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Engaging Funders Worksheet

As you prepare to seek private funding for your research or program, please refer to the worksheet below to assist you in developing a case for support, as well as aid CFR in understanding your needs.  Be prepared to discuss these questions as you explore funding opportunities and develop your proposal.

  • What is your concept (key idea, purpose, goal)?
  • What problem/need are you addressing? Why is it important?
  • What types of activities will support this goal? Why did you choose these methods?
  • What audience(s) will be served by this program (who, how many etc.)?
  • Who will direct the program/project? What are your other staffing needs?
  • Are there other potential collaborators for the program/project (i.e. departments/units, community agencies, other academic institutions)?
  • Do you need any departmental or institutional approvals for the project?
  • What is the time frame for the program/project (anticipated start and finish, minimum time for program/project to be effective etc.)?
  • Will the program continue after external funding ceases (i.e. will it operate at a reduced level, will it have realized its goals and end, will it be funded with internal funds, be institutionalized)?
  • How much money is needed to implement your program/project? How will the money be spent—what are the budget line items?
  • Do you have additional funds (from USC or other funders) to contribute to the effort?
  • What is the program’s/project’s potential for a broad impact (beyond just the USC Community)?
  • How will you evaluate the project? How will you know if you are successful? Who will evaluate the program?


Additional Resources

Inquiry and Proposal Submission Processes
Clearance of Foundations
USC Dornsife Research Office

For more information, please contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.