Most foundations have varied but very specific and inflexible application cycles. Some foundation boards meet annually, some constantly. Quarterly is most common. It is not unusual for the board of a foundation that awards grants in March to meet the previous December to select from proposals that were due in September to allow staff enough time to pre-screen them.
Unfortunately, when researching sponsors, sometimes the submission date has passed for the current review cycle of the sponsor most likely to fund the project. When this happens, flag your calendar for the next cycle and go to the next best opportunity.
A sponsor's grant application guidelines must drive every aspect of proposal form, content, and style. Study the guidelines closely and follow them without exception, paying special attention to page limits, font size, and margins.
Guidelines and forms (if required by the sponsor) are commonly available on their respective website, but with some foundations, they sometimes come only by regular mail once requested. A large number of foundations and trusts require contact for an invitation to apply before providing an application or guidelines.
Many federal funding opportunities are now advertised through Grants.gov. When researching federal sources, it is advantageous to spend time on the Grants.gov website. The vast majority of all federal grant applications must now be electronically submitted through the Grants.gov website. Only the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has permission to submit these applications. Other federal opportunities may also be found through Fastlane, Research.gov, or the Grants Resource Center.
The Foundation Directory Online is one of the nation's leading online resources for funding research. All UWSP faculty and staff have access to the Foundation Directory Online through the University Colleges; Librarian, Nerissa Nelson, ext. 4204, email@example.com, is available to assist in a foundation funding search.