Grad Groups funding

Providing funding to Grad Groups is one of our key streams for supporting and empowering students to create and maintain their communities and have ownership of their university experience.

GSA provides Grad Groups with the funding through:

  • Upfront funding
  • Annual funding (via reimbursements)
  • Training funding
  • Special grants

What Grad Group funding can be spent on

GSA Grad Groups grants are funded by Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) and so must be spent the following core SSAF activity:

  • Communication and outreach to students
  • Developing student communities
  • General administration and meetings
  • Skills for study assistance
  • The student voice

Funding cannot go directly to charity (however Groups may hold a fundraiser and donate the fundraiser income). Funding also cannot be spent on any project or activity that is illegal or against GSA policy.

Generally, there is an expectation that funding will benefit most, if not all, members. If funding is for a small group of people, Grad Groups should illustrate how this will have a positive impact on the wider group. Along these lines, GSA will fund committee activity (such as Executive Meetings), within reason.

Alcohol

GSA will fund expenditure on alcohol, if required by the Grad Group. As we actively support healthy and safe communities, there is a limit of two drinks (up to $20 total) per event attendee.

In the case of bottles of wine being purchased, this is counted as six drinks or the allocation for three people. While individual drinks with spirits (such as whisky or vodka) may be funded, bottles of spirits will not be.

When events are registered, Grad Groups are required to forecast their expected attendee numbers. When they claim reimbursement, they must note their actual attendee figures and, if applicable, the number of alcohol drinks purchased. GSA staff will review receipts to ensure the limit is not exceeded.

Upfront funding

Group type Upfront funding
6 – 999 $100
1,000+ $8,000
Publication $3,000
Groups with 6 – 999 members

All standard groups with fewer than 1,000 members can apply for up to $100 upfront funding at the beginning of the year or upon affiliation.

Groups with 1,000+ members

All standard groups with 1,000 or more members can apply for up to $8,000 upfront funding, spread across two rounds of up to $4,000 each in February and July.

Publication groups

All publication groups can apply for up to $3,000 upfront funding throughout the year. This can be applied for in one go or through several smaller applications throughout the year.

How to claim

The Upfront Funding forms will be live in the beginning of January 2020. For 1,000+ and Publication groups, you will need to provide a forecasted budget and plan for expenditure. All groups will need to submit a grant acquittal for this funding by the end of the year.

This funding usually takes up to two weeks to be processed.

Annual funding

Group type Annual funding
6 – 19 $400
20 – 49 $600
50 – 99 $800
100 – 299 $1,400
300 – 499 $2,500
500 – 999 $3,500
1,000+ Upfront funding only
Publication Upfront funding only

Annual funding is provided via reimbursement claims, meaning you spend the money, get a receipt or invoice and the Grad Group Treasurer puts in a claim via the Grad Group Portal to have the money reimbursed to your Grad Group account.

Annual funding runs to the Calendar (and GSA Financial) Year: January – December. We recommend you have a clear budget plan for your funding so that it lasts until December. If your AGM is mid-year, it’s worth ensuring that the new committee also have funding to play with.

The amount you are allocated is based on your group size, as shown in the table above. Publication groups and groups with 1,000+ members are not eligible for Annual Funding, due to their high upfront funding allocation.

Reimbursement payments are made via EFT straight into your Grad Group bank account on a Wednesday, usually within two weeks of the application, and you should coordinate with your Treasurer (or equivalent) to receive your repayment.

To claim reimbursements for event expenditure, you need to fill in an Event Registration Form on the Grad Group Portal at least two weeks in advance. For other expenditure (such as asset purchases or stationery), you can just submit your claim as soon as you have your receipt.

You can claim reimbursement funding throughout the year, however all claims must be received by 13 December 2020. If you hold activity after this date (but before the New Year), we recommend organising payment in advance of the 14th so that you are still able to lodge the claim.

How to claim

Grad Group Treasurers can claim Annual Funding via reimbursement claims through the Grad Group Portal, at any time during the year.

We cannot provide reimbursements without receipts. Receipts must be visible and legible tax receipts (not EFTPOS transaction slips) and need to contain the business name, address and ABN (Australian Business Number, or equivalent if from outside Australia) .

It is really important that we can read the writing on the receipt – if we can’t read it, we can’t reimburse you – so if you’re taking photos of receipts, make sure you use a good quality camera and take the photo up close. We’d recommend scanning the receipts if possible.

You may submit receipts in foreign languages but it may take us longer to process these.

This funding usually takes up to two weeks to be processed.

Claim Annual Funding

If your membership numbers increase or decrease

As funding is based on group size, it’s really important that you keep us up-to-date with any changes to your membership. You can do this via the Update Us form or by emailing gradgroups@gsa.unimelb.edu.au.

If your membership numbers increase or decrease to the point that you move funding categories, your funding will be amended pro-rata in line with the table below. For groups that experience a decrease, we will be on hand to support them through any financial hardship.

Updated membership list submitted % of increase/decrease of funding categories difference
1 Jan – 31 Mar 100%
1 Apr – 30 Jun 75%
1 Jul – 30 Sep 50%
1 Oct – 31 Dec 25%

The table below illustrates what these changes might look like.

Example Previous funding Changes to funding New funding
Group A has 6 members. In February, they increase to 20 members. $400 They move to category 20-49, which has a $200 increase in funding. As this is in the first quarter of the year, they receive 100% of that increase ($200). $600
Group B has 450 members. In October they increase to 600. $2,500 They move to the 500-999 category, which is a $1,000 increase in funding. As this is in the final quarter of the year, they receive 25% of that increase ($275). $2,750
Group C has 102 members. Due to a large number of members graduating in July, their membership decreases to 25. $1,400 They move to the 20 – 49 category, which is an $800 decrease in funding. As this in the third quarter of the year, they incur 50% of that decrease ($400). $1,000

Annual funding for new affiliates

Annual funding for new affiliates will be allocated pro-rata as per the table below:

Affiliation application received Affiliation active from % of Annual funding allocation
1 Oct – 31 Dec 1 January 100%
1 Jan – 31 Mar 1 April 75%
1 Apr – 30 Jun 1 July 50%
1 Jul – 30 Sep 1 October 25%

To support with the transition, any potential affiliate Grad Groups who have been in touch about affiliation prior to 1 January 2020 that affiliate between January and March will be eligible for 100% of annual funding.

Training funding

Not applicable in 2020.

Special Grants

Special Grant funding is for projects, events, equipment or activities that are unusual, one-off, extraordinary, or based on special needs of the Grad Group. This is available to all Grad Groups. These grants are processed through grant rounds, taking place quarterly.

Special Grants are available for a maximum of $2,000 and are processed in quarterly rounds.

Read more about Special Grants, including how and when to apply here.

Read more about special grants

Apply for a special grant