Accept your award
Almost all private foundation funding, and an increasing proportion of corporate funding, comes to Rice in the form of a grant, with a formal agreement that has to be countersigned by an authorized university representative in SPARC (never by a development officer), who may consult, if necessary, with OTT or OGC.
Additionally, OCFR will coordinate the appropriate institutional acknowledgments for the award; however, individual faculty members and program administrators are encouraged to send their own letter of thanks to the company or foundation.
Please send all corporate and foundation correspondence to Elizabeth Castillo at email@example.com.
This includes grant agreement forms, payments, acknowledgement letters and schedules for reporting and payment. OCFR will process gift memos and make note of stewardship activities such as reporting requirements.
Of course, Rice still receives traditional philanthropic support in the form of gifts from both foundations and companies, funds that come typically with only simple letters. Those are put into G funds and responsibility for their management rests with department or program administrators.
The Controller’s Office, not OCFR, makes the final determination on the appropriate type of fund.
Booking a Grant
When a grant comes to Rice (via wire transfer, the cashier’s office, snail mail, etc.), OCFR creates a gift memo, enters the necessary reporting requirements into OwlConnect, and sends the gift memo on to the gift processing team. OCFR works with SPARC and RCA to ensure that grant agreements are signed and returned and that reporting requirements are accurately recorded. OCFR may also assist in the creation of gift memos for donor-advised funds and family foundations that require a grant agreement and reporting.
Stewarding your grant begins as soon as you receive the award notification. In coordination with SPARC, the Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations (OCFR) will review the grant conditions and send any required paperwork back to the foundation or company to accept the award (e.g. the grant agreement may require an official Rice signature). OCFR will coordinate thank you letters from the president (if appropriate) to express the university's appreciation for the organization's support. OCFR also encourages individual faculty to send their own letters of thanks.
The grant agreement will likely stipulate the funder's narrative and financial reporting requirements. In order to track these reports, OCFR maintains a master calendar of all due dates and issues reminders to the principal investigator (PI) and related support staff approximately 45 days before a report deadline. OCFR is available to provide feedback on grant reports prior to submission. Before preparing a report, look over the grant agreement to see if a specific reporting format, such as an online form, is required.
Timely submission of reports is an important demonstration of the university's gratitude and an important vehicle for keeping the foundation or company aware of the project's progress.
We also encourage principal investigators to communicate with funders to convey important developments or challenges throughout the grant period. Examples include:
- Sending copies of related publications, papers, or press coverage as they are released
- Inviting foundation officers and corporate contacts to events related to the grant
PIs should monitor expenses closely throughout the project. If the funds are held in a research fund, OCFR will also remind Research and Cost Accounting to prepare a financial report for the stated deadline. The accountant preparing the financial report will seek the approval of the PI before it is finalized.
Finally, as your project progresses, please contact OCFR if you anticipate any major changes to 1) the scope of the work, 2) the timeline, or 3) the budget. OCFR will help you determine if the foundation or company will require Rice to seek permission before making significant changes to the project.