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Turning GIFT Into Grants

Development office

Money’s tight everywhere, there’s no question about that. But the University is approaching the challenge in an entrepreneurial way through a new service that connects private funds with the institution’s projects.

The Grant Information, Facilitation and Training (GIFT) Center has been created to help faculty and staff procure funding to help support their endeavors.

“We’re encouraging people to take advantage of more resources in a competitive world of finding alternative funding,” says grants manager Debbie Hornbuckle, who will run the center.

The GIFT Center focuses on securing funding from private sources rather than from public and government sources. Hornbuckle notes that public and private funding have different application processes and generally use different foci and language in the process.

“Because we steward relationships with foundations and corporations, it’s a more intimate, personal process than what you have with the government,” says Hornbuckle, housed in corporate and foundation relations.

Virginia Pellegrini, director of corporate and foundation relations, says the center will help faculty and staff communicate the combination of their passion and the objective substance of their work so that the foundation or corporation will be more inclined to invest in University endeavors.

“We know foundation and corporate giving patterns, we can be that second set of eyes to make sure our applications are getting noticed,” says Pellegrini. “We can help them understand the focus, our goals and why giving to us is important.”

She adds the world of giving has greatly changed in a competitive time, as available funds to giveaway are shrinking as more requests come in.

The GIFT Center will offer training on the in-house subscription database, training workshops, customized proposal development and review services, a comprehensive website of the latest news in the world of private funding, a list-serve of funding opportunities and grant-writing tips will be distributed regularly on request, among other services.

Housed in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, the GIFT Center fills a greater role in the office of four people to help a larger number of people and cast a wider net for funding needs. Pellegrini says the GIFT Center also will help people look further than the region and find grant funding nationally and globally.

“We need to show private funders why they should give to our university, what our need is, why we are important and how we can benefit them,” says Pellegrini. “That’s some of the help we can provide; we can package it.”

The center will also help with writing reports and the follow-up that is required with the grants.

For more information or to make and appointment with Debbie Hornbuckle for center services, call 885- 0533 or e-mail hornbuckle@uidaho.edu.