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Parents & Families Initiatives Fund Grants

Initiatives Fund grant proposals are now being accepted for the 2020-2021 academic year!

Each year, on behalf of the Maryland Parent & Family Association, the Parent/Family Advisory Council awards grants to support new and innovative programs/services that enhance and directly contribute to the student experience at the University. Departments/organizations in the Division of Student Affairs can apply for grants of up to $5,000 in funding. The Initiatives Fund grant program is made possible by generous support from parents, family members, alumni, and friends who contribute to the university's Parents & Families Initiatives Fund.


  • Departments/offices in the Division of Student Affairs whose program/service will benefit and enhance undergraduate student life and learning;
  • Officially recognized UMD student organizations.
  • Departments wishing to apply for a Parents & Families Initiatives Fund Grant must submit a grant proposal. The proposal must address all of the information outlined in the grant proposal instructions. Incomplete proposals will not be reviewed.
  • Proposals should clearly and concisely articulate the ways in which the program/service will enhance the undergraduate student experience and address an unmet need. Stronger consideration will be given to programs or services that affect the greatest number of students.
  • Collaboration with other campus departments and organizations is strongly encouraged.
  • Funding for food, prizes, or giveaways is not a priority and will not be considered by the Parent/Family Advisory Council unless they are a vital part of the proposed program/service. If any of these items are vital to the success of the program, please provide a detailed explanation.
  • Funding is NOT granted for salaries or stipends.
  • Travel expenses will only be considered if the proposed program/service will bring a benefit back to the UMD community.
  • Prepare the proposal and budget carefully. If awarded funding, the grant may only be used for items that are specifically outlined in an approved proposal. Grant funding not used as proposed and approved will be revoked.

Criteria for selection for funding include the following:

  • Overall quality and merit of proposal;
  • Number of students directly (and indirectly) impacted by the proposed program/service;
  • Degree to which the program enhances the undergraduate student experience and addresses important problems or critical issues on campus, especially those that are not currently being addressed;
  • Substantial value and long-term impact of the proposed program/service on students and the UMD community;
  • Feasibility of accomplishing stated objectives within the proposed period;
  • Serious efforts to obtain alternative/additional means of support.

Although departments can request the maximum award amount of $5,000, the Maryland Parent & Family Association reserves the right to grant funding at any level as determined by the Parent/Family Advisory Council. Past Initiatives Fund Grant recipients are welcome to submit a proposal for continued funding; however, priority consideration will be given to those programs that are new and may not otherwise be possible without support from the Parents & Families Initiatives Fund.

Application Process
Departments wishing to apply for a Parents & Families Initiatives Fund Grant should submit a grant proposal. Click here for complete details and instructions (grant proposals must follow the format outlined in the instructions).

Proposals are due by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and must be submitted via email (attached in Word or PDF) to Chandra Bisnath, Office of Parent and Family Affairs, at cbisnath@umd.edu. Decisions will be announced by May 31.

Questions? Contact the Office of Parent and Family Affairs at x48429.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader.