Grant Seeking Hints

Grants and Sponsored Programs can assist in conducting searches by locating relevant grant directories, helping with computerized searching, and contacting funders regarding guidelines and applications. The office maintains current files with grant guidelines, annual financial reports, letters of tax exempt status, a database identifying granting agencies that have been selected for proposal submission, and completed grant proposals.

When developing a list of possible funders, Project Directors should keep in mind the following search criteria or questions.

Does the funder award grants:

  • in your subject area?
  • in your geographical area?
  • in the amount of money you are requesting?
  • for the type of support you seek (e.g., building support, general operating support, research support, seed money, etc.)?
  • to educational institutions?

Tax-exempt Status
One important consideration is whether or not the granting agency will fund public institutions. Many private foundations restrict their giving to tax-exempt organizations, and some funders restrict their giving to private nonprofit organizations or "501(c)(3)"organizations. SOU is a tax-exempt institution under section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code, rather than section 501(c)(3). Some funders indicate that they fund only 501(c)(3)s but make exceptions for public educational institutions. Before applying, contact the foundation about eligibility. If a foundation will fund only 501(c)(3) organizations, Project Directors may be able to submit a proposal in the name of the SOU Foundation, with the approval of the Vice President for Institutional Development.

Oregon Foundations
Many private foundations will accept only one proposal from an organization per year. Faculty who are considering applying for funding to an Oregon foundation (e.g., Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, US West), must first obtain approval from the Provost and Vice President for Institutional Development to ensure that the proposal will not conflict with institutional priorities for that particular foundation.
Faculty may not apply to the Carpenter Foundation, other than through the Carpenter I and II grants program administered by the SOU Faculty Development Committee. This Medford-based foundation already gives generously to SOU each year to support the faculty development grants.

From Here . . .
Once you have identified possible funding agencies, you may wish to contact the appropriate agency program directors by phone or brief letter to make sure that your proposed projects falls within their current interests. If special application materials are needed, have them sent to you. You are now ready to turn to proposal writing.

Grants and Sponsored Programs staff are available to critique proposals. The office can also refer project directors to resources for proposal development and provide examples of successful proposals to various agencies. An excellent short course on proposal writing is available online through the Foundation Center at:

Sections of a Proposal
Many funding agencies specify guidelines or provide applications to be used for proposal preparation. The application and guidelines shoud be obtained directly from the granting agency. If proposal guidelines are not provided by the funding agency, Project Directors should follow the outline described in the following pages.

The basic elements of a proposal include the following:

  • Cover Page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Statement of Need/Statement of Problem
  • Objectives/Research Questions
  • Project Activities/Methods
  • Budget and Budget Narrative Justification
  • Current and Pending Support from Grantors
  • Project Personnel
  • Facilities Description
  • Appendices--vitae, reprints, letters of commitment, etc.

Cover Page
If a funder does not provide a standard form for the cover page, the following information should be provided to assist agency staff in processing the application:

  • Title of project
  • Funding agency's name and address
  • Specific funding program name (if applicable), request-for-proposal number (if applicable), or current grant number (if a continuation grant)
  • Applicant's name and address
  • Proposed project start and end dates
  • Dollar amount requested
  • Project Director's name and address
  • Authorized institutional official's name, address, and signature

The proper addresses, names, codes, and other information needed to complete a cover page are detailed under Institutional Information.

Funding Resources

Department of Education Forecast of Funding
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications.
Click Here

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)
More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find
Click Here

The Foundation Center
Established in 1956, and today supported by more than 600 foundations, the Foundation Center is a leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and grantmakers to tools and information. The Center also operates research, education, and training programs.
Click Here is the online source to find and apply for Federal government grants. There are over 1,000 grant programs offered by Federal grant making agencies. All discretionary grants offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies and access to approximately $400 billion in annual awards can be found on You do not have to register with to find grant opportunities.
Click Here

National Science Foundation
Click Here

NSF FastLane
FastLane is the National Science Foundation (NSF) online website used to conduct relationships with researchers, potential researchers, reviewers, research administrators, and organizations. FastLane is an interactive real-time system in which you can prepare and submit proposals, administer projects, and prepare reports.
Click Here

To prepare and submit proposals you must register with FastLane. Complete the Fastlane PIN Information form and send to Deborah Hofer as an e-mail attachment at Hard copies may be delivered to CS 234.

Oregon Foundations
This list includes a variety of links to foundation websites. The trick is you have to go to each site to determine their funding priorities.
Click Here

Enrollment Services
Campus Public Safety
 (541) 552-6258 (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
 (541) 552-6911 (Evenings and Weekends)
University Housing
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd
Ashland, OR 97520
 (541) 552-7672
Campus Map
Follow Us
SOU facebook  Follow us on Instagram  Follow us on Twitter  Subscribe to us on YouTube