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Facilitating Foundation Partnerships to Maximize Impact

The Office of Foundation Relations connects the RIT community with foundations to advance the university’s mission, priorities, research, and programs.

Our vision is to generate and cultivate transformative foundation partnerships for RIT through the development of strategic, mutually-beneficial, and long-term relationships to realize future goals.

For RIT: The Office of Foundation Relations will work with you to significantly increase your likelihood of success. We will guide you through unique foundation requirements and RIT internal submission processes, while providing expertise and support for relationship and proposal development, reporting and stewardship.

For Foundations: RIT’s Office of Foundation Relations welcomes the opportunity to connect with you to build a partnership that will increase your impact. RIT works with private, family, and corporate foundations to shape the future and improve the world through creativity and innovation. By investing in new programs, supporting leading-edge faculty and thousands of exceptional students, or initiating strategic partnerships to achieve shared goals, when you support RIT, you are advancing something amazing.

For general inquiries, please contact us at: foundationrelations@rit.edu

Meet Our Team

Sara Vinch
Assistant Vice President, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Casey Remer
Director of Foundation Relations
Kathleen Mackey
Director of Foundation Relations
Sandra Verosky
Senior Staff Specialist

Ready to Get Started?

The best way to begin is to reach out to our team. We are always eager to learn about your work and identity next steps. Additionally, RIT subscribes to several resources to help you begin to search for foundation funding opportunities. You can access these using your RIT login information, and we will work with you to identify your strongest opportunities.

Grant Forward
Foundation Directory Online (by Candid)

Many foundations offer funding opportunities with various restrictions. This can include the number of proposals allowed from a single institution. These limited submissions opportunities are posted on the Sponsored Research Services website, and we will help guide you through the RIT process.

When you are ready to proceed with a proposal, reach out to us or initiate the process by completing the RIT Notice of Intent to Submit a Proposal. We will follow up with next steps.

We will work with you to finalize the RIT Proposal Routing Form (PRF) and obtain all signatures and approvals required to submit your proposal.

*Please note that the Office of Foundation Relations works closely with RIT’s Sponsored Research Services. Many of our processes are streamlined through some of the documents and links above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is necessary you work with the Office of Foundation Relations. Contacting us before approaching a foundation is required by the university—and working with us will significantly increase your likelihood of success. Some foundations require that you approach them through our office; some limit the number of proposals RIT can submit and require that our office coordinate them. Even if you meet a program officer at a conference, through a colleague, or over social media, we ask that you connect with us before making an approach. We will guide you through RIT internal submission processes and provide expertise and support for relationship and proposal development.

Yes. We have developed relationships with the university’s foundation donors and continue to initiate and expand these every day. Where we do not yet have connections, we are eager to get started developing them with you and for RIT.

The Office of Foundation Relations team reviews foundation opportunities daily. We are always eager to meet with you and to learn about your work and your funding needs, then conduct research to identify your strongest opportunities and support your throughout the process.

In some cases, Office of Foundation Relations staff may write proposals or sections of proposals, but we will always look to you as the content expert. In many cases, it is best for you to create the first draft – but we will work together to determine the strategy that will work best for you. We can also provide edits and feedback, keeping a close eye on the best way to highlight the synergies between your work and the foundation’s priorities to increase your likelihood of success.

In most cases, Office of Foundation Relations staff manage RIT’s institutional accounts in foundation portals. We will work with you to identify the submission requirements and to coordinate submission.

When you receive an award, we will meet with you to walk through the post-award process. This will include review of responsibilities and reporting requirements. You will be the authority on what was accomplished or produced, but we can support completing and submitting a report that aligns with the funder requirements – and positions you, your work, and RIT positively as we seek to cultivate long-lasting relationships with funders.

This can be one of the most challenging questions to answer. Every foundation has a unique process. Our job is to get to know the nuances of each foundation to enhance your likelihood of success.