Personal or independent projects -- for example, traveling overseas for a mission, attending summer camp, raising money for a specific person in need -- typically are not eligible to receive foundation grants.
However, if your project is an artistic or research-related endeavor, or its primary purpose is to serve a larger audience and improve the community, you could consider fiscal sponsorship as a means to qualify for foundation grants.
Funding for your personal, independent project
Most of your funding likely will come from donations given by individuals. Unlike foundation and government grants, individual donations are not limited to charities and nonprofits. People can and will give money to others if they believe in an individual or a cause. However, direct gifts of this nature are not tax-deductible for the donor. They also are not tax-exempt for the recipient (you), which means that any donations you receive will count as personal income.
That said, there are many creative ways to raise cash for your project. It's important to give yourself enough time to map out and execute your fundraising plan.
Virtual and print resources on this topic are available at Foundation Center libraries and Funding Information Network partners nationwide, and your local public library. All Foundation Center locations provide free access to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, our searchable database of grantmakers that fund individual grantseekers.
Please also see our related Knowledge Base Articles:
- Where can I find information on grants to individuals?
- Where can I find grants for individual artists?
- How can we raise money for a single individual or family in need?
- Articles for students seeking funding for education
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