Action Network FAQs
- We haven't started our campaign yet, but have an awesome idea. What are we eligible for?
- Can Campus Progress help with my event?
- When should I apply for an Organizing Grant? How long does the process take?
- How much financial assistance should I request?
- What if I don't meet all of the eligibility requirements?
- If my organization is awarded an Organizing Grant, who will receive the check?
- The Organizing Grant isn't enough to pay for our campaign or project. What should I do?
- My group is a chapter of a national organization. Does it still qualify for a grant or partnership?
- For what issues does Campus Progress award organizing Grants and Progressive Partnerships?
- My organization is not based in the United States, is it still eligible?
- One of my classmates is running for City Council, and we formed an organization to support her. Do we qualify for an Organizing Grant?
- Are Organizing Grants and Progressive Partnerships available to student groups working on ballot initiatives?
- How have other young people used Organizing Grant funds?
- Are high school students eligible?
- What do you mean by "issue campaigns" or "long term projects to strengthen the progressive movement?"
We haven't started our campaign yet, but have an awesome idea. What are we eligible for?
Everything! We will give some preference to projects or campaigns in the planning stages, and that could benefit from grant support. When you fill out your application, include as much detail as possible on where you are as an organization so that it will help us determine if you are eligible.
Can Campus Progress help with my event?
You should only apply for an Organizing Grant on Progressive Partnership for issue campaigns or long-term projects to build the strength of the progressive movement in your campus or community. Campaigns and projects may, of course, include events as a tactic, but there should be a larger goal, a strategy for how to achieve it, and (in almost all cases) other tactics employed.
How long does it take for Campus Progress to award grants?
Grants take at least three weeks to review, and even after you receive notice that we have approved the grant, it can take some time before you receive a check. If you want to double check that your application is being processed, or have any questions about the Action Grant program, email email@example.com.
How much financial assistance should I request?
Be reasonable! Organizing Grants range from $200-$1,500, so don't request $10,000. You should also be strategic: Giving away hundreds of "Free Willy" t-shirts is not the most cost-effective way to save the whales.
What if I don't meet all of the eligibility requirements?
If your organization falls outside of one of the eligibility requirements, make sure to explain why we should make an exception. Remember that all grants must be compatible with 501(C)(3) rules, which can include campaigns on ballot initiatives, legislation; changing school policies, etc., but never partisan or electoral candidate activities. You may also want to look for other opportunities: DoSomething.org has a great database of grants and other opportunities.
If my organization is awarded an Organizing Grant, who will receive the check?
We strongly prefer to make the check out to your student organization's bank account, or to a 501(C3) organization. This preference is not weighed in the application process, but it is still strongly encouraged. If necessary, we can send the check to an individual who will manage the funds for the organization, but we will still require strict accounting for expenditures. These individuals may or may not face an additional tax burden because of the grant. Grants are always awarded to organizations, not individuals, and the organization should have ultimate control over the use of funds, regardless of the name on the check.
The grant won't be enough to pay for our campaign or project. What should I do?
Remember that there are many ways to fundraise, such as applying for funding from student government, holding benefit concerts or bake sales, and asking interested members of the community. Campus Progress may be able to meet some of your needs, but you should always look for ways to use the resources already at your disposal. You might also try to look for other grants at the dosomething.org database.
Developing a good fundraising strategy can be vital to the success of your organization.
My group is a chapter of a national organization. Does it still qualify for a grant or partnership?
Unfortunately, Campus Progress does not regularly work with chapters of national or regional organizations via the Action Network, especially if they are not youth-led. We have made some exceptions, so if you feel like there is a compelling reason why we should make an exception let us know.
If there is a coalition of organizations working on the campaign on your campus, however, this coalition may qualify for a grant. If you are a young person working to start a national or regional organization, such as a statewide sustainability coalition, you are strongly encouraged to apply.
What issues does Campus Progress prioritize for the Action Network?
If it is a progressive cause that students care about, we will consider it so long as it is consistent with our 501 (c)(3) tax policy. This means that if your campaign has to do with electoral politics or is partisan (in the sense of being coordinated by, with, or for a political party), we will not be able to help. Special consideration will be given to projects or campaigns having to do with: college access, diversity, and affordability; climate change, environmental justice, and green jobs; and expanding health care coverage.
My organization is not based in the United States, is it still eligible?
Unfortunately, no. Campus Progress has limited resources, and is focusing its attention on the United States. We do accept applications from all US territories, states, and federal districts.
One of my classmates is running for City Council, and we formed an organization to support her. Do we qualify for an Organizing Grant?
Unfortunately, no. While we love to see students getting involved in all parts of the political process, we cannot get involved in electoral or partisan politics. We are able to help students working on some ballot initiatives, however.
Yes, provided that the organization and campaign is non-partisan and that the group is not simultaneously working on an electoral campaign.
Students have used their Campus Progress Action grants in order to:
- Buy basic supplies, like clipboards, sidewalk chalk, copies, and poster board
- Purchase on-campus advertising, Facebook flyers, and other inexpensive forms of paid media
- Create displays on campus to educate students on their issues
- Acquire sweatshop-free clothes to use in a "sweat-free fashion show," and then resell the clothes to fundraise for the campaign
- Make stickers, pins, banners, and other promotional materials for the campaign
- Pay for web hosting
- Cover costs related to events (more on events)
- Pay tabling fees at conferences and other events to recruit for and publicize the campaign
Are high school students eligible?
No, unfortunately, Campus Progress is currently focusing on strengthening the voices of young adults and college students. Don't forget about us, however: We would love to work with you as soon you graduate.
What do you mean by "issue campaigns" or "long term projects to strengthen the progressive movement?"
Maybe the best way to explain is by example:
- Efforts to convince your school to give out all student aid on the basis of financial need
- Attempting to pass legislation in your state that would expand renewable energy or improve public transit
- Convincing your university not to invest its endowment in companies that do business in Sudan in ways that strengthen the ability of the government to carry out genocide
- A public awareness campaign encouraging those in your community to embrace the GLBTQ community
- Advocating for the inclusion of the HPV vaccine in your school's health insurance plan
Long Term Projects to Strengthen the Progressive Movement:
- Creating or strengthening a statewide student sustainability coalition, or organizing a statewide student association
- Creating a GLBTQ resource center in your community or campus
- Creating a progressive student union at your campus, especially if your school is conservative or largely apolitical
- Creating a young workers resource center (like Young Workers United)
Still looking for answers? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.