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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 OR Research Development Team.



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FIND INFORMATION: News, Funding Opportunities, and Past Awards

Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest   - Opinion and commentary on the changing world of philanthropy.

Philanthropy News Digest News Blog

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

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

Bank of America Philanthropic Solutions - The Bank is a trustee or co-trustee of a variety of charitable foundations and provides detailed information about their grantmaking focus.

Top Giving Florida Foundations - these foundations issue RFPs or are interested in receiving grant proposals.

Community Foundations in Florida - learn about community foundations in your area. Many community foundations provide technical assistance to nonprofits and support many types of activities.

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


Please contact the Private Foundations POC at UCF for copy of document/s you want to view.

Award Search:

The OR Research Development team maintains a library of internal/external submitted proposals and can assist with securing a sample of a funded UCF proposal to a private foundation. Contact for more information.

PLAN YOUR PROPOSAL: Guidance and Resources

Proposal Writing Basics:

Free webinar  on:

  • The basic elements of a proposal
  • The "do's" and "don'ts" of writing and submitting a proposal
  • How to follow up whether the answer is yes or no

The Six Key Ingredients of a Successful Grant Proposal

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

What makes a proposal stand out?

Proposal Budget Basics:

Free webinar on:

  • The basic components of a project budget including income and expenses
  • How to estimate the realistic cost of a project
  • What other financial documents you may also need to submit with your proposal

Nonprofit budgets

Office of Research (OR) Workshops on Private Foundations:

11.3.2014: UCF Grants Day - Introduction to Foundation Funding - Dr. Debra Reinhart

11.3.2014: UCF Grants Day - How to Strategically Pursue Private Foundation Funding - Andrea Wesser

The OR Research Development Team can provide support with proposal coordination, templates, samples, supplemental documents, reviews, and more. Visit our website for more information.

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 the Research Development team at at the Office of Research  to coordinate reaching out to a Foundation.

Approaching Foundations - guidance on how to approach a foundation and build a successful grantee-funder relationship.

Strategies to Secure Private Foundation Funding (type your UCF email address in the Microsoft Outlook page)


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 Lori Shuff at the UCF Foundation Advancement Office 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  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, Mrs. Bigham, 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.


Information About Non-Profits


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.

UCF Foundation (UCFF) and Research Foundation (RF) are not the same entity. 

UCFF is the official fundraising arm and gift beneficiary of UCF.  All proposals can be submitted through UCFF if they 1) do not have specific sponsor criteria; 2) are not programmatic; 3) do not have deliverables; and 4) are funded through a gift/donation. 

RF is a 501(c)3 organization, and is a direct support organization to UCF. Its mission is to support the research and sponsored program activities of faculty, students and staff. 

For more information about these two entities and to distinguish between gifts and sponsored awards/grants, please see these policies :


Private Foundations POC at UCF

This point of contact is very familiar with Private Foundation opportunities and can give helpful advice to increase the competitiveness of your proposal.

Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi
Research Development Coordinator II
UCF Office of Research (OR)
(407) 882-1141

Additionally, information on Office of Research points of contact related to contracts, proposal submission, compliance, tech transfer, IRB, and IACUC is available at 

Support from UCF Librarians

Citation Management

Data Management Plans

Publishing & Author Rights

STARS - Data Hosting

Support across the Research Lifecycle

Literature Review (select by subject from the list below):

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 OR Research Development team can help with planning, preparation assistance, draft review feedback, informational resources, and more! Visit our website for next steps information.

Find Potential Collaborators

Find potential collaborators via the PIVOT Database - Run a search or View tutorials

Find scholarship resulting from Foundation Awards with the Web of Science - View tutorial  or Search now

The OR Research Development Team would be happy to help search for potential collaborators at UCF.  Visit our website for more information.

UCF Foundation, Research Foundation, & OR Contracts and Grants POC

UCF Foundation Advancement:
Lori Shuff
Assistant VP for Advancement, Corporate and Foundation Relations
(407) 882-1256

Research Foundation:
Kim Smith
Director/Chief Operating Officer
(407) 823-3062

OR Contracts & Grants:
Celeste Rivera-Nunez
Director, Sponsored Programs
(407) 882-1155