Our mission in the Office of Foundation Relations (OFR) is to facilitate engagement between private foundations and Caltech, fostering partnerships and securing resources to advance Caltech's research and educational mission.

What does Caltech's Office of Foundation Relations do?

Our essential functions are:

  1. Guiding engagement and maintaining relationships with foundations and the individuals who drive foundation giving;
  2. Identifying foundation funding opportunities, and disseminating appropriate requests for proposals (RFPs); managing Caltech's funding opportunities website;
  3. Providing consultative services to faculty, Advancement and Alumni Relations colleagues, and campus leadership regarding the suitability and alignment of projects and programs with funder interests and priorities;
  4. Working with faculty, division chairs, and campus leaders to develop appropriate framing and targeted messaging regarding projects and programs for foundation audiences;
  5. Composing or helping to prepare compelling proposal narratives regarding faculty research and institutional priorities;
  6. Providing support for stewardship in the form of grant reporting and on-campus engagement opportunities;
  7. Advising on foundation policies, submission procedures, compliance issues, and administrative paths.

What are Foundations?

Broadly speaking, a foundation is a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust that makes grants to organizations, institutions, or individuals for charitable purposes such as science, education, and culture.

There are two foundation types: private foundations and grantmaking public charities.

A private foundation's assets comes from a family, an individual, or a corporation. Among many others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an example. Private foundations must meet a federally-mandated "payout requirement," meaning they are obliged to give away a certain amount of their assets every year.

A grantmaking public charity (sometimes called a "public foundation") builds its assets from many different sources, such as foundations, individuals, and government agencies. An example of a grantmaking public charity is the American Cancer Society.

To learn more:

Funding Opportunities Website: Caltech's web-based database of open calls for proposals released by foundations, public charities, associations, societies, and corporations. Also includes internal Caltech opportunities and Federal limited-submission opportunities.

FAQs: What is the difference between OFR, OSR and OTTCP? What are the processes for submitting proposals to private foundations? What should I do if a foundation contacts me? Answers to these and other questions are here.