Develop Your Grant

General Steps for Applying to TGIF

STEP 1: Develop Your Idea*- Review the TGIF Mission, selection process and application criteria, and TGIF funded projects to assist your development.
STEP 2: Decide When to Apply- Is your idea better suited for a Fall Mini-Grant or a Spring Grant?
STEP 3: Begin Your Application Process- Contact TGIF with any questions about your application. Consider attending an application workshop held by TGIF.
STEP 4: Review Your Application- Did you fill out all the required forms (application, project approvals, metrics sheet)? Did you follow the application directions? Did you answer all application questions?
STEP 5: Submit Your Application
STEP 6: Attend Mandatory Grant Winner Training- If selected for a TGIF Grant, you will be required to attend a mandatory project leader training prior to accessing your funds. You should also review the reporting requirements of all funded projects.

*Want to apply for a project but dont have any ideas? See the table below for some inspiration. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or other suggestions you may have for potential projects!

Project Idea
Campus Outdoor Composting Bins Vermicomposting
Campus to Dining-Hall Farm Campus Irrigation Inventory
Personal and Sustainable Investing
Campus Bathrooms Inventory
Campus Custodial Closets Inventory Solar-Powered Generators for
Campus Concerts and Events
Outdoor Events Zero Waste Program Big Belly Solar Waste Compactors
Incorporataing Sustainability
Into Campus IT Practices
Regenerative Campus Project
Campus Building Benchmarking Campus Building HVAC Inventory
Bike Parking E-Waste Recycling and Reuse Project
Biodiesel Production UC Berkeley Bus Ad and Bus Stop
Sustainability Education Campaign
Vertical Wall or Roof Gardens End of Year Move-out: ReUSE and
Recycling Program


Application Criteria

What are the requirements for a TGIF grant application?

  • Projects must directly address environmental sustainability on the UC Berkeley campus, or in the capacity that on-campus activities influence sustainability off campus. All proposed projects must have a clearly defined, measurable outcome.
  • Project proposals may be submitted by UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty. Individuals and organizations outside of UC Berkeley may not submit proposals.
  • Projects must have received written confirmation of support by appropriate campus officials prior to consideration. TGIF funding will not support projects already mandated by law or UC Berkeley policy directive. TGIF will fund projects which go above and beyond minimum requirements and that are unable to gain funding from other sources. (Consult the UC Policy Guidelines for Sustainable Practices for more information)
  • All projects shall have a mechanism for evaluation and follow-up after funding has been dispersed. At minimum, a project plan must include a report made to the TGIF Committee after implementation. If a project is expected to have on-going benefits such as annual cost savings, the project plan must include a mechanism for tracking, recording, and reporting these benefits back to the TGIF Committee.
  • Projects must have publicity, education, and outreach considerations.
  • Fall mini-grant requests must be $500-$2,000. Spring grant requests must be greater than $2,000.
  • Applicants must submit all required documents for each grant cycle. These include the application submission form, any project approvals, and the TGIF Metrics spreadsheet. 
  • Applicants must answer all questions within the submission forms and follow the directions for submitting application materials.

Preference is given to:

  • Projects that demonstrate the greatest reduction in UC Berkeley’s environmental impact for the least cost.
  • Projects that can repay The Green Initiative Fund.
  • Projects with high visibility.
  • Projects with strong student involvement. A minimum of 20% of funds disbursed will be set aside for projects with direct student involvement.

Other Resources
Applicants can review the TGIF Bylaws for more information regarding the mission and vision of The Green Initiative Fund and its grant processes. Applicants are encouraged to review previously funded projects by year, theme, or status, under the "Funded Projects" tab on the TGIF website.

In 2009, UC Berkeley created a Campus Sustainability Plan, which lays out its campus sustainability goals. TGIF's mission is to assist UC Berkeley with achieving its sustainability goals. When developing a TGIF project for the grant application process, use these goals for inspiration and creativity. Applicants' grant metrics must contribute to one or more of these goals in order to be selected for a TGIF grant. 

Energy & Climate

By 2014, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. (CalCAP)
Achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. (CalCAP, UCOP)


Reduce potable water use to 10% below 2008 levels by 2020.

Built Environment

Design future projects to minimize energy and water consumption and wastewater production; incorporate sustainable design principles into capital investment decisions; base capital investment decisions on life cycle cost, including the cost of known future expenditures. (LRDP)


Achieve a 75% diversion rate by June 2012 and zero waste by 2020. (UCOP)


By 2011, develop a green purchasing policy.


By 2014, reduce fuel use by commuters and campus fleet to 25% below 1990 levels.

Food & Dining

By 2020, increase sustainable food purchases by campus foodservice providers to at least 20%. (UCOP)

Land Use

Plan every new project to serve as a model of resource conservation and environmental stewardship. (LRDP)

Table taken from the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability's Campus Sustainability Plan site and credited to the Office of Sustainability.  

You should also visit the Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) website. CalCAP is a collaboration of faculty, administration, staff, and students working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at UC Berkeley. CalCAP's work includes:

  • Conducting and third-party verifying an annual ten-source greenhouse gas emissions inventory to track our progress.
  • Engaging the community and guiding action through climate planning and reporting.
  • Developing and implementing infrastructure and behavioral strategies to reduce the climate impacts of buildings and transportation.

CalCAP description credited to CalCAP.

Another helpful resource for energy-related projects is UC Berkeley's Operational Excellence Energy Management Program.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.