Penn State Foundation Relations

Connecting Penn State faculty and staff with private foundations to advance the University’s research and programmatic strengths and priorities.

About the Foundation Relations Office

Our Vision

To generate transformative private foundation support for Penn State through the development of mutually beneficial, long-term, collaborative relationships with internal partners and foundation leadership.

What we Do

  • Identify research, programs, and projects that may be of interest to private foundations and similar funders.
  • Provide background and context regarding funder interests, history of support, and other helpful information.
  • Engage in strategy formation discussions to determine the best way to build or further a relationship with a foundation.
  • Potentially connect you with private foundations leaders and program officers.
  • Advise regarding or assist with LOI development and proposal submission.
  • Collaborate with leadership, faculty, and research administrators across the University to ensure submission align with University policies and procedures.
  • Following receipt of an award, assist with stewardship and relationship management to ensure a continued thriving partnership between Penn State and the foundation.

Browse our list of services to find out how we can help you.


Get in Touch with Us

For general inquiries, please email the Foundation Relations team at or call 814-863-4308.

Working with the Office of Foundation Relations

The Office of Foundation Relations works with private foundations to develop innovative programs, support faculty research, and advance the University’s mission.

Our Services

We connect private foundations with faculty by:

The Foundation Relations Team

Sophie Penney

Sophie Penney, Ph.D., Director

Alan Gibson, Assistant Director

Adrienne Krasowitz, Assistant Director

Holly Lowe, Assistant Director

Ronda Williams, Development Coordinator

Stephanie Staniar, Administrative Support

Jessica Kiely

Jessica Kiely, Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine

Kelly Frownfelter

Kelly Frownfelter, Administrative Support Coordinator, Corporate & Foundation Relations, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine