There are different ways to go about finding grants, but many grants are funded by Foundations. In order to conduct grant research, it is crucial to understand the role of a foundation and what it does.
A foundation is a non-profit corporation or a charitable trust whose mission is to make available grants to organizations or individuals for cultural, educational, religious, scientific, or other charitable purposes.
The successful grant seeker should conduct exhaustive research in order to find right foundation. Foundations can be the sector of a corporation, a private non-profit aiming to further specific purpose, a federal agency designated to promote a specific cause, or even a Labor Union. This process might require extensive review of both print and online resources.
There are essentially three approaches to grant research. Both print and electronic resources may be used:
This approach is perhaps the most often-used, as foundations will express an interest in funding subject-specific programs. Look for foundations that are most likely to fund your proposal. Many government agencies and labor unions such as the National Education Association (NEA) offer grants and lists of grants relevant to the subject area.
- The Arts
- Community Development
- Additionally, many corporations such as CVS, Intel, WalMart, and Home Depot have community impact and development grants available through their corporate foundations.
- Schools and Educators
- Science and Technology
Since foundations will often limit where they will fund projects to their region or location, you may want to include this approach as part of your overall searching strategy. For information on several local foundations, see Regional Grants below.
This type of approach is usually used in conjunction with Subject or Geographic research, and should not be confused with the Subject Approach. "Subject Approaches" will list programs that foundations want to fund, whereas "Types of Support" will offer what kinds of assistance the foundations will fund. For example, requests for funding for building/renovation, equipment, seed-money, or technical assistance would fall into the category of "Types of Support."