Footsteps Fund - How to
The Footsteps Fund is now open for applications. This funding pot enables you to apply for funds to support activity that is in line with the priorities below. Unlike the LUU Activity Grant, you are able to use this fund to apply for more significant amounts of money and the funds will not expire at the end of July. If you would like to think about applying please read the following information.
Leeds Alumni & Supporter Funding: What’s available for Clubs & Societies?
Who are Leeds Alumni?
Basically, anybody who has graduated from the University of Leeds. As soon as you graduate, you automatically become a member of the Leeds Alumni Community.
The Alumni & Development team are in touch with over 266,000 Leeds Alumni worldwide.
Why do they donate to the University of Leeds?
More than 5,000 alumni donate to the University each year. Often alumni say they donate because of their fond memories of their own time at Leeds, and to give back to help current students experience a Leeds education regardless of their background.
We also receive donations from other supporters such including alumni family members, friends of the University, corporates, trusts and foundations and staff members.
What does Leeds Alumni Funding support?
Leeds alumni funding supports projects all over campus – you may have seen the names of donors on the walls of the Laidlaw Library and Union building to say thank you to alumni who donated to create and upgrade these spaces. Over 2,500 students have received a scholarship funded by Leeds Alumni, and over 60 Clubs and Societies have received funding in the past.
While some donors specify a preference for where their donation goes (e.g. Scholarships), the majority of funding is given to the Footsteps Fund which aims to support the student experience, opportunities and widening participation activity.
Our donors trust the University to decide how to spend their gift in a way that will have the biggest or best impact. The responsibility for this decision lies with the Footsteps Fund Committee, which compromises of staff and student representatives.
Biggest or best impact doesn’t just mean immediate direct financial need, but wherever the strategic need is greatest – that is, enabling a rich, rewarding, beneficial experience for our students.
Once per year, typically in June, the Footsteps Fund Committee meets and welcomes applications to receive Leeds alumni funding through the Footsteps Fund.
Clubs and Societies can apply for funding for one-off purchases or bring an idea to life that aim to support the following priority areas:
Area and Priorities
Student engagement and Outreach
· UG & PG WP student scholarship support
· Estranged/Care leaver student support
Student counselling, health and well being
· Supporting disabled students’ co-curricular activity
· Supporting proactive engagement of students to promote positive wellbeing and belonging
· Supporting the development/enhancement of a truly global student community
· Supporting the accessibility of services for students
· Supporting underrepresented students to access a range of local and global opportunities to enhance their student experience and future careers aligned with the University strategy.
· Projects that support a sense of belonging and community.
· Digital innovation that reaches wider audiences
· Supporting opportunities for students to make a positive contribution to society
· Ensuring our opportunities reach all cohorts including international students.
· Ensuring that the portfolio of opportunities meets the needs of students across work, study, volunteering and research.
Sport & physical activity
· Supporting the enhancement of personal development and employability skills through academic, leadership and volunteering offers in sport and physical activity.
· Improving staff, student and local community health and wellbeing.
· Supporting students to reach their potential through and beyond sport.
· Supporting the safety of students e.g. sports safety equipment.
Students, clubs and societies
Clubs and Societies should use the priorities identified above to consult with lead contacts related to the project idea. They should also consult Max Camara as the LUU Clubs and Society lead contact.
Examples of projects which support the above include:
Based on these priorities, a club or society could apply for the following:
A club wanting to provide an opportunity for members to attend a wellbeing retreat and bring knowledge and experiences back to the club. The aim is to support current and future student members by promoting positive wellbeing in the club environment and across campus.
A society wants to support recent positive policy changes at the University by encouraging the city to also take action. The aim is to provide an opportunity for students to deliver training to local businesses, therefore supporting students to make a positive contribution to society and create local opportunities to enhance employability skills.
Top Tip: Please note this funding is available once per year. If this is suitable for you, and your project meets key priority areas please articulate this clearly on your application form.
The Tae-Kwon-Do society was supported by the Footsteps Fund to purchase 12 sets of sparring gear. After receiving feedback from members about the high cost of taking part in sparring and competitions, with some members choosing not to compete in paid competitions as they couldn’t afford sparring gear the society decided to introduce a sparring gear hire scheme. This scheme also benefits international students who may not be able to transport their gear in suitcases as it takes up a lot of space. The impact this funding has had on the society is immense, every year people leave the society or don’t take part in sparring as they simply can’t afford the cost of the gear. The feedback from the hire scheme has been great so far. “Thank you so much for making this possible. When we had this idea at the end of last summer we had no idea that we could actually be able to make it a reality. Coming from a single parent family myself and having friends who are on limited student finance or are international students, I have seen first-hand the struggle of wanting to take part in a sport and not being able to affordit. Tae-Kwon-Do can be an expensive sport and it broke my heart this year to see some people choosing between buying sparring gear and attending competitions. This scheme will reduce the cost of sparring gear by 70% for a student and that will help so much! This year in competition individuals manage to win 3 gold medals, 3 silver and 7 bronze medals and as a team we came second in the BUTL north league. Hopefully this new scheme will allow more people to take part in sparring and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve next year with even more participants.
