The Donnocker Innovation Fund


March 2 , 2015


Need some inspiration?  

Check out some examples of revenue generating (and money saving ideas) at Private Liberal Arts institutions of higher education


Contact Jonathan Green: 
phone: 309-556-3101


Innovation Fund Announcement
Innovation Fund Presentation


Have an innovative idea?  Please share it with us!

The Donnocker Innovation Fund provides grants to underwrite new initiatives of the faculty and staff designed to improve the university by strengthening recruitment and retention, generating new or increased revenue, or achieving cost savings. These awards are specifically intended to support initiatives that fall outside of the normal operating budget of the university. Each year, a minimum of 50% of the funds dispersed as seed or investment funding will be to projects that propose a revenue stream that can ultimately reimburse the Innovation Fund for all or part of the funds awarded, which will be used to underwrite future projects.


Program Innovation Grants — These grants provide start-up funds to implement new projects or programs. Applicants should indicate how the initiative would create positive exposure for the university, strengthen recruiting or retention, and/or generate new revenue. Each proposal should include a description of the project and a detailed budget that includes other possible funding sources and a timetable by which the project would become self-supporting. When appropriate, proposals should also identify model or competing programs.

Infrastructure Innovation Grants — These grants provide funds to enhance facilities or equipment that will achieve demonstrable savings to the university or provide the data necessary to achieve those efficiencies. Proposals should indicate how the investment would reduce utility consumption, enhance environmental sustainability, improve accessibility and safety, or reduce staff workload. The awards are intended to underwrite equipment and upgrades that fall outside of the normal budgets of the university.


Pre-Submission Inquiries are strongly encouraged and anyone interested in applying for an innovation grant can contact Jonathan Green, Provost and Dean of the Faculty for advice before preparing and submitting proposals. 

The Provost is available to provide feedback on draft proposals if requested to do so up to two weeks before the deadline. 


Program Innovation Grants:

Application form
Budget worksheet
What to include in the project description

Infrastructure Innovation Grants:

Application form
Budget worksheet
What to include in the project description

Send completed materials to the Grants Office, Holmes Hall 200 or by email to  The Grants Office staff is available to assist you helping to develop your proposal and budget. 


Call for proposals is March 2, 2015. Each Innovation Fund application should include a completed application form, budget worksheet, and any appropriate supporting materials.


The Provost and Dean of the Faculty will convene a review committee to evaluate Innovation Fund proposals.  The most important review criteria are: (1) the benefits the program or infrastructure has on recruitment or retention, (2) how the program or infrastructure generates new or increased revenue, (3) how the program or infrastructure achieves cost savings.

All Infrastructure Innovation proposals will be initially reviewed by the Capital Projects Committee, which includes the Director of Physical Plant, the Vice President for Business and Finance, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Assistant Provost and Chief Technology Officer, the Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Standards, and the Provost and Dean of Faculty.  The Capital Projects Committee will determine if there may be alternate funding sources for proposed projects prior to final review by the Innovation fund Committee.

The review committee will comprise the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations (non-voting member), the Vice President for Business and Finance, the Provost, representatives from the Offices of Advancement and Admissions, and a member of the faculty. When appropriate, other offices and committees may be consulted to facilitate a fair and robust review of each application.