Identifying Potential Funders
In the fund-raising world, the process of identifying external funders for particular projects is called “prospecting.” So sharpen your pickaxe. It’s time to search for gold.
Assistance with Prospecting
As the Director of Faculty Research Support, I am always available to identify potential funding sources for individual faculty. To facilitate this process, please send me:
1) A brief statement of your research interests, and 5 to 10 key words associated with your research area.
2) A brief description of your funding needs: What activities do you need to accomplish to make progress in your research? Do you need to travel to archives? Do you need to purchase equipment? Are you looking for summer salary to support the work or for a fellowship to support a yearlong sabbatical?
Because many funders have only one or two deadlines each year and they usually take several months to make determinations on awards, it is wise to identify potential funding sources roughly 18 months before you will need the funding. Therefore, please contact me (via email@example.com) as early in the process as possible.
While one of my roles is to provide prospecting assistance, faculty members interested in exploring funding options on their own are welcome to do so. Below are two services that are available to Colorado College faculty when they are accessed from Colorado College computers. (A third grant search database, the Foundation Directory Online, must be accessed by myself or members of the college’s Grants Office.)
GrantForward (http://www.grantforward.com/index), formerly IRIS, contains thousands of active federal and private funding opportunities in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Users can search by sponsor, keyword, category, and other criteria. GrantForward is a relatively new platform, and kinks are being ironed out.
The Grant Advisor (www.grantadvisor.com/tgaplus/) The Grant Advisor provides monthly updates on upcoming grant deadlines in the following categories: Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Education, International, Health, Minorities/Women, and Unrestricted/Other.
In addition, Grants.gov can be accessed from any computer and provides information on all federal grant programs. One can also sign up to receive grant alerts based on a variety of criteria.
Regardless of the method by which you learn of new opportunities, please keep me “in the loop” as you explore and identify funding options. This will help me better assist you in this critical part of the grant preparation process.
From Prospecting to Grant Writing
Whether we have two good funding prospects or several, our ultimate goal is to sit down several months before the proposal deadlines in order to discuss the funders’ requirements – as well as your funding needs – in detail. By giving yourself plenty of time for this process, you will both improve your funding options and prepare better proposals – thereby becoming more likely to meet with success. I look forward to working with you in this process.