LUU Manatality Society - Trigger warning: the next paragraph talks about suicide.
In April 2017, the Leeds University Union Men’s Rugby League tragically suffered the loss of one of their members to suicide. This was devastating for the members of the society and for the whole Leeds community. The society decided they wanted to focus their grief in a positive way and look for a way to help raise awareness around men’s mental health. They wanted to make sure that they did everything they could to stop something like this happening again. The Footsteps Fund supported this campaign by helping to fund a retreat, run by the LUU Men’s Rugby League and American Football societies, which aimed to create a safe space for young men to talk openly about the challenges they face. The project received widespread support and the founders were presented with a Leeds for Life Award, which praised their innovation and for their hard work promoting and fundraising to support the progression of mental health services in the University, and Leeds more broadly. Due to the retreat’s massive success, and the large amount support and interest in it, the project founders have now created the LUU Mantality Society which will continue their work long after they have graduated. Thanks to the support of alumni, like you, we are able to give students the opportunity to run projects which really matter to them and which have such a wide impact on the whole University community
Footsteps Fund Applications – 10 top tips for a good application
1. Follow the guidelines – The Footsteps Fund Committee guidelines give a lot of information about how the application is assessed and the things you need to address. Make sure you have read and understood the guidelines before you start and check that the application follows the guidelines before you submit it. We recommend you speak to the relevant strategic leads with an outline of your project idea before you start your application and then send it to them to review before you submit (do this at least 2 weeks before the deadline!).
2. Keep the application focused, but explain everything – You will need to be as clear and detailed as you can about the what, why, when, who and how of your application and you should complete the form fully. But don’t send through pages and pages of supporting information/pictures etc…remember the committee will be reading through and discussing around 30 application forms so don’t add in extra information and background if it’s not asked for in the application form. Try to think of the sorts of questions someone might ask if they were assessing your application and how to make it stand out alongside lots of other ones.
3. Think through the application – Every word on the application form counts. Just writing something like “the project could also be used to bring in pupils from local schools and the community” does not give much information and might be seen as a throwaway idea that has been dropped in without much thought. How will that work? Can you give an example? Have you done research to prove it? Are you working with partners on this? Try to use “will” rather than “could” – although you need to commit to it!
4. Write clearly and give a clear picture – The Committee is made of people in lots of different roles across the University who may not be familiar with the detail of a club, society or department. Don’t use acronyms. Likewise specify exactly how members there are in your club or society (for example) and what it does!
5. Make sure the figures add up - It needs to be clear as to how the funding application breaks down and what the money would be spent on. Make sure it adds up to the right figure though – the total asked for should match the total of your projected spend. If there are discrepancies the application may be rejected.
6. Be specific – Avoid being vague about timescales, actions or quantities. “In the future” is unhelpful, as are phrases “things have really improved” or “we’re expected to improve rapidly”. You need specific exactly when and by how much, even if these are just estimates that you will be reviewing as the project develops.
7. Be ambitious – Think about how your project idea could deliver the biggest impact. What would that involve? Could you work with another club or society, or expand your activity to involve more students, or outreach or voluntary work? If so, what would you need?
8. But be realistic – You’ll need to return any unspent funds at the end of the year, so there’s no point bidding for more funds than are necessary. Think carefully about the practicalities of your project, how long it might take to get up and running and what you realistically might have achieved by the end of the year.
9. Think about success – what does success look like, and how are you going to measure it? Remember, you will be asked to report on what the impact of the project was, and on everything you proposed in your application. It’s best to think about this before you apply. What is success going to look like, and how will you prove that the funds have made a difference?
10. Make sure the basics are right – it sounds obvious, but applications that are badly written, hard to read, or are full of typos are unlikely to get supported as they give the impression that the project has not been properly thought through. Equally, application forms that aren’t completely filled in or that don’t answer the questions asked are unlikely to get approval.
If you would like to apply for the Footsteps Fund please:
Feel free to make your own start at this. Alternatively, you may wish to reach out to your Development and Engagement Coordinator who can show you previously examples and walk through the form.
Send the application form to M.Camara@leeds.ac.uk
Max Camara, the Activities Team Manager, will then arrange a meeting to feedback and agree a final draft of the application and submission
All first drafts must be submitted to M.Camara@leeds.ac.uk before the 8th May
All final drafts will be returned to LUU by the 16th May
Applications will be considered on the 24th May and submitted to the final panel