frequently asked questions

Have a question not answered below? Please contact us.

What is the relationship between the Office of Foundation Relations, the Division of Research and Innovation, and the Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration?
The Office of Foundation Relations is part of the OSU Foundation (OSUF). Our purpose is to provide OSU faculty and campus units with support, strategic planning, and tools for developing and writing successful proposals to private foundations and other non-federal philanthropic organizations. We identify, evaluate, and promote funding opportunities. We also help pair faculty research and programs to potential funders and assist with engagement and stewardship of donors.

Headed by the Vice President for Research, the Division of Research and Innovation advances the success of the entire OSU research enterprise by facilitating the rigorous pursuit of discovery, scholarship, and innovation while maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards. The Division of Research and Innovation handles limited submission competitions, sponsored research, and all federal funding opportunities. Our office works closely with the Division of Research and Innovation and the Office for Research Advancement to effectively carry out University priorities.

The Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA) administers all awards submitted through OSU. Housed within the Division of Research and Innovation, OSRAA provides budget development, award negotiating and acceptance, research costing and analysis, and award/financial management.

When should I contact the OSU Foundation?
If you plan on submitting an LOI or proposal to a private foundation or non-federal philanthropic organization, we request a notice of 10 business days prior to the sponsor’s deadline. If you need a narrative review of your proposal, we request a notice of six business days. If you need minimal assistance with your proposal (a 501(c)(3) letter or other OSUF information), we request a notice of three business days.

You may also contact us with questions regarding an existing grant, other funding opportunities, or to get in touch with anyone at the OSU Foundation.

If you are contacted by a private foundation or non-federal philanthropic organization, please also contact us. We can help you with the development of your proposal, provide guidance in speaking to a program officer, and help you navigate OSU’s internal proposal approval process.

What is the difference between a gift and sponsored project?
A sponsored project is an award (or grant) whose sponsor can be, but not limited to: a federal, non-federal, or corporate entity accompanied with stringent compliance requirements. They generally involve intellectual property and/or are in support of research. These awards are administered by OSRAA. If an award can only be given to a 501(c)(3) organization (the OSU Foundation), but still meets the characteristics of a sponsored project, a subagreement will be written between OSUF and OSU.

A gift is from an individual, foundation (non-federal), or corporation. Often, they are made in support of scholarships, fellowships, capital projects (bricks and mortar), or program support. Gifts come with “no strings attached” and/or are accompanied by minor requirements such as a progress and final report.

Gift or Sponsored Project Indicators

Ultimately, the Office of Foundation Relations can assist with the development of any non-federal proposal, even if it will be submitted and administered by OSRAA. Please feel free to request our assistance with any LOI or proposal to a private foundation or non-federal philanthropic organization.

How do I find funding for my research?
Our office publishes non-federal funding opportunities on a regular basis. They can be found here. These funding opportunities are also sent to the Office for Research Advancement, associate deans of research, and other college administrators who disseminate them to faculty as appropriate. Please contact us if you have questions about specific foundations, funding opportunities, or if you would like to find additional opportunities for funding. We are always interested in learning more about what faculty are working on and how we can help. The more information our office knows, the more helpful we can be in finding funding opportunities.

What is a limited opportunity?
A limited opportunity (or submission) is a funding opportunity that limits the number of allowable applicants from a single institution. In some cases, OSU may be allowed to submit one application through the OSU Foundation, the Agricultural Research Foundation, the 4-H Foundation, and the university.

It is required to check with our office before applying to these opportunities.

If I am submitting my proposal through OSU, why do I need to speak with anyone in the OSU Foundation?
Our office would like to know about all contact with private foundations (and other non-federal philanthropic organizations) because it helps our office, and ultimately the university, fundraise more successfully. We communicate and meet with program officers, administrators, and foundation leadership on a regular basis. Knowing about recent communication (or a submitted proposal) is important information that keeps us informed so we may represent OSU accurately and effectively.

While it is not required to utilize any of our services, we can provide insight to specific foundations that may not be immediately obvious from browsing their website. Our office is here to help you—we can be as involved or uninvolved as you like.

Why was my proposal not funded?
Even excellent proposals are declined. While many factors may influence the decision to fund or not fund a proposal, most often they are not in your or our control. While most private foundations and non-federal philanthropic organizations rarely provide feedback as to why a proposal was declined, we can sometimes reach out for further information. Every organization is different.

What should I do if a foundation sends me an award letter?
If you receive an award letter, please contact our office. We can ensure the award is routed to the correct destination (OSUF or OSRAA) and obtain the appropriate signatures. We will also help manage any post-award reporting as required.

My foundation award requires a report (or series of reports). How are these managed?
Upon receiving the award letter, our office makes a note of all reporting requirements so we can track due dates. As our office is responsible for stewarding donors, timely submission of reports is one of these forms of stewardship. We can also work with you in compiling reports, if requested. If the award is administered through OSRAA, they will be responsible for all post-award reporting requirements; however, we can still provide reporting reminders.

The foundation to which I’m applying requires a Form 990-PF, IRS determination letter, audited financial statements, etc. to accompany my proposal, can you help?
Yes. Our office can provide all requested institutional documents. Please contact us for our most recent Form 990-PF, IRS determination letter, audited financial statements, and others.