Please read and be familiar with the information in the Guidelines document before beginning your proposal.
When composing your Parsonage Fund Application, remember that you are applying to a competitive grant program with limited funding. The Parsonage Fund Review Committee consists of Northland College staff and faculty who have an expectation of superior quality for the applications they review. Make sure that your application is clear, complete, and concise; neatly organized on the provided application forms; and edited for spelling and grammar errors. Demonstrating a high level of care and attention in preparing your application materials increases the likelihood of your project being funded. Working with a writing tutor is highly recommended.
The Review Committee will rate your proposal based on the following criteria:
- Type of project: priority is given to research projects and presentations or posters at a professional conference, then capstone projects, followed by all other activities
- Strength and individualization of the faculty/staff recommendation
- Clarity and completeness of the general description of the project
- A clear explanation of how the project/event will benefit the applicant personally, professionally, and/or academically
- Plan for reflection is appropriate and shows deep thought about your personal goals for the project
- Methods of sharing project with Northland and broader community are effective and appropriate
- Budget is reflective of true costs and documentation is included
- Project proposed is likely to have a successful outcome
- Application is free of spelling and grammar errors
- Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and are not eligible for funding—this includes applications that are missing documents, so be sure to review all requirements before submitting your materials
All application forms, including an application checklist, are located on this page. Applications must be submitted using these forms.
Tips for Sharing with the Community
If you are funded, you are required to share what you’ve learned from your experience with the Northland community. You may use any of the options that the review committee has approved, listed below. You are welcome to brainstorm and propose any other idea that you believe best delivers the learning from your experience. In your proposal, inform the committee why you chose the method you did.
- Present your findings to a classroom (please be specific about when/where/what class).
- Be part of a panel discussion at a future conference/presentation (please provide details).
- Write an article for Drifts about one aspect of the experience (provide a deadline for your Drifts article and anticipated issue). Visit the Drifts Freelance Contributor posting on Handshake for more details about how to submit your article.
- Present your project via the Honors Day Poster Session.
- Other—be creative! Some possible ideas include sharing at club meetings, events like Science on Tap, or at other community events off campus.
If you’re creating a poster or another form of visual presentation for your Parsonage-funded project, download the Parsonage Fund logo on the website and include it in your acknowledgments.
You should also reach out to the Office of Marketing Communications after your project is completed to arrange for a story and photo, so they can share your experience with the broader community.
An Excel spreadsheet is provided for reporting your project budget. You MUST include documentation for EVERY item listed on the budget spreadsheet. Your proposal will not be considered if documentation is missing.
Only College-authorized drivers are allowed to operate a College-owned vehicle. Please contact the Facilities Maintenance Office for specific information on becoming an authorized driver. After your trip is approved for funding, your faculty/staff sponsor will need to reserve the vehicle for your group as students are not authorized to reserve vehicles. Faculty/staff sponsors should indicate on the reservation form that it is a Parsonage Fund trip. Groups using College vehicles should establish an emergency plan that includes emergency contact information for all participants and for the College. Vehicles are available at these costs:
||.45 per mile
||carries a total of 4 people
|11-12 person van
||.55 per mile
|14 person mini-bus
||.75 per mile
Showing Personal Contributions
Proposals which include personal contributions are given special consideration by the Review Committee. It is important to explain your contribution and its monetary value in the budget justification section, and to show the dollar value of your contribution in the “Your Contribution” budget line on the Budget Worksheet. Special consideration is also given to students and groups that conduct fundraising events. Students should also try to use cost saving measures such as carpooling, meeting early bird deadlines, room sharing, or cooking one’s own meals to keep project costs at a minimum.
Budgeting for a Flight
Airfare tickets are typically at their lowest cost and a relatively stable cost if they are purchased at least one month in advance of travel. Due to the day-to-day fluctuations in airfare ticket prices, students need to be prepared for the possibility that ticket prices at time of purchase may have increased or decreased from what was budgeted for in their proposal. In that circumstance, students would need to cover the difference with their own funds or reimburse the Parsonage Fund for any overage. The Parsonage Fund will not cover the cost of checked baggage or cover the cost of flight/trip protection insurance. If you feel that circumstances absolutely necessitate the purchase of either of these, you may write a justification for them in the “Budget Rationale” section of your application for consideration by the Parsonage Fund Review Committee.
Documentation for Budgeted Items
Lack of budget documentation is the most common reason funding is denied. Every item that you request funding for must have documentation or your proposal will not be considered. For example, if you include postage in your budget request, you must have documentation from the Post Office showing the current cost of postage. The committee may know the cost, but we hold all applications to the same standards. Web addresses/URLs are not considered documentation. The simplest way to submit your documentation is to cut and paste relevant information into a Word document.
If your project involves traveling, be sure to include costs like:
- Taxes: hotels, car rental, flights, train tickets
- Checking luggage on a train or airline
- Tolls charged on toll roads
- Parking fees
- Shuttle or cab fares
Make sure your costs cover all legs of your trip! That includes taxes, multiple hotel nights, multiple parking fees, multiple shuttle or cab fares, etc. This is your responsibility, and the committee will assume you have budgeted for your needs. Requests for additional funding for “forgotten” budget items are unlikely to be reimbursed.
Faculty or Staff Recommendations
The recommendation is a key factor in a proposal’s success. Plan ahead and provide a copy of the proposal and budget to the person doing the recommendation, as the recommendation form specifically asks them to address the proposal and budget. The faculty or staff member should submit their recommendation form online on the website by the application deadline. For groups, one faculty or staff member may fill out one recommendation form for the entire group; however, each group member must provide a reference person that can be contacted by the Review Committee.
Submitting the Proposal
We strongly recommend referring to the application checklists on the website before submitting your materials.
For Individual Applicants:
- Submit all documents as attachments in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to submit your Participation Agreement form online.
- Your faculty/staff recommendation can also be submitted online by your advisor.
For Group Applicants—Group leaders should:
- Submit all group application documents and all group member responses together. Group members should not submit separately.
- Submit all documents as attachments in as few emails as possible to email@example.com.
- Remember to have all group members submit their Participation Agreement forms online.
- Your faculty/staff recommendation can also be submitted online by your advisor.
- Ensure that the group members listed as applying for funding are on the group form AND that you have all of their individual pieces. If you have group members traveling with you, but not applying for funding, please enter their name(s) in the box after the group member list. Indicate they are not applying for funding.
- Group leaders: you are ultimately responsible for your group. It is your job to make sure budget accounts for all expenses. Reimbursements for “forgotten” expenses are unlikely to occur. It is your job to make sure your group members submit their materials. In essence, make sure your ducks are in a row before submitting a group application!
If you need to send an update, please make it very clear what document(s) is/are being replaced. Use “updated” or “new” in the file name so it is easy to tell which file is which.
File names: It is incredibly helpful to have easily identifiable file names for processing. Please note the formatting instructions for each form.
It is your responsibility to ensure the application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and are not eligible for funding. Individual and group application checklists have been provided to help verify everything that is required.
Groups Over 15
Proposals for groups with over fifteen people are strongly encouraged to consider the following:
- Make sure each applicant is serious about the experience. Group members with strong proposals may receive more funding than members with weak proposals. Some groups have found the following to be helpful with large group experiences:
- Require attendance at planning meetings
- Require help with fundraising efforts
- Set deadlines for application materials and hold members to them
- Determine a small steering committee who will review all individual applications for consistency before submitting as a whole. Request revisions from applications that are not as strong as others by having the individual work with a writing tutor.
- Fundraise. Plan fundraisers and/or set personal contribution levels for participants. The sheer size of large group requests can overwhelm our allotted budget. Diversify your funding strategy as much as possible.