The first rule of grant seeking from foundations is to match your goals to a foundation’s goals. Each foundation has a slightly different mission, but in general, here is what foundations like to see:

High impact results: Show how your work will solve critical problems.

Measurable outcomes (quantitative and qualitative): This includes an evaluation plan that answers the question ‘How will we know that your work is successful?’

A successful track record: This will show that you follow up on your proposal, stick to the budget, and use the money as the foundation intended.

Cost-effectiveness: Foundations want to know that you are tapping into all available sources of funding and that your organization is also contributing resources.

Collaborative work: Foundations would like to see you in partnership with other credible organizations and funders. This shows that the project is sustainable and relevant to a broader audience or field.

Types of Corporate-foundation Support

Grant Seeking: Types of Support

As you engage in grant seeking, you’ll discover that what foundations support varies. This following list is not comprehensive, but covers the basics. Typically, foundations are more interested in supporting programs and special projects than operating costs at universities and other institutions of higher education.

  • Program Support, also referred to as special project grants, for specific projects or programs as opposed to general purposes.
  • General/Operating Support, also referred to as unrestricted support, for day to day, personnel, administrative and miscellaneous expenses of a consistent project or organization.
  • Student Aid through educational grants, loans or scholarships.
  • Fellowships for faculty and graduate students.
  • Research Support for investigations and clinical trials, including demonstration and pilot projects.
  • Capital Support for endowment purposes, buildings, construction or equipment.
  • Capacity Building, or support that strengthens internal operations/systems, internal governance/ leadership development, development of fiscal and human resources, and strategic planning.