Corporate Giving Lifecycle

The purpose of this document is to offer guidance on how to appropriately route philanthropic corporate dollars.

Invitation to Apply

  • Corporate giving opportunities come in both open calls to apply for funds and by invitation
  • Corporate giving opportunities usually involve an online application with a deadline
  • Some giving opportunities come with a commitment to fund prior to the application and some are applied for and we await the funding decision

Corporate Application

  • These opportunities usually involve an application and may ask for 501(c)(3)/tax exempt status
  • A typical application asks for organizational information, program information, impact details, budget and agreement acknowledgments

Grant vs. Gift

  • Review criteria located here to determine if this opportunity should be treated as a gift or a grant. If you need additional assistance making the determination, reach out to Research & Sponsored Programs (RSP)
  • If the opportunity is deemed a "grant" the opportunity will be processed through RSP
  • If the opportunity is deemed a "gift" the application can be processed through the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association (WFAA)

If Grant

  • Department/School applying will work with RSP. A research administrator in the department or dean's office will create a WISPER record 
  • Department to work with RSP to submit the application directly to sponsor
  • Department can use WFAA organizational information (if needed) and once the WFAA receives the funds they will get transferred to RSP
  • Overhead would likely be applied to funds received - varies per funding opportunity
  • Stewardship to be considered and arranged by receiving unit.  If requested, RSP can assist with required receipting. Department receiving funds assumes any programmatic reporting responsibilities

If Gift

  • Department/School will apply for the funds and OBE can support the application submission
  • Department/OBE will gather, organize and input information into the online application
  • Once Department/OBE receives confirmation the funds are being processed the WFAA is notified to set up a gift alert 
  • The gift is allocated to the appropriate fund within the WFAA and WFAA will manage gift acknowledgment/receipting
  • Stewardship to be considered and arranged by receiving department
  • In partnership with awarded department OBE can support reporting responsibilities


OBE Support General RSP Support RSP Pre-Award Support RSP Post-Award Support WFAA Suport
John Garnetti Bonniejean Zitske Brenda Egan Angie Johnson Jennie Casavant
Stephanie Furlong Bob Gratzl Jenny Cox Bell

More on Grant vs. Gift

  • An award is clearly a gift that can be directed to WFAA without the involvement of RSP if ALL of the following are true:
    • There are no financial or narrative reporting requirements;
    • There are no time constraints, periods of performance, grant periods, or deadlines;
    • There is no expectation of a return of unspent funds;
    • There are no requirements with respect to intellectual property, use of UW logos or marks, or marketing/publicity;
    • The funder does not require agreement to a limitation of liability, choice of law, or indemnification provision; and
    • The funder does not limit the number of applications it will consider from each institution/university

More on RSP Processing

  • A list of College & Schools research contacts can be found here
  • PI to complete grant application form and upload it to the WISPER record.  RSP to allot final approval of the proposed application prior to submission. (Ideally, at least 5 days prior to application due date.)
  • RSP to notify PI if RSP proposal team will need to submit the application or if the PI can submit the application. (Some application certifications require RSP to submit.)

More on WISPER

  • WIPSER training sessions can be found here
  • Each WISPER record will need a Principal Investigator (PI).  If the campus partner is not classified as a PI a temporary allocation can be made by completing the “Request for Limited PI Status” form here

More on F&A/Overhead Rates

  • See full rates here
    • Note: lower rates for public service/outreach (38%) & off campus (26%)
  • Exceptions to overhead: Tuition, tuition remission, fellowships, scholarships
    • Note: Equipment/capital are not subject as cost accounting to consider depreciation
  • Can request F&A waivers (Steve Ackerman/VCRGE gives final approval) but waivers can cause federal penalties/audits and are unlikely to be agreed upon for corporate sponsors
  • Overhead costs support critical pieces of the University and these costs are federally mandated
  • UW-Madison F&A rates are competitive with peer institutions

More on WFAA

  • The WFAA is a 501(c)(3) and is meant to be a gift receiving organization 
  • Endowments will go through WFAA
  • WFAA manages naming privileges

More on Stewardship

501(C)(3) Requirment

  • When a sponsor calls for a 501(c)(3) RSP/Pre-Award team can call sponsor to determine if our University tax exempt status (170 status) is sufficient. (Typically, an easy ask.)

Keywordsgift grant application apply   Doc ID117557
OwnerMarcus M.GroupSalesforce - UW-Madison, Strategic Partnerships
Created2022-03-23 14:12:37Updated2023-05-12 13:31:00
SitesSalesforce - UW-Madison, Strategic Partnerships
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