Working with Foundation Relations

Foundation Relations manages and supports most foundation relationships across the University. Foundation relationships are very nuanced and unique, and they typically require established connections to be able to work with them. 

Much like for any other funder or potential partner, it’s always best to have a brief 1-2 page outline & description of your R+CP project or program in hand when reaching out to a program officer, funder representative, donor, or collaborator. This helps seed and scaffold productive discussions, and stimulate exploration of the opportunities that might be available. When representatives from Foundation Relations or other units have something concrete in hand, it helps them make sense of your work and find alignment with a wider range of funding priorities. Think of it this way: if it can be shared, it’s more likely to be seen by someone somewhere who wants to support your work. 

This Grantwriter’s Toolkit from Foundation Relations provides a simple framework for crafting a 1-2 page description of your R+CP program. It’s aimed at the types of questions and concerns that funders (foundations and otherwise) typically have, as well as what funders want to know about your work in order to make it relevant for their own stakeholders and priorities. 

Once you have a project or program description drafted, reach out to our Foundation Relations representative, Donna Lartigue <>. Donna is able to advise on how best to reach out to or respond to foundation RFPs, as well as their priorities for funding. Share your 1-2 page research overview in advance of the meeting. Items to address in the meeting could include: 

  • Editing and reviewing the proposal with a focus on how the foundation will read it
  • Identifying potential foundation funders for the projects
  • Developing strategies for approaching foundations
  • Insights on particular foundation funders
  • Making initial introductions to foundations and program officers

If you already have a particular foundation(s) in mind, maybe check whether it is on the managed or limited submission list. These foundations have asked that Foundation Relations manage the flow of inquiries and proposals.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles