that profit the organization or individual student(s). Any proceeds resulting from a Charitable Program must be put towards the cost of the Program or donated to a charitable cause (501(c)(3)). Organizations classified as a 501(c)(3) may not retain or receive proceeds from any program, project, or service funded by the SORF Board. If a Student Organization creates revenue from a Non-Charitable Program, the organization must forfeit the allocation they received.
- Events Rendering Prize or Award Money. If payment or prize money is awarded to an Student Organization for a SORF funded event or activity, the Student Organization must either forfeit the prize money in question or its SORF funding for the event.
- Illegal Activities. Projects, programs, or services found or reasonably presumed to be in violation of local, state or Federal law and/or university rules, regulations, policies and procedures or activities.
- Individual Benefit. Projects, services, or programs primarily intended to benefit a single Student Organization member outside of the spirit or mission of the Student Organization. The SORF Board reserves the right to determine whether any expenses/programs/ projects are outside of the spirit or mission of the Student Organization.
- Membership Dues/Affiliation Fees. Payments made by an individual or an organization to maintain membership status. Membership dues of an organization to be a member of a larger organization.
- Recruitment and Membership. Applications aimed to add members to the student organization or to provide benefit to exclusively the membership of the student organization. This includes, but is not limited to, membership and officer affiliation, inductions, installations, presentation events, information meetings, and member apparel.
- Payments With Conflicts of Interest. The following are prohibited: Payments to a member or members of a campus organization or Student Organization for services rendered to their own organization or Student Organization. Retroactive salary payments for services or salaries of non-University personnel.
- Investments. Investments in or capital to any business or commercial enterprise for intended purpose to generate a profit.
- Legal Costs. Court actions, arbitration, legal fees, or insurance fees.
- Lethal Weapons. Lethal weapons or ammunition, or similar devices.
- Payments to Foreign Nationals. Payment to those identified as contracted Foreign Nationals.
- Political Campaigns & Lobbying. Events, activities, or expenses which are intended for electioneering or lobbying efforts, activities, fund drives or campaigns to benefit a specific candidate or cause.
- Proselytizing. Events, activities, or expenses which involve religious or ideological proselytizing.
- Out-of-Period Payments. Expenses, items, or travel outside of the appropriate funding period date range of programming/projects applications.
- Honoraria, Give-Aways or Gifts: SORF will not fund Honoraria, gifts, or giveaways.
- Violations & Consequences
If a Student Organization violates the SORF Standards and Restrictions, they will be subject to a penalty determined by the SORF Board. The most common violations and consequences are as follows:
- Late Expense Report (Submitted prior to May 31st, but after 21 days) = 6-month suspension
- No Expense Report/Forfeiture (not submitted by May 31st) = 1 year suspension
- Failure to advertise = 1 funding period suspension
- Charging for an event (when applied for as Free) = 2-year suspension
Penalties are at the discretion of the SORF Board and may depart from the list above if the SORF Board determines there are additional factors to consider.
- Supporting Documentation
SORF will accept the following items as supporting documentation when applying for funding:
- Official Estimates
- Unpaid Contracts
- Screenshots of websites
- Budgets with accessible links to websites
- Copies of official estimates or expenditures from the previous fiscal year only (i.e. receipts, paid contracts, etc.)
- Gas Calculations utilizing the IRS Federal Gas Calculation. Currently set at 58.5 cents per mile.
SORF will not accept the following items as supporting documentation when applying for funding:
- Internal Estimates
- Anything unsubstantiated by links to a website or an official estimate
- Emails from Advisors or other entities that indicate a price without linking to the proof of the estimate
- Does not apply if the email serves as an estimate from the entity/party
- Receipts for already purchased items unless being used as an estimate from the previous fiscal year. Please be clear to indicate that the item/s being requested have not been purchased in the current fiscal year and that the receipt is being used as an estimate.
- Email correspondence prior to a contract being completed (i.e. negotiations or planning stages)
If your organization is requesting a different dollar amount than is listed in the supporting documentation, you must (in the item description) communicate why you have made the adjustment to the price. Failure to do so may result in funding being denied or adjusted.
How much funding can my org get?
Funding is limited to $5,000 per org per fiscal year.
What types of things can be funded?
In the SORF Standards (pdf), there are detailed charts that outline the types of items that SORF can fund.
How early should I apply for funding?
SORF funding can be used at any point during the fiscal year (July 1st-May 31st), so applying early is always encouraged. Be mindful that Service Applications are decided at the end of the semester proceeding the use of funds. Check out the SORF Calendar for more information.
What happens if we buy items before applying?
SORF cannot fund items that were purchased prior to approval by the Vice Chancellor.