Opportunity Grant Program
Help Guide 


Access the FY22 Opportunity Grant Application Packet here.


Purpose of the Opportunity Grant Program 

The UCM Alumni Foundation’s mission is to cultivate, manage and distribute resources in support of the University of Central Missouri. In keeping with that mission, the UCM Alumni Foundation established the Opportunity Grant Program in support of employees who have ideas, but insufficient funding. Through a competitive process, the UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grant program provides one-time seed money for projects that advance the University’s strategic plan and result in significant outcomes. Grants start at $100 with a maximum possible award of $5,000. Grants are funded on the fiscal year running July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Awards will be announced in May 2021.

The purpose of the UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grant Program is to support targeted, innovative student-centered ideas of University of Central Missouri faculty and staff that benefit the university’s learning environment and students’ academic experience. The review committee is paying special attention to innovation and sustainability of proposals. Please take note of the bonus points available in the criteria section.


All faculty and staff of the University of Central Missouri, in any academic discipline or student program, are encouraged to submit proposals. Other internal or external funding is not required, but if obtained, makes for a stronger proposal. UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grants must fund expenses related to a specific innovative project. Applicants are limited to one unique proposal each year. Projects that have previously received Opportunity Grant funding are not eligible to re-apply.

Examples of allowable expenses include:

  • Programming supplies (to include food for students)
  • Research that involved or benefits UCM students
  • Service projects
  • Student-related travel costs and conference fees
  • Equipment
  • Hardware and/ or software

Types of expenses not covered include:

  • Salaries/ wages of any kind (to include assistantships)
  • Release time
  • Employee-related travel/ food/ conference fees
  • Underwriting of expenses that would otherwise be paid by UCM budget

TEchnology Requirements

If your proposal includes requests for technology or software, you will need to schedule a consultation with the Technology Support Center prior to submitting the application to ensure compatibility with UCM systems. Please contact the Technology Support Center at 660-543-4357 or tsc@ucmo.edu and request a consultation.


Prior to submitting a proposal, applicants must obtain required administrative or academic approvals and comply with all University and Board of Governors policies and procedures. Proposals, with required cover page and signatures, must be submitted to the UCM Alumni Foundation in the Smiser Alumni Center by 5:00 pm on February 1, 2021. Late proposals and those not adhering to these instructions will not be accepted.

Application Requirements 

Applications must be described in easily understood words for those serving on the review committee who are not experts within the applicant’s field. Applications must include:

  1. Cover Page (attached)– Faculty applicants require signatures of the applicant, school chair, and college dean. Staff applicants require signatures of the applicant and supervisor. Compliance disclosure: Proposals that use human subjects, non-human animal subjects, biohazardous agents, recombinant DNA molecules, ionizing radiation, and/or biologically derived toxins must obtain the appropriate approval(s) before funding can be awarded. If approval is pending at the time of application, approval must be obtained by July 1, 2021. Failure to obtain appropriate approval is grounds for withdrawing support for a proposal.
  2. Project Proposal (two-page limit, typed) – The following four areas must be addressed completely:
    1. Project Description
      i. Who: The number of UCM students likely to be impacted by implementation of project
      ii. What: Description of project
      iii. When: Brief 12-month calendar timeline of project
      iv. Where: Location of project
      v. Why: Explain how the project is innovative and answer how the project will achieve one or more of the four cornerstones of the University’s mission: engaged learning, worldly perspective, culture of service, and future focused academics.
    2. Need of the applicant: Explain why funds are needed to accomplish proposed goals. Include how granted funding would be utilized and list other anticipated funding sources.
    3. Objectives: State goals for the proposed project, expected significance, and relation to past work in the area.
    4. Outcomes: Explain how the project will benefit UCM students.
  3. Budget Form – This section must include the total requested funding amount and a detailed breakdown of how the grant will be used. Applicant must list all items in priority order of need in case the proposal cannot be fully funded. If budget lacks clarity, it will affect the decision of the review committee.
  4. Joint Project letters of cooperation – Include a letter from each co-principal if the project requires collaboration or cooperation of others. General letters of support from chairs or colleagues should not be included in the application.


Proposals will be assessed on a 100-point scale in three primary areas. Proposals can also be awarded up to 20 bonus points* for innovation and sustainability, as outlined below:

  • 45 points: Significant relevance to the University’s mission and the four strategic cornerstones: engaged learning, worldly perspective, culture of service, and future focused academics.
  • 35 points: Clear demonstration of achievable project goals and educational impact for UCM students. Project enriches educational experiences by adding significant value to the academic experience and learning environment.
  • 20 points: Project requires funding for implementation and has a high probability of completion in 12 months or less.
  • Up to 10 bonus points*: The Committee can award up to 10 bonus points for projects that are uniquely innovative.
  • Up to 10 bonus points*: The committee can award up to 10 bonus points for projects that could convert to long-term programming, such as the Campus Cupboard.

Review Procedures

The UCM Alumni Foundation will convene a review committee comprised of University administrators, members of its Board of Directors, and alumni volunteers. Proposals will be evaluated using the above criteria and assigned an overall, global score. Funding will be based on proposals receiving the highest scores with UCM Alumni Foundation Board of Directors approval.

Funded Proposals

Grant recipients are required to submit a mid-term report by December 10, 2021 and a final report by May 6, 2022 detailing:

  • Project outcomes
  • Research findings, if applicable
  • How grant funds were expended
  • Collateral material (advertisements, posters, news releases, etc.)

Recipients who fail to submit acceptable mid-year and final reports will be declared ineligible for further support under the UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grants program.

Grants are awarded through a reimbursement process; therefore, as the project is implemented, the recipient will pay expenses from a University FOAPAL. Once expended, requests for reimbursement must be submitted with the name of the grant and all documentation supporting each expense. Distributions will be made using university-approved procedures and chargebacks, coordinated by Peggy Shaul, Director of Foundation Financial Operations, at the UCM Alumni Foundation.

Proposals receiving funding will be required to include the following information: “Funding was provided by the UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grant Program,” in all published material. It is important to the UCM Alumni Foundation that donors see the impact their generosity has on UCM students so recipients are kindly asked to submit a thank you note that can be shared with donors supporting the Opportunity Grant program.


For more information on the Opportunity Grant Program contact the UCM Alumni Foundation at 660-543-8000 or giving@ucmo.edu. 

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University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation
PO Box 800, Smiser Alumni Center
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Phone: 660-543-8000 | alumni@ucmo.edu

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