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MSU DEVELOPMENT:

CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION RELATIONS

Department Overview | Staff Listing | Proposal Tips | Grant Proposal Planning Guide | Contacts


Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Department Overview

The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive program designed to fully develop potential gift and grant income from corporations, foundations, and associations. This includes maintaining positive working relationships with corporations, foundations, and associations that are currently supporting or that may have the potential to support the University; identifying needs that may be met through corporate, foundation, or association gifts and grants through consultation with faculty, University Development staff, and administrators; and assisting these individuals in the preparation and submission of proposals. The office coordinates proposals on behalf of the University through the central clearance process to avoid duplication and self-defeating competition.

The following items are representative of the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations' activities in both areas of responsibility:


Corporate Relations

  1. Oversees annual program of corporate visitation, corporate staff visits to the campus, and other cultivation activities designed to promote better working relations between the top prospects in the corporate community and the University.
  2. Initiates periodic special purpose appeals for support from corporations interested in a particular school, college, or program.
  3. Maintains a central clearance process for all corporate solicitations to prevent duplicate efforts and self-defeating internal competition. All requests for corporate support above $20,000 must be cleared by the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Requests for support below $20,000 should be discussed with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations prior to making the request. All requests to any Michigan based corporation or foundation must be cleared by the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.
  4. A number of large corporations develop multiyear strategic funding plans with the University and do not generally consider funding requests over and above these plans. As such, these corporations should not be approached for any funding requests without the approval of the Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Corporations that fall into this category include, but are not limited to Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, General Motors Corporation, and Dow Chemical Company.
  5. Coordinates efforts with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, MSU Business-CONNECT, and Career Services through frequent communication.
  6. Coordinates University-wide and multi-college initiatives for which corporate funding is sought.
  7. Works with key industries that align with MSU's areas of strength to deepen and expand MSU's relationships and funding opportunities.


Foundation Relations

  1. Coordinates all foundation giving to the University and works closely with the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies as well as with deans, chairpersons, faculty, and staff to maximize foundation giving to the University. The Director and/or Associate Director for Foundation Relations should be consulted on all foundation contacts.

  2. Seeks to maintain ongoing relationships with Program Officers at targeted Foundations.

  3. Assists faculty, College Directors, and other grant seekers in identifying foundation funding sources as well as in preparing and submitting proposals.

  4. Maintains a central clearance process for all foundation contacts and grant proposals to prevent duplicate efforts and self-defeating internal competition. All requests for foundation support must be cleared by the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

  5. Coordinates efforts with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies through frequent communication.

  6. Provides University Development clearance via the e-transmittal process for all foundation proposals submitted through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

  7. Coordinates University-wide and multi-college initiatives for which foundation funding is sought.

Other Activities

  1. Publishes a biannual newsletter, MSU Partners, that presents articles on corporate and foundation gifts to the University. The newsletter is sent to major corporate and foundation donors as well as to selected faculty and staff.

  2. Maintains current corporate/foundation/association contacts, corporate hierarchy, and corporate/foundation/association addresses on the Advance Web system.

  3. Coordinates all donor society memberships for corporations, foundations, and associations.

  4. Coordinates preparation of Presidential acknowledgement letters for all corporate, foundation, and association gifts of $5,000 or more.


Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Staff Listing

Open
Executive Director
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges and central administration to advance development activities with major corporations, foundations, and associations. fallon@msu.edu
(517) 884-1021
Tim Wuchter
Director
for Foundation Relations
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges, and central development to steward/expand existing and identify/cultivate new relationships with major national private foundations. zahrtken@msu.edu
(517) 884-1045
Ken Zahrt
Associate Director
for Foundation Relations
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges, and central development to steward/expand existing and identify/cultivate new relationships with major national private foundations. wuchter@msu.edu
(517) 884-1049
Patti Althoff
Associate Director
for Corporate Relations (Major University Partners)
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges and central development to steward and expand new relationships with corporations. althoffp@msu.edu
(517) 353-3428
Deepa Srikanta
Associate Director
for Corporate Relations (Key Industries)
(Key Industries)
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges and central development to steward/expand existing and identify/cultivate new relationships with corporations in the agricultural, energy, food and bio-pharma industries. srikantab@msu.edu
(517) 884-1079
Larry Wallach
Associate Director for
Corporate and Foundation Relations
Works with administration, deans, faculty, colleges and central development to steward/expand existing and identify/cultivate new relationships with corporations, foundations, and associations primarily in Michigan wallach@msu.edu
(517) 884-1087
Patty Gonzales
Research Analyst
Provides research support to the Executive Director and Associate Directors. gonza402@msu.edu
(517) 884-7724
Jamie Pfeffer
Executive Secretary to Lucille Fallon
Primary support staff for Lucille Fallon and backup to the Associate Directors if Chery Moran is not available. pfeffer@msu.edu
(517) 884-1009
Chery Moran
Secretary to Tim Wuchter
Primary support staff for Tim Wuchter and other Associate Directors. moranc@msu.edu
(517) 884-1039


Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Proposal Tips

A well-developed, clearly defined, focused proposal should :

  • Show how the project relates to the mission of the funder;
  • Show how the project relates to the strategic goals of the department, college, unit, and/or university;
  • Focus on what is unique/cutting edge about the project or how you are building upon an existing project;
  • Acknowledge similar projects at other institutions and how your approach will differ;
  • Include realistic, achievable, and measurable goals and objectives (provide baseline data if possible);
  • Provide a detailed implementation strategy and timetable for achieving the project goals and objectives;
  • Highlight your qualifications and experience
  • ;
  • Present a detailed evaluation plan (formative and summative);
  • Include a realistic, detailed budget for the project that includes the department, college, unit, and or university commitment to the project;
  • Discuss how the project will be continued after the grant funds expire;
  • If applicable, discuss how you will disseminate the results of the project; and
  • Demonstrate that you and your institution have the management skills and experience to develop, implement, and sustain the project.


Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Grant Proposal Planning Guide

The Grant Proposal Planning Guide is a tool that can be used by those interested in seeking foundation or corporate support for a particular project. The Guide asks many of the questions a typical funder would ask. Completion of this guide will help the faculty member to crystallize his or her thinking about what is to be accomplished and create in outline form a synopsis of the project to be funded. This will allow the college Director of Development to be more helpful in identifying possible funders and in meeting those funders' requirements.

It is often helpful to outline your thoughts prior to developing a grant proposal. Briefly answering the following questions will help you to organize the information and test the validity of your ideas.

1. Project Title

2. Project Director/Principal Investigator:

3. Other Team Members working on the project:

4. Where will the work be done?

5. Timeframe for project:

6. What's the problem, need, or opportunity to be addressed?

7. What is the proposed solution? What specifically do you hope to accomplish? (Measurable goals and objectives)

8. Specifically, how do you propose to meet the goals and objectives? (Implementation strategy)

9. How does the project align with the overall strategic mission/goals of the department, college, unit, and/or university?

10. Why are you (and/or your team) qualified to do the work?

11. Are others doing similar work? If so, how is your approach different or unique?

12. How will you evaluate the successes/results of the project? (Formative and/or summative evaluation)

13. If applicable, how do you intend to disseminate the results of the project?

14. What is the project budget and how much will you be requesting from the funder? (Estimated budget)

For Salaries/Fringe Benefits: $ _____________

For Equipment: $ _____________

For Supplies: $ ___________

For Travel: $ ___________

Other Costs: $ ___________

*Indirect Costs: $ ___________

Total Budget: $ ___________

Amount Requested from Funder : $________________

*Many foundations will not support indirect costs or will support only a small percentage of these costs. Contracts and Grants will require you to include indirect costs in your budget unless Contracts and Grants has written notification from the funder stating that the funder does not support indirect costs or supports only a certain percentage of these costs. Always check with Contracts and Grants.

15. What is the department, college, unit, and/or university commitment to the project? (financial and/or in-kind)

16. How will the project be sustained after the funding ends?

17. Do you have a specific funder in mind? If so, who?

18. Why did you choose this funder? Has the funder supported similar projects? Explain.

19. In reviewing the types of projects the funder has supported, how does your project compare?

After you have answered these questions, your college Director of Development will be in a better position to work with you to help identify a possible funder or, if a funder is already identified, help you seek clearance to submit your proposal.


Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations:
Contacts

For more information, contact the MSU University Development Corporate and Foundation Relations


Source: Lucille Fallon, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, May 12, 2004;
revised by Kathy Lessard, Staff Assistant to Lucille Fallon, May 21, 2008;
revised by Chery Moran, August 6, 2009;
revised by Jamie Pfeffer, September 30, 2010;
revised by Jamie Pfeffer, June 30, 2012;
revised by Jamie Pfeffer, October 7, 2015;
revised by Jamie Pfeffer, October 11, 2017

 

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