Seeking out grant sources

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the last article we had the introduction to grant writing. In this article we will talk about finding grants.
In discussing how to find grants a lot of people ask – where do you start?
With all the latest technology the best place to start is the Internet, of course. There are so many sites for free and some that charge yearly fees to search for grants.  Let’s start with some free ones first.
Grant Gopher is an excellent site providing a free weekly email newsletter where foundations currently accepting applications are delivered right into your inbox.
Another great tool is Google alerts. Google is constantly scouring the Internet daily for all the latest news and information, so put it to work for you. It is simple to set up an alert and Google will send you an email daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly (the options are endless) on the keywords you have selected.
If you are searching for government or federal grants, take a look at This site will also allow you to set up alerts to be emailed to you once a week.
For those nonprofits with a budget to pay for tools to help you search for grants let’s look at some tools available for a price. Please note that all the tools listed below are software that use an Internet platform.
The first one is This is a great resource allowing you to access their database. They send you a weekly email with educational articles on nonprofit management and the grants are broken down in the weekly email by state, region and federal grants.
Another tool is Foundation Directory, a tool that allows you to search grant makers based on need(s) and geographic region.
The last tool and the most expensive is Foundation Search. It is by far the most comprehensive grant database I have ever seen. It features past giving history, the full list of the chosen foundations board of directors, annual reports and tax returns; all the important information when doing your homework on a foundation.
While doing your research and searching for grants, please keep in mind the following statistics from the Independent Sector Research Study conducted in 2009. Contributions to nonprofit organizations in 2009 totaled $307.75 billion. That total was broken down to reflect the following; corporations gave 4 percent at $14.1 billion, foundations gave 13 percent at $38.44 billion, bequests were 8 percent at $23.80 billion and individual donors gave 75 percent at $227.41 billion.
Another reason why you can never say “thank you” too many times to your donors.
The Independent Sector Research Study further broke down the $307.75 billion contributed to nonprofit organizations to reflect the type of recipient organization, the results are as follows:
• International affairs, 3 percent at $8.89 billion
• Religion, 33 percent at $100.95 billion
• Education, 