Funding FAQ

Before You Apply

Read our handbook!

The Application Process

Who to Contact

Before You Apply

Who can apply for Funding?

  • Any McGill student group is eligible to apply to any of the Funds except for the Club Fund. Only full-status SSMU Clubs are eligible to apply to the Club Fund.

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What term should I apply for Funding in?

  • There is a Funding deadline at the start of each semester – one in September and one in January. Please apply for Funding in the semester that your event or activities will occur.
  • If we receive applications for events that are occurring too far in the future, they will be rejected and you will be asked to reapply. There is a little leniency with the timeline for events taking place at the very start of the following term, so email the Funding Commissioner to check if you qualify.

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Which Fund should I apply to?

  • There are eight Funds: the Ambassador Fund, the Campus Life Fund, the Charity Fund, the Club Fund, the Equity Fund, the First Year Fund, the Green Fund, and the Space Fund.
  • Check the Fund mandates on the main SSMU Funding page.
  • Here is a brief summary of when to apply to each Fund:
    • Ambassador Fund – When travelling for competitions and conferences of an academic nature.
    • Campus Life Fund – For initiatives taking place on or near campus which benefit student life.
    • Club Fund – Only open to full-status SSMU Clubs, for operating expenses.
    • Charity Fund – For community engagement projects. Generally not for events or initiatives with the sole purpose of fundraising.
    • Equity Fund – For projects, research, and policies that aim to end discrimination and promote accessibility and inclusivity in the McGill community.
    • First Year Fund – For events and initiatives that make positive changes in the representation and experiences of first year students.
    • Green Fund – For student-run sustainable initiatives or the promotion of a sustainable culture on campus.
    • Space Fund – For physical improvements in buildings on campus.

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How much Funding should I request?

  • There isn’t technically a limit to how much Funding you can request, however it is advisable to ensure that the amount that you request is reasonable.
    • The main  SSMU Funding page has the approximate balances of each Fund. If you’re applying for more than a fifth of the entire Fund, then you’re probably applying for too much.
  • The Golden Rule: apply for what you need. This amount should be obvious from your budget.

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What if I miss the deadline?

  • The Funding Committee continues to accept applications throughout the year, but applications received prior to their event date receive priority.
  • You can also apply for Funding retroactively, within the same academic year. If you have an event in the Fall semester but you miss the deadline you can apply in the Winter semester instead (before the deadline!).
    • If you are applying retroactively, make sure to include a budget showing the actual expenses/revenues and proof of purchase for all of your expenses.

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How do SSMU Club audit scores affect Funding applications?

  • Priority for the Club Fund is given to clubs with the highest audit scores (i.e. the Funding Committee considers the applications from the 5+ clubs first, then the 5 clubs, etc).
  • Historically the Club Fund is drained before applications for clubs with an audit score below a 4 are considered.
    • All full-status SSMU clubs are welcome to apply to the Club Fund, but if your audit score is low then you may have better luck applying to a different Fund instead (audit scores do not affect the other Funds as significantly).

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Club Fund: Do SSMU Clubs apply for Funding for the whole year or by term?

  • Full status SSMU clubs should apply to the Club Fund for their operating activities by-term. Apply for your Fall activities in September and your Winter activities in January.

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Club Fund: What do I need two budgets for?

  • You should be applying to the Club Fund by term. This means that your Event/Project-Specific Budget will be a budget for the term that you are applying for, and your Annual Budget will include both terms.
  • The Event/Project Specific Budget will be more detailed and will be the primary budget used to assess your application. The Annual Budget is to give the Committee a sense of your group’s overall finances.

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SSMU has funded my student group in the past, which means we’ll be funded this year, right?

  • No. Past Funding allocations do not have any influence on current Funding applications.
  • This rule is in accordance with the Funding Committee’s by-laws, which the Committee must abide by.
    • Internal Regulations of the Finance and Operations Portfolio, Funding Committee, Part 1, point 2.6: “Previous funding allocations do not constitute reasoning for providing current funding allocations for any student group.”

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The Application Process

My student group doesn’t have a group bank account, can the cheque be written to an individual instead?

  • No. The SSMU has a strict policy against issuing funding cheques to individuals.
  • If your student group doesn’t have a group bank account, then you can sometimes find a parent group that can accept the cheque for you.
    • For example, Engineering design teams have the SSMU write the cheque to EUS, and EUS disbursed the funds to the design teams.
    • If you are having trouble, contact the Funding Commissioner at fundcom@ssmu.ca.

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I am a SSMU club but I do not have a SSMU bank account, how can I receive Funding?

  • If you are a SSMU club you cannot receive Funding without a SSMU bank account.
  • If you are unaware of your bank account number you can contact the Clubs and Services Administrative Assistant at clubadmin@ssmu.mcgill.ca.
  • If your club does not have a bank account or you do not have access to your account, you can create one or change the signing officers by filling out the Club Bank Account Form.
  • If you are in the process of getting a SSMU bank account by the deadline you can apply for Funding and put that in a note.
    • However, you will not receive the Funding until you have the bank account
    • It is  your responsibility to email the Funding Commissioner (fundcom@ssmu.ca) once you receive your bank account number.

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I’m confused about the new application process. One event, one Fund per application?!

  • The reasoning behind the changes to the Funding process can be found on the main SSMU Funding page.
    • TL;DR – The one event, one  application rule will allow the Funding Committee to process applications more quickly, which will result in student groups receiving decisions and their funds more quickly!
  • For most applications, this will be easy. See some examples below:
    • Having a conference on campus?
      • Submit one application (most likely will be funded by the Campus Life Fund).
    • Having a lecture series or weekly volunteering?
      • You don’t need to submit a separate application for each lecture in the series or each week of volunteering, but you should break them up by term. It is important to apply separately for each term – it makes the Second Instalment process much more straightforward for everyone!
    • Are you on a team that goes on multiple trips?
      • For this, the most important thing is that you are only applying for trips that will take place that term (i.e., if you’re applying in the Fall, only apply for trips that will be in the Fall). Again, applying separately each term is very important, as it makes the Second Instalment process much more straightforward for everyone!
      • Whether or not you need to submit a separate application for each trip within a term will depend on how similar the trips are to each other. If the purposes of the trips, the number of people going, and the expenses are similar, then you may be able to just submit a consolidated application for all the trips that term, but you must still distinguish them clearly in your budget.
      • When in doubt, submit separate applications!
    • Are you a full-status SSMU Club that has some operational costs (such as buying cheques) and is doing multiple small activities (the key word being “small”)?
      • You can probably submit one application for the activities that term.
      • Examples of small activities would be general member meetings, games nights, an apple picking trip, etc.
      • If you’re having a large event, such as a concert, a conference, a tournament, or a nightclub event, then you should submit a separate application. To be clear, you can still apply to the Club Fund for these larger activities if you so choose, but you should be submitting a separate Club Fund application.
  • If you’re still unsure, contact the Funding Commissioner at fundcom@ssmu.mcgill.ca for assistance. Ensure that you do this at least a few days before the deadline to guarantee a reply.

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When should I apply to multiple Funds?

  • The Funding Committee is taking the guesswork out of the application process this year by no longer requiring clubs to choose a Fund in their application. Instead, the Funding Committee will decide which Fund(s) are most suitable for the event in question based on the submitted application and budget.

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I would like to apply for multiple Funds for my one event. What should I do?

  • The application process has changed! Please see the previous answer.

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Are the Second Instalment Report and the Club Audit the same thing?

  • The Second Instalment Reports and the Club Audit are not the same thing, and SSMU Clubs are required to submit both by their respective deadlines, if required.
  • The purpose of the Second Instalment Report is to ensure that  SSMU Funds are used for the purposes they were issued. Not all applications will require a Second Instalment Report. Rather, Clubs will be regularly submitting proof of purchases to aid in the Club Audit. For more information on the updated process, please see the SSMU Funding page.

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When will I receive my decision and my funding?

  • Due to the new application structure, we are able to provide a more precise timeline for when decisions will be made.
    • You can expect to receive a decision approximately 2-3 weeks after you submit your application.
    • You can expect to receive your funding 2-3 weeks after you receive your decision.
  • Please keep in mind that these dates are subject to change; circumstances may occur which are beyond our control.
  • All groups will be notified to pick up their cheque at the SSMU office.

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Who to Contact

Who should I contact for help or if I have questions?

  • Please contact the Funding Commissioner at fundcom@ssmu.ca
  • If you contact any other members of the Funding Committee, they have been instructed to direct you to the Funding Commissioner.
    • This is not to be annoying and overly bureaucratic. It’s partly because a lot of the time, no one else can give you an answer, and partly to ensure that the information being given out is consistent and accurate.

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I emailed the Funding Commissioner and they haven’t replied?!

  • The Funding Commissioner is a part-time staff member who has many time-consuming duties and receives hundreds of emails each term.
    • During peak periods, such as around the deadline or the end of the term, you can expect a reply to take at least a week, if not longer.
    • During normal periods 5 days is the approximate time it takes to get a reply.
  • If it has been longer than a week, feel free to email the Funding Commissioner again, preferably by forwarding your previous email to them with a note.
  • If your issue is urgent, the Funding Commissioner will probably reply to you more quickly.
    • If you absolutely need a response more quickly, you can contact the SSMU VP Finance and Operations, but if your email is not truly urgent they will probably just forward it to the Funding Commissioner.

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Who is the Funding Commissioner? When can I see them?

  • The Funding Commissioner is a part-time staff member and usually a full-time McGill student.
  • The Funding Commissioner does not have an office in SSMU so please don’t stop by the Front Desk and ask to see them. They may have office hours, which can be found on the main SSMU Funding page, or you can email them to request an appointment at fundcom@ssmu.mcgill.ca.

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I have questions specifically about the Green Fund, the Equity Fund, or the First Year Fund

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