Student Organization Partnership Program

The Student Organization Partnership Program (SOPP) seeks to meet the needs of both UW–Madison students wanting to engage in community-based work through Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and community partner organizations seeking to build long-term partnerships with these RSOs. The goal is to better connect the RSOs with the Morgridge Center for Public Service to enhance the quality and quantity of community-based work, a key aspect of UW–Madison’s Civic Action Plan.

RSOs selected for the SOPP are supported by the Morgridge Center in building and sustaining community partnerships, accessing transportation, connecting to a broader student population, and earning funding, among other benefits.

The 2023-2024 school year application will open in Spring 2023.

As a part of the campus-wide Civic Action Plan, the Morgridge Center for Public Service has identified the need to better prepare students to do community-engaged work and to build partnerships that are sustained, culturally sensitive and aware, and collaborative and mutually beneficial with community partners.

Through the Morgridge Center’s new Student Organization Partnership Program, student organizations on campus are provided the tools to start engaging in this work while learning to recognize differences in power and privilege between the University and the Madison community. These Mini-Grants will be awarded to assist projects designed to further this mission as well as the Morgridge Center mission of connecting campus and community through service and learning. See sample budget sheet.

See below for more information, and check out some of our past award recipients.

Email the Student Organization Preparation team at studentorg@morgridge.wisc.edu or contact SOPP Interns Jenna Harb (jharb@wisc.edu) and Claudia Liverseed (cliverseed@wisc.edu) with any questions.

RSO Mini Grant Award Information

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What is the Mini-Grant Program?

Mini-Grants of up to $500 are awarded to assist projects that further community-engaged work and build partnerships that are sustained, culturally sensitive and aware, and collaborative and mutually beneficial with community partners. The project must also fit the Morgridge Center’s mission of connecting campus and community through service and learning.

This year, we have enough funding to grant an award to each organization in the Student Organization Partnership Program who properly completes the application process.

Who is eligible?

  • Must be a student organization in the Student Organization Partnership Program through the Morgridge Center for Public Service
    • The organization must submit all items listed in the application to be considered, as well as complete a reflection piece within the academic year of the project
  • Projects must include a partnership with a community organization, which seeks to address recommendations in the UW Civic Action Plan, or demonstrate evidence of furthering high quality community-engaged work and partnership
  • Preference will be given to established projects and partnerships or new initiatives that have a potential to be sustained over time
  • Proposals are encouraged for projects that seek to address a community-identified need and projects for capacity building
  • Examples of partners could include:
    • A public agency, including governmental agencies and K-12 schools
    • A private, nonprofit organization
    • A private business or trade organization working on issues such as hunger, poverty, health care, the arts, criminal justice, the environment, community development and economic development

How to Apply

Apply for the Mini-Grant

The application can also be found here and on our website here.

  • Applications are on a rolling basis with a deadline to submit by the end of each month
  • There must be a minimum three-week period from the application to the start of the project
  • It is highly encouraged to submit applications as far in advance as possible

Your application must include:

  • Contact information
    • Name of two points of contact within the organization
      • Role in RSO/Project
      • Email
    • RSO name
    • If applicable:
      • Community Partner Name
      • Community Partner Contact Name
      • Community Partner Contact Email or Phone Number
    • Project title and description demonstrating how project aligns with the goals of the SOPP and MCPS
    • Budget breakdown demonstrating purpose for grant
      • Justification
    • An example budget
    • Timeline
    • Reflection piece required at the end of the year

What can the mini-grants be used for?

Permissible

  • Supplies/equipment
  • Guest speakers/community partners for virtual events
  • Training materials/registration

Not Permissible

  • Transportation
  • Salaries
  • Social events
  • Food

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What are some important things to consider?

Here are some tips about questions to consider and answer in your application:

  • What does this organization do in the community? How do they do it?
  • What issue does this organization aim to address? Why is this an issue?
  • Who/what does this organization serve?
  • To what community does this organization belong?
  • How have volunteers efficiently contributed in the past?

What does reflection and follow-up look like?

  • Upon completion of the project, a reflection piece must be created and submitted within the academic year
    • Questions to think about:
      • How did entering this organization/community feel?
      • Were there any feelings of discomfort? If yes, why is this the case?
      • What did group members do/contribute well?
      • How can group members improve for the next direct service activity?
      • Did anything surprise you?
      • What were some challenges, and how did you deal with them?
      • How could this program be improved?

Additional FAQ

  1. Who can apply?
    • Only student organizations that are part of the Student Organization Partnership Program through the Morgridge Center for Public Service
  2. Can the funds be used for food or for a social event for my organization?
    • The funds can only be used to support a specific project/event/community-identified need. How the grant will be used should be outlined in the proposal budget, which the review board will take into consideration when distributing awards.
  3. What types of things can the money be used for?
    • Examples could be supplies or equipment, but it could go to a variety of things that are necessary for the project and community partner.
  4. Can I use the grant for transportation?
    • Funding will not be awarded to cover transportation costs as the Morgridge Center already provides transportation support.
    • Student organizations interested in transportation should contact the Transportation Intern at transportationMCPS@office365.wisc.edu.
  5. Can I use the grant to pay volunteers/members of my student organization?
    • Funds will not be awarded for salaries.
    • Funds can be used to pay community partners for a service provided (e.g. guest speaker, facilitator, consultant).
  6. Does this grant have to establish a new partnership or a new program?
    • No, the grant could be awarded to further already established programs/events and campus-community partnerships.
  7. I’d like to apply for a grant, but I’m not sure where to start, who to partner with and what kind of project to do. Who can I talk to?