What is a bulk merit request?
Some organizations request merit funding from BGSA on a regular basis. Requests are approved by an Executive Board or General Assembly vote; this can require planning ahead for up to five weeks before an event. To avoid this wait time for each merit request, organizations can apply for bulk funding, which will cover multiple events at once.
What organizations are eligible for bulk merit funding?
Organizations that have demonstrated previous usage of merit funds with BGSA are eligible for bulk merit funding. Such eligibility will be determined by the Executive Board. This restriction is made because merit requests are not always predictable, and we therefore require a significant portion of the merit fund to be reserved for individual merit requests. Previous usage of merit funds also gives us confidence that the bulk fund amount will be sufficient but not excessive for the organization.
How do I apply for a bulk merit request?
Organizations may apply for bulk merit funding just as they apply for individual merit funds. Indicate in the description of the event that you are requesting bulk funding. Provide a breakdown of events for which the funds will be used, along with the estimated cost of each event. In the next General Assembly (GA) meeting, you will present your request. The GA will vote on the request. If awarded the funds, this will be the only time you will have to apply for a GA vote for merit funding associated with the events covered by the bulk request. You will still have to submit a funding request form every time you want to access the funds so that we can create POs or sign for reimbursements for you, and so that we can maintain a record of the fund usage. However, you will not have to submit merit requests and wait for a vote to access the money.
What do I present to the General Assembly?
- Introduce your organization and its overarching purpose. Include information about the approximate percentage of participants in your organization that are BGSA students.
- Provide some previous history of merit requests, including event names and awarded funds, so that the General Assembly has some idea of how much money has been used in the past.
- Provide a breakdown of events for which the bulk funds, if awarded, will be used, along with the estimated cost of each event. Include dates for each event as accurately as possible. If there is no specific event tied to a cost, provide the estimated date of the transaction.
- Include information about any other sources of funding used by the organization, e.g. GAPSA group funding. Note: BGSA encourages organizations to seek multiple sources of funding; simply having other funding sources will not reduce your chances of getting bulk merit funding.
Rules for Bulk Merit Requests:
In order to maintain a significant portion of our merit funds for individual merit requests, bulk merit funds can only be used to finance events in a single semester. At the end of the semester, any remaining funds will be returned to BGSA. Organizations may apply again for bulk merit funding for the following semester.
The organization must maintain a record of transactions made through the fund. The BGSA Finance Chair may request a copy of the organization’s records to ensure that they agree with our own. If requested, a copy should be emailed to email@example.com. After the final event which is covered by the bulk fund, the organization must email a copy of this record to the BGSA Finance Chair to ensure an agreement of records.
Without approval, the bulk fund should not be used for any purpose other than what was described in the initial application, and what was presented to the General Assembly (GA) for voting, even if there is extra money remaining. If the organization would like to repurpose the funds, a merit request should be submitted which will then be brought to the GA for voting. The request should list past events and the amount spent from the bulk fund for those events, along with a breakdown of future events and the estimated cost of each of those events. State clearly how this will differ from the original request. At the next GA meeting, the organization will be asked to present all of this information for a vote on the repurposing of funds. If the request is approved by the GA, the organization may repurpose the funds. If the request is not approved, the organization will keep all of their funds as originally awarded; any extra money will be returned to the BGSA at the end of the semester.