Key Points

· This article describes a method for instructing social work students in the art of enhanced collaboration with foundations, shifting the focus from “writing a winning proposal” and “finding alternative funding sources” to “developing collaborative partnerships for sustainable community development and social change.”

· The program consists of four major steps: charitable foundation review and case presentation, self-guided review of real-world proposals, mock grant proposal development, and side-by-side proposal review.

· Student proposals were rated similarly by the instructor and the foundation program officer, even though different criteria were used, suggesting that well-written proposals are also likely to clearly address foundation information needs.

· The instructional approach helped give students a real sense of what is going on in the human services, health care, and mental health care fields, as well as how to work effectively in partnership with foundations to address needs.

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