Foundation Center does not give grants/donations, suggest specific funders, or approach them on your behalf. More about Foundation Center's mission. But we can point you to resources that should help you in your funding search.

Grantmakers around the world have a variety of standards about who can receive their money. But U.S.-based foundations generally give to nonprofits that have been granted special nonprofit status by the U.S. government. This status is called "501(c)(3)," which is the relevant section of the U.S. tax code. If you don't have exempt status and wish to find funders in the U.S., please see our article "Can Our International NGO Raise Funds in the U.S."

Finding grants from funders in any country typically begins with "prospect research" - finding out who is most likely to give you money. Funders generally care about:

  • Subject. Is your mission compatible with theirs? Does your program help solve a problem they are passionate about?
  • Population served. Do you help people the funder cares about?
  • Geographic region. Even if the funder isn't located near you, have they given grants to other organizations in your area?

Foundation Directory Online is Foundation Center's searchable database that provides an unsurpassed level of comprehensive and accurate information on grantmakers and their grants. You can specify the subject and population you serve, then search by your country or region. At our highest level of access, the results show not just who gave money in your country, how much and when, but also what organizations have received it and what cities they are in. See a sample record.

To use it from your own computer, you can choose from two subscription plans that you can renew by the month or year. You can also use it for free at one of our 400+ locations worldwide.

We also offer these free online resources for finding grants:

Global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015.

Watch "How Do US Foundations Support Global Programs and Partners? New Data and Trends" to learn more.

New to finding funders?

Start learning now with Introduction to Finding Grants.

Watch the recorded version now in the YouTube window below, or see its Course Page for more details. This course is also presented as live training by webinar and in an interactive self-paced learning format.

See our related Knowledge Base articles on this topic:

- Is there a Canadian organization similar to the Foundation Center?
- Is there a European organization similar to the Foundation Center?


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