What Support Does Institutional Advancement Offer?

The Institutional Advancement staff is eager to help any member of the WPI community submit a grant proposal that, if funded, will benefit WPI. Working within the priorities set by the President, Provost, Deans and Department Heads, the services we offer include, but are not limited to:

  • Program development brainstorming and guidance.
  • Identification and research of potential foundation funders.
  • Assessment of the alignment between the potential funder’s interests and WPI.
  • Liaison with potential funders to qualify a project or application.
  • Coordination and prioritization of campuswide applications as necessary.
  • Assistance with writing and reviewing letters of inquiry and proposals with close attention to alignment with the funder’s goals.
  • Assistance with budget construction.
  • Liaison with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Corporate Engagement.
  • Proposal submission.
  • Post-submission follow-up including obtaining funder feedback if the proposal is denied.
  • Organizing and facilitating foundation visits to WPI.
  • Grant acknowledgements and post-award liaison with Gift Recording and Finance and Accounting.
  • Foundation stewardship and post-award reporting.
  • Proposal tracking and foundation database maintenance.

WHO ESTABLISHES PRIORITIES FOR FUNDRAISING AND GRANT REQUESTS AT THE UNIVERSITY?

Priorities for funding requests are set by the President, the Provost, the Deans, and Department Heads. Institutional Advancement does not establish priorities for obtaining funds. Institutional Advancement’s assistance with seeking funds for initiatives that have not been identified as university priorities will be limited. 

WHO CONTACTS THE FOUNDATION?

Institutional Advancement makes the first contact with the foundation; often we will do this with you. We will work together to determine how the project can best be presented and by whom. The initial contact might be a phone call, a letter, a proposal, or a meeting. Members of our staff may have personal contacts (program officer, colleague at another institution, faculty member, board member) who can advise on the most effective approach and give additional guidance regarding the funding process—all of which can help your proposal be successful.

All letters of inquiry and proposals to private or corporate foundations must be submitted to Institutional Advancement for review before transmission to the foundation. 

MAY I APPLY ON MY OWN IF I ALREADY KNOW THE FUNDER?

No. Institutional Advancement’s internal review process ensures that other faculty or staff members are not already seeking a grant from the same foundation. Also, Institutional Advancement works to maintain consistency and integrity of approach through on-going relationships with funders. It is possible that WPI has approached the funder before and/or will approach the funder in the future. These factors can have a significant impact on the success of not only your proposal, but also the proposals of your colleagues. Therefore, it is very important that all proposals to private and corporate foundations are approved and submitted through Institutional Advancement. 

IF I AM ALREADY WORKING WITH A CORPORATION OR FOUNDATION, SHOULD I CONTACT INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT?

Yes. Please let us know about any contacts you have with a foundation, even if the relationship does not necessarily involve grant or gift funds. To be most effective for WPI, we do need to have a complete picture of the university’s overall relationship and to occasionally help manage simultaneous requests of the same company or foundation. As previously noted, consistency in our approach and management of WPI’s many faceted relationships with corporations and foundations can impact our funding success. Recognizing that each circumstance is different, we will discuss with you ways in which we can, or even should, be involved. Sometimes, we will simply provide you with any insight we might have, including the foundation’s historical relationship with WPI. 

I AM PREPARING A PROPOSAL FOR FUNDING FOR A RESEARCH PROJECT. THE FUNDING SOURCE IS A NON-GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WHO SHOULD I APPROACH-THE OFFICE OF SPONSORED RESEARCH OR INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT?

The Office of Sponsored Programs

IS THERE A DEVELOPMENT OFFICER WITHIN MY DISCIPLINE AREA WHO CAN ALSO HELP WITH CORPORATIONS AND FOUNDATIONS?

Yes. Our office works closely with these development officers on matters that involve corporations and foundations.

 
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