Selection Process

Interested in Applying for a TGIF Mini-Grant (Fall Semester) or TGIF Grant (Spring Semester)?

When are the 2016-2017 Funding Deadlines?

Fall Semester
TGIF Fall Mini-Grant Application Due: Friday, October 20, 2017 by 5pm

Spring Semester
TGIF Early Abstract Submission Due: Monday, January 29, 2018 by 5pm
TGIF Final Abstract Submission or Early Abstract Resubmission Due: Monday, February 26, 2018 by 5pm
TGIF Grant Application Due (Invitees from the Abtract Stage): Friday, April 6, 2018 by 5pm

Who is eligible and how can I apply?
All students, staff, or faculty at UC Berkeley are eligible to apply to The Green Initiative Fund.

The fall mini-grant application is for small, one-time projects that must be completed within the same academic year in which they receive funding. There is only one stage and applicants must apply by October 16, 2015 by 5pm. Requests must be up to $2,000.

The spring grant program will give preference to larger and longer-timeline projects. Applicants must first submit an abstract form by one of two possible deadlines, February 26, 2018 by 5pm OR February 26, 2016 by 5pm, before they are invited by the TGIF Committee to submit a final application by April 6, 2018 at 5pm. Not all applicants will be invited to submit in April. Requests must be greater than $2,000.

TGIF is excited to announce that it is hosting a pilot Environmental Justice Thematic Grant Cycle for Spring 2018!

TGIF will set aside a minimum of $75,000 for EJ-themed grants (of $300,000 available), and TGIF's Committee will vote first on applications with an environmental justice focus. By setting aside a minimum of $75,000 for EJ-themed grants, TGIF hopes to set UC Berkeley on an open-dialogue path towards environmental justice. 

Definition of environmental justice: The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races and incomes with respect to the development of, implementation, and enforcement of environmental initiatives, so that no group of people shoulders a disproportionate share of negative environmental impacts and that all people have access to environmental benefits/resources. (Definition adapted from the EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, more found here).
In the context of TGIF, increasing access to the environmental resources of the program falls into the category of environmental justice. 

TGIF is actively working to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in environmental grant projects and funding on campus, which falls in line with a strategic organizational goal and the draft strategic plan of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC). By hosting a pilot environmental justice grant cycle, TGIF is taking the first step in supporting and empowering underrepresented communities to strengthen environmental equity at UC Berkeley. 


In order to be considered for EJ grant funding from TGIF, project applications must have a direct link to environmental results, meaning they must produce tangible sustainability metrics. All applicants who would like to be considered for EJ grant funding must indicate on their application this option and answer the 2 EJ prompts on TGIF's Spring 2018 application.

First priority will be given in the Committee's review process to student organizations that fall into the following categories:
  • Cultural & Identity/Cultural & Ethnic;
  • Cultural & Identity/International Student Organizations;
  • Cultural & Identity/LGBTQ+;
  • Cultural & Identity/Women’s Interest.
Student organizations and campus departments with a focus on social equity and/or environmental justice will be given second priority in the Committee's review process and evaluated by supplemental EJ questions on TGIF's Spring 2018 application.

Priority can be defined in a 3-tiered system as the Committee reading and voting on applications from these categories of student organizations first, followed by applications not from these organizations but that would like to apply for environmental justice funding, followed finally by “traditional” sustainability applicants.

To be considered for environmental justice grant funding, please submit a statement of environmental justice intent with your abstract, and if invited back to the final application stage, answer the conditional 2 prompts at the bottom of the application form. Please also indicate on your metrics sheet what the projected environmental justice and sustainability impacts of your project will be.

Environmental justice principles resource available here. In coincidence with TGIF's Environmental Justice Thematic Grant Cycle, the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) will be releasing an environmental justice resource folder in January 2018. TGIF will also be hosting EJ-focused grant-writing workshops in the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester (end of January/beginning of February) to better support student organizations with their grant applications. We want to work with YOU!

Environmental Justice Prompts: 

  • In what ways would funding your project help underrepresented and/or marginalized communities on campus? How do you intend to collaborate with and empower the voices of affected communities?
  • Please describe how your project will address the intersection of environmental and social sustainability.

The spring grant program gives preference to larger and more complex projects. It is a Two-Stage application process and occurs during the spring semester. 

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-$2,000Spring 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.

Who selects the grant winners?
Projects are selected by the student-majority TGIF Committee, which is composed of UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty.

When selecting abstracts in Stage I, the Committee uses the grant requirements and preferences listed in the TGIF Bylaws to structure their votes and abstract feedback. These requirements and preferences can also be found on the Develop Your Grant page.

The Committee uses a scoresheet to vote in Stage II on the final grant applications and select recipients for grant awards. The Committee also uses this scoresheet when selecting the mini-grants.

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.