USG Discretionary Startup Fund

2016-2017 Policies and Guidelines

Winston Lee |  Associate Director

Timothy Vorhoff | Associate Director

Melanie Franceschini | Assistant Director

Kody Ferguson | Assistant Director



The Discretionary Startup Application is an accessory to the Discretionary Funding Board established to promote student participation in the fostering of new ideas and ventures in leadership on campus. We provide funding to new student organizations for the purpose of promoting their brand and attracting a membership base. All applications will be forwarded to the Director of Discretionary Funds and processed by the Discretionary Funding Board.


How To Apply

  • Application
    • Complete the two-part funding application on the USG Funds website
    • Part 2 of the application requires official invoices/quotes/estimates for each individual expense funding is requested for
    • Your application will not advance in the funding process until both parts are completed within necessary deadlines (see “Deadlines”)
    • The entire organization will be held responsible for the actions of any representative involved with their funding application – choose your main point of contact for the application wisely.
    • Applications with missing or inaccurate information will be rejected
    • A representative from the startup student organization must complete a funding consultation with the Director of the Discretionary Fund or the USG Treasurer before their completed application qualifies to proceed in the funding process
    • Deadlines
      • Applications are due four weeks prior to the date when startup materials are needed.
      • For same-week consideration, applications must be received by noon at least two days prior to the next funding board meeting
      • Funding is a first-come, first-served program. Apply as early as possible to avoid delays caused by school breaks and other technical issues
      • Eligibility
        • Only undergraduate, student-run student organizations recognized through the Office of Campus Activities or the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development are eligible for funding
        • Organizations must be recognized for the first time by one of the aforementioned offices during the current or previous academic semesters
        • Only undergraduate students may serve as the point of contact for applications. No advisors, faculty, or graduates may work on the funding application process.
        • Vendors used in funding applications must either be USC-approved vendors or accept VISA Credit Card. Checks cannot be issued
        • Applications received from organizations with access to other University-mandated fees must disclose this information on the application and will not receive priority consideration for funding. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • What to expect from USG
      • The Director of the Discretionary Fund will respond to all inquiries within two business days, including funding decisions and any changes in the application’s status
      • The Director of the Discretionary Fund will request and make timely payments in accordance with University and USG internal policy
      • Funding Applications will be voted on by USC undergraduates in a closed meeting with supervision from non-voting university staff


What We Fund & Don’t Fund

  • Appropriate use of funds
    • Promotional materials, any other goods that will promote the brand of the organization and attract members (such as t-shirts, banners, etc)
    • T-Shirts funded by USG may only be produced by a vendor who is authorized to work with USC Trademarks. See a list of such vendors here (
    • Will Not Be Funded
      • Food or drinks
      • Items for re-sale
      • Reimbursements
      • Student vendors
  • Limitations on support
    • Individual organizations may receive a maximum of $500 from the Discretionary Startup Fund
    • Funding decisions are never guaranteed – precedence and/or basic qualification do not suggest approval of the application


Funding Presentation

  • The Director of the Discretionary Fund will schedule a brief presentation once the entire application is complete and verified.
  • Applicants must present to the funding board in order for the board to vote on the application.
  • Due to the volume of applications, presentations cannot be moved or rescheduled. Missed presentations will result in automatic rejection of the funding application.
  • Funding applicants should wear business casual attire at their presentation


Applicant Follow-Up

  • Actively correspond with the Director concerning completing the payment process. Failure to do so in a timely manner will result in cancellation of your funding
  • Any increase in costs beyond the original allocation by the Funding Board will not be covered by USG
  • Submit all receipts (and/or final invoices if requested) within two weeks of the event


A Few Friendly Reminders

  • The Funding Board reserves the right to reject, partially-, or wholly-fund any application
  • Funding decisions are final. Rejected applications can re-apply with a new application given all deadlines are met and some condition of the proposal has been changed
  • Never pay for approved expenses with your own money – USG only pays vendors directly and will not reimburse any expenses
  • Any changes requested by the applicant to an approved funding application voids USG’s guarantee to make any payments on that application. If such a change does void or cancel a payment, USG will not owe the organization or vendor any funds
  • Failure to comply with any of these stated funding guidelines at any time will result in automatic rejection of the application and the organization will lose access to USG Funds for two academic years.