Foundation relations

The University of Minnesota Foundation is the designated organization to manage the relationships between the University and philanthropic foundations

Foundation Relations staff work with professional foundations, community foundations, and family foundations alike. The Foundation Relations staff also works closely with U of M staff in Corporate Relations to meet the needs of corporate foundations. The Corporate Relations staff is based out of the U of M Foundation’s office.

Philanthropic foundation representatives who already know which faculty member is doing work that their foundation supports are more than welcome to contact those researchers directly. For those who do not know who to connect with at the University, the U of M Foundation Relations team welcomes the opportunity to talk about how foundation priorities fit with University of Minnesota initiatives.

The U of M Foundation's Corporate and Foundations Relations team can help you:


  • Connect foundations with U of M faculty.
  • Consult with campus partners seeking foundation support.
  • Facilitate on campus visits between foundation personnel and university faculty, staff, and leadership.


  • Identify foundation trends, and strategically match funding sources to university projects, and assemble campus conversations around themes of interest to foundations.
  • Coordinates strategy and proposals to larger foundations with multiple universities.


  • Work with University of Minnesota Sponsored Projects to assure appropriate administration of awards.
  • Facilitate reporting on gifts and grants.
  • Assist in drafting and review of letters of inquiry, pre-proposals, proposals, gift agreements, and stewardship reports.
  • Facilitate recognition for foundations.

If you are a foundation representative and would like more information about matching your priorities and interests with opportunities and resources at the University, please call the Foundation Relations team at 612-624-8374 or 800-775-2187, or email Adam Fischer.

Faculty and staff

If you are a U of M faculty or staff member looking for help working with private foundations, please email Karen Hanson or call her at 612-625-1778.