Foundation relations at Virginia Tech

With its rich tradition of public and private support, Virginia Tech has established a world-class reputation in working with our funding partners to realize breakthrough discoveries and innovative solutions to the pressing issues of our time.

With support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and in coordination with the Office of Sponsored Programs, Corporate and Foundation Relations works across the university to facilitate strategic growth and to nurture Virginia Tech’s land-grant mission of service.

To learn of potential fundraising opportunities with corporate and private foundations for your department or college, visit our regularly updated list of potential foundation gift opportunities (PDF).

To maximize the chances that your application for support for philanthropic assistance from a foundation will be approved, please review the commonly asked questions below. 

How do we provide foundation relations assistance to Virginia Tech colleges and programs?

We work closely with Virginia Tech deans, faculty, development directors, and other internal stakeholders to identify concrete intersections between university expertise and potential corporate and private foundation partners. Here are some of the services we can provide:

  • Conduct regular foundation research to identify top prospects to support university priorities
  • Help align and pair university programs with interested funding partners
  • Ensure proposals are in line with university priorities, are written effectively, and are in compliance with potential-funder guidelines
  • Manage submission processes and oversee the delivery of finished proposals 
  • Cultivate strong, ongoing relationships with funding partners through timely outreach, communications, and reports
  • Provide a high-level of stewardship and recognition to our funding partners to encourage ongoing gift support

How do I initiate a proposal-submission?

Your first step is to speak with us about your concept to determine whether it fits with university priorities and whether there is sufficient institutional support to move forward. Each situation will be a little different, so let’s talk.

How can I increase the odds that my project will interest a funding foundation?

Approaching a foundation for funding can often be a daunting and time-consuming task. Below are some basic characteristics that would indicate your project might be a good fit for foundation support:

  • Alignment with both the university’s strategic goals and the foundation’s immediate funding objectives
  • A project, program, or initiative with a track record of success and impact
  • A sound understanding of expected outcomes relative to a potential grant
  • An assessment strategy that enables effective and consistent evaluation of achievements
  • Proven capacity to deliver on the promise of a proposal, including internal collaboration and institutional support
  • A sustainability plan that ensures the longevity of the project, program, or initiative and its parent organization

Can I apply to a foundation that another faculty member is applying to?

While some foundations may accept multiple submissions from the same institution, in order to be as strategic and as effective as possible, we may need to prioritize proposal submissions. Many foundations limit the number of submissions per institution. In such cases, we will work with the appropriate vice-Presidents and/or deans to manage the submissions process.


Foundation relations

Learn more about foundation relations services at Virginia Tech by contacting Adam Short, associate director of corporate and foundation relations: or 540-231-4584.



Foundation funding opportunities

Visit our regularly updated list of opportunities (PDF) for philanthropic support from foundations.


Principal Partners Program

The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations works to align and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between the university and our major partners in industry through a one-portal program to coordinate large-scale partnerships.Carilion Clinic is one of our Principal Partners. Learn more.