Special Allocations

Special Allocations are funds reserved for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) to supplement their programming and events. Funds should be used to benefit a cross-section of graduate and professional students and have typically been awarded to offset the cost of honorarium, advertising, and facility rentals.

Special Allocations are OPEN for Fall 2023! Before starting an application, please consult with your Student Activities Office (SAO) Advisor.

For a database of RSO’s on campus, see Husky Link: https://huskylink.washington.edu/

For more information on the Event Budget Planning Worksheet, please contact saofunds@uw.edu. For more information on the GPSS Special Allocations Funding Application, please contact the GPSS VP of Finance, Jon Choi, at gpssvpfb@uw.edu or the GPSS Budget Director, Linh Pham, at gpssbs@uw.edu.


Required Forms

Before applying, please consult your SAO advisor and fill out the Event Budget Planning Worksheet. It must be attached to your application.

Fill out GPSS Special Allocations Request Form online. Once submitted, the form will be forwarded to your SAO advisor and to saofunds@uw.edu.

Tips for Presenting to the GPSS Finance and Budget (F&B) Committee

The GPSS serves graduate students at the University of Washington – Seattle Campus. We recognize that graduate students are involved in many overlapping communities. Invited proposals must present at a GPSS Finance and Budget (F&B) meeting at 11:00am-12:00pm on Fridays in HUB 238 or on Zoom (the link will be emailed to the RSO contact). Presentations are 3 minutes long with a 7 minute Q&A session. RSO’s seeking a Special Allocation from GPSS should be prepared to address the following commonly asked questions:

  1. How are graduate students involved in the planning of your event?
  2. How will you advertise your event specifically to graduate students?
  3. How do you plan on tracking attendance? Will you have pre-registrations? How will you differentiate between your undergraduate, graduate, faculty/staff, and public audience?
  4. (If applicable) Have you applied for the GPSS Diversity Funds?
  5. Which budget items are priorities to be funded?
  6. Upon receiving advice from SAO and F&B, how would you adjust your budget proposal or outreach strategies to better fit the goals of GPSS and F&B?
  7. Do you intend to have multiple events this year? Describe the scale of other events.


Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) at the UW Seattle campus are eligible for Special Allocations. RSOs coordinate with their Student Activities Office (SAO) Adviser to prepare an application describing their event and the proposed use of the funds. RSOs then submit the application to the GPSS and/or ASUW via SAO. The GPSS staff receives the application and arranges an interview between the Finance and Budget (F&B) Committee and application authors. The Committee has an opportunity to ask the authors questions, debate the application, and vote on whether and how much funding to award.

Application Process

How to Apply for Funding (From the SAO Website) Please contact your SAO adviser before completing an application.

  1. REVIEW: all funding details and policies below prior to applying.
  2. DOWNLOAD: the Event Planning Worksheet and the GPSS funding application.
  3. COMPLETE: the Event Planning Worksheet and all funding application(s). Note: if you are applying for multiple funding sources for one event, only one Event Planning Worksheet is required.
    Note: all forms must be typed and submitted via email by one of the five Group Administrators. Please let us know if you need assistance completing the forms.
  4. SAMPLE Event Budget Planning Worksheet and GPSS Special Allocations Funding Application.
  5. SCHEDULE: a meeting with your SAO advisor to discuss details of your event. To find out whom your RSO’s SAO advisor is, visit https://huskylink.washington.edu and search for your RSO. When you meet with your SAO advisor, bring facility confirmations, updated budgets, and any other details about your event.
  6. SUBMIT: once your application has been reviewed by your RSO’s SAO advisor, it will be forwarded by your SAO advisor to saofunds@uw.edu, as well as to the GPSS F&B Committee (gpssvpfb@uw.edu and gpssbs@uw.edu). The GPSS VP of Finance or the Budget Director will coordinate with you to schedule a short presentation time during the GPSS Finance and Budget Committee.
  7. PRESENT: Attend your scheduled presentation slot during the GPSS F&B Committee meeting to give a short 3-minute presentation followed by 7-minutes of Q&A from the committee members. You’re almost done!
  8. NOTIFICATION: The RSO will be notified via email when a decision has been made. Note: notifications may take ten (10) business days or longer following committee reviews. Please factor this timing into event planning when requesting funds.

Application can be found here:  GPSS Special Allocations Funding Application PDF. For more information on the Event Budget Planning Worksheet, please contact saofunds@uw.edu. For more information on the GPSS Special Allocations Funding Application, please contact gpssvpfb@uw.edu or gpssbs@uw.edu.

Funding Policies

Funding Rules The GPSS, in consultation with the University, has created several funding policies to govern the use of state funds in the Special Allocation process.

  • Funding may not be allocated retroactively. No reimbursements may be made for costs incurred prior to the approval of funding.
  • Allocations approved by the F&B Committee must be transferable to a University of Washington budget code.
  • The GPSS will only receive applications for funding from Seattle campus RSOs.
  • Applicants are required to indicate an estimated cost per person attending the event.
  • Funding is contingent upon attending a F&B Committee meeting and satisfying the Committee members that funds will be used to enrich the graduate and professional student experience at the UW Seattle campus.
  • Funds may not be used to:
    • Support the instructional mission of the University, including the purchase of materials for program operations
    • Purchasing gifts, prizes, or making loans
    • Purchasing food or beverages
    • Subsidizing student travel
    • Lobbying to influence legislation or campaigning for a political candidate, initiative, or ballot measure
    • Capital purchases
    • Off-campus events
  • Revenue generated by a GPSS sponsored event should accrue back to the GPSS. The current rate is 15% of net revenues. The F&B Committee will have the authority to waive or reduce the accrual requirement as they deem appropriate.
  • Out-of-town guest speakers or performers whose travel costs are subsidized by the GPSS cannot hold additional speaking or performance engagements in the Seattle vicinity during their visit unless the F&B Committee agrees in advance.
  • The F&B Committee reserves the right to ask RSOs for information about their event after its completion.

Funding Guidelines The F&B Committee favors applications with the following qualities:

  • Graduate and/or professional students involved in planning
  • High proportion of graduate and professional students in attendance
  • Thoroughly developed budgets that the presenter can explain
  • Prudent planned use of funding to maximize the impact per student
  • Budget vs. Actual reports if the event has been put on in previous years
  • Preference may be given to first time groups or events

Preference may be given to applications that have made efforts to secure other funding but ultimately have minimal other sources of funding available besides GPSS. Funding Caps

  • RSOs with one large event per year: $750 cap
  • RSOs with multiple small/medium events per year: $400 cap per year. Eligible to apply each quarter, but no guarantee that request will be funded each quarter.

Failure to follow any of the above guidelines may result in the denial of funding or the revocation of funding after approval. Once funding is approved by the F&B Committee, the GPSS VP of Finance will work with your RSO advisor to make the money available.