At an early stage and allowing for plenty of time, discuss your ideas for a proposal with Larkin Tom ( ext. 1578, or Niki Bertrand (, ext. 7908). They can help you match your ideas to particular possible funding sources and can be of help as you further develop your ideas.

Please do not directly contact private foundation or corporate funding sources. The reason for this is that the University may already be working with them or have definite plans to work with them. We need to control access in order to avoid confusion, and the University needs to be aware of who is contacting or working with these sources. Larkin and Niki can help you identify funding sources and serve as intermediaries as you proceed.

Allow plenty of time to develop your ideas and to write the proposal. Larkin and Niki can help with this and with the following:

  • Reviewing and interpreting granting agency guidelines. It often helps to discuss agency guidelines in order to clarify them.
  • Editing narrative text. Having other eyes on the proposal strengthens the clarity of the text.
  • Developing and writing proposal budgets. Unless you have experience with budgets, they can be obscure.  Please take advantage of Larkin and Niki’s experience with foundation and government agency budget requirements.
  • Navigating the internal approval process. All grants are subject to an internal Southwestern University approval process. The internal Southwestern University signature approval form must be completed. 
  • Drafting and obtaining letters of support. Many grants require evidence of support from people both within Southwestern and external to the University.
  • Submitting proposals to funding agencies. Sometimes submission is straightforward and easy, other times less so. Larkin and Niki can help with the full range – from dropping the proposal in the mail to the electronic submission systems of government agencies.