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InclusionNU Fund

We know that many campus events have been postponed and/or cancelled in light of the rapidly changing university response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including some programs that were awarded InclusionNU Fund grants.  Please see the new "COVID-19 Related Questions" section below for guidance on what to do if your InclusionNU funded event has been cancelled or postponed due.

Please see the "Application Process" section for changes to our Spring quarter funding calendar.

Please reach out to us directly at inclusion-nu@u.northwestern.edu for further questions.

InclusionNU Fund applications are now closed for 2019-2020.
Overview

The InclusionNU Fund is a grant distributed by Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) that supports registered Northwestern University student organizations in implementing programs and initiatives that align with MSA's mission of supporting marginalized communities and creating an inclusive and welcoming campus.

 

COVID-19 Related Questions

We know that many campus events have been postponed and/or cancelled in light of the rapidly changing university response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including some programs that were awarded InclusionNU Fund grants.  Here is some guidance if you have an upcoming program that received an InclusionNU Fund grant and has been impacted by the COVID-19 situation.
For funded events cancelled or postponed:
  • Please review the table below to determine next steps based on your situation. We are requesting all groups whose funded programs have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation to complete this form. (If your program has taken place as planned, please complete our regular Post-Event Summary.)
  • If your program has been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, we strongly encourage you to request refunds for any payments already made, and/or return any purchases made in advance.  For more information and guidance on contractual obligations and communicating with vendors, please see Northwestern's COVID-19 FAQ page regarding events.
  • Any costs you are unable to get refunded should be submitted to InclusionNU and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Costs incurred for programs cancelled due to COVID-19 will not impact your award allocation for this academic year.
  • At this time, we are unable to allocate funding for any events beyond this academic year. If your program has been postponed past May 31, your award agreement will be cancelled and you may apply for funding again in the next academic year.
  • If you are considering transitioning your program to a virtual format, please reach out to us for guidance and support. We may be able to adjust the costs listed under "Approved Items" to support the new format.
If your event has been... (event status) //
And you have... (spending)
$0 in spending 
(all expenses were refunded, or no expenses)
Non-refundable expenses
(for allowable costs, i.e. items l
listed as "Aapproved Iitems" in your InclusionNU Fund Decision Letter and Award Agreement)
Shifted event to virtual format
Cancelled
Award agreement is cancelled
Submit expenses; award agreement will be closed after
N/A
Postponed indefinitely
Award agreement is cancelled
        
Submit expenses; award agreement will be closed after       
N/A
Postponed with new date within this academic year/by May 31
Proceed as normal. Award agreement will be revised to reflect new program date. Submit post-event summary after event is completed
Proceed as normal. Award agreement will be revised to reflect new program date. Submit post-event summary after event is completed.
Award agreement will be adjusted to reflect new program date. Email us for adjusting your allowable items if needed.
Postponed to next academic year
Award agreement is cancelled
        
Submit expenses; award agreement will be closed after              
N/A

Priorities

Funding proposals must fall into at least one of the following three categories:
  1. Identity Development: Events under this category promote exploration of identity in order to increase participants' self-awareness and sense of community. Event goals can include increasing participants' sense of confidence and pride in their identity; enhancing participants' sense of belonging on campus; and developing relationships and a sense of identity among members of an identity-based community.
  2. Wellness:  Events under this category enhance the overall well-being of marginalized communities within at least one of eight dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, financial, psychological, social, environmental, occupational, and/or intellectual. Event goals can include increasing participants' understanding of practices for maintaining wellness; increasing participants' understanding of the scope of wellness and how it can be impacted by identity; and increasing participants' understanding of the way systemic issues have created disparities in wellness among different communities.
  3. Education and Awareness: Events under this category promote understanding across difference through dialogue and education. Event goals can include increasing participants' knowledge of a specific issue or community; and building relationships and coalitions across communities.  
The InclusionNU Fund also prioritizes proposals that:
  • Focus their impact on Northwestern students and the Northwestern community
  • Do not receive funding through ASG
  • Provide free admission to NU community members
  • Take place on campus and in accessible locations

Eligibility

All Northwestern University student organizations with an active SOFO account are eligible to apply for funding. Groups may submit multiple proposals within one funding cycle, as well as across multiple funding cycles. However, each organization cannot be awarded a total of more than $1,500 in InclusionNU funding within one academic year.

Groups awarded a grant previously must complete a Post-Event Summary Form and turn in all required documentation within 30 days of their event in order to receive their award distribution. Groups that do not submit required documentation by the deadline will not receive their funding and will be ineligible to apply for further funding until their documentation is submitted.

Application Process

InclusionNU Fund applications are now closed for 2019-2020. 

NEW: Changes to Spring Funding Calendar:
  • We are making changes to our Spring Funding Cycles. Our second spring funding cycle is moved up a week to April 24, and we are cancelling our third funding cycle
  • All programs must take place by May 31, 2020. At this time, we are unable to allocate funding for any events beyond this academic year. 

InclusionNU Fund grant proposals are accepted three times a quarter, for a total of nine funding cycles during the academic year. Proposals must be for events/initiatives that occur at least two weeks after the funding cycle deadline.

Applications are due on Fridays by 12:00 PM (noon) on the following dates:
2019-2020 InclusionNU Funding Deadlines

Funding Cycle

Deadline

For events on or after...

Fall 1

October 11

October 25

Fall 2

November 1

November 15

Fall 3

November 22

December 6

Winter 1

January 17

January 31

Winter 2

February 7

February 21

Winter 3

February 28

March 13

Spring 1

April 10

April 24

Spring 2 - CHANGED

April 24

May 8

Spring 3 - CANCELLED

 

Limitations

InclusionNU funds can be used for most event-related costs, including honorariums, supplies and equipment, food, travel, and venue rental.
However, InclusionNU funds may not be used for the following:
  • Individual support. Individual support requests should be submitted through the Student Activities Assistance Fund (SASF).
  • Events where alcohol is available or allowed.
  • Student tuition, books, fees, etc.
  • Late fees and penalties (ex: SOFO check rushing fee).
  • Fundraising events.
  • Mileage reimbursement for personal vehicle use.
  • Payments that fail to comply with SOFO policy. This includes Illinois state sales tax. Please visit the SOFO website to ensure your event's expenses are in compliance with SOFO policy. 

Review

  • Each proposal will be reviewed by the InclusionNU Funding Board based on alignment with MSA's mission and the fund's priorities.
  • The amount awarded to each group will also be based on funding availability and the amount of proposals received during each grant cycle.
  • Proposals are not guaranteed to receive an award.
  • Proposals are reviewed and applications are notified of the Funding Board's decisions within two weeks of the funding deadline.

Receiving an Award

  • Award agreements must be signed and returned within a week of receipt in order to confirm your award.
  • Award letters can be presented to SOFO to allow for approved spending, up to and not to exceed the amount awarded.
  • InclusionNU Fund awards are disbursed on a reimbursement basis, and are deposited into an organization's SOFO account after all required documentation is received.
  • Groups awarded a grant must complete a Post-Event Summary Form and turn in all required documentation within 30 days of their event in order for their award to be transferred to their SOFO account.
  • Required documentation includes:
    • Attendance record
    • Expenses spreadsheet
    • Payment documentation: SOFO audit trail, receipts, contracts, invoices, etc.

Contact

Please contact MSA staff at inclusion-nu@u.northwestern.edu with questions or for more information.
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