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Researching Foundations and Agencies:. Resource Development for Instructional Technology Projects Liberal Arts ITS - Session Two. Emily Cicchini, Special Projects Manager - June 08. What do funders want?. Finally, I know what they want. To change the world.

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researching foundations and agencies

Researching Foundations and Agencies:

Resource Development for

Instructional Technology Projects

Liberal Arts ITS - Session Two

Emily Cicchini, Special Projects Manager - June 08

what do funders want
What do funders want?

Finally, I know

what they


  • To change the world.
  • To help people, generally, the more people, the better.
  • To fix a specific problem or issue.
  • To know what the positive impact will be.
old sage development sayings
Old Sage Development Sayings
  • Fundraising is friend-raising/match-making
  • Fundraising is sales/isnot sales
  • Get your ducks in a row
  • It takes the same effort to ask for $1 as it does for $1 million
  • Don’t grant-chase
  • Every day is a good day to fundraise!
the so what test
The “so what?” test…
  • Funders don’t need to know the gory details.
  • Funders don’t like whiny, negative language.
  • Funders don’t care what problem it solves for you, but how you are solving a problem that effects others.
  • Education funders, in general, aren’t often that impressed by personal recognition.
embracing dissemination
Embracing Dissemination
  • Publication
  • Lectures
  • Presentations
  • Conferences
  • Online networking
  • Motto: NO dissemination really is BAD dissemination. Tell people about your work.
sustainability equals diversity
Sustainability equals diversity
  • Individuals (Annual Funds, Major Gifts)
  • Corporate Sponsorships (Sports, Ads)
  • Corporate Foundations (Strategic Giving)
  • Private Foundations (Families, Legacies)
  • Public Foundations (Community Efforts)
  • Special Events (Sports, Parties, Sales)
  • Local, County, State, Federal Gov’t Agencies
some trends in it project funding
Some trends in IT project funding
  • Open Access Resources: making scholarly literature and knowledge freely available
  • Gaming, scripted, collaborative and interactive instructional applications (hello, Second Life…)
  • Extensive, comprehensive searchable databases and digital archives of hard-to-find materials
  • Analysis tools, synthesis tools, visual motion models, and other applied research projects
laits showcase solutions
LAITS Showcase Solutions
  • Texas Politics: open access multimedia textbook
  • Français Interactif: open access multimedia textbook
  • Danteworlds: mulitimedia supplimental instructional resource
  • The Daily Intelligencer: unique web-based learning environment
it sites we like
IT Sites We Like
  • Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative,
  • The Sloan C Consortium
  • MIT’s Open Course Ware Project,
top twenty web sites




















Top Twenty Web Sites

Retrieved from June 9, 2007

basic 5 step fundraising cycle
Basic 5-step fundraising cycle
  • Research - 70% of your time (including gossip, internal coordination, and rejection).
  • Cultivation - 4% of your time.
  • Solicitation - 15% of your time.
  • Closure - 1% of your time.
  • Stewardship - 10% of your time.
  • Once you start, it is a cycle, it never ends.
how to evaluate a prospect
How to evaluate a prospect
  • What do they say they want to accomplish? What is their “self-image?”
  • Who do they say they’ll give to? Who do they really give to, how often, how many different groups?
  • What things have they given for in the past?
  • How much do they give/do they really have?
  • Who are the people actually in charge? What’s the decision makingprocess?
  • Are they stable or in flux? What’s the deadline/timeline?
the usual suspects
The Usual Suspects
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Department of Education
  • National Science Foundation
  • Moody, Meadows, Brown, Houston, Webber Foundations
  • Austin’s lack of philanthropic infrastructure
online research tools
Online Research Tools
  • Federal Register and
  • Texas Register and grant alert

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy
  • The Foundation Center/The Grantsmanship Center, or how to read a 990.

  • The Internet - The Meadows Foundation
exercise plan a grant for


NEH Digital Start Up

NEA Fast Track

Humanities Texas

NSF Informal Science Education

MacArthur Foundation

IES Reading and Writing Education Research

DOE Star Schools

The Meadows Foundation

Exercise: Plan a grant for…
example wikipedia to neh
Need:An online thesaurus tool

Proposed Solution:an application that can search and cross reference words by tags, use and associated meaning

Project Design:plug-in to be developed by r and linguistic scholar

Overall Goal:To create new functionality for the world’s most used multilingual open knowledge base

Objectives:to create a functional tool that helps users create digital thesaurus entries

Timelines:prototype, year 1, release year 2

Budget: $50,000 per year, 1/2 to scholar, 1/2 to r

Qualifications: They are both fabulously brilliant, connnected and experienced

Evaluation: Wikipedia foundation will conduct usability studies

Dissemination: A press conference and full web documentation

Sustainability: Wikipedia Foundation will commit to sustaining it

Example: Wikipedia to NEH
how to build a prospect list
How to build a prospect list
  • Don’t take on more than you can manage: on a part time basis, maybe 5 at a time
  • Meet on a regular basis (monthly) with a team (student, colleagues) and go over the list
  • Determine next step: more research, internal clearance, crafting a pitch, or (lucky you!) completing a report
  • When prospects are pretty much dead ends, replace them with new ones
final thoughts
Final Thoughts…

Yes, you need to know people…

but you can get to know them, particularly through web.

If you work your list, the money will come.