Frequently Asked Questions About Foundation Relations

Are there foundations I should not approach?

I'm interested in submitting a proposal to a foundation. Should I contact Foundation Relations/Development Office or the Office of Research Services?

Where can I get certain documents requested for foundation proposals, e.g., Penn's IRS tax exempt (501(c)(3)) letter, audited financial statements, tax return, etc.?

How can I find out about foundation RFPs (Requests for Proposals) and internal competitions for foundation grants?

How can I determine whether someone else at Penn is approaching the foundation I hope to pursue for funding?

 

Are there foundations I should not approach?
No. However, in some cases, Penn has a longstanding relationship with a particular foundation and with others, a foundation may request that Penn coordinate all requests centrally (through the central Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations). Therefore, we request that you contact the Central CFR Office for more information if you are considering pursuing the following foundations:

Annenberg Foundation
Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Jessie Ball du Pont Fund
W.R. Hearst Foundation
W.M. Keck Foundation
Kresge Foundation

back to top

 

I'm interested in submitting a proposal to a foundation. Should I contact Foundation Relations/Development Office or the Office of Research Services?

It depends. Foundation Relations and other Development Office staff across campus specialize in providing assistance to approach foundations and develop proposals to submit to foundations. Depending upon the foundation and its reporting requirements, your proposal may need to be tracked by the Office of Research Services, and the grant funding managed by accountants in ORS. www.upenn.edu/researchservices/faq.html#gift
back to top

 

Where can I get certain documents requested for foundation proposals, e.g., Penn's IRS tax exempt (501(c)(3)) letter, audited financial statements, tax return, etc.?

You can contact Central Corporate and Foundation Relations for copies of Penn's IRS determination letter signifying tax-exempt status under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a); the University's Audited Financial Statements; and its tax return information (Form 990). Other information sometimes required by foundations can be found in Penn's Data For Proposals, which can be found on the Web site of the Office of Research Services.
back to top

 

How can I find out about foundation RFPs (Requests for Proposals) and internal competitions for foundation grants?

In general, the best way to keep up with foundation RFPs is to subscribe to the Foundation Center's weekly RFP Bulletin. To find out about internal competitions for grants from foundations and other institutions, contact the office of the Vice Provost for Research.
back to top

 

How can I determine whether someone else at Penn is approaching the foundation I hope to pursue for funding?

The Central Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations maintains a CFR "pipeline" that lists all the foundations we know of that are currently being approached by Penn. Feel free to contact our office for information and advice about the foundation you plan to approach.
back to top