Seeking Foundation and Corporate Support

 How do I get started?
 Should I contact the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations or the Office of Sponsored Research?
 How can the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations help me?
 What approvals will I need?
 Who contacts the foundation?
 How do I actually apply for funding?
 How long does it take to get foundation funding?
 What are my obligations if I receive funding?


How do I get started?
If you are considering seeking outside funding, the first step is to contact the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations. The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations is charged with overseeing all of CMC's fundraising approaches to foundations and corporations. Ensuring that these approaches adhere to College policies, as well as to funders' submission requirements, and cultivating institutional relationships with funders, are important parts of this responsibility. In order to cultivate these relationships, as well as maintain an accurate database of proposal submissions, all requests for outside funding must be passed through either the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations or the Office of Sponsored Research.

Should I contact the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations or the Office of Sponsored Research?
Contact Foundation and Corporate Relations if you think that private foundations or corporations might have an interest in your project.

Contact the Office of Sponsored Research if you want to approach a federal or state funding source (such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts).

How can the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations help me?
The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations can assist you in identifying appropriate foundation prospects and strategizing about your approach. The services we offer include, but are not limited to:

  • Researching and identifying possible funding sources;
  • Assisting with proposal writing (You will always be the expert on what information is presented, but often we can help strengthen your proposal with suggestions on framing and organization.);
  • Proofreading, editing, and providing feedback on draft proposals;
  • Providing models of successful proposals;
  • Providing/researching statistical information about CMC students, courses, alumni/ae, and other institutional data;
  • Connecting people on campus to others who may be able to serve as a resource;
  • Assisting with budget preparation and determining indirect cost and benefits rates;
  • Photocopying grant application components and submitting proposals;
  • Serving as a liaison with the Dean of the Faculty's Office and the Treasurer's Office.

In addition, our office maintains relationships with many foundations. In those cases, we can share our direct knowledge of the foundation and frequently we can provide information or insights not available through its web site.

What approvals will I need?
All requests for outside funding must receive approval from the Treasurer's Office. Depending on the type of project, requests may also need the approval of the Human Resources Department or the Institutional Review Board. It is part of the function of the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations to assist in determining what approvals are required, as well as facilitate the process.

Who contacts the foundation?
This varies depending on the foundation, but the vast majority of the time, it will be our office. We can work with you to determine how the project can best be presented and by whom. The initial contact might be a phone call, a letter, a proposal, or a meeting.

How do I actually apply for funding?
Each foundation has its own procedures and most maintain web sites providing guidance to applicants. Often, the first approach is a 1-2 page succinct presentation of the project in a letter of inquiry. On the basis of this letter, the funder may invite submission of a full proposal. Some foundations outline detailed requirements for the proposal, while others provide only a general description of what it should include. The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations will help determine the correct procedure for each individual case.

How long does it take to get foundation funding?
It is usually a long process, months rather than weeks. Funding decisions are often made by boards of directors that meet infrequently and need to receive materials at least one month prior to a meeting. You should contact the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations well in advance of your need for funding.

What are my obligations if I receive funding?
Your obligations will be spelled out in a letter you will receive with the grant. Typically, you will be required to provide narrative and financial reports periodically during the grant period. Regardless of the specific instructions, be aware that the foundation providing your support considers the grant award to be a contract with responsibilities and obligations and it is important to follow the guidelines. For more specific information, click here.