WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GRANTS AND FUNDING
Finding and identifying foundations and other organizations that give grants for specific purposes or in specific subject areas requires considerable time, effort, and research. The resources on this page provide a starting point to help you do your own research.
To be successful in winning a grant, there are a number of important steps that you will need to take. First, you will need to do research in order to identify appropriate funding organizations. Once you have identified potential funders, you will then need to determine how to approach them. In many cases, it is best not to submit a grant application to a funding organization that knows nothing about your activities. So you may need to take the time to cultivate relationships with these organizations via phone calls, visits, and/or letters of inquiry. Finally, you will need to provide each funding organization with a well-written proposal which clearly states your objectives and sets forth a plan and budget for your activities. And don't expect to receive money right away. Funding organizations often take many months to review and process grant applications.
If you're not sure how to begin looking for grants, my Frequently Asked Questions page can help you get started.
Grants to individuals are most often given for educational support (financial aid), the arts, and various types of scientific or other research, although some agencies award grants to individuals for other purposes. You can find some information on individual grants on my FAQ Page.
Getting a grant is hard work. You can't get "free money" just by filling out a simple form or writing a letter. There is a lot of competition for grant funds. Grants are "free" in that you do not have to pay back the money. However, if you are awarded a grant you may be required to provide periodic program and/or financial reports to the funding organization.
For information on other sources of funding, please visit my Government Loans and Other Financial Resources page. There you'll find information on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, State and Local Economic Development Programs, non-government business funding, and funding for rural businesses, housing, and farms. You can also take a look at my Government Grants pages.
GRANT RESEARCH AND IDENTIFICATION
Here you can do searches for community foundations by state or zip code (the locator is near the bottom of the page).
A huge database of corporate funders, organized alphbetically.
The Foundation Center's fee-based online database of corporate donors that support nonprofit organizations and programs through grants and-kind donations. Requires a paid subscription.
The Foundation Center is an independent nonprofit information clearinghouse that collects, organizes, analyzes, and disseminates information on foundations, corporate giving, and related subjects.
Use the free Foundation Finder to search for organizations by name. Additionally, for a monthly or annual fee, you can search the Center's databases of more than 98,000 grantmakers and more than 1.7 million grants.
For a low monthly fee, you can search the Foundation Center's online database of over 8,500 foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers.
This site is no longer updated, but you may still find some useful info. There are links to private funding opportunities, grants and sponsored research, non-profits, and fundraising news in the U.S. Also contains links to international private and government grants.
This is a tip sheet from the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy that provides an overview of the grant-seeking process as well as planning techniques and keys to success. Note that this is a .pdf file.
At the Fundsnet site, you can find funding organizations by category and subject area, including foundations, national grantmakers, regional funders, international funders, government funding, and more.
From the Donors Forum of Chicago, a step-by-step tutorial on how to find funding.
An online funding resource for organizations seeking grants throughout the world. Providing access to a comprehensive online database of grantmakers, as well as other valuable tools. If you don't want to pay to join, you can sign up for their free weekly newsletter of funding opportunities.
This is a commercial site for grant-seekers who are looking for federal, foundation and state grants. For a monthly fee, you can sign up to receive daily bulletins on new and updated grants.
A website for current federal government grants, state grants, city grants, local grants, foundation grants, corporation grants, educational grants, international grants and grant resources. There are also grants listed by subject area as well as listings of resources and tools. You can sign up to receive free weekly emails of new grants posted on the site, although a subscription is required to review the complete details of each grant.
The nonprofit sector's leading source of training and funding information.
Reference guides and information sources, blog, grants for non-profits, grants for individuals, funding for business and economic development, national grantmakers, international and foreign grantmakers, funding opportunities, and much more.
Search grants by subject or from a listing of grantmakers. From the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
From the Foundation Center. An excellent overveiw including: approaches to funding research, who gets foundation grants, what funders look for, types of support given, hints on proposal writing, and lots more.
Listings and links, as well as foundations by category -- animal welfare, arts, business, children, community foundations, corporate grantmakers, development, education, environment, humanitarian, medical, music, peace, race, science, UK, US, and women.
The Human Interaction Resource Institute has put together this database of more than 300 capacity building programs from U.S. foundations. You can get information about each program, search for programs by type, and obtain reports.
At this site, you'll find numerous grant opportunities listed by the members of proposalCENTRAL, which is a collaborative effort among non-profit, government and private grant-making organizations, primarily in the health area.
Useful resources and tips to help you search for and identify funders.
The RFP (Request for Proposals) Bulletin is published weekly by the Philanthropy News Digest. Each RFP listing provides a brief overview of a current funding opportunity offered by a foundation or other grantmaking organization.
A listing of state-specific directories that support locally based projects and organizations. This is a pdf file, so you will need the free Acrobat Reader to view it.
A very comprehensive comparison of different types of funding sources in an easy-to-read table format.
Categories include: agriculture, the arts, children, community development, corporate, education, environment and nature, journalism, medical research, peace and non-violence, public policy, science, technology, and region-specific.
GRANTS FOR STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS
It's not easy finding a government or foundation grant if you have a for-profit business. Read what the Foundation Center has to say about this:
"Foundations typically fund nonprofit organizations that qualify for public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. These are organizations whose purposes are charitable, educational, scientific, religious, literary, or cultural. By and large, foundations do not make grants to for-profit enterprises."
Generally, the same holds true for corporations and private organizations that give grants. Here's where you can find more information on Business Grants.
Other pages you might find useful include: