|Carol Scully, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations seeks grants for the university from local and national foundations, corporations and private agencies.|
When University Relations decided to spearhead a comprehensive campaign drive seven years ago, they needed someone to work with corporations, foundations and private funding agencies.
Carol Scully was their leading lady.
As director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, Scully helped Wesleyan raise more than $30 million from 219 funding sources for the recently completed Wesleyan Campaign. Most of these donations range between $10,000 and $3 million.
Weve been quite successful, she says, modestly. But it was a team effort.”
Scully has mastered a process to find grants. She begins by researching prospective sources foundations, corporations and other public and private funding agencies analyzing their support interests and how much they could give or have given in the past. Shell send them a letter of inquiry, write up a grant proposal and invite them to tour Wesleyan. Each tour is catered to the program officers, and usually includes a meeting with President Doug Bennet.
We love to have them visit, so we can show off Wesleyan, and show theyll be making a good investment when they give to Wesleyan, she says. Its usually easy to sell Wesleyan. Funders are attracted to an organization that knows where it is going.
In addition to the Wesleyan Campaign, Scullys office helped raise more than $1 million – or 50 percent of the total dollars to start-up and fund the Green Street Arts Center. The funds were contributed by corporations, foundations, and federal, state and local government agencies.
Many foundation grants during the campaign helped establish new academic initiatives. For example, grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have funded the Center for Faculty Development, a post-doctoral program at the Center for the Americas, and the environmental studies program. The Freeman Foundation gave Wesleyan $1.9 million that created the Asian Asian/American Initiative. In 2000, the W. M. Keck Foundation awarded Wesleyan $500,000 to jump start its genomics program, and the Surdna Foundation gave three $75,000 grants in 2003, 2004 and 2005 to support the Service Learning Center, part of the Center for Community Partnerships.
The key factor is to maintain good relationships with our donors, she says. When awarded a grant, we make sure we do what we said we would do and show results. Funders like to know their money has made a difference.
Though Scully works for University Relations, shes more than willing to help anyone, campus wide, with grant-writing procedures. She encourages faculty members to stop by with drafts of grant proposals used to fund their research or special projects.
Were sort of grant central here, she says. We edit, tutor and do whatever we can to be helpful. Sometimes people need help every step of the way, while others just need a signature.
Scullys office has collaborated with Academic Affairs and Financial Services to create a grant Web site, http://www.wesleyan.edu/grants. The site provides databases for corporate, foundation and government-affiliated funding sources and highlights the grant-writing process. The three offices work closely together to support the Wesleyan community in their search for external funding – from the initial search for sources, to development of the proposal, to the administration of the award.
Scully, who earned a bachelors degree in English from Fairfield University and a masters degree in communications from Syracuse University, said she acquired most of her grant-writing skills on the job. She worked in Wesleyan’s development office doing corporate and foundation giving between 1983 and 1987. She tutored English at Manchester Community College and wrote grant proposals for the Science Center of Connecticut and Saint Joseph College in West Hartford. And in 1997, she returned to Wesleyan as the director of foundation and corporate relations, building the new department from scratch. She oversees Betsy McCormick, associate director and Christina West-Webster, administrative assistant.
“She is an extremely effective Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations because she is very skilled, has extremely high standards, respects and works well with many different constituencies, and is thoughtful and proactive,” says Ann Goodwin, assistant vice president for University Relations. “She is also a delightful colleague and a consummate team player who is always looking out for what is best for Wesleyan. We are very lucky to have her.”
Scully is also co-chair of the Resource & Development Committee for the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics (PIMMS) Advisory Council.
Working at Wesleyan is very rewarding, she says. I get to work with many different people from many different areas. It can be very interesting.
Scully lives in Hebron, Conn. with her husband, Jack and children Dan, 15, and Maura, 18. Most of her free time is spent at high school athletic events or in her garden. But before spring hits, shes going to take up a new sport herself squash.
The new squash facilities here at Wesleyan are quite appealing, she says.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|