Who establishes priorities for fundraising at the University?

Priorities for funding requests are set by the Office of the President, the Provost, the Deans and the CFO and follow the objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan. University Development does not establish priorities for obtaining funds.

What does the Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations do?

The Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations (CF&G Relations) is responsible for the planning, organization and implementation of a program to raise support to meet the University’s pressing capital projects, program needs and initiatives. To this end, the CF&G Relations office works to cultivate favorable relationships with regional, national and international corporations, private foundations and government agencies. The office provides three major services for faculty members, deans, program directors and administrators:

  • Guidance in finding, selecting and approaching corporations and foundations for funding
    The CF&G Relations office will, to the extent possible, and in accordance with the priorities set by the University, assist in locating potential funding resources.
  • Assistance in developing proposals and related materials
    After the internal approval form has been signed by all necessary parties, the CF&G Relations office can provide expertise in editing proposals, formulating a budget and providing useful feedback before a proposal is submitted. Requirements for applications vary with each funding agency – the CF&G Relations office will help to tailor each proposal accordingly.
  • Serve as the main point of contact for the University in working with external funding agencies
    All requests for funding to foundations, corporations and government agencies must be approached through the CF&G Relations office.

May I apply on my own if I know the funder?

No. The University’s internal review process makes sure that the proposal meets with administrative approvals, that assurances are adhered to and that grants, if awarded, are properly documented and stewarded. Also, the CF&G Relations office works to maintain consistency and integrity of approach through on-going relationships with funding agencies.

What are some of the most important things for me to know?

First, remember that the grant application is related to priorities within your academic or administrative unit and by the University at large. Second, the grant-seeking process—from initial idea to being awarded a grant—ordinarily takes an extensive period of time.

Be sure to consider whether you have the time available to spend on writing and revising your project proposal and budget and actually coordinating the project once funds have been secured. Finally, determine what you are going to do when grant money ends. You have a better chance of securing a grant if you have a good long-range plan for supporting your activity after the grant period is over.

A very common error is proposing to do too much with limited dollars and time.You ordinarily cannot be expected to solve a major social or educational problem with a grant of say $5,000 or $10,000. However, funding to help meet challenges and respond to opportunities may be appropriate.

A related error is lack of specificity. Exactly what limited things do you plan to accomplish? How? When? Why (is it important)? How will you evaluate whether you accomplished what you set out to do? In short, be realistic and specific.

What is the difference between a grant, a gift and a contract?

A gift is exactly that – an outright donation to the University. It may be a general gift to be used at the University’s discretion or it may be for a specific purpose (i.e.: scholarship, library books, sports team, etc.). A grant is given in order to attain specified project objectives that have been proposed by the University and agreed to by the University and the grantor. A contract is an agreement between the University and an external funding source; whereby, certain provisions of services or products are “contracted” to be delivered by the University to the grantor.

How do I locate external funding sources?

Once you have clarified what your program entails, including funding needs, it is time to start looking for organizations that will provide support. Many federal programs will have nearly a year's lead time from submission to funding -- with private sources the time is sometimes less. Many federal and private programs have only one yearly deadline. Thus it is imperative to start your funding search as soon as possible in order to have the funds ready when you need them.

Information regarding potential grant awards comes from many sources: directly from the CF&G Relations office, from a colleague, from the Internet or from one of the many resources we have made available to the RWU faculty. To access these resources, go to the Grants Resource Center and click on the resources link.

Will I be responsible for managing the budget and reports?

Yes, although many reports are sent through the CF&G Relations office, some reports are delivered online, especially with federal funding agencies. You are reminded that progress reports and final reports to funding agencies must be reviewed by your respective dean or comparable administrative head prior to submission.