Corporate & Foundation Relations

Working with foundations

About foundation funding: Every year foundations award more than $100 million in gifts and grants to the University of Washington to support research and education. Foundations fill an important niche, often leveraging their resources to make catalytic impact where other funders won’t venture.

Funding early careers: Foundation funding opportunities and limited submission information

Find foundation support: Search tools, available resources, people and accessing fit.

Build your case: Your case states how your work holds the potential to advance understanding or solve a problem. It is the basis for letters of inquiry and proposals. And it can help you communicate with foundation program officers.

Tailor your approach: Once you have built your case, you can modify it for each foundation. While you should never change your work to suit a funder, you can change how you present it to help a foundation more readily see how supporting your work will help it achieve its goals.

What foundations look for: When foundation staff or board members review your proposal, they will look for answers to specific questions.

Limited submission opportunities: Some funders limit the number of proposals an institution may submit within a particular funding round. In order to provide all interested parties an opportunity to present their ideas and increase the UW’s chances of succeeding in such limited submission opportunities, the Office of Research has established a procedure to review pre-proposals and select concepts to advance to submission.

Contact us

A number of UW staff members can help you navigate the foundation funding process:

  • Central: Corporate & Foundation Relations staff members are available to answer questions, provide guidance and help you connect to potential funders.
  • College/school: Your college or school has Advancement staff members who can help. The chief advancement officer or director of corporate and foundation relations is listed on your dean’s office directory.
  • Department: Your department’s administrator can help you understand the grant process, acquire internal signatures and find documents requested by a foundation funder.