Office of Research

Getting Started at Clemson: CFR or OSP?

“Who should I contact about this grant?

The roles of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Many private foundations make philanthropic contributions to fund projects that further their mission at universities and other non-profit organizations. Uncertainty often arises regarding how to classify and administer awards from private foundations – are they gifts or grants? Confusion occurs because these awards often have stipulations such as a formal budget proposal, scope of work specifications, and reporting requirements and they are typically called “grants” by the foundation, even though the foundation considers the award a charitable donation. And, unlike government-sponsored grants, these awards are classified as gifts by the IRS because they are made by philanthropic foundations.

At Clemson, the Offices of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Sponsored Programs work closely together to assist faculty and program directors in developing successful relationships with private foundations, regardless of how the award will be administered.  

We have developed a decision tree to help faculty determine whether to contact OSP or CFR to begin the proposal process, and then to follow the application and administration of the award.

Decision Tree for Determining Application and Administration Process for Private Foundation Proposals

Decision Tree for Determining Application and Administration Process for Private Foundation Proposals at Clemson University

See the list of private foundations managed by the Office of Foundation Relations. For inquiries regarding any of these foundations, contact the Office of Foundation Relations.

If your grant will require detailed budget reporting, has intellectual property restrictions, and specific detailed deliverables, it will most likely need to be administered by OSP and submitted through InfoEd. However, CFR may need to be involved to prepare supplemental proposal documentation such as institutional support letters, coordinate award announcement events, or assist with other activities that fall outside of OSP’s responsibilities.

Contact Office of Foundation Relations:

Contact OSP: