Office of Student Life

Student Activities

Student Organization Member Development Grant

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What is a Member Development Grant?

The Member Development Grant program will allow student organizations to apply for funding up to $500 to host a developmental opportunity for student organization members. A member development experience is designed to meaningfully contribute to a member's connection to the organization and other members by fostering relationships as well as developing Leadership Capacity and Confidence, Social Perspective Taking, and/or Wellness, as defined by the Student Organization Success Framework. Developmental programs can be single events or multi-day experiences, but must start and end within the appropriate date range for the funding window. Programs can be intended for general members, leadership teams, and/or new members. The grant is intended to be an inward-facing funding source, meaning it should be benefiting members of the organization directly. Programs that are reaching a wider student audience than just organization members should be a Programming Funds application. Programs that should otherwise be a Programming Funds application will not be funded by this grant. Learn more about other funding sources at


  • Team-building experience
  • Leadership Retreat
  • Book club
  • Symposium/conference/seminar
  • Arts and crafts activity
  • Film screening

Organization's can collaborate with another student organization to put on a combined event that all members may attend using the Member Development Grant and each organiztion is eligible to apply for up to $500, up to a maximum of $1,000. See below FAQs for more information on collaborative programs.

Funds will be available by application in 4 funding windows, aligned with the Programming Funds application timeline.

Full compliance with campus policies is required and the details of this program are subject to change based on changes to campus operations. For questions regarding the application or funds, email

Application Deadlines

  • July 1 for events happening between August 16 - October 15
  • September 1 for events happening between October 16 - December 31
  • November 1 for events happening between January 1 - March 15
  • February 1 for events happening between March 16 - May 31 

You must apply in the correct appplication window. If you apply too early, you will be asked to re-apply in the correct window. For example, if your event will take place on November 10 and you apply before July 15, you are applying by the deadline for events between August 16 - October 15 and thus not in the correct window for your event. For an event on Novemeber 10, you must apply between July 16 and September 1. Make sure you apply in the correct window or you will be asked to reapply. The application for the next window opens the day after the previous application deadline (i.e. September 2 for the November 1 deadline).


Any experience funded through the Member Development Grant must meet the following requirements:

Student organizations can apply for up to $500 toward their program. Expenses must be detailed in an itemized budget for approval. Funds can be provided in one of two methods:

1) Your organization funds the costs associated with the experience up-front and receives funding in a reimbursement. This means that your organization will manage the purchasing and receiving of goods and services independently. This is the most flexible and efficient option and is the recommended choice. You will submit a detailed audit with receipts within 14 days of the ending of the program. Student Activities will reimburse the approved expenses in one check written to your organization. If the audit and receipts are not received within the 14-day window, reimbursement will not be provided. 

2) Student Activities purchases products on behalf of your organization. If this option is selected, direct and prompt communication with Student Activities staff will be required, and is beholden to event, communication, purchasing, and receiving timelines. It may take 6-8 weeks from order date for products to be received. There may be specific vendors that are required due to Ohio State partnerships. Organizations using university-provided supplemental funding may not use this form of payment. If your intended activities/expenses require any form of contract or signature up-front, Student Activities will not be able to use this method of payment and will instead require reimbursement-based payment only. All physical items will be shipped to the Ohio Union Resource Room.

See below for more information on what can and cannot be funded as well as funding details.

Apply Now by February 1 - Programs happening between March 16 - May 31

Apply Here


For general questions about the Member Development Grant, contact For support with brainstorming, schedule a planning meeting with a Student Organization Success Coach.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Member Development Grant Process

1. Develop the idea for a meaningful member experience for your organization. Experiences can be intended for new members, organization leadership, or all members. For support with brainstorming, schedule a planning meeting with a Student Organization Success Coach.
2. Assemble your application. Be sure you can provide specific details and an itemized budget (please use this Member Development Grant Budget Template) for your member development experience. Applications must be submitted by the deadline for the respective funding windows throughout the school year. Review the full list of expectations before submitting your application.
3. Applications are reviewed once the deadline closes. Decisions are issued via email within 30 days from the deadline closure.
4. If selected, communication will begin via email with Student Activities. Approved transactions will be coordinated with Student Activities and a fiscal officer. A staff member will work with you to fine-tune your plan, develop facilitation materials, and implement the experience. There will be at least one meeting with the staff before the experience date.
5. Host your member development experience!
6. Once the experience has concluded, you will submit documentation and a funding audit. When all items are turned in and approved, the organization has officially completed the grant process.
For planning continued member engagement and development experiences, you can schedule a meeting with a Student Organization Success Coach.

The Member Developement Grant can be used to put on programs and experiences that are developmental and only open for members of your organization to attend. Programming Funds are used for programs hosted by your organization that are open for any student at Ohio State to attend. This can also be thought of as internal vs. external. The Member Development Grant is for internal programs and Programming Funds are for external programs.

You can apply in as many windows as you would like, but the preference to recieve funding will always be given to orgs who have not yet been funded in the last 365 days so that as many organizations can benefit from the Grant as possible.

Student organizations may collaborate with each other on a combined member development experience with $500 per organization up to a maximum of $1000 funded by the Grant. More than two organizations may collaborate, but will not receive funding over $1000. 

The collaborative experience must follow the standard expectations for the Grant, and the organizations collaborating will need to identify why having a combined member development experience is beneficial to their members in the application. 

Only one representative will apply for the Grant on behalf of all organizations involved and your application will be viewed as one singular combined application. Each organization will be identified in the application with contact information for the representative students from each group.

One singular budget will be submitted using the Grant Budget Template. There is a column specifically for collaborating organizations to identify which organization will be responsible for coordinating/overseeing the each expense listed on the budget for clarity of communication on purchasing and writing reimbursement checks, if applicable. 

An audit for each group will be submitted at the closure of the event within the standard 14-day timeline. It is expected that collaborating organizations communicate prior to submitting audits, separating the expenses for the program in alignment with the approved budget. Each organization should include the singular combined budget that was approved from the initial application.

Funds can be used for:

  • One-time, single day programs
  • Extended experiences (must start and end within a single funding window)
  • Professional or skill development, education, and speaker honorarium
  • Off-campus developmental activities
  • Service activities
  • Supplies for activities (virtual or in-person)
  • Food distributed must follow current Safe and Healthy policies, can fund up to $14/person for breakfast, $16/person for lunch, and $29/person for dinner to align with Columbus Per Diem rates
  • Incentives for attendance (no more than 20% of attendees may receive a giveaway incentive, to a maximum of $50 in value)
  • Takeaways given to each attendee
  • Other proposals may be submitted, provided they meet the grant's expectations

Funds cannot be used for:

  • Revenue creation: Programs that profit the organization or individual student(s). Any proceeds from a ticketed program (including ticket sales, entry fees, participant fees and sponsorships) 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 or event funded by the student activity fee.
  • Items prohibited by state law and university policy: E.g. alcohol, firearms, tobacco, and illegal
    substances, lottery tickets, promotions offered through D-Tix Discount Ticket Program, and contractually prohibited products.
  • Non Coca-Cola Products
  • Donations: Direct monetary donations to charitable organizations or individuals not associated with the costs of a service project; purchase of items to be directly donated to a charitable or other organization.
  • Payments to individuals: Fees paid to any individual, including students, for his/her services except for any purposes specified in fundable programming expenses. This includes salaries,monetary awards or prizes, fees, loans, stipends, fellowships, and scholarships.
  • Payments to organizations: Fees paid to other registered student organizations for performances or speakers at programs and events
  • Financial Contributions to Other Organizations: Requests for funding submitted on behalf of another organization, where collaboration/co-sponsorship is not evident. Collaborative programs must give evidence of active involvement of all sponsoring organizations. Co-sponsorship is more than just a financial subsidy and should entail a partnership in resources and planning between organizations.
  • Activities or expenditures to benefit individuals: Expenditures designed for the personal gain of individuals and not the organization as a whole, these include but are not limited to the following:
    • Local, state, national, or international organization dues
    • Personal phone charges
    • Duplication of course materials
  • Equipment and software: Costs associated with purchasing equipment, or software for the organization, including portable drives, PDAs, etc.

All items requested in the budget need to hold a programmatic meaning (have use during the program). For items to be funded, the program must not be able to happen without the purchase of these items. This includes incentives and food. If it is a collabortaive program, the other organization(s) involved may also benefit from the purchsed items during the program.

All money raised in the fundraiser should be donated or should offset additonal costs of the program.

No. You can purchase items to be donated, but they need to be used in the activity of the program. Examples include assembling hygiene kits, making birdhouses, making blankets.

Incentives cannot be given to more than 20% of attendees. The winners of the incentive must be chosen by a random drawing and all event attendees must be eligible to recieve the incentive. The incentive cannot cost more than $50 per incentive (gift card or an item giveaway).

If funding is under $500 at time of approval, an organization can request a 1-time increase in funding up to $500 if they add a new activity or item in discussion with their staff coach. You must identify what has been approved and anything different from that will need to be discussed with your coach prior to purchase and approved in order to be funded. If it is not approved, it will not be funded after the fact. All cost increases need to be settled at least 7 days prior to your program start date. Budget increases need to be sent with a new budget document with the increase clearly documented. Shipping and extra costs should be estimated into original budget but can be requested as an increase if the request comes before program with enough time for team review (at least 7 days).

If the budget change causes a shift in program purpose or has significant changes, a new application and new budget will be required that the committee will review. If the budget is approved, the orginal timeline will not change, if not, you will be required to re-apply in a new window to recieve funding. If a new application and budget is needed, it must be submitted within at least 7 days prior to your program start date

Any changes that are not approved at least 7 days before your program start date are not guaranteed to be funded by this grant.

Never, unless they have an LLC that was hired for the program. Then, the LLC may be paid. Students, faculty, and staff can receive a max payment of $100 via gift card/non-monetary item for the program. 

The Member Development Grant Budget can be found here.