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Community Fund

Page history last edited by Samantha Ha 3 years, 7 months ago

Home Page / Bonner Program Resources / Bonner Scholar Program Rules / Finances / Overview


Community Fund

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download

Each semester, $50 per Bonner Scholar is set aside in an accumulating reserve called the Community Fund. This fund serves the purpose of providing students the monetary means to benefit a program partner, implement a new program, or acquire needed training. Programs should view Community Funds as a tool for maximizing student initiative and management for capacity building within their communities.


Intended Uses of the Community Fund

The Community Fund can be used for functions or initiatives that fall under three broad categories: 

  • Community Program: donations to community-based organizations
  • Student Program: expenses to support student-led service projects or programs
  • Training: expenses to attend conferences or workshops.


 Examples of appropriate uses of the Community Fund include: 

  • Covering the start-up expenses for a Bonner Scholar-designed service project;
  • Purchasing books or other supplies for the students Bonner Scholars are tutoring;
  • Paying summer camp tuition for kids tutored by Bonner Scholars;
  • Training-related expenses, including travel and registration expenses for conferences and workshops (with a maximum training expense of no more than 25% of the total opening balance in any semester).


Examples of inappropriate uses of the Community Fund include: 

  • Donations to agencies or projects where Bonner Scholars or other students from your institution are not directly involved;
  • Travel expenses to and from service sites during the school year and the summer;
  • Supplement to summer living funds for summer placements or internships;
  • Food or drinks for Bonner Scholar meetings;
  • Expenses related to an awards program;
  • Expenses related to the general administration of the Bonner Scholars Program (travel, printing, phone, equipment, salaries).


Community Fund Structure and Process

The Community Fund is meant to be both a student-initiated and student-managed process. Though each Bonner Program varies slightly in their approach to the Community Fund structure and process, there are a few consistent Bonner guidelines:


  • In order to receive funding, students must complete and submit a Community Fund proposal. This proposal differs slightly based on program; however, the application should minimally include the following components:
    • Student Contact Information: name, email, class year
    • Request Type: community program, student program, or training 
    • Rationale: description of proposed program, project, or training; connection to Bonner and/or the community; and rationale for how it will benefit your Bonner experience or community
    • Budget: the proposed expenses required for the request
      • Budget categories could include transportation, supplies, materials, food, publicity, etc.  


  • A committee of Bonner Scholars should be established to review student proposals for accessing Community Funds. This committee of Bonner Scholars should decide on the process and criteria for allocating the Community Funds. The Bonner Scholars Program directors should have final approval of Community Fund proposals, but they are not permitted to make their own proposals for the use of Community Funds.


  • Program-specific guidelines should be established by the Community Fund committee, in collaboration with Bonner staff. These guidelines should be widely shared with the Bonner Scholars so that all students understand how to apply. The guidelines include:
    • Specific deadlines or rolling deadline
    • Maximum request limit (e.g. $500 per Bonner each academic year)
    • Timeline for request (e.g. proposals must be submitted for review two weeks prior to project/program/training start date)
    • Timeline for use (e.g. Bonners must use distributed fund 90 days after receipt).


  • Community Fund follow up is necessary to determine whether the funds have been used accurately and effectively. Students who received a Community Fund request should be required to provide an expense sheet after the funds are used, submit receipts for all expenses, and complete an evaluation on the fund usage (e.g. How did the community partner benefit from the donation? What were the results of your student program? How did you grow from attending a conference?)
    • This aspect of the Community Fund process is especially important given that Bonner programs are required to track the usage of Community Funds each semester via BWBRS.