Funding Requests

Through BTU, faculty, staff, and students have access to funding resources aimed to align, scale, sustain, and institutionalize community engagement partnerships and efforts.

BTU resources are intended to support partnership and community engagement work of faculty, staff, and students. There are many different forms of community engagement and partnership work within higher education. At Towson University, this work is seen as “a dynamic relational process that facilitates communication, interaction, involvement, and exchange between an organization and a community for a range of social and organizational outcomes” (Johnston 2018). Individuals seeking BTU support should craft requests with these parameters of community engagement and partnership work in mind.

COVID-19 BTU Support Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BTU team is shifting its focus of financial support to address needs at the intersection of community engagement research and projects focused on being responsive to impacts of COVID-19 and supporting research-based student employment for TU students. As always we will do this work in collaboration with our partners.

To adapt to the needs of our internal and external communities, during fall 2020, BTU support will shift funding focus in order to provide COVID-19 community engagement research support.

Proposed projects must have a community engagement component (involvement and collaboration with a partner for the support of the greater Baltimore community) and focus on responsiveness to the pandemic. Some possible areas of research/work include, but are not limited to:

  • Addressing education equity in the K-12 environment
  • Supporting the economic recovery of small businesses, specifically minority and women owned businesses
  • Addressing health, family support structures and community needs
  • Creating capacity for nonprofits struggling to survive during COVID-19
  • Re-examining community engagement, civic engagement and service learning practices
  • Creating or modifying community access points to arts and cultural activities

A particular focus for resources will be directed toward mitigating the loss of employment for TU students with primary funding supporting projects that involve the employment of TU students as research assistants.

To request resources to support a community engagement project addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, get the conversation started by sending a description of your desired project and intended outcomes to by Monday, September 21, 2020. Notifications of funding decisions will be made on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Faculty and staff who receive support are obligated to report on progress monthly and author a blog on their work to Students are obligated to write a reflection piece on their experience. View the recent blog to learn more about how BTU has pivoted during the Covid-19 pandemic and for examples of recently supported work.

To explore how BTU can support your community engagement work, contact .

BTU Ongoing Support

Enrichment Support, supported by Pepsi

BTU Enrichment supports engagement activities such as event and material supplies, catering or meal needs, workshop supplies, gap funding, equipment, marketing materials, honorariums, stipends, and other activities directly related to qualifying community engagement and partnership work. Requests are limited to $2,000.

Transportation Support

BTU Transportation supports the rental and/or utilization of vehicles, mileage reimbursement, and parking codes for faculty, staff, or students traveling off-campus, or partners traveling on-campus, for partnership and community engagement projects.

National Visibility

BTU National Visibility supports travel for individuals in the continental United States with direct relation to presenting community engagement work at conferences or events. Requests are limited to $1,000.

Request Ongoing Support

Prior to requesting funds, the project for which funding is being requested must be entered into the BTU Database.

Submit your request for BTU Support.

BTU Investment Proposals

BTU Priority Investments

Priority Investment funding is allocated as investments over a one to three year period, focused on scaling, sustaining, aligning, and institutionalizing leading TU community engagement partnerships and projects. Consideration is given to projects that are interdisciplinary, integrate student learning and high-impact practices, already involve external funding sources, and have scholarly dissemination potential or an existing track-record. Previous investments have ranged from $15,000 to $25,000.

  • Must have clearly identified existing and potential additional external partners
  • Must include a letter of recommendation from the associated partner organization(s) and from at least one dean or vice president
  • Must demonstrate how the investment will result in growth and sustainability
  • Applicants should have a willingness to explore new and potential cross-campus collaborations
  • Assessment and evaluation approach must be clearly identified
  • If requested, year two and year three support will be contingent on progress and accomplishment of identified outcomes (specific and clear outcomes will be defined jointly at time of financial investment)
BTU Emerging Idea Investments, supported by Whiting-Turner

Emerging Idea Investment funding is allocated for a one-year period, focused on supporting new and emerging community partnerships and projects. Consideration is given to proposals that are interdisciplinary and integrated with traditionally underserved populations. Previous investments have ranged from $4,000 to $8,000.

  • Must be built on existing work, meaning the idea should be derived from an area, project, direction, or class that TU has been involved with
  • The purpose should be to further investigate and dive into the idea's relevance and capability for TU
  • Applicants should have a willingness to explore new and potential cross-campus collaborations
  • Assessment and evaluation approach must be clearly identified
  • Proposal should identify what additional investments are needed
  • In order to ensure buy-in and support for this work, the emerging idea should have been discussed with and approved by the associated dean or vice president. This will be confirmed during the review process.