Questions for Funders
Frequently Asked Questions and Resources for Current and Potential Funders
Q: What is the role of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR)?
Serves as the primary contact point for corporations and foundations that wish to have a single institutional contact for their philanthropic giving;
Researches potential funding sources for current and proposed programs; identifies influential FSU alumni and friends who may have affiliations with funding sources and can assist with the approach;
Acts as liaison between the university and corporations and foundations;
Strengthens relationships with corporations and foundations through ongoing stewardship activities;
Assists in writing proposals, letters of inquiry, and other funding documents;
Helps university staff navigate the corporate and foundation funding process; and
Arranges and accompanies FSU administrators and faculty on fundraising calls with corporate and foundation officials.
Q. How does CFR interact with corporate and foundation officials?
- Assists in identifying areas of mutual interest;
- Identifies potential funders for the university's funding needs or campus projects;
- Assists in structuring beneficial partnerships; and
- Alerts university staff about potential funding opportunities.
Q. What are the policies about contacting corporate and/or foundation officials?
- Recognizes that many university administrators and faculty have established excellent working relationships with corporate and foundation officials. However, in order to facilitate our relationships with our donors, we need to be notified about contacts that have been developed with corporations and foundations. Institutional Advancement also understands that several foundations and corporations may provide financial support to numerous areas at FSU during the same fiscal year. Coordinating all proposal requests will ensure that foundations and corporations are not inundated with multiple requests from the University and avert any potential embarrassment to university personnel with the funding source.
- Equally important, when Institutional Advancement is aware of possible multiple solicitations of the same corporation or foundation, we may be able to coordinate all funding needs into one proposal by providing the donor with a menu of funding opportunities.
- CFR is designed to be a clearing house of information in this regard. The easiest thing to do is to contact Tamara Holmes Brothers at 672-1349 to discuss your ideas. She can then research the target organization, assist in identifying friends or alumni affiliated with it, identify any other requests that may be pending, and help you determine the best approach in light of all this information.
Q. What resources are available to find potential foundations to fund my project?
A. There are numerous online sources to help find potential funders, such as:
- The Foundation Center's "Search Zone" — This free Web site offers some of the best general information retrieval tools on the Internet.
- Search nonprofit organizations and foundations by selecting organization types and specifying key words to narrow your search (e.g., "higher education" or "biological sciences").
- Foundation Finder - This search engine, updated monthly, allows you to search by name for basic information on more than 70,000 private and community foundations in the United States. Under a link to Grantmaker Web sites, you can search for private foundations, corporation foundations, grantmaking public charities, and community foundations. You can search by annotated links to private foundations, corporate foundations, etc., by subject or geographic keyword. Links are provided that take you directly to the Web sites of the funding sources; there also is a Grantmaker Search on the left-hand side of each page that provides detailed annotations of every site listed.
- GuideStar - GuideStar generates and distributes extensive programmatic and financial information about more than 1 million American charitable nonprofit organizations. It operates www.guidestar.org, a free, public Internet service and the nation's leading source of information about nonprofit organizations.
Q. What is CFR's role in writing proposals?
- Will be pleased to assist in the development and submission of proposals, however, the project manager or appropriate department officer will need to develop and supply the project narrative and required budget information for the proposal. Working collaboratively, proposals can be submitted in a timely fashion in the appropriate manner (which is increasingly online). The CFR Director will also take responsibility for directing stewardship activities related to grants and gifts awarded.
Q. Can the CFR director accompany university administrators or faculty on visits to potential funders?
- CFR will be happy to accompany faculty and administrators on these visits. In the event the CFR Director is unavailable to attend the meeting, she will make a good faith effort to have another development officer participate in the meeting. Likewise, CFR may ask appropriate university administrators or faculty members to participate in meetings with corporate and foundation officials when their attendance would be required to discuss specific projects or initiatives of the university.