Sources of Grant Funding for US Organizations
For US-based organizations, there are many grant funding sources to top into including US government agencies, state agencies, family foundations, community foundations, and corporations. Below you'll find tips for finding opportunities released by private foundations, corporate social responsibility programs, and state agencies as well as links to application guidance from several US government agencies. For a list of US-based community foundations, please visit our Community Foundations page.
US Government Funding Opportunities
For state opportunities:
Visit the website of the relevant state department (e.g. the department of environment and natural resources if your organization works on environmental issues) in to learn about grant programs and new calls for proposals; and
Consider subscribing to a funder search tool that includes state opportunities. Two funder databases that include state opportunities are Grant Gopher ($9/mo. or $99 annually) and GrantWatch ($45/mo. or $199/annually).
Corporations generally limit their giving to the communities where they have a presence (headquarters, retail store, manufacturing facility, etc.). To identify grant opportunities offered by corporations:
Visit the websites of the companies with a presence in your geographic area. Search the websites using terms such as "corporate responsibility," "grants," and "local giving" to see if the company has a grant program through which it gives grants or in-kind donations.
Consider subscribing to a funder database to learn more about corporate giving programs. Funder databases usually include profiles of corporate giving programs in addition to profiles of private foundations. You can find a list of funder databases on the General Resources page.
Application Guidance – US Government Resources
Philanthropy News & Information
Finding Funding for US-Based Projects
For US-based organizations there are a number of resources to identify funding opportunities.
If you are interested in government-funded grants, your best resources is grants.gov, which lists funding opportunities from 26 federal agencies. If you are interested in federal contracts, fedbizopps.gov is the main site you should use for your research.
If you are interested in private, community, and corporate foundations, you have a few choices.
You can use a search engine such as Google to try to find foundations which fund the kind of work you do in the area of the country where you do it. This method may yield some leads, but it will be slow.
You can also uncover some leads by researching organizations similar to your own. Look at the organizations' websites, annual reports, and Form 990s (annual IRS filings) to see who funded them in the last year. This is also a slow process, but can lead to more precise results than using Google.
If you have some ideas of potential funders--maybe you've heard the names of foundations that fund in the geographic area where you want to work--you can go to the foundation's or company's website. Read about the funder and the projects it's funded recently, look at currently eligibility standards, and review the funder's Form 990 to see the list of its recent grantees.
Particularly if you are interested in identifying smaller, lesser-known family foundations you'll want to subscribe to a donor database as many smaller foundations do not maintain a website. Subscriptions for databases range in price from few hundred to a few thousand dollars a year. However, if you're serious about finding funding, you'll need a subscription to at least one database. Two options to consider include:
Foundation Center's Foundation Directory Online: One of the most well known of the various databases is the Foundation Directory Online, which is run by the Foundation Center. The Foundation Center offers monthly and annual subscriptions (annual subscriptions range from $1500 - $2000). If you cannot afford a subscription, you may be able to get free access to the database through your local library.
Grant Station: Grant Station is one of the more affordable options at $149/year. If you subscribe to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, as part of your subscription you will receive access to the Grant Station database.
For a list of funding databases and resources head over to the General Resources page.