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Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

readiness Checklist

The following general checklist is designed to assist Illinois faculty and staff in the foundation grant submission process. Please use the list as a guide to determine readiness, identify foundation funders, and gain familiarity with other important steps in foundation grantseeking.

You can download a printable copy of the checklist here.

 

GETTING STARTED – SPONSOR IDENTIFICATION

 

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ACTIVITY

1.

 

Discuss your project with department chair and/or college dean and your unit development officer.

2.

 

Looking for potential foundation funders?

  • See our list of foundation funders by subject area AND/OR

  • Use the various databases and other search tools provided on our Sponsor Search webpage.

  • If you have identified potential foundation sponsors for your project, please contact our office to discuss next steps.

3.

 

Do you have a project requiring $100,000 or more in funding and are in need of assistance with the foundation identification process?

  • Please complete our Proposal Development Form and send to foundationrelations@illinois.edu  The information in the form will help us to better assist you in identifying foundation funding prospects. Once we have reviewed your information, we will be in contact to determine next steps.

 

Things to remember:

  • The purpose of research conducted by the Office of Foundation Relations is to identify funders for projects in the advanced stage of development that are ready for funding. If your project is in the early stages of development, please consult our list of foundations by topic area to screen funders.

  • The grantseeking process from search to receipt of potential funding usually entails a 6-month or more turnaround.

  • Certain foundations may limit the number of proposals submitted from one institution. Please see the Limited Submissions Program information provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for more information about how our campus nominees are selected.

 

PREPARING THE SUBMISSION

 

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ACTIVITY

1.

 

Create a realistic time line for developing the proposal.

  • Is a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) required prior to a full proposal?

  • If possible, start writing your proposal at least one month in advance of the stated grant deadline (applies when the foundation has issued a Request for Proposals or has regular deadlines).

  • Allow plenty of time for revisions, internal review, and signatures.

2.

 

In need of assistance with LOI and/or proposal preparation? Budget preparation?

  • Contact the Office of Foundation Relations (NOTE: our office only assists with proposals to private foundations. We do not assist with applications to government agencies or corporate foundations.)

  • Consult our Proposal Development page for tips and advice on proposal writing.

3.

 

Be mindful of the foundation’s LOI and proposal guidelines.

 

ROUTING THE SUBMISSION

 

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ACTIVITY

1.

 

Begin routing your proposal through the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration at least seven (7) days in advance of the proposal deadline.

2.

 

The following required internal form must be completed and attached to your proposal when routing for signatures:

NOTE: your dean, director, or department head must sign the Proposal Transmittal Form.

3.

 

The sponsor might require an IRS determination letter referencing Illinois’s status as a 501(c)(3), tax exempt entity; audited financial statements and other supporting documents may be requested.

4.

 

Forward copies of the full proposal to those individuals whose signatures are required on the Proposal Transmittal Form.

 

Things to remember:

  • Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) only require OSPRA review if they include a budget. In the majority of cases, budgetary information in LOIs is generally provided in a simple statement that includes the amount requested.

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