If you are interested in seeking foundation funding for a project or program, be prepared to answer the following questions. External funders will ask these questions. The answers will shape research to identify potential funders and will form the basis of your proposal.

  • What: What is your concept (key idea, purpose, goal)? What problem/need are you addressing?
  • Internal support: Do you have departmental or institutional approval? Has the department or institution committed funding?
  • How: What activities will aid you in reaching this goal? Why did you choose these methods?
  • Who: Who will direct it? Qualifications? What are other staffing needs? Who will make reports?
  • Audience: What audience(s) will be served by this program (who, how many, etc.)?
  • Timing: What is the time frame for the program/project (anticipated start and finish, minimum time for it to be effective, etc.)?
  • Collaboration: Are there other potential collaborators for the program/project (i.e., Duke departments/units, community agencies, other academic institutions)?
  • Sustainability: Will the program continue after external funding ceases? I.e., will it operate at a reduced level, will it have realized its goals and end, or will it be funded with internal funds?
  • Budget detail: How much money is needed to implement your program/project? How will the money be spent—what are the line items?
  • Other funds: Do you have additional funds (from Duke or other funders) to contribute to the effort?
  • Impact: What is the program’s/project’s potential for a broader impact (beyond just the Duke or Durham community)? Is the project scalable? Is it replicable?
  • Evaluation: How will you evaluate the project? How will you know if you are successful? Who will evaluate the program? Who will gather the necessary data and make reports?