Foundation Funding Search - Checklist
1. Do you know of foundations that have funded research related to your idea? Include these
as potential sources of funding to explore in more detail.
2. Can you obtain information about potential foundations from your colleagues? Have they
worked with foundations who might be interested in your project? Can they advocate your
project to potential funders?
3. Either you or the Research Development Group should conduct a foundation search using
the online search tool from the foundation center (fconline.com) to identify different
foundations that could potentially fund your project.
4. Use keywords and specific search terms to identify foundations that could potentially fund
5. Evaluate the identified foundations against specific criteria to identify funders to pursue.
This information can be obtained from foundation descriptions and 990 forms in the
foundation center database, websites of particular funders or from information gleaned
via a Google or other online search. The criteria should include:
The foundation gives nationally
If the foundation has a geographic focus, that focus includes Utah (i.e., their
geographic area of focus includes Utah)
Limitations listed by the foundation don’t exclude your project or BYU
The foundation has enough assets to consider funding your project
The foundation distributes enough funds annually to consider funding your project
The amount of funding distributed by the foundation to individual projects is
similar to the amount of funding needed for your project
The mission/interests of the foundation are aligned with your proposed research
The foundation has funded research similar to your proposed research
You have time to prepare a proposal that will meet the foundation’s deadlines
6. For your most promising opportunities, prepare a short summary of your idea and contact
the foundation point of contact to ask them if your idea fits within their objectives or
7. Prepare a short white paper or a letter of inquiry/letter of intent describing you research
proposal and give it to the foundation before expending the effort to write a full proposal
Foundation Funding Search – Crafting the summary/letter of intent/letter of inquiry
Keep it short, no more than 2 pages. The intent of the summary is to attract enough interest in
your research so that a full proposal request will be the response
Your readers will not be experts in your field so the summary should be understandable by
the “lay” person
Write an introduction describing you, where you work and a brief summary of the research
you will do.
Write a statement of need that will convince the foundation that your project is important,
that it is in demand, and that it fits the foundation’s mission/objectives/funding interest.
Concisely describe your project and methodology, including objectives, major tasks, names
and qualifications of those working the project, project outcomes, a project budget and any
other sources of funding that are supporting your project.
Describe your institution, including unique characteristics/mission/vision that would appeal
Conclude with a summary that restates the purpose of your project, why it is important and
should be of interest to the foundation