Foundation Relations

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Foundation Relations team builds partnerships with foundations to secure funding for the Medical Center's research, programs and educational initiatives. In collaboration with VUMC leadership and faculty, we seek and secure charitable support that ensures a mutually beneficial relationship with our foundation partners.

Our expertise in approaching, connecting and convening with private foundations and public charities includes:

  • Identifying and cultivating relationships with prospective foundation funders
  • Assisting in proposal development and partnering on the grant submission process
  • Strengthening the foundation partnership before, during and after the grant period



Foundation funding is unique - the process is quite different from competing for federal grants and from seeking support from other charitable sources like grateful patient fundraising or major philanthropic donors. 

Searching for foundation funding opportunities
GrantForward is our subscription resource that you can utilize to help identify potential funders. In addition to GrantForward searches, look for other prospective funders in professional publications, at conferences and presentations, and in news about your area of research.

Partnering with the Foundation Relations team
As soon as you identify a foundation that might be a potential funder, call or email our team for advice. We may have an existing relationship with the foundation staff and can offer background information, advice on how to approach the funder, and guidance for a smooth and successful submission.


Visit to search for foundation funding opportunities to support your work. Click here to search.

Grant Forward



Sue Reeves

Executive Director of Foundation Relations

Adele White

Senior Director of Foundation Relations

Laura Benjey

Program Manager, CFR

Sarah Parker

Associate Program Manager, CFR