How To Directory

Raising money from other sources

Whilst SUSU will try to offer some financial support to its student groups, the amount it can offer is limited and so cannot be guaranteed, as such student groups should aim to be financially independent. Below you will find advice on some of the many ways you can guarantee additional money for your student group.


Membership fees

One of the most successful ways that student groups can guarantee a regular income is through charging a membership fee. This can be any price, but it should reflect the service you are giving your members. For example, a student playing a high risk sport involving expensive equipment might expect to pay a lot more than a member of a departmental society.

If you charge a membership fee, it is vital that your student group has a central bank account with a treasurer overseeing payments. You must charge membership fees via the Union Box Office. This can be set up via the Membership Fees link on your Groups Hub admin page



Local businesses are often keen to sponsor student groups in return for advertisement or guaranteed custom. This can be a very successful way of guaranteeing a lump sum of money, but it can also have risks attached if you aren’t fully aware of what you’re both signing up for. Always make sure you know what you are committing to and that you do anything you say you will, otherwise sponsors might want their money back or it could damage the reputation of your group or SUSU as a whole.

See "Seeking external sponsorship" for more information.


Fundraising on campus

If you’re looking to get funding for a particular competition, trip or piece of equipment, you might want to consider holding a fundraiser. This could be anything from a bake sale to a club night. The most important thing though is to plan your event. Below are some ideas:

  • Themed nights and parties – The Bridge and the halls bars are good for these, or The Cube if you are expecting a larger crowd. Some clubs and bars in Portswood or city centre can also be hired. These can range from fancy dress themes to race nights and beyond!

  • Sponsored events – If you belong to a Club or Society, or have a particular hobby, why not think about using your skills to run a sponsored event? In the past we have seen 24-hour SCUBA diving, sponsored climbing and skydiving.

  • Bake sales – Everyone loves cakes and bake sales can be a great way of guaranteeing income with relatively little effort. If you are going to hold a bake sale you must make sure that one of the cooks has a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate. More information on food hygiene can be found here.

For more information on booking a space for a fundraiser, check out our section on booking facilities and transport.

If you are planning on fundraising for a charity you will need to go through our RAG department. More information on this process can be found here.

University Crowdfunding Platform

The University has its own crowdfunding platform which you should consider using. It was set up four years ago and student groups have had great success raising amounts between £200 and £10,000. You can view the crowdfunding platform here.

Anything can be a crowdfunding project, but it’s best to make projects about something special that you couldn’t achieve without crowdfunding - rather than an every-day cost which your membership should cover. For example, if you were a theatre group then funding a trip to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe would make a good project; funding your next show in the Annexe might not. Likewise, crowdfunding allows Formula Student to use advanced materials like titanium in their car, which has improved their international rankings year on year – but the crowdfunding isn’t the only thing that keeps the team going. Make sure your project is specific in its aims and will create a new or special opportunity.

The crowdfunding platform is run by the Regular Giving Officer in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (ODAR). If you have an idea for a project which you’d like to discuss, please email them directly at crowfunding@soton.ac.uk. You should also contact them if you have any questions about how crowdfunding works.  All crowdfunding projects are approved by ODAR before going public on the platform and you will be supported by the Regular Giving Officer throughout the lifetime of your project.

External funding

For many student groups, it can be worthwhile to explore the possibility of external funding. All sorts of trusts and organisation offer funding to projects which fulfil certain objectives and criteria. This may be for charitable work, but it can also be dependent on the groups of people you work with e.g. athletes, religious groups, innovators, nationalities.

A comprehensive list of trust funds operating in the UK can be found here. Don’t be limited by this list though! Go out and ask local organisations if they can help you out – you never know what they might say. For more advice on approaching local businesses, check out these handy tips.

Finally, whatever you decide to apply for, be sure to plan your application well and have a read through the following tips on how to win a funding bid.