CFRNet Information

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Purpose. CFRNet is a free, on-line discussion group focused on building partnerships between educational institutions and corporations and foundations. More than 1,000 corporate and foundation relations officers subscribe to CFRNet. Program officers and other staff of private foundations and corporate giving programs are also among our subscribers. CFRNet is a low-volume listserv. Days without any message postings are not uncommon, especially in late summer when many academics are on vacation.

Topics of discussion. Our discussions include such topics as solicitation strategies, stewardship programs, proposal writing, prospect tracking, working with faculty, coordinating with other internal administrative units, gift-in-kind programs, corporate giving, issues related to student recruitment by companies, and professional development for corporate and foundation relations officers.

To access quick guides, use the links below:

How to subscribe.

How to request a password:

How to post a message:

How to turn off your CFRNet mail while you are on vacation to avoid inadvertently sending multiple "Out of the Office" messages:

How to Participate:
  • Identify yourself and your institution. As a courtesy to fellow subscribers, be sure to put your name and institutional affiliation at the end of your messages.

  • Use the right subject line. Make sure you use a subject line that describes the content of your message. If your “reply” is on a different topic, be sure to change the subject line so your message will appear in the correct place in the list archives on the web.

  • "Reply to All" is the default setting for CFRNet. To respond to only one subscriber, you will have to manually change the “To” line in your reply. If you wish to reply to a posted message, remember that CFRNet will automatically send your response to all 1300 subscribers. This setting minimizes the number of private discussions on topics that may be of interest to the whole group. On the other hand, it also results in the occasional broadcast of personal messages to all subscribers. If you use the “reply” function of your e-mail software to post a message to CFRNet, your message will be sent to everyone, even if you only intended to communicate with one person.

  • Stick to topics related to CFRNet's purpose. If others raise topics that are unrelated to the list purpose, reply directly to the individual sender, even if those topics were raised before the whole group. This is especially important if the topic is both unrelated to our purpose and controversial. To do this, you will have to manually change the “To” line in your reply. Similarly, to request printed materials from an individual subscriber, please change the "To" line to avoid sending your message to all 1300 subscribers.
    While some of our subscribers have responsibilities that extend beyond corporate and foundation relations, CFRNet is not a forum for discussion of individual donor relations, alumni relations, individual donor prospect research, administration, or general fund-raising topics.

  • Avoid "Me, too!" responses. Resist the temptation to express interest in a posted question with the hope of encouraging someone to answer it. Some of our subscribers receive messages in the digest format, so replies are not always immediate. If you see a topic that interests you, wait a few days for subscribers to reply to the question, rather than posting a message indicating that you, too, are interested in the topic. "Me, too" messages do little to stimulate discussion, but add to the clutter in CFRNet subscribers' in-boxes.

  • Be nice! Subscribing to a listserv requires patience. Subscribers come and go regularly, and may not know all the rules on the first day. Help us give a warm welcome to newcomers by showing tolerance for errors. If you feel that you must “correct” a subscriber who is not following the rules, please send the message directly to the subscriber rather than publicly point out the transgression.
    CFRNet is designed to serve the majority of our subscribers for our expressed purpose (corporate and foundation support for education). Help us retain as many talented professionals as we can by refraining from discussion of issues unrelated to our purpose that could unnecessarily divide the group (circulating jokes, political commentary, etc.). Your colleagues appreciate your cooperation!

  • Use your "real" e-mail address when subscribing, rather than an "alias," to avoid common CFRNet user problems. Remember to use your real e-mail address when you subscribe or communicate with the CFRNet server. Your own institution may recognize your shortened "nickname" e-mail address, but external networks see only the real address.

  • Alert the CFRNet Manager privately to any problems. If you have a problem with your CFRNet subscription that you are unable to resolve yourself through the CFRNet web site, send an email message to the list administrator at Seeking help from all 1,300 subscribers usually won't fix the problem any faster. Do remember, though, that the list managers are volunteers with a full-time jobs like yours. CFRNet has no paid technical support staff, so give us a day or two to reply.

Thank you!

CFRNet is an independent listserv hosted by Washington University in St. Louis. The list manager is Patricia Gregory. The List Administrator is Nicole Venteris CFRNet is not affiliated with Washington University, and Washington University is not responsible for the content of CFRNet. The opinions expressed here do not represent those of Washington University.