NEXT PROPOSAL DEADLINE: May 1, 2013
I. Purpose of the Green Fund
The Green Fund was created by the student members of the UM Environmental Club and supported by the SGA and 1351 students (over 45%) via petition in the 2010-2011 academic year. The intent of the Green Fund is to provide grants for projects that improve UM sustainability, decrease UM’s ecological footprint, and educate the university and local communities about sustainable practices, environmental issues, and caring for the planet and the millions of species that inhabit it, including our own.
Vision for the Green Fund, from the Green Fund Proposal Executive Summary, written by UM students and presented to the President of the University of Montevallo, April 2011
As the only Public Liberal Arts College in Alabama, the University of Montevallo has an obligation to be at the forefront of the implementation of progressive endeavors that, as educated citizens, we must recognize as ethical. One of these issues is a necessary commitment to sustainable practices and responsible use of resources.
The Green Fund proposes an additional fee of five dollars per semester that will go into an account which will be overseen by the University Sustainability Committee in order to make a statement that the University of Montevallo wants to move towards a more sustainable way of operating. The monies will be available for student, faculty, and staff projects that can be proposed and submitted to the Sustainability Committee and will be voted on by the committee. The Committee will ensure the parameters of the project suit the goals of the University, as well as the community, and align with the missions of education and sustainability.
If the University of Montevallo implements this Green Fund, it would be the first College in the state of Alabama to do so.
II. Sustainability Committee Composition
The UM Sustainability Committee, chaired by the Environmental Studies Coordinator(s), is comprised of 13 members. All committee members are expected to have a clear interest in sustainability issues. Eleven of the committee members are eligible to vote on Green Fund proposals and the number of voting students should always be one greater than the number of all other voting members of the Committee.
Voting members include 5 faculty at-large (including the Committee Chair(s)), 1 student SGA representative, 1 student Environmental Club representative, and 4 students-at-large. The two non-voting committee members are 1 staff member and the Director of the Physical Plant (ex officio). The staff requested that their position be a liaison position and non-voting, due to the workload of the Committee. The Director of the Physical Plant is a non-voting position because many projects will have to be approved by the Physical Plant and because projects will likely be proposed by the Physical Plant. Faculty/staff terms are 3 year; student terms are 1 year.
Business Affairs staff should be invited to attend meetings when financial information is needed by the Committee, but will not serve on the Committee.
One faculty member of this committee will need to serve as Budget Director for the Green Fund. The Budget Director will oversee the Green Fund account and all grantee sub-accounts, and will determine monies available for future use, as described below. The Budget Director will have Banner access to the Green Fund account and sub-accounts and will be able to see all funds in real time.
Advertisement for student members of the committee should be made via a message that is broadcast to all students on the first day of the fall term, and via other means if possible, as all students should have equal chance to apply to serve in the at-large positions on the committee.
III. Use of the Fund - Grants for Special Projects & Student Projects
Any member of the UM campus, or any group of UM campus members, can apply for a Green Fund grant. Grant awards will be made on October 1 and on May 15 in two categories: Special Projects and Student Projects. Funded projects can include, for example, an energy-saving project such as motion sensor lighting, exercise equipment that generates energy for the campus, green space creation, a project that encourages foot or bicycle travel, addition of outdoor recycling cans, a green roof or solar panels for a building, an honorarium for a speaker on environmental issues, among many others. Projects must benefit University of Montevallo sustainability efforts.
INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS
AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS AND GRANT AWARDS
UM students contribute all of the money for the Green Fund via a $5 fee per regular semester and a $2 fee per summer term. The Fund should generate approximately $31,500 annually (given 2010-2011 enrollment) for projects that can be completed during the fiscal year.
The Fund will be available in two distributions: October Awards (Oct 1— May 1; total $30,000) and May Awards (May 15—Aug 15; total approximately $1500). Any unused funds from October Awards will be added to the May Awards, though October Awards projects that will not be complete by May 1 may request a funding extension through Aug 15. Please request extensions by April 15; they will be granted given adequate progress on the project. October Awards projects that require additional funding in order to be completed may request May Awards funding; a new Project Proposal will need to be submitted.
All monies remaining in the Green Fund account after Aug 15 will need to be used for short-term sustainability projects to be determined by the Sustainability Committee. This funding should first be used to complete October or May projects and for Green Fund recognition plaques (see IV, below). All other remaining funds should be used for a project(s) determined by the Committee, such as a September guest speaker, an environmentally-themed celebration for all UM students, an internal Physical Plant project that enhances UM’s sustainability, or other projects. All funds unused at the end of the fiscal year (Sept 30) will be moved into the University Reserves and cannot be recovered by the Green Fund.
If substantial monies remain in the Green Fund account after Aug 15 for each of five consecutive years, the fee charged to the students for this Fund should be reduced, in $0.50 increments, until the amount of the Fund matches the demand for the monies.
During both the October and May distribution periods, there are two proposal categories: Green Fund Special Projects, for which anyone can apply, and Green Fund Student Projects, which are for projects generated by students and for which only students can apply. There is no set amount of the Fund that should go to Student Projects, but decisions about funding student projects should be made first.
Projects can be proposed by any member of the UM community: students, student groups, faculty, staff, administrators, and any other group of UM individuals. All groups proposing a project will need a faculty or staff or administrator as the Project Director, who will supervise and monitor the project and handle the finances.
Projects that should be funded via regular university or department budgets are excluded; the Green Fund is not intended to replace portions of regular budgets. Projects that make changes off of the grounds of the University are excluded, but projects that bring community members to campus are acceptable. Projects that intend to produce a profit for individuals or groups are excluded. Projects that intend to donate money to charitable organizations are excluded. The Green Fund cannot be used for salary or compensation for students, faculty, staff or administrators.
Deadline for proposals for October Awards is September 15. Deadline for proposals for May Awards is May 1. Proposals may be for any amount, but no partial funding will be provided. Projects will need to be completed within the fiscal year; multi-year projects cannot be funded. However, a single stage of a multi-stage project can be submitted if it is clear that the single stage will be beneficial even if no further stages are completed.
Proposals for Green Fund grants should include the items below, in 12-point font; single spaced.
1. Cover Page. One page that includes: Project title, a list of the applicants identifying the Project Director (faculty/staff/admin) and the designation of each applicant (student/faculty/staff/admin), and Grant Category (Green Fund Special Project or Green Fund Student Project).
2. Project Description. A one page description that contains (1) the objective of the project, (2) a clear description of project plans, (3) the educational value of the project, (4) the potential impact on the students, the University community, and the local community (as applicable), and (5) a generalized estimate of the number of persons (currently and in future years) in each of these categories impacted.
Project Directors: Grant expenditures must conform to all State and University spending regulations; please consider this when designing the project. Proposals that may include significant risk to the University should be avoided. Any potential risk should be assessed by the University’s Director of Risk Management. The Committee will consider the additional steps that may be needed due to risk including, but not limited to, vendor insurance requirements and participants waivers. When the risk to UM is too great, a project cannot be approved for funding.
3. Budget. An itemized budget, with explanation of budget items where necessary. Include on this page a statement of any matching funds, additional grant support, or in-kind work for the project. Grants may fund equipment and supplies as well as charges by Physical Plant or independent contractors for their work but may not otherwise fund any salary or benefits for UM students, faculty, staff or administrators.
Any project that would require the approval of the Physical Plant will need to include a letter from the Physical Plant stating that approval. The Project Director should contact the Director of the Physical Plant if approval will be needed.
For any project requiring hiring of the Physical Plant or hiring of an independent contractor, please include a Physical Plant or contractor’s estimate for the job. All independent contractors must complete a University contract after the grant is awarded (see “Contracts” section, below).
4. Time Schedule / Plan of Implementation. A detailed time table that indicates the project stages and projected completion date.
5. Appendix. If you have a conceptual design or other necessary attachment that will help to clarify your project description, you may include it as an appendix. This page is not intended for expansion of your Project Description, but instead for supplemental material that enhances your Project Description.
6. For Student Proposals, a letter of support for the project from the faculty/staff/admin Project Director should be included, along with an evaluation of the likelihood of completion. Note that all voting committee members will see the letters of support.
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Proposals should be submitted with all pages in one file to Sustainability@montevallo.edu. Please use the project title as the file name.
Only complete proposals will be considered. All proposals will be discussed by the members of the Sustainability Committee at their regular meetings. Criteria to be used in evaluation of projects include, but are not limited to, impact on campus sustainability, educational value of the project, likelihood of completion and success in the time frame, and overall project impact on the campus and community, currently and in the long term. Projects will be ranked by merit, using criteria other than budget. Awards will be made based on rank and availability of funds.
INFORMATION FOR GRANT RECIPIENTS
Grant expenditures must conform to all State and University spending regulations. Grant awardees should work closely with the Purchasing Manager of the University to ensure that all purchases are (1) prudent, (2) use appropriate University vendors, (3) secured at the best available price utilizing all of the University purchasing resources, and (4) meet bid law compliance.
Funds will be located in a Green Fund account and available via a special sub-account for each project. Purchases can be made through the Project Director’s department/unit using your Green Fund sub-account number or may be made via the Purchasing Office. General purchasing rules follow (amounts and directions are for fiscal year 2011-2012). (1) All single purchases over $7500 must go out for bid through the Purchasing Department in the Business Office. Single purchases include a purchase of one item over $7500 or a single purchase from one vendor of many items that total $7500. (2) Purchases over $2500 but under $7500 can be made via a PO (purchase order). (3) Purchases under $2500 can be made in these ways: (a) an RFP (request for payment) may be used if UM has an established account with the company; (b) a PO may be used if a company insists upon one for payment; (c) a purchase can be made via a credit account by contacting the Purchasing Manager; (d) an individual may purchase the item(s) and file an RFP for reimbursement (receipt must be supplied). The University will not reimburse sales tax; to obtain the University’s Tax ID number, which allows waiver of sales tax, contact the Purchasing Manager. If you have any questions about purchasing, please contact the Purchasing Manager before you make a purchase.
CONTRACTS FOR HONORARIA AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
A guest speaker who will receive an honorarium will need to fill out a contract and a W-9 form for the University. The forms should be emailed in advance to the speaker, who should return them two weeks in advance of the speaking engagement. The speaker will then receive the honorarium immediately after his/her presentation. Please contact the Vice President for Business Affairs office for forms and with any questions.
All independent contractors will need to complete a University contract after the grant is awarded. Please ensure that the contract is submitted at least two weeks in advance of the project start date to the Vice President for Business Affairs.
PROJECT UPDATES AND PROJECT REPORTS
October Awards grant recipients will need to provide a brief Project Update on the project’s progress to the Budget Director on 1 April. The update is to include the anticipated completion date of the project and the amount in the budget that is expected to be unused. This will allow the Budget Director to determine the funding available for the May Awards. May Awards recipients do not need to file a Project Update.
October Awards recipients will need to provide a brief Final Report for the project on 1 May. May Awards recipients will need to provide a brief Final Report for the project on 15 August. Final Reports should include (1) information on amount of project completed and the amount of the budget used, and (2) photographs of the project (when possible) and a project summary/overview for use on the UM Sustainability website.
TO FILE A PROJECT DEADLINE EXTENSION
October Project Awardees who need additional time to complete a project may file a project extension by April 15. Extensions will be awarded as long as adequate progress has been made and it is clear that the project will be completed by the new deadline. A one-page description of the progress made on the project thus far and a revised time schedule should be submitted to the Sustainability Committee at Sustainability@ montevallo.edu.
IV. Green Fund Recognition
When possible, projects funded by the Green Fund should have a visible plaque that indicates the financial support provided by the UM Green Fund. This will allow UM students to identify how their Green Fund monies are being utilized. Additional PR for the Green Fund, through articles in The Alabamian or the local news, is encouraged.
V. Special Information Regarding the First and Last Years of the Green Fund
During Year 1 of the Green Fund (the 2011-2012 academic year and fiscal year), the University will make $30,000 available for Green Fund grants for the October Awards. Summer funds during Year 1 pose a problem in that the Green Fund fees are not paid until after the May Awards deadline, so there is no way to make an accurate assessment of the amount available. In order to ensure that all Green Fund monies are available for grant applications, Year 1 summer funds will be deferred to Year 2. Thereafter, summer funds will be deferred every year, such that each year’s funding will include summer funds paid during the previous year plus Green Fund monies for the fall and spring of the current year. The University will estimate fall and spring enrollment and provide a funding amount for October Awards ($30000 for fall 2011 and spring 2012). As a result, in the last year the Green Fund is in place there will be summer funds available for small grants the following fiscal year.
During Year 1, funds will be available to grant recipients from the date awarded through Aug 15. The May Awards will be omitted during Year 1 (a) unless funds are available because not all funds were distributed during October or (b) due to recaptured funds if projects were completed under budget.
VI. Calendar for Administration of the Green Fund
1st day of fall semester 1. Call for student members of the Sustainability Committee.
Applications for committee membership due in 1 week*
2. Call for Proposals for October Awards
Week 2 of fall semester Choose student members and set full committee membership
Sept 15 Proposals for October Awards due*
Oct 1 1. Announcement of October Awards
2. October Awards funds become available to awardees
April 1 Project Updates from October Awards recipients due*
April 15 1. Project Deadline Extensions for October Awards projects due*
2. Call for Proposals for May Awards (include projected funding
amount available per Committee’s Budget Director)
May 1 1. Funding deadline for October Awards projects
2. Project Reports due for October Awards projects*
3. Proposals for May Awards due*
May 15 1. Announcement of May Awards
2. May Awards funds become available
Aug 15 1. Funding deadline for May Awards projects
2. Project Reports due for May Awards projects*
3. Budget Director announces fiscal year funds remaining to the
Committee, which determines use of remaining funds. Funds
must be used by Sept 30.
*All paperwork should be submitted as one attachment, labeled with the Project Name, to Sustainability@montevallo.edu.
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