FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When and how was The Green Initiative Fund established?
  2. Does TGIF have Bylaws?
  3. How much is the student fee that pays into The Green Initiative Fund?
  4. Is the fee mandatory, opt-in, or opt-out?
  5. Is TGIF a revolving loan fund?
  6. Will UC Berkeley always have the TGIF program?
  7. Who selects the grant awards?
  8. Who sits on the TGIF Committee?
  9. What are TGIF's reporting lines?
  10. Does TGIF have any paid staff?
  11. Who can apply for a grant from TGIF?
  12. When can someone apply for a grant from TGIF?
  13. How much funding does TGIF award each year?
  14. What types of grant projects are funded by TGIF?
  15. What are the requirements of a TGIF grant project?
  16. How many projects have been funded by TGIF?
  17. How many funded projects have been completed?
  18. How many funded projects are currently in-progress?
  19. Are TGIF grant projects required to report on their progress?
  20. Does TGIF fund student internships?
  21. How can I get involved with TGIF?
  22. Are there green funds at other colleges and universities?
  23. How do I start a campus green fund at my own college or university?


1. When and how was The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) established?
TGIF was established in spring/summer 2007 thanks to a campus-wide campaign from a group of UC Berkeley students who 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.

2. Does TGIF have Bylaws?
Yes- you can view them here.

3. How much is the student fee that pays into The Green Initiative Fund?

Years Year Numbers Fee per Student per Semester
2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10 Years 1-3 $5.00
2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 Years 4-6 $5.50
2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 Years 7-10 $6.00


4. Is the fee mandatory, opt-in, or opt-out?
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.

5. Is TGIF a revolving loan fund?
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 for purchase of a new produce fridge. The BSFC will pay back the full $2,000 interest free within 10 months.

6. Will UC Berkeley always have the TGIF program?
In 2016-2017, the UC Berkeley student body will need to vote on whether or not to keep the TGIF program.

7. Who selects the grant awards?
The TGIF Committee. The TGIF 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.

8. Who sits on the TGIF Committee?
The TGIF Committee has seven voting members and five non-voting members. Students have the majority vote.
Voting Members:

  • One graduate Student appointed by the Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee of the Graduate Assembly (GA)
  • One undergraduate Student appointed by the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Environmental Sustainability Director
  • One Student appointed by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS)
  • One undergraduate Student, selected by the Grant-Making Committee after the other three student members have been selected
  • One Faculty member selected by the Academic Senate
  • One Staff member from Administration, selected by the Vice Chancellor for Administration
  • One Staff member from Facilities Services, selected by the Vice Chancellor of Facilities Services


Non-Voting Members
The campus Sustainability Director, a member of the Committee on Student Fees, a representative of the ASUC Senate, an ex-officio from Capital Projects, and the TGIF Coordinator shall attend Committee meetings as non-voting Members.

9. What are TGIF's reporting lines?
As of fall 2013, TGIF is a program offered by the new Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC). SERC is a functional area within the LEAD Center, a unit within the ASUC Student Union, which is a campus department within the Division of Student Affairs at UC Berkeley.  TGIF must write and make public an annual report on its programmatic and financial activities. TGIF must also submit an annual student fee report to the Committee on Student Fees.

10. Does TGIF have any paid staff?
Yes. The TGIF Program has one staff Coordinator position (the TGIF Coordinator) that is .8FTE TGIF and .2FTE SERC. The TGIF Coordinator reports to the SERC Director and to the TGIF Committee. The TGIF Committee can recommend to the Executive Director of the ASUC Auxiliary that the TGIF Coordinator be removed from his/her position, but does not have the power to make the removal. 
TGIF also has 3 TGIF Program Associates who are student staff. You can learn more about the Coordinator and Associates positions on the TGIF Team page.

11. Who can apply for a grant from TGIF?
All UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty can apply for TGIF grants.

12. When can someone apply for a grant from TGIF?
Prospective applicants can apply for TGIF grants during the fall and spring semesters. TGIF offers a fall mini-grant program and a spring grant program. The mini-grant cycle (application) is a one-stage process and the spring grant cycle is a two-stage process (abstract and application).

13. How much funding does TGIF award each year?
TGIF is able to award between $250,000-$300,000 per year as of 2012-2013; 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.

Year Number of Projects Total Amount Awarded
2008 9 $168,615
2009 10 $286,650
2010 14 $249,150
2011 15 $247,675
2012 22 $308,630
2012 Mini-Grants 12 $17,525
2013 14 $278,505.41
Additional Grant Funds Awarded (existing projects) $30,085
2013 Mini-Grants 14 $20,912.90
2013 Mini-Loan 1 $2,000
2014 12 $225,065
2014 Mini-Grants 8 $12,717
2015 Spring Grants 15 $200,230
2015 Mini-Grants 3 $4,731.50
TOTAL 149 $2,052,491.81


14. What types of grant projects are funded by TGIF?
TGIF categorizes its grant projects in the following sustainability themes (but accepts sustainability projects outside these specific themes): Education & Behavior Change, Energy Conservation & Efficiency, Food Justice & Sustainability, Habitat Restoration, Transporation, Water Conservation & Efficiency, Waste Reduction.

15. What are the requirements of a TGIF grant project?
The requirements of a TGIF grant project can be found on our Develop Your Grant page.

16. How many projects have been funded by TGIF?
One hundred and forty-nin (149) projects. 

17. How many funded projects have been completed?
53 TGIF funded projects have completed since 2008. 3 projects have been discontinued.

  • 2012 Mini-Grant Awards- four projects
  • 2012 Grant Awards- ten projects
  • 2011 Grant Awards- eleven projects
  • 2010 Grant Awards- thirteen projects
  • 2009 Grant Awards- seven projects
  • 2008 Grant Awards- eight total projects; five Earth Weeks


18. How many funded projects are currently in-progress?
55 TGIF Funded Projects are currently in progress.

  • 2013 Mini-Grant Awards- fifteen projects
  • 2013 Grant Awards- fourteen projects
  • 2012 Mini-Grant Awards- eight projects
  • 2012 Grant Awards – twelve projects
  • 2011 Grant Awards – four projects
  • 2010 Grant Awards – one project
  • 2009 Grant Awards – one project
  • 2008 Grant Awards – all completed


19. Are TGIF grant projects required to report on their progress?
Yes. Project leaders of all TGIF grant awards are required to attend a workshop prior to gaining access to their funds. During this workshop, the TGIF Coordinator reviews all TGIF project expectations, reporting requirements, and project timelines. You can view our reporting expectations and requirements here. The results of the projects' efforts can be found on the Overview & Metrics page as well as on the projects' individual pages.

20. Does TGIF fund student internships?
Yes. TGIF has funded 195 paid student internships related to our projects. Looking for an internship? Visit our Jobs page.

21. How can I get involved with TGIF?
Visit our How to Get Involved page for details.

22. Are there green funds at other colleges and universities?
Yes. Visit our Green Fund Resources page for details.

23. How do I start a campus green fund at my own college or university?
Visit our How to Start a Green Fund page, Green Fund Resources page, and TGIF Campaign History page for helpful resources on how to start your campus green fund. 

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.