The Office of Foundation Relations

Proposal Development

There are eight routine steps to follow in developing and submitting funding proposals to external sources. The Office of Foundation Relations will work with you at every step as needed.

1. Notice of Intent
Discuss your project and grant seeking with your department chair and or dean. Fill out and submit the internal Notice of Intent to the Office of Advancement, Foundation Relations so that the appropriate University officers can be informed of your efforts. Their signatures and permissions will be required for final submission and they need to be kept apprised of your progress.

2. Prepare the Budget
Preparing the budget early in the process is critical to selecting the appropriate funding source and to internal review of associated University budget allocations that may be affected. Having this budget forces you to think of many details that may go unnoticed until too late in the process. The budget provides the flexible framework around which you will develop your proposal. Pay close attention to forms required by the funding sources and use their budget forms when appropriate. The Sample Budget Form may be used in the absence of other required budget formats.

3. Research Funding Sources
The Search for Grants link provides a small sample of funding resources arranged by discipline and by type. These lists are by no means exhaustive. Once you have identified several potential sources you feel are good matches for your project, focus on one or two. The Office of Foundation Relations can assist you with additional tools and with research time.

4. Get the Funding Guidelines
The funders application guidelines will drive every aspect of the proposal form, content and style. Websites very often will provide a complete set of instructions and forms required before approaching the organization. When there is no website you may need to make contact by phone or by mail. Thoroughly review the guidelines and follow them without exception unless you receive direct instructions otherwise from the funder.

5. Establish the Schedule
Most funders have very specific and inflexible application cycles. Some boards meet annually, some quarterly, some monthly. It is important to identify the funding cycle that can best fit your project schedule and design your work according to that schedule. Most foundations will limit the number of requests submitted by institutions during a 12-18 month period. This makes it important to time your requests appropriately and communicate across campus to avoid multiple/ineligible submissions during the same time period. If you find you have (or will) miss the submission date for the current review cycle, flag your own calendar for the next cycle and pursue your next best opportunity.

6. Develop the Proposal Narrative
When writing the proposal text it is important to bear in mind the nature and priorities of your funding source. Governmental grants are highly competitive and readers are themselves researchers and specialists in their fields. These applications undergo rigorous technical review and you should structure your text for intense peer review. Foundation and other non-governmental applications are generally reviewed by lay readers seeking a clear understanding of the proposed project and having a keen interest in matching their giving priorities to your request. The Common Elements of A Proposal will give you an over view of common content and structure you can anticipate. The Office of Foundation Relations will work closely with you as the principal investigator or project manger during the proposal creation process, writing executive summaries, general descriptions, abstracts or other such materials to accompany the proposal.

7. Get Thorough Reviews
When your proposal draft is complete, circulate it to some of your knowledgeable peers and administrators for technical review, and to your support staff for style, grammar and uniformity edits.

8. Finalize and Submit
The Office of Foundation Relations makes all grant submissions on behalf of Schreiner University. Once you are comfortable with the proposal, submit it to the Office of Foundation Relations for an “Outsiders Eyes” readability, and compliance review.

The Office of Foundation Relations will ensure that all mandatory supporting documents are current and attached. When appropriate, we will draft cover letters bearing the signatures of the president, provost or other university officers to convey institutional support of the project and affirming knowledge of the request.
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