Submit a Proposal

Do you have a great idea to make UNC Charlotte more sustainable? The Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) invites all members of the university community to submit proposals for funding sustainable projects on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and organizations are eligible to apply.

Apply for funding

To submit a proposal, please use the appropriate form based on your requested funding amount:

Once you’ve completed the appropriate proposal form, please email it to


CGI has funded a wide range of projects, from small-scale events to larger, more comprehensive efforts. Historically, project proposals have request funding amounts ranging from as low as $50 to as high as $40,000.

  • Small Grants (<$500): Examples of smaller proposals are those from student organizations hosting an event on campus, such as movie showings, student gatherings, and volunteer activities. The may also help with supplies for a small project, such as repairing the student gardens or paying for an Adopt-a-Spot sign on campus.
  • Large Grants (>$500): Larger projects often involve permanent additions to campus or more extensive initiatives. Examples of previously funded large grants include bike-share racks, hammocks, and water-bottle filling stations.

The committee will not use funds to:

  • Buy carbon offsets
  • Support animal research
  • Implement facilities deferred maintenance
  • Reinvest into previously accepted negligent projects

Note: For large grants, you must identify a campus partner (an official university department or office) that can assist with planning and, if applicable, maintain any permanent additions to campus. Examples include official departments or offices staffed by the university. Examples include the CGI investments in bikeshare racks (now maintained by PaTS), hammocks (maintained by the Grounds Department), and water-bottle filling stations (maintained by Facilities Maintenance and Operations). Please make sure any partners you have named are aware of your proposal!

Marketing materials for proposals must include the CGI logo.

Common Mistakes

The CGI Committee and mentors have identified several common challenges and mistakes in grant proposals over the years. Being aware of these can help proposers craft stronger, more comprehensive proposals that clearly communicate their ideas and have a better chance of being approved and implemented successfully on campus.

Some of the most frequent issues include:

Project Description Shortcomings

  • Short or vague descriptions that leave the committee with many unanswered questions about the project.
  • Lack of research into current relevant campus practices, sometimes proposing initiatives that already exist.
  • Jumping straight to a proposed solution without clearly defining and describing the problem or need it aims to address.
  • Failure to address potential long-term issues like maintenance, replacement costs, disposal, or storage needs.

Weak Justification

  • Short or unclear justifications that don’t align well with the university’s sustainability goals and definitions.
  • Not adequately describing why the project matters and the intended positive outcomes and impacts.

Insufficient or Incorrect Partners

  • Confusion over roles and partner responsibilities, resulting in poor choices like:
    • Listing an advisor when a department head is truly needed as the main partner
    • Naming a faculty member when a facilities manager may be more appropriate
    • Using a student organization officer instead of an advisor or department leadership
  • Listing proposed partners without their awareness or approval to be involved.

Budget Mistakes

  • Missing either a full budget table or explanatory budget text.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete budget information like:
    • Only including materials costs but not labor
    • Basing costs on a cheap version that won’t meet needs or university standards
    • For events, omitting food costs or failing to follow campus food policies
    • Not identifying specific vendors for purchasing items
  • Not following university branding and logo guidelines

Timeline Issues

  • Completely missing a timeline showing the proposed project steps and schedule
  • Unrealistic expectations about how quickly a project can be implemented

By being aware of these common pitfalls, proposers can put in the effort to craft clear, well-researched, and comprehensive proposals that have a much better chance of being approved for CGI funding. The committee and mentors are available to work with proposers to improve proposals when these issues are identified.

Examples and Resources

Need inspiration or guidance? The projects page has examples of ideas funded.

We challenge students to propose innovative green projects for UNC Charlotte! We look forward to working with you towards a greener future.