With the support from the Westly Foundation, the Haas Center has created Social Impact Grants for up to $1,000 to support undergraduate students proposing student-led innovations* in public service with a potential to make a significant impact.

In line with the Haas Center’s Mission and Principles of Ethical and Effective Service, these grants will help students implement early stage ideas that address social issues through a variety of possible public service approaches including direct service, philanthropy, public policy, service-learning or community-based research, social entrepreneurship and/or student activism.

Apply now.

Selection Criteria

  • Impact: potential for a positive impact on a social issue.
  • *Innovation: used in a broad sense, does not exclusively refer to new programs, ventures, or ideas, but also refers to adaptations of existing programs, ventures, or ideas that expand or enhance impact in meaningful ways.
  • Feasibility: likelihood that the proposal can be completed as described.
  • Impact of grant: the extent to which this grant is critical to the success/implementation of the project.
  • Alignment with Haas Center Mission and Principles of Ethical and Effective Service.

Students or teams participating in the Haas Center programs (i.e., Public Service Leadership Program, Service Organization Leadership Program, Public Service Scholars Program, service-learning courses, Education Partnerships, etc.) will receive competitive priority.


  • Who: Stanford University undergraduates and co-terms who are in good academic standing. Both individuals and teams are eligible.
  • Location: the proposed activities can take place anywhere.
  • External Partners: not required, however, if a partner organization or individual is required for completion of the proposal, then evidence of their willingness to partner must be provided prior to allocation of funds (i.e. an email or phone call with the partner).
  • Use of funds: Funds cannot be used for expenses that have already occurred, cannot be used for expenses covered by another funding source, and cannot be used for salary. In addition, funds cannot be used to support general operating costs for any student organization (i.e., costs that are normally supported through ASSU and/or other student fees). Funds for travel purposes will be considered if there is a direct connection to the innovation and cannot be used for general conferences (e.g. Ashoka or Clinton Global Initiative).

Examples of possible grantees

  • A student team working with an NGO in Guatemala as part of the Engineering for Good course (Electrical Engineering 46) needs $800 to build a prototype of a power meter designed to analyze the output of an innovative pico-hydroelectric generator used in rural areas of developing countries.
  • Working with a nonprofit in San Francisco, a student seeks funds to pilot a replication of the successful East Palo Tennis and Tutoring program.
  • Students working with a local municipality ask for $1000 to create and disseminate a mapping tool for the demarcation of safe routes to elementary schools.

Application and Award Process

The application deadline is 11:59 pm, April 6, 2014. Awards will be announced by May 12, 2014. All funds must be used by end of summer 2014. Up to four awards will be made during this round. Apply now.

Interviews may be requested prior to awarding of a grant. 

All Social Impact Grant recipients will be required to

  1. attend an orientation workshop on the Ethical and Effective Service Principles and public service Pathways
  2. submit a final report describing the impact of their work and learnings from the experience
  3. attend the International Preparation Workshop, if students are using funds overseas.

When necessary, Social Impact Grant recipients will be paired with a faculty, staff or community advisors.

If you have questions, please attend office hours on April 1 (5 - 7pm) or April 3 (3 - 5pm) in the BIRC (located on the first floor of the Haas Center) or email BIRC advising.

Please note that the Center cannot provide feedback on any specific grant ideas.