Foundations typically fund nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. These are organizations whose purposes are charitable, educational, scientific, religious, literary, or cultural. A small number of foundations will also make grants to individuals, usually to help pay for educational expenses, or support artistic or research projects.

By and large, foundations do not make grants to for-profit enterprises. In very rare cases, foundations might fund a social enterprise -- a for-profit with a strong social mission. A small but growing number of foundations provide program-related investments (PRIs) to social enterprises, as well as nonprofits. PRIs are low-interest loans that a foundation can give to organizations or projects that match the funder's giving interests.

The Foundation Center specializes in providing resources for nonprofits, so if you are seeking funds to start a for-profit business, please review the resources below for more authoritative information. You might also consult the business section of your local public library, or economic development agencies in your city, county, or state.

 

See also our related Knowledge Base articles:

What is a program-related investment?
What is social enterprise?
- Can non-501(c)(3) organizations get foundation grants?
- What is crowdfunding?

More Knowledge Base articles about for-profit organizations

 

 

Topic(s) Find Corporate Donors Find Foundation Donors Support for Individual Grantseekers

Have a question about this topic? Ask us!

Foundation Center's Ask Us service will answer your questions within one business day.

Ask Us

Este artículo está disponible en español

See Spanish Version

Enter the FDO #GivingTuesday Sweepstakes for a chance to win a 1-year subscription to Foundation Directory Online Professional. You’ll also get a chance to win promotion on our social channels for your cause on Giving Tuesday. Share to unlock more entries!