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Funding Your Campus Master Plan – Basic Info

Jim Tucker, Senior Fellow, AGB Institutional Strategies

Your institution’s strategic plan should link to and be applied via the campus master plan.  The typical master plan is founded on partnerships and divides the campus into distinct types of spaces, from academic to research/medical, to administrative spaces, and more.  In thinking about funding the various elements and initiatives of your master plan to realize your overall strategic plan, you should consider the following points:

  1. Understand your resources – You should identify opportunities where you can unlock the value of your land/buildings etc. and consider the demand pool (i.e., enrollment trends), which will influence the types and scope of future projects and developments.  Also, you should do an in-depth assessment to understand the economic value of your institution to the local and regional, as well as state/national, communities, as this information is also important for making decisions about the types and scope of projects and their feasibility.  Finally, you should understand how any undertaking will impact your standing as a long-term member of the community where your institution resides, and be sensitive to that important relationship.


  1. Identify the Opportunities that exist NOW – You may have underdeveloped land, or obsolete buildings that can be removed to make way for something new.  Find out and identify all of the opportunities that currently exist.


  1. Research and identify the BEST type of funding for the project – Multiple funding sources exist and many projects can benefit from the combination of multiple types of funding including local, state, and national/federal funding sources, grants, tax credits, partnerships (P3’s), etc. Remember that, within reason, it’s better to use other people’s money to get the project done than your own. 

To learn more about how to fund your campus master plan and the best strategies to develop an RFP for your campus, join AGBIS for one of our complimentary webinars on the topic or call us 202-776-0868, or email