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Funding Opportunities

Get funding for your sustainability project.

We offer a variety of grants and awards for student, faculty, and staff projects.

ISU Sustainability Fund

The ISU Sustainability Fund supports creative projects that contribute broadly across the university and support Illinois State's commitments and goals outlined in the Sustainability Strategic Plan.

Apply for Funds

We accept applications on a rolling basis through April 30, 2024 or until the funds are depleted.

Learn more about the ISU Sustainability Fund including selection criteria, logistics, and restrictions.

Micro Grants

The ISU Sustainability Fund accepts applications for micro-grants throughout the academic year on a rolling basis. Additionally, we set aside an amount each year to support educational efforts and sponsorship. Contact us directly for these opportunities.

Zero Waste

Green Your Event

We can help fund your zero waste events on campus.

Zero waste means at least 90 percent of waste from your event gets recycled or composted. Making your event zero waste may bring a bigger price tag. This grant helps offset the higher cost. Here's how.

  • Products

    The Green Your Event grant helps you purchase zero waste products such as, reusable or compostable cups, silverware, and plates. These items are sometimes more expensive than harmful single-use plastics.

  • Education

    We can print signs that communicate all about zero waste and the benefits it has on the environment. Your attendees will feel good knowing the event is doing something positive.

Complete a Green Your Event Application

Student fills her water bottle at the a refill station.

Water Bottle Refill Stations

This micro grant helps eliminate plastic waste on campus. It provides funding to install water bottle refill stations on campus. These stations encourage people to drink from reusable bottles while providing access to fresh, clean water.

Let us know if there's a spot on campus that could use a refill station.

Complete a Water Bottle Refill Station Application

* Residence halls are not eligible for the Water Bottle Refill Station micro grant.

Environmental Stewardship Award

This award recognizes individuals, campus groups, or departments that are helping further the University's sustainability mission. Research projects, education programs, individual efforts, and innovative programs are all eligible for recognition.

Recipients receive a $500 grant that can be used toward future environmental initiatives at Illinois State University. They also get public recognition and a plaque at both the Founding Celebration and the annual Earth Day Breakfast.

Nominate a person or group on campus that is doing great work in sustainability. Applications are due by the end of each fall semester.

Complete an Environmental Stewardship Award Application

Past Stewardship Awards

  • four members of the Redbird Village planning team

    2023-24: Redbird Village Planning Team

    As the largest zero-waste event in Illinois State University history, Redbird Village seamlessly integrated sustainability into a prominent university tradition. From reusable tablecloths to compostable tableware, the event showcased many sustainable practices, strong leadership and collaborative efforts from Alumni Engagement, Redbird Athletics, each academic college, and Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality. Redbird Village fostered awareness among alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community members, and serves as a blueprint for future university gatherings.

  • Noha Shawki

    2022-2023: Dr. Noha Shawki

    Through teaching, research, and service, Dr. Noha Shawki has a longstanding commitment to sustainability at ISU. Since 2012, Dr. Shawki has been a co-director of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies minor, which has an environmental justice track. She has been a co-director of the Center for a Sustainable Water Future since 2018, and was most recently a member of the Task Force that drafted ISU’s first Sustainability Strategic Plan. Dr. Shawki integrates sustainability-related topics, such as climate change and human rights to water and food into each of her courses, and has designed independent study courses outside of her regular teaching load to provide unique global opportunities for students to learn about sustainability.

  • Keith Pluymers

    2021-2022: Dr. Keith Pluymers

    As a researcher, Dr. Pluymers’ keen focus on environmental and ecological issues has been demonstrated through numerous publications and scholarly presentations centered around historical and contemporary issues related to ecological sustainability from an antiracist and anticolonial standpoint.

  • Jesse Smith

    2020-2021: Jesse Smith

    Biology graduate student Jesse Smith organized volunteers to restore the Sugar Creek Savanna. The space was abandoned in the 1990's and became overgrown with invasive species. Thanks to his efforts, native species have returned and the savanna is becoming a space everyone can enjoy for years to come.

  • CeCe Brookins

    2019-2020: The Pass It On Team

    School of Social Work professor emerita Mary Campbell was frustrated by how much was thrown away when students moved out each year. She and her class started Pass It On. Rather than heading to a landfill, items students no longer need get donated to local charities. Pass It On was continued through the partnership of CeCe Brookins in University Housing and David Sanford in ROTC. Pass It On remains in operation today through a partnership with University Housing, the Office of Sustainability and numerous groups across campus and within out community.

    Thanks to this initiative and these individuals, thousands of items have been saved from the landfill.

Ask us anything. Send your grant questions to