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Online Sources for Information on Grants and Funders

Researching Potential Funders

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The hard part of applying for grants is upfront...the research.

Finding grant opportunities and information about possible funders is an ongoing project for any grant seeker. There are dozens of resources and some of the best are online. Bookmark these sites and visit them often.

1. The Foundation Center

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The Foundation Center the best resource for almost anything related to funding by foundations. The Center sends out a free email newsletter called Arts Funding Watch as well as its free RFP Bulletin which gives listings of newly announced requests for proposals.

The "Foundation Finder" allows you to look up very basic information on foundations. You can also subscribe to The Foundation Directory Online. This comprehensive database provides foundation funding priorities and past grants. There are several subscription levels that will provide access to over 100,000 foundations, corporate donors, and public charities. The Foundation Directory is truly the gold standard for databases and is well worth a subscription.

2. BIG Online

A for-profit resource, BIG Online provides online and telephone assistance for navigating the various tools on its website. Also offers online classes to learn more about the features of its extensive database, which contains grantmakers' 990's, and a trove of relevant articles.

3. Foundation Search America

Also a for-profit resource, very similar to BIG Online. Popular resource available to nonprofits for a fee. Offers the ability to conduct in-depth analysis of prospective foundations.

4. GrantStation

GrantStation is an interactive website that allows grantseekers to identify potential funding sources for their programs or projects, and mentors them through the grantseeking process. Searchable database of grantmakers who are activily accepting inquiries and proposals, federal grant deadlines, online tutorials, and frequent webinars. This site requires fee-based membership, although some features are free.

5. The Philanthropy Journal

Published by Institute for Nonprofits at N.C. State University, the Journal publishes news about foundations, recent surveys about fundraising trends, and other nonprofit issues. You can join as an individual or an organization. There is also a free online newsletter.

6. Grants.Gov

This U.S. government website has lots of useful information for nonprofits, including announcements of federal grants. See Government Grants: What Grant Writers Need to Know for more information about government grants.

7. Guidestar

Guidestar provides information on all kinds of nonprofits, including foundations. You can register for free and use the advanced search capabilities which allows access to Form 990s, 990-PFs, and other publications.

8. The Grantsmanship Center

Click "Sources of Funding Information" at this site and you will find links to today's Federal Register, and to community foundation websites, listed by state.

9. Community Foundation Locator

The Community Foundation Locator is sponsored by the Council on Foundations. The website displays a map of the U.S. where you can click on your region to pull up a list of its local community foundations and links to those foundation websites.

10. Center for Civic Partnerships

You can search grant opportunities at this site by topic and by U.S. state. Just click on "Funding Sources."

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