Office of Student Life

Student Philanthropy

The BIG Challenge

Buckeye Impact Grant Challenge

About The Buckeye Impact Grant Challenge

Student organizations at Ohio State participated in a Buckeye Funder crowdfunding challenge to raise funds for philanthropic initiatives on campus. They competed for funding by soliciting “votes” in the form of $5.00 donations. This year's projects were oriented around social change and service in the local Ohio State and/or Columbus community, specifically addressing student wellness, student success, and diversity, equity and inclusion. In total, the participating organizations raised over $4000 from 170 donors. See project descriptions below to learn more about how funds are being used. 


2020 BIG Challenge Participants

African Youth League fundraised to create a physical and mental wellness workshop to provide an inclusive, healing space for Black and African students on campus.

Buckeyes For Harm Reduction fundraised to create an awareness event to share informations about the devastating impacts of the opiod epidemic and precautions that students can take to keep themselves and loved ones safe.

Engineers Without Borders fundraised to develop and execute a method to upcycle single-use plastic bags into bulk bags suitable for recycling.

Panhellenic Association fundraised to distribute children's literature to Columbus City Schools that encourages discussions of diverse narratives.

#osubigchallenge #Give2BIG



The 2020 BIG Challenge has ended. Please contact the Student Philanthropy Council ( if you are interested in participating in the next BIG Challenge. 


Proposal Submission Guidelines

  • Proposals should present a detailed explanation of your project idea such that the proposal reviewers understand:  
    • What the program will look like,  

    • Who will participate and benefit from it,  
    • How and when the program will be executed,  

    • Where the program will take place,  

    • How funds will be utilized, and  

    • Why the program should take place? 

  • Projects must take place within the local Ohio State and/or Columbus community and should address student success, student wellness, or diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • Proposals must include a detailed budget for the project. We recommend considering projects that could be executed for less than $3000, but you may submit larger projects. Consider what funding opportunities might be available to supplement your funding in case you are not awarded the full amount of your budget (e.g. CSA funding and USG funding), and consider what you might add to your project if you were awarded more than you anticipated. 

  • Only registered Ohio State student organizations and department programs are eligible to submit proposals. Proposals from groups not recognized by the Office of Student Life or Ohio State University offices and units will not be considered.  

  • Groups must have a faculty or staff advisor.  

  • Groups will be expected to outline a detailed outreach plan which will serve as their foundation for fundraising efforts. Student Philanthropy staff will support you as you develop and execute these plans, providing recommendations and best practices that will help you to effectively build awareness on campus and connect with your network.  

  • If your proposal is selected, you will be expected to attend a strategy meeting to review your marketing and outreach plan. Dates and times for the meetings will be included in the application. At least one representative from your group must attend, but we encourage all students and advisors who will be involved in the initiative to attend. 


Funding and Participation  

  • To receive funds, groups must receive at least 50 votes. This is to ensure that each participating group has made an effort to contribute to fundraising. If a group fails to receive 50 votes, they may be disqualified from receiving any funds.  

  • With three participating organizations, the organization that receives the most votes will receive 50% of the funds raised. Second place will receive 30% of the funds, and third place will receive 20%.

  • With four organizations, the split will be 50%, 25%, 15%, 10%, for 1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th respectively.

  • With five organizations, the split will be 45%, 25%, 15%, 10%, 5% for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

  • Winners must have their budgets approved by Student Philanthropy prior to spending any and all funds. Funds must be used in an appropriate manner that is related to the project that they initially proposed, and groups must show receipts for all expenses.  

  • If partnering with a community organization, funds may not be donated directly to that organization, however organizations may use funds to purchase supplies to donate.  

  • Groups must be willing to provide materials for promotional items (including images, videos, testimonies, and thank you messages). We will provide templates and artwork that you will be able to utilize as part of your outreach plan, but you will need to personalize these materials.  



Each proposal will be graded based on the metrics established in this rubric. This will help us to select the proposls that are most prepared to be successful in this competition. It should also be helpful guide as you consider what to include in your proposal. 


Score: 1 – 3 

Score: 4 - 7 

Score: 8 - 10 


The project proposal fails to address the impact that the project would have on the local Ohio State and/or Columbus community. 

The proposed project addresses a need in the local Ohio State and/or Columbus community. 

The proposed project addresses a significant need of the Ohio State and/or Columbus community in a unique way. 


The details and logistics in the plan are unclear surrounding core components of the proposed project. The group has not demonstrated understanding of event planning and marketing, 

Some details and logistics in the plan are unclear and need to be solidified. The group has demonstrated a sufficient understanding of event planning and marketing. 

The plan presented is detailed and well thought out. The group has demonstrated strong understanding of event planning and marketing. 


It is unlikely that the group could coordinate their event successfully within a year of receiving funds, and this extended timeline would reduce the impact of the project in the community. 

It is unlikely that the group could coordinate their event successfully within a year of receiving funds, but the extended timeline would allow them to have a greater impact in the community.  

The group could reasonably coordinate their event within a year of receiving funds, which will ensure that their impact is timely in addressing issues facing our community right now. 


The proposal does not include sufficient explanation for how funds would be used. The proposed budget is unrealistic. 

The proposal includes a brief explanation of how funds would be used. Some details are unclear. The project might be difficult to fund through crowdfunding alone, but other fund sources could supplement the budget if necessary. 

The proposal includes a detailed explanation of how funds would be used. The proposed project could reasonably be funded through crowdfunding, and other fund sources could easily supplement the budget if necessary. 


The window to submit proposals for the Fall 2020 BIG Challenge has closed. If you are interested in participating in the BIG Challenge, we encourage you to prepare to apply for the next challenge.

If you have any questions about the Buckeye Impact Grant Challenge, please reach out to the Student Philanthropy Council (