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Revolving Funds

Category: Financial/Accounting Strategies

Revolving funds are internal investment vehicles that provide funding to internal parties for implementing sustainability projects that generate cost savings. The savings replenish the fund for the next round of investments, creating a cycle of investment and returns for funding sustainable education, research, operations, planning, administration, and engagement. Revolving funds are often managed by student-only groups or special committees of students, faculty, and staff. Energy management teams also use this concept as part of Strategic Energy Management.


  • Provides a funding source to implement ideas generated by students, faculty, and staff
  • Hands-on opportunity for student creativity, leadership, and entrepreneurship
  • Visibility, reach, and impact of sustainability projects can grow with each re-investment cycle


  • Need to find a source of seed capital
  • Projects many have uncertain or variable return on investment
  • May require long-term staffing as student leaders graduate


  • GHG Impact


    Projects funded are typically pilot-scale.

  • Economic Impact

    Net Savings

    Depends on the initial amount set aside for the fund. Larger amounts of money can yield higher ROIs as sustainability initiatives typically have a high initial cost. 

  • Feasibility


    Requires initial investment.

  • Timeline

    1-2 years

  • Maintenance


    A group of students, faculty and/or staff need to oversee funds and grant projects. 

  • Publicity

    That's interesting

Revolving Funds Providers