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Funder Tool Kits: Private Foundations

This Funder Tool Kit specifically highlights Private Foundations. It includes priorities, funding opportunities, proposal guidance, and additional resources. The Funder Tool Kits are a collaborative effort between the UCF Libraries and ORC Research Development Team.



Contacting private foundations is different from contacting federal and state sponsors.  Some foundations prefer that individuals do not contact them directly, but prefer the contact is made through the institution's Development Office (UCF Foundation) and Sponsored Programs office.  Please contact Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi at the Office of Research & Commercialization to coordinate reaching out to a Foundation.

Resource page on how to:

  • Initiate contact with potential funders
  • Plan calls and meetings, including site visits
  • Effectively communicate with funders during the grant process

How to successfully approach Foundations that don't take unsolicited applications

Instructions for W.M. Keck Foundation:

This is a  Limited Submission program and all submissions to the internal competition MUST be coordinated through the Limited Submission Research Coordinator (

Initial contact from a university must be coordinated through the institution's central research office via the designated official institutional liaison. UCF’s designated liason for the Keck Foundation is Mr. Pallavoor Vaidyanathan at the Office of Research & Commercialization and ONLY THIS INDIVIDUAL may contact the Keck Foundation.

DO NOT CONTACT the Keck Foundation directly at any time-  either to ask questions if you are planning on submitting a proposal or as the designated  principal investigator that has been selected to submit a proposal to the Foundation on behalf of UCF!!! 

A Principal Investigator who has been given permission by the Office of Research & Commercialization as UCF's nominee to submit a proposal to the Keck Foundation may contact the Foundation staff during the pre-application counseling period, which takes place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1 Phase I submission or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 Phase I submission. Designated applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants to the Foundation in the form a single-page concept paper during the pre-application counseling period. However, please do not submit the concept paper directly to Keck Foundation! Please contact UCF's institutional liaison, Mr. Vaidyanathan, to coordinate submission of your concept paper and scheduling of a conference call.  Only one conference call will be scheduled for each institution to discuss all concepts.

Instructions for Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation:

This is a  Limited Submission program and all submissions to the internal competition MUST be coordinated through the Limited Submission Research Coordinator ( and the designated institutional contact person. The UCF contact person for the Moore Foundation is the ORC’s Assistant Director, Pre-Award, Steven Koogler. As UCF’s designated contact person, Mr. Koogler is approved by and authorized by the Moore Foundation to receive correspondence from the Foundation and Mr. Koogler is the ONLY university personnel who can submit UCF’s nominees for this program.  Please DO NOT CONTACT the Moore Foundation directly at any time.


Free webinar or short course on:

  • How the proposal fits into the overall grant seeking process
  • What to include in a standard proposal to a foundation
  • Tips for making each section of your proposal stronger
  • What funders expect to see in your proposal and attachments
  • Tips for communicating with funders during the grant process
  • Additional resources on proposal writing, including sample proposals

Proposal writing page – answers questions on how to write a grant proposal and proposal writing basics.

How do I write a grant proposal?

A Foundation CEO's six-step formula for winning a grant

Red flags for reviewers – Grant makers share their insights and advice on proposals.

What makes a proposal stand out?


This page is a searchable collection of proposals, cover letters, letters of inquiry, and proposal budgets that were funded. 


Free webinar on:

  • What is included under the "personnel" section and how to calculate it?
  • What level of detail do you need to include for non-personnel expenses?
  • How do you determine reasonable costs?
  • What types of expenses can be included in the "overhead" category?
  • What other financial documents will funders want to see?

Nonprofit budgets - learn more nonprofit accounting basics, budget templates, and budget tips.


This page is a searchable page for information on overhead costs, fundraising planning and includes sample budgets. 


This page contains a list of training courses on topics such as grantseeking basics for nonprofit organizations, demystifying the 990-PF, grantseeking for individuals etc.

Grantspace - provides easy-to-use, self-service tools and resources to help nonprofits worldwide become more viable grant applicants and build strong, sustainable organizations.


Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest – posts requests for proposals (RFPs) submitted by grant makers.

Foundation Directory Online – provides the ability to search for grant makers nationwide. For free access, sign up and go to Quick Start".  For subscription access, please contact the Private Foundation POC at UCF .

Guidestar – provides the ability to search for foundations using keywords.

Health Grants Information Center – listing of 100 largest U.S. grant making foundations.

Pivot – provides the ability to search for only private foundation grants using keywords and other filters.



The term 501(c)(3) refers to tax-exempt, charitable organizations that have been recognized and approved by the Internal Revenue Service. Charitable organizations typically have purposes that fall into categories benefiting the public good.

Types of nonprofits

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes a variety of nonprofit organizations, not just 501(c)(3) groups. Examples include private foundations, social clubs, veteran’s organizations, and business leagues.


Charity is a broad term many use when referring to nonprofit organizations. However, not all nonprofits are charities. A charity holds legal 501(c)(3) recognition from the IRS.

Private foundations

By definition, all organizations that qualify for 501(c)(3) recognition are considered private foundations until they meet the IRS’ public charity public support requirements. Private foundations are nonprofit organizations funded by a single source, such as a family donor, who conduct a range of charitable, religious or educational activities.


Nonprofit and not-for-profit are terms often used interchangeably, but not-for-profit should typically only be used when referring to an activity, such as a recreation or sport. The term nonprofit denotes an organization focused on larger social or public issues.



The FAQ page answer questions about funding research and resources for nonprofits and individuals, nonprofit management, and more.


Private Foundations POC at UCF

Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi
Research Development Coordinator
Office of Research & Commercialization
(407) 882-1141

General Proposal Support from Research Development Team

Now that you have found the perfect funding opportunity, let us help you build the perfect proposal. The ORC Research Development team can help with planning, preparation assistance, draft review feedback, informational resources, and more! Visit our website for next steps information.

Large Proposal Support from Research Development Team

A unique approach to supporting large, complex proposal submissions.