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Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF)

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Guidelines and Information


The Sustainability Projects Funding (SPF) allocates funds to provide support for essential educational experiences and activities that aid and supplement the fundamental educational mission of CSUSM.   Sustainability Projects are defined as those activities and projects that are integrally related with helping the campus meet its sustainability goals.  

This year ASI has allocated approximately $15,000 to SPF to fund projects that positively affect CSUSM’s sustainability efforts, reduce the University’s environmental impact, and help to “green” our campus.  ASI administers the SPF through a Sustainability committee. 

Project Process

  1. ASI will email award letters to the student recipient and faculty advisor prior to the end of the academic year in which the application was approved.  
  2. Award recipients must schedule an initial meeting with ASI representatives prior to the start of any project planning or purchasing in order to review ASI and CSUSM purchasing guidelines and project implementation. This meeting must be scheduled by last day of August.
  3. All award recipients must submit a mid-year report and a final report at the end of the fiscal year in which the project took place. The reports must include all spent monies with receipts, as well as a synopsis of the project’s outcomes, challenges, and successes.

Project Guidelines

The following guidelines should be kept in mind when preparing the Request for Funds.

  1. Projects must directly address sustainable solutions on CSUSM’s campus.
  2. All proposed projects must have a clearly defined, measurable outcome;
  3. CSUSM students or CSUSM recognized student organizations may submit proposals. Individuals and organizations outside CSUSM may not submit proposals.
  4. SPF will not support projects already mandated by law or CSUSM policy directive (e.g., standards for green building in new construction or social inclusion standards, etc.), since CSUSM is already obliged to allocate funds for such projects.
  5. SPF will not provide personal grants or funds to an individual in support of individual research.
  6. All projects shall have a mechanism for evaluation and follow up after funding has been dispersed.
  7. Projects should be fiscally sustainable and fall within the allocated funds for the academic year. The grant is meant to be a one-time award.  If a project is to be on going or reoccurring, the project plan must include a mechanism for funding after the conclusion of the academic year.
  8. If a project has on going benefits (e.g. annual cost savings), the project plan must include a mechanism for reporting these benefits back to the committee on an annual basis.
  9. Projects proposals must have publicity, education, & outreach components. Student participation and involvement is highly encouraged.
  10. Projects shall have received all necessary written approval by appropriate campus officials prior to consideration.
  11. Funds cannot be used for financing new infrastructure projects (i.e. new buildings or similar).
  12. Preference will be given to projects that positively impact both social and environmental sustainability and take into account all impacts.
  13. Projects shall take place on the CSUSM campus and should be accessible to all CSUSM students, staff and faculty.
  • Final Report

     All recipients ASI Sustainability Projects funds must submit a final report at the end of the fiscal year in which the activity took place. The report must include all spent monies and receipts, as well as a synopsis of the project’s outcomes, challenges, and successes.
  • Accountability

     Upon review of reports, ASI Representatives shall determine whether the spent funds were within the scope of the project. If funds were spent outside of the project scope or no progress has been made by the mid-year check in, the committee shall review the return of the funds to the Sustainability Project Fund. 


    The committee shall periodically approve a schedule of specific types of projects that require additional approvals prior to consideration for Sustainability Projects funding. These additional approvals ensure that the University is aware of the project and that the project complies with University regulations.

  • Fiscal responsibility

     Because of ASI’s requirements for fiscal responsibility and oversight, all approved projects submitted by student organizations must have an advisor from the CSUSM faculty or staff. This advisor will be responsible to ASI & the University for the administration of grant monies. However, ownership of the project and submit of proposal must be completed by student and/or student organization members. All approved projects must receive final signature approval from the ASI Executive Director ordesignee, after the committee has approved the awarded projects.


Criteria for Evaluation

  1. Positive Impact on CSUSM Sustainability Goals: Submissions should demonstrate how the project will positively help CSUSM reach our sustainability goals.  Suggested ideas include:  promote sustainable behavior among CSUSM campus community, raise awareness about sustainability, reduce our ecological footprint, etc.

  1. Increased Student Involvement:Projects demonstrate a clear initiative to engage students. Student involvement opportunities include, but are not limited to: volunteerism, planning and project management, skills training, research, and leadership roles.
  1. Education and Outreach:Projects demonstrate a clear contribution to educating others about sustainability. Education and outreach opportunities include, but are not limited to: connecting diversity and environmental justice to sustainability, course integration, knowledge sharing, outreach events and programs, campaigning, project demonstrations, project/research presentations and posters and independent studies.
  1. Long Term Feasibility:Projects will demonstrate a clear plan for the project term from start to finish and identify opportunities for sustained operation by working closely with members of facilities, administration and/or faculty. Proposals demonstrate an awareness of long term needs to ensure a sustained impact of this project on campus physical operations or individual behavior.
  1. Scope of Impact at CSUSM:Projects demonstrate a broad impact by integrating sustainable practices with increased student involvement and education. Proposals will assess the number of students impacted by the project as well as summarize quantifiable economic and environmental benefits. Means of measuring impact of the project must be identified and included in the application. 


Please check back for the 2020/2021 funding timeline. 

If you have questions please contact