Finding Money [Part I]

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Swarthmore has an enormous amount of money available for student-run organizations and events. However, this funding is split between more than ten different groups and departments. The first question to ask when pursuing funding should be, who do I ask?

This is the first of a series of articles which examines where to get money at Swarthmore. As more articles are added to the series, they will be linked from this article.

Do you want funding for a student group?

If yes, you should first turn to the Student Budget Committee. Money from SBC can be used for almost anything that benefits the larger student body—but the Committee can only fund chartered student groups. [To become chartered, talk to the Student Groups Advisor. During the 2007-08 school year, the SGA is Paul Apollo ‘09.]

There is one exception to this. Last year, SBC formed the FUN FUNd. This fund was, according to Giannina Esquivel ‘08, the Student Budget Manager, intended to “give … the whole student body the opportunity to improve student activities on campus.” For example, the FUN FUNd was used to pay for the two swings which were installed early this year. Esquivel cautions that if there is another organization which might fund the activity, ask them first.


Do you want to buy party decorations, run a study break, or hire a DJ?

If you are a group, first check your budget. Every group was automatically given $60 for “All-Campus Events.” This money is intended to pay for study breaks and small events. If that isn’t enough however, turn to the Student Activities Committee [SAC]. The current chairs are Anna Mello ‘08 and Kimberley Watson ’09


Do you want funding to bring (a) speaker(s) to Swarthmore?

Groups might have funding for this in their budgets. Normally, however, you should turn to the Forum for Free Speech [FFS].
Academic departments also have limited amounts of funding available, and will occasionally support related lectures. In past years, for example, the Japanese department has co-sponsored lectures regarding anime with the Anime|Manga club.
If you know about this event a year in advance, the Cooper Grant program can be a great option. Very occasionally, the Cooper Foundation might be willing to work with students to bring extraordinary speakers or events to campus.

FFS | Academic Departments | Cooper Serendipity Grants

Do you want to show (and advertise) a movie to the whole campus?

Seek out the Movie Committee. The 2007-08 chair is Meredith Firetog ‘10.

Movie Committee

Do you want funding to start a new group?

Student Council has a program which will provide $50 in seed funding to help get new groups started.

Student Council

Do you want to organize a theatre workshop, student-run production, or performance art event?

Drama Board is a focus-funding subcommittee of SBC intended to fund such events.

Drama Board

Finally, are you trying to run an event which fights for social justice or inspires community service?

The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility has funds available for Swarthmore students. During the school year, most students and groups would be applying for a Swarthmore Foundation Grant which is intended to support “involvement in community service and social action focusing on a variety of social problems.”

Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Miles Skorpen is drawing the information for this series from interviews and personal experience as the treasurer of five organizations.

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