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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. 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 as early in the process as possible.

Prospecting Independently

Colorado College community now has access the premier grants database, “Pivot.” This product incorporates the more well-known grants database, “COS,” but it also includes access to information on other researchers worldwide through the “COS Scholar Universe.” Pivot integrates (and “pivots between”) both of these services.

You can immediately begin to search Pivot from any CC computer.

However if you wish to save a funding record or funding search, you will need to create a Pivot account. From Pivot's homepage, click the “Sign up” option in the upper right of the screen.  You will gain access to Pivot by indicating that you are affiliated with CC.  You will need to register with an institutional email address. (Note: please use all lowercase letters.)

When you have a few minutes, please go to the “Profiles” tab to claim your profile.  Once you claim your profile and update the information in the system, the system’s ability (and my ability) to assist you with identifying good funding matches improves dramatically.

This Pivot Tips Sheet provides a quick overview of the sections of Pivot and provides more information on its Curated Lists.

If you are interested in residential opportunities either in the States or abroad, there are hundreds of options. You could scroll through these documents to find ones that interest you, and then search in Pivot for the most recent information:

List of US Residential Fellowships

List of International Opportunities

Pivot provides dozens of brief trainings on YouTube and a list of upcoming training webinars is available here:

  • Refworks
  • Then click on “Pivot for Researchers, Faculty and Staff”

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.

- Tess Powers, Director of Faculty Research Support