Filling concrete needs for

solar panels.

diagnostic equipment.

school supplies.

native seedlings.

youth outreach.


Millennials and post-millennials want to be involved in service and philanthropy, but there aren’t many mechanisms designed to support young people—even though they have an abundance of skills, energy and passion.

Small Change, Better World provides seed grants for one-time, limited scope projects that address a specific need. Funded projects must require less than $3,000 and be achievable within a short period of time, such as a quarter or semester.


"This was a life changing experience for me. It has left me with a thirst to do more, and the confidence to know that I can make a small difference in the world. Because of this grant, I also went on to design a small anti-poverty program intended to counter the psychological affects of poverty in at-risk youth."

Michelle Krehbiel, Backpacks for Success

"Today I handed over activity books for 76 students of Roman Catholic Tamil School Rajagiriya from Grade 1 to 5 based on the principals request. This will enable them to do more activities in the classroom with the teachers and share knowledge with other students. Thank you SCBW for your support in making it possible."

Danushi De Silva, The Literacy Project

"With funds received from SCBW, we were able to replace and refresh medical equipment and supplies needed to ensure we take accurate vitals and help monitor the conditions which our patients face at our monthly free clinic in the El Niño community of Tijuana, Mexico."

Dean K. Wong, Flying Samaritans at El Niño Clinic


Open to undergraduate and graduate students at UC Irvine. Applicants who receive funding must be in good academic standing and remain students through the duration of their project. Students who will graduate within a quarter of submitting their proposal are not eligible to apply.

Specifically, Small Change, Better World grants:

  • Address a finite, one-time need
  • Address a gap in support rather than a travel expense or programmatic activity that the partner institution already has the jurisdiction and/or capability to support
  • Have a clear vision for impact and social change in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Proposals are accepted twice per year. Applications are due November 25 and May 25.

Preview the Google Form application here, or download a sample proposal here. Components of the proposal include:

  • A description of your proposed project and what problem this project addresses.
  • Budget narrative
  • Who do you plan to work with (e.g. organization or community leaders) to implement this project?
  • What category does this project fall under (e.g. Education, Food Systems, Health)?
  • Do you have any other funding sources for this project (e.g. GoFundMe)?
  • Will the proposed project be completed within 10-15 weeks of receiving the award?
  • Student Bio (name, GPA, major, campus) with photo

Next application round will open in March 2021, with proposals due on May 25, 2021.

Fall 2020 proposals closed on November 25, 2020. Applicants can expect to hear results by early January 2021.



Small Change

Small Change, Better World provides funding to a variety of project types. See examples of previously funded projects on the SCBW Map.

For the Fall 2020 round of proposals, all proposals are welcome. We particularly encourage projects that address needs associated with COVID-19 and/or support communities of color.

Funds can be used to support such expenditures as the purchase of materials and supplies, project-related travel, and the costs incurred in the implementation of project activities. These funds cannot support major hardware purchases, salaries or stipends, or travel expenditures only.

The next round of proposals will open in January 2021! Apply by May 25, 2021.

Applications are accepted twice per year: November 25 and May 25.

We’re looking to fund projects that cost under $3,000. You will need to provide an itemized cost estimate to justify the total amount requested.

Your itemized budget will be unique to the goals of your project. Budget should include reasonable estimated costs for any necessary materials, supplies, equipment, taxes, transportation, shipping, delivery, etc.

There are many resources at UCI and beyond for funding and support. Depending on the type of project you have in mind, you may want to consider:

You may be able to utilize Zotfunder, a UCI fundraising platform. Contact the Blum Center staff at to discuss whether Zotfunder is the right fit for your project.