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The Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations (CFR) is responsible for fostering the Institution’s relationships with corporate foundations and private philanthropies. We identify and cultivate appropriate funding partners for research projects and institutional or educational initiatives. Some of our activities include: planning and coordinating approaches to potential funders; meeting with foundation representatives to identify areas of mutual interest; meeting with WHOI PIs to develop projects and initiatives that would be fundable by philanthropies; administering and contributing to the proposal submission process; tracking reporting requirements and working with scientists to enhance proposals and project reports; assisting in the preparation of financial reports and communicating with current and potential donors about WHOI’s activities.

We primarily work with private foundations or the philanthropic arm of corporations. Often, foundations will entertain only one proposal per funding cycle from any given organization. It is the responsibility of the CFR Office to coordinate all foundation solicitations, to ensure that the foundation’s guidelines are met and that the most appropriate proposal is submitted.

The CFR Office works closely with the Director of Research to determine which research projects are selected for foundation fund-raising efforts. This often involves consultation with the Department Chairs as a group.  For fund-raising efforts in the educational arena, the Dean prioritizes and selects the initiative for the funding opportunity. Click here to learn more about WHOI’s internal selection process.

The CFR Office aims to assist the WHOI scientific staff by: researching appropriate private funding sources; notifying scientists when funding opportunities arise; meeting with scientists regarding their current research and funding needs; and connecting scientists with potential funders to discuss their work.

For the preparation of proposals, we aim to work with the Principal Investigators (PIs) to make sure that the proposal is:

  • understandable and compelling;
  • compatible with the interests of the potential donor;
  • accordant with the grantmaker’s guidelines and restrictions; and
  • consistent with the Institution’s policies and procedures for grants and contracts.

Once private funding has been secured, we work with PIs to sustain a productive relationship with the donor and make certain that reporting requirements are met and project funds are expended in a timely and consistent manner. Stringent reporting and financial spending are standard requirements at foundations. The CFR Office monitors the expense accounts of funded projects to assist the PIs to keep on track. As reports become due, the CFR Office reminds PIs of the reporting requirement and helps with their preparation and submission to the foundation.

We encourage scientists to contact us (phone calls, visits, emails) at any time to discuss their research programs and funding needs.


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Last updated February 26, 2014
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