1. Home
  2. Finance
  3. Raising money

Raising money

Grants, sponsors and fundraising Club Grants 

The UCSA receives funds through the student levy to help support clubs in the form of grant applications. 

There are main categories of grants that clubs can be apply for: 

  • Major Club Grant 
  • Small Club Grant of up to $500.00 
  • First Year Club Establishment Grant 

All grants must be future focused, which means you cannot apply for a grant after the cost has already been incurred. 

Grant Limits 

The maximum that clubs can receive annually depends on the number of members they have: 

  • 20 to 70 members: Up to $2,000.00 annually. 
  • 70 to 150 members: Up to $4,000.00 annually. 
  • 150+ Members: Up to $6,000.00 annually. 

Clubs or societies may receive up to four successful applications a year, or until they have reached their funding limit – whichever is reached first. 

Please note that First Year clubs are limited to $500.00, irrespective of the number of members they have. 

Major Clubs Grants 

Major Club Grants can be used for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: 

  • Large events and activities, particularly those that contribute towards the creation of a vibrant, diverse, and engaging campus. Limited catering is supported. 
  • Partial coverage of registration fees to help members participate in activities. This is not membership fees. 
  • Activities that develop the executive or members’ skill set. 
  • Campaigns centred on students’ issues, concerns, or causes. 
  • Health and safety equipment or training. 
  • Support student attendance at conferences and events, including sporting competitions, recognised by regional, national, or international organisations that are not related to academic study. 

Small Club Grants 

Small Club Grants are awards of up to $500.00, for relatively straightforward applications. These are the sorts of applications clubs frequently make such as: 

  • Banners, flags, and other marketing materials. 
  • Start-up costs for fundraising activities. 
  • Small events and activities. 
  • Minor equipment that can be monitored with an asset register. 

First Year Clubs 

First Year Club Establishment Grants are to help a club get up and running, and can be used for things such as: 

  • Banners, flags, and other marketing materials. 
  • Start-up costs for fundraising activities. 
  • Small on-campus events and activities. 

How to Apply 

First of all, ensure you have a purpose that can be granted by considering what you’re wanting to apply for against the club grant policy. 

Next, consider whether the amount you are looking to apply for is reasonable in comparison to the amount of funds the club or the attendees / members / beneficiaries of the grant are contributing. 

All of our grant applications are processed electronically. 

When you are completing the application, it is important you submit as much accurate information as possible. If you are having problems, please reach out to us. 

Once your application has been logged, it will be considered at the next available grants meeting. Please note these are once every two weeks during term time. 

If you need any assistance, or have any questions, please contact clubs@ucsa.org.nz


Research Potential Sponsors 

Create a wish list of who you might want to sponsor your club/event. Keep in mind the relevance and compatibility with your association. 

Sponsorships are often easier to gain with companies that have had a change in leadership/ownership, rebranded, and launched a new product or have another significant shift in brand they might want to showcase. 

Research the potential sponsor: would they complement your club, are they a good brand fit/relevant to your Club/event. Sponsorship works both ways – what would you bring to their business: skills, more loyal customers, social media following, brand awareness, or increased sales? 

Once the potential sponsor(s) is identified, make sure you know their business before making initial contact. Gather information via website, social media, LinkedIn, media release etc. Likewise, it is just as important to know your brand. 

Initial Contact/Introduction 

Contact can be made in a number of ways; however, it is best to avoid cold calls (calling in without an introduction/appointment), I.e. calling into a café during a busy lunchtime service. This gets people off guard and – more often than not – in the wrong frame of mind. 

Use your network where possible. Take suggestions and advice from club members, past/present. Word of mouth referral is the holy grail of sponsorship. Connections that may have already been made or identified by a mutual relationship. 

Organise a meeting ideally by phone/email (follow up with email invitation). It is a positive sign when a potential sponsor agrees to meet with you. 

Ensure it is with the decision-maker. Don’t waste time with people that don’t have the authority to approve your proposal. 

Be methodical in your approach and keep your message clear and precise. 

The Meeting 

Start with your story – introduce yourself and your position in the organisation. No need to take an unnecessary number of people to the initial meeting. Ensure you develop a mutual trust and identify common ground.  

Use this meeting time efficiently – avoid rambling. Provide a brief history of the club, membership, longevity, values, future goals, and recent event. Knowing your brand this clearly will ensure professionalism. 

What can you offer that will bring value to the sponsor. How will this benefit/improve their business? What will the ROI (return on investment) be to them? Sponsorship can also generate leads, develop business relationships, improve public perception, and gain a wider/diverse audience. Spell these benefits out to the potential sponsor, which could be as simple as free tickets to events or their branding on a Facebook page. 

Keep your message clear – what form of sponsorship would you be after? Discounted goods? Monetary donation (one off/annually/ongoing)? Have you worked with a corporate sponsor before? Bring along any marketing examples that might showcase these. This could be your opportunity to secure a sponsor long-term so ensure you are showcasing your club to its full potential. 

Avoid a ‘hard sell’, but don’t cut yourself short. 


At the conclusion of your meeting, you will have a clearer understanding of where you might sit with the potential sponsor. Very seldom will they agree on the spot – if so, well done! If they organise another meeting, don’t be disheartened by this – it still shows they are interested and want to know more. 

When the answer is “no” – learn by these mistakes. What was it that they said no to? Was demand too high? Was it not the right time for them financially? Were they not interested? Is your club not the right demographic for their business? Was your approach too casual or too much? It can be nerve-racking but valuable to learn from any mistakes you might have made. 

Whatever the outcome of the meeting, follow up with a courtesy email to thank them for their time. Reiterate the key benefits of your proposal to those who responded positively. Offer to clarify any further information if needed – even in the case of those that may have said no. There could have been a misunderstanding in the meeting. 

Make sure you deliver on your promises. Write a contractual agreement where applicable to ensure both parties adhere to their side of the agreement. Invite them along to your events where possible to see you in action. 


Fundraising ideas are endless but it’s important to come up with something unique and worthwhile for your club. 

Some ideas to help you get started can be found here: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=508 

Remember that any events on campus need approval from the University (refer to Events section). 

Updated on April 24, 2023

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Need help?
Can't find the answer you're looking for?
Email UCSA