Frequently Asked Questions
- When and how was The Green Initiative Fund established?
- Does TGIF have Bylaws?
- How much is the student fee that pays into The Green Initiative Fund?
- Is the fee mandatory, opt-in, or opt-out?
- Is TGIF a revolving loan fund?
- Will UC Berkeley always have the TGIF program?
- Who selects the grant awards?
- Who sits on the TGIF Committee?
- What are TGIF’s reporting lines?
- Does TGIF have any paid staff?
- Who can apply for a grant from TGIF?
- When can someone apply for a grant from TGIF?
- How much funding does TGIF award each year?
- What types of grant projects are funded by TGIF?
- What are the requirements of a TGIF grant project?
- How many projects have been funded by TGIF?
- How many funded projects have been completed?
- How many funded projects are currently in-progress?
- Are TGIF grant projects required to report on their progress?
- Does TGIF fund student internships?
- How can I get involved with TGIF?
- Are there green funds at other colleges and universities?
- How do I start a campus green fund at my own college or university?
TGIF was established in spring/summer 2007, thanks to a campus-wide campaign from a group of UC Berkeley students who had heard about the TGIF program at UC Santa Barbara. The TGIF Campaign team successfully put a referendum on the spring 2007 ASUC (student government) elections, and TGIF passed with 69% of votes in favor of the program. The UC Berkeley Chancellor and UC Regents approved TGIF in the summer of 2007 and TGIF began collecting student fees fall 2007.
Students again led a campaign in the 2015-16 school year to renew TGIF as a program. They wrote a renewal referendum, and, with a 68% “YES” vote from the student population, successfully renewed TGIF through 2027.
Currently, the fee is $8/semester/student, with 1/3 of the fee returning to financial aid.
The fee is mandatory. Per UC Office of the President policy on student fees, a 1/3 of each student’s TGIF fee is automatically given to student financial aid, so TGIF actually receives 2/3 of the fee.
No, TGIF is a campus green fund. TGIF does offer a loan option, and the TGIF Committee determines whether or not a project receives a grant or a loan. TGIF does not usually require projects to pay back the grant. TGIF awarded its first “loan” during the 2013 Fall Mini-Grant cycle to the Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC).
In 2015-2016, the UC Berkeley student body voted to continue TGIF for another 10 years, after which point students will have to vote to either end or continue the TGIF program.
The TGIF Committee. TGIF’s Committee is the decision-making body for The Green Initiative Fund. The Committee chooses which projects receive money, approves changes to awards, and guides the general direction of TGIF.
TGIF’s Committee has seven voting members and five non-voting members. Students have the majority vote.
- One graduate student appointed by the President, Campus Affairs Vice President (CAVP), or Vice President of Finance (VPF) of the Graduate Assembly (GA)
- One undergraduate student appointed by the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)
- One student with a background in environmental justice selected by TGIF’s Committee after the other five members have been selected. This position is open to all undergraduate and graduate students via a student at-large application
- One undergraduate student, selected by TGIF’s Committee after the other five members have been selected. This position is open to all undergraduate students via a student at-large application
- One faculty member approved by the Academic Senate
- One staff member from Administration, selected by the Vice Chancellor of Administration
- One staff member from Capital Strategies, selected by the Director of Capital Strategies
- Non-Voting Members
The campus Director of Sustainability, the Director of Capital Planning, a member of the Committee on Student Fees (CSF), and the Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC), shall attend Committee meetings as non-voting Members, and the Committee shall invite experts/guests to provide information and expertise as needed.
As of fall 2013, TGIF is a program offered by the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC). SERC is a department within the Dean of Students (DOS) and Division of Student Affairs (SA) at UC Berkeley. TGIF must write and make public an annual report on its programmatic and financial activities each year. TGIF must also submit an annual student fee report to the Committee on Student Fees (CSF).
Yes. The TGIF Program has one staff Coordinator position (the TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator) that is 1.0 FTE SERC. The TGIF Coordinator reports to the SERC Director and to the TGIF Committee.
TGIF also has 2 TGIF Program Associates who are student staff. You can learn more about the Coordinator and Associates positions on the TGIF Team page.
All UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty can apply for TGIF grants.
TGIF is able to award between $250,000-$350,000 per year; TGIF awards funding based on the quality of a project and does not have a “use it or lose it” clause. Unawarded funding automatically rolls over into the following year’s budget. You can view more details about the annual TGIF budget on our Annual Budget and Reports page.
TGIF categorizes its grant projects in the following 8 sustainability themes (but accepts sustainability projects outside these specific themes): Education & Behavior Change, Energy Conservation & Efficiency, Food Justice & Sustainability, Environmental Justice, Habitat Restoration, Transportation, Water Conservation & Efficiency, Waste Reduction.
216 projects, as of Fall 2018.
There have been 158 TGIF-funded projects completed since 2008. 9 projects have been discontinued.
There are 58 TGIF projects in progress.
Yes. Project Leaders of all TGIF grant awards are required to attend a training prior to receiving their funds. During this training, staff reviews all TGIF project expectations, reporting requirements, and project timelines. The results of the projects’ efforts can be found on the Overview page.
Yes. As of Fall 2018, TGIF has funded 360 paid student internships related to our projects.
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