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The Office of Corporate Relations wants you to have all the information you need to pursue and receive a privately funded grant to further your research.

If your question does not appear in this list, please contact us at or call 540-568-4122, and we will happily assist you.

The Role of Corporate Relations (CR)

 When should I contact the CR office?

The CR office serves as a resource at each step of the funding process. We can provide the best assistance if you contact us in advance of your outreach to corporate foundations, corporations, and other private funders, as we can assist with background information, strategy, connections, and outreach.

We ask in particular that you contact us before seeking funding from priority corporations with which the university has many contacts, relationships, and grants in progress.

Browse the list of priority corporations.

 How will the CR team help me?

The CR office’s primary function is to foster strong relationships between JMU and its corporate partners. We work with principal investigators and academic leadership on the many strategies that ensure enduring partnerships. These may include, for example, sending a letter from the president or arranging a meeting between corporate/foundation and university leadership.

Review our services for faculty and staff.

 Do corporations cover indirect costs or administrative fees?

Foundations and corporations very rarely allow for indirect costs to be budgeted at JMU’s federally negotiated rate. The best way to determine what grantors will cover in the way of administrative fees is to read their budget guidelines in the RFP, or ask the CR office if it is unclear. We will contact the funder on JMU’s behalf to inquire whether indirect costs are permitted and at what rate.

How to Apply for Grants

 This is my first attempt to fundraise for this project. Where do I start?

You can learn the basics of corporate funding criteria. If your project isn’t a good fit for institutional funding options, you can speak with your Academic Unit Head about elevating your project or program as a school priority to share with individual donors.

We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the university’s sponsored programs office and its procedures.

 How do I find out which corporations will fund my project?

  • Search JMU and other resources. 
  • Review the basics of the types of projects corporations fund.

Please contact a member of the CR team if you have any questions.

 Do I have to contact the CR office before applying for a grant from a corporate foundation or corporation?

Faculty are required to contact the CR office before moving forward with applications for Limited Submissions Opportunities (LSOs) and proposals to priority corporations. Faculty are strongly encouraged in general to contact our team as they engage with institutional funders. In many cases, we can share additional application and institutional information from our database, provide background about JMU’s relationship with the prospective funder, review proposals through a corporate lens, copy-edit applications for accuracy, and assist faculty in securing administrative letters and required institutional documents in advance of submission.

 How long does it take to find out if my proposal has been funded?

This varies greatly among funders. Many funders provide the notification date for when awards will be announced. However, with some entities--particularly corporations--the review and approval process can depend on the availability of funding within a given quarter or fiscal year, so there is no clear notification date.

 What should I do if the corporation I am applying to requires a letter from the president or provost to accompany the proposal?

The CR team works with the Offices of the President and Provost to draft and procure signatures on letters of support for funders. Please notify your CR liaison as soon as possible when a letter or signature is required from the president or provost.

 What is a quasi-endowment?

Quasi-endowment funds are funds functioning as an endowment that are established by the institution from either donor or institutional funds, and will be retained and invested rather than expended. The quasi-endowment must retain the purpose and intent as specified by the donor or source of the original funds, and earnings may be expended only for those purposes. Since they are established by the institution rather than by an external source, the principal may be expended as stipulated by the donor.

 What is a limited submission grant opportunity?

Limited submission opportunities (LSOs) are funding opportunities through which JMU can submit a limited number of grant proposals (usually only one) to a funder. There is a preliminary internal application process administered by the CR office and Office of Sponsored Projects. A JMU committee reviews internal applications and decides which faculty member(s) can move forward.

Corporate Funding

 How do I approach a corporation with a request for funding?

Corporations are very specific in what they fund, and they have several different processes for entities seeking funding. Learn more about working with corporations.

 What is the difference between a sponsorship and advertising?

Please refer to the sponsorship toolkit for more information.

CR and OSP

 What is the difference between the Office of Corporate Relations and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Both offices work together closely. The CR team works with faculty to help them facilitate strong relationships with corporate funders. CR staff leverage relationships that the funder may already have with JMU to broaden donor engagement with the university as well as provide a variety of services listed here. The CR office has a donor-centric approach to fundraising, and is committed to making sure the donor has a good experience with JMU.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship supports the university’s research mission by providing oversight of externally sponsored research, which includes both philanthropic and non-philanthropic awards. The OSP team works closely with investigators, school-based research staff and administrators across campus to provide grant management and compliance services.


After the Funding Has Been Awarded

 I’ve already received a grant. What do I need to do to get access to the funds?

OSP can answer your questions about the university’s process for managing grant funds and other post-award administrative processes.

 What do corporations expect in terms of narrative reporting and fiscal management?

Requirements differ depending on the funder and the nature of the award. Reporting requirements are detailed in the grant agreement, and typically consist of narrative and financial reports. Corporate in-kind donations, and gifts from corporate foundations and corporations may not require reporting. Regardless of whether a report is compulsory, it’s always a good idea to keep your funder informed of the impact of their funds and to maintain relationships for the duration of your award. The CR office is available to review narrative reports before submission.

 My grant will be ending soon and I have unspent foundation funds. What should I do?

Most corporate foundations will permit a no-cost extension for a set period of time, often 3-6 months, to complete the project. Contact your program officer to discuss an extension, and make sure to receive the approval in writing. If your project was completed and funds are remaining, discuss with your program officer other related work that could be conducted with the remaining funds. For instance, perhaps a convening could be organized to disseminate the results of the project with stakeholders.

Also, please monitor all grant expenses closely to avoid situations in which very small amounts of grant funds are remaining from a closed grant. If you have any questions, please reach out to the CR office for guidance.

Student Fundraising

 Are JMU students allowed to apply for grants or seek corporate funding?

Yes, students are allowed to apply for grants and seek corporate funding. Please contact The Office of Corporate Relations for more information.

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