2016-2020 Strategic Initiative Funding Model

The implementation of Penn State’s 2016-2020 strategic plan, Our Commitment to Impact, charted a new course with its initiative funding model. The funding model is multi-tiered and multi-sourced.

Types of Strategic Investments

Scale Description Request process
$ Projects focused in a single unit, typically requiring less than $50,000 in funding Request from unit budget executive
$$ Seed grants for projects that cross unit boundaries and have the potential to develop into sustainable programs, $50,000 – $250,000 Strategic plan RFP, https://strategicplan.psu.edu/rfp
$$$ Large-scale projects that require a significant University investment and have executive support from multiple units Proposal to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Funding Sources

Strategic initiatives may be funded in a variety of ways, including combinations of the following:

  • Unit investment
  • University funded
  • Philanthropy
  • Strategic reallocation of funds (unit or central) from under-performing initiatives or programs that have reached the end of their planned life-spans
  • Grants


The University-wide A Greater Penn State fundraising campaign identifies three imperatives – Open Doors, Create Transformative Experiences, and Impact the World – inspired by the strategic plan. Philanthropy will play a greater role in furthering Penn State’s strategic vision than at any point in the University’s history. University Development works with the strategic plan committees to identify philanthropic opportunities to support their initiatives.