Because most private foundations make grants only to nonprofit organizations, individuals seeking grants must follow a different funding path than public charities. You need to be both creative and flexible in your approach to seeking funding.
If you are affiliated with a college or university, contact your department office. Some colleges and universities have an office for sponsored programs, which coordinates grant requests and helps researchers with finding grant opportunities.
Also ask your peers and colleagues about funding sources. Please note that many national organizations may have local chapters that may run their own funding programs. National chapters might not know what their local chapters are offering, so it is up to you to check at each level.
Another approach is to find a nonprofit with a similar interest that will act as your fiscal sponsor. In this arrangement, you might qualify for more funding opportunities. You can learn more about fiscal sponsorship in our Knowledge Base section.
Some grantmakers offer support for individual projects. If you are unfamiliar with the process of grantseeking, you may want to start with these:
You can search for foundation grants with Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, our searchable database of grantmakers that provide support directly to individual grantseekers, including researchers.
To search from your own computer, subscribe online. You also can use it for free at our libraries and Funding Information Network locations.
See more Knowledge Base articles related to this topic:
Have a question about this topic? Ask us!
Foundation Center's Ask Us service will answer your questions within one business day.Ask Us