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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

The first step is to clear your idea with your department chair and divisional head or vice president. Once approved, then corporate/foundation relations staff can assist with seeking funding for your initiative.

I feel confident in my ability to prepare and submit a competitive grant proposal. Why must I get approval from anyone before proceeding?

Your department chair and divisional head or vice president are responsible for guiding their areas according to a strategic plan. Sometimes a project is not right for the strategic direction of the department; sometimes the timing is not right; sometimes another proposal is already in progress to the same funder you have in mind. This approval process is designed to coordinate the grantseeking efforts of faculty and staff.

What assistance is available to me from the corporate/foundation relations office?

Preparing a grant proposal is a sizable undertaking, involving many details. Our role in corporate/foundation relations is to take some of the burden off the faculty or staff person's shoulders, freeing him or her to devote as much time as possible to developing the idea and writing the narrative. Here is a rough outline of the responsibilities of the project director, and the assistance we can provide.

Project Director

  • Know current state of disciplinary research, activities
  • Conceive the project to fill a recognized need in the discipline
  • Decide which funding opportunities to pursue
  • Recruit workgroup to draft the proposal and run the project
  • Garner support, buy-in from colleagues and divisional head
  • Consult with Dave Lyndgaard for support and match commitment, if applicable
  • Read the funder's guidelines and understand them thoroughly
  • Write the proposal narrative in conformance to the funder guidelines
  • If funded, spend the money in accordance with the budget approved by the funder
  • If funded, write interim and final reports per the report schedule established by funder

Corporate Foundation Relations

  • Develop a list of potential funders for the project and/or advise grantseeker how to research for possible funders.
  • Advise on strategy and process
  • Read the funder's guidelines and understand them thoroughly
  • Suggest proposal preparation timeline based on our experience with hundreds of proposals
  • Provide institutional information and documents
  • Review proposal narrative, format, edit and suggest revisions
  • Assist with preparation of project budget
  • Coordinate/obtain letters of support from administrators
  • Ensure all items requested by the funder are assembled in final proposal package
  • Assist/coordinate electronic or paper submission
  • Track dates for submission, notification, receipt of funds, reports
  • If funded, assist with project reports to funder

Is there a fee for this assistance? Does the corporate/foundation relations office take a percentage of any grants awarded?


What is meant by a "match?"

Sometimes as a condition of receiving a grant, a funder requires the applicant to provide or raise cash or in-kind goods and services for the project. The match is often expressed as a ratio. A 1:1 match means the applicant must provide or raise an amount equal to the amount requested of the funder. Another term used that is synonymous is cost sharing.

If a match is required for the grant opportunity I want to pursue, how do I proceed?

For academic proposals, Dave Lyndgaard reviews requests, and in consultation with the dean and provost, determines which requests for matching funds can be approved and which cannot. The colleges' budgeted funds to support grant matches are limited, so faculty are strongly encouraged to consult with Dave as early as possible in the proposal process. For non-academic proposals, grantseekers must consult with their vice president.

What are in-kind goods and services?

In-kind good and services are items of value for which an organization would have to pay cash if it were necessary to purchase them. In-kind goods and services can often be used to fulfill a match requirement. For example, if a colleague who has expertise in program assessment agrees to assess your project without expecting payment, the value of those services could be considered an in-kind contribution. We can help identify sources of in-kind support for your project.

What happens to the money when a grant is awarded?

The program director is authorized by our grants accountants (Diane Van Beck at CSB and Jeremy Scegura at SJU) to spend from accounts established for them in accordance with the budget approved by the funder. No administrative fees are retained.

I am a faculty member. How do I know whether CSB or SJU will administer my proposal and grant?

This question is usually resolved early and easily in the proposal process. The faculty member's preference is a large factor. Contact John Taylor to find out for certain.