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When should I contact the Office of University Corporate and Foundation Relations?

  • If you have any questions about finding funding opportunities, the application process, stewardship, and other topics, please contact us
  • Please see the list here of foundations that require clearance before you apply and submit a clearance request form accordingly. Because some foundations limit the number of proposals from an institution or have other stipulations, clearance is required before you approach these foundations. In other cases, the university may have a larger, ongoing conversation with a foundation, and we would want to consider requests to the foundation in light of that bigger picture.
  • For foundations that are not on the restricted list, you are not required to contact  our office. We would, however, welcome hearing from you about proposals you will be submitting to private foundations, regardless of restricted status.

Who is eligible to submit grant proposals to foundations?

  • Proposals submitted for any Stanford project must be led and submitted by those with Principal Investigator (PI) status, which is limited to Academic Council members and Medical Center Line faculty. In some instances, a waiver may be requested and an exception may be granted. For more information, see PI eligibility.

Can student organizations fundraise from foundations?

  • Student fundraising from external entities, including foundations, requires prior approval from the Office of Development. Refer to the Student Activities and Leadership policies on off-campus fundraising.

How do I deal with indirect costs on my proposal budget?

What should I do if the foundation I am applying to requires a letter from the president or provost to accompany the proposal?

  • Our office will assist in preparing a letter to the foundation from the president or provost. Please contact Nora Nguyen on our team. A minimum two-week lead time is required to review and process a letter from the president or provost.

What is the difference between a “sponsored project” and a “gift”?

  • Whether an award will be administered as a gift or sponsored project is a decision made by Stanford (not the funder) and depends on the nature of the project and the terms and conditions of the award.  If you would like to discuss your project in regards to these terms, please contact our office. Please click here to see the university definitions of "sponsored project" and a "gift."

What are the different roles of the Office of University Corporate and Foundation Relations and the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR)?

  • Our office helps facilitate relationships between faculty and corporate and foundation funders. We can assist in thinking through funding possibilities, contacting funders, helping develop proposals and budgets, and resolving procedural and policy questions between funders and Stanford. Contact our office if you believe there would be interest in your project by private professional foundations or companies and if you would like help in developing your proposal. We can also help in determining whether a particular project will likely be administered as a gift or sponsored project.

  • Many Stanford awards from private foundations and companies need to be administered as sponsored projects. All sponsored research proposals must ultimately be processed through OSR before being submitted to the funder. As your proposal approaches completion, contact OSR, allowing for at least five business days for it to be reviewed. Even if it is determined that the award can be administered as a gift, it will be better to have checked with OSR before the award is made versus after to ensure university policies have been followed. Click here to find your department’s OSR contact person.

  • If you are applying for a federal or state grant, contact OSR.



How long do foundations take to make funding decisions?

  • The length of time from the submission of a full proposal to award varies by foundation. Most foundation decisions are made by a board that meets periodically; board meeting schedules vary considerably: bimonthly, quarterly, semiannually, annually. Foundations therefore often need to receive materials well in advance of a board meeting, sometimes several months prior.

If the award letter from a foundation says I need to send in a report, what should I do?

  • Foundations typically require periodic reports on the supported activity and a final report at the conclusion of the grant. The PI is responsible for submitting all reports. It is imperative that these reports be prepared and sent in to the foundation. If a report is missing, a foundation may withhold subsequent payment on your project or sometimes on another project at the university.
  • The financial portion of your report is usually generated by OSR.

What should I do if my grant from a foundation is ending but I have funds that I have not used?

  • A formal request to a foundation is needed for a no-cost extension on the grant to allow time to use the remaining funds. Do not wait to inquire with the foundation about this until the end of the grant term, and do not assume that the foundation will approve your request. If your request is approved, you must notify your sponsored projects officer to update the grant record with a new end-date.