The Georgetown University Social Innovation and Public Service (SIPS) Fund is a $1.5 million student-run fund that allocates approximately $60,000 in grant money every year to help students and alumni start their own social ventures. The mission of SIPS grows out of the Jesuit tradition of service to others. At the SIPS Fund, we invest in people as changemakers and match them with the resources they need to address pressing issues and create substantive, positive social impact.
We evaluate grant proposals based on our four pillars--Innovation, Sustainability, Impact on Community, and Impact on Student--and work with grantees over the course of the academic year to help them transform their public service ideas into a reality. We fund a variety of projects, from nonprofit organizations to new student groups to international workshops. To date, SIPS has incubated 54 student and alumni projects which have sent grantees to underserved communities all over the world.
The History of the SIPS Fund
In 2011, Georgetown University decided that it would no longer use a large sum of money that had been generated by student activity fees. It turned to its students to decide what to do with the nearly $1.5 million. One group of students had a remarkable idea: to embody Georgetown’s Jesuit value of men and women for others in a student run organization. They envisioned a student-run endowment that invested in innovative ideas of student and alumni. Since then, the SIPS Fund has invested more than $150,000 in student and alumni projects that do good in the world.
The SIPS Fund operates in two teams - the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee is a ten person undergraduate team that handles the daily work to keep SIPS going all year long. The Board of Trustees is composed of alumni, faculty, and students that have final approval on all funding decisions. The Executive Committee and Board meet twice a year at Fall and Spring Board Meetings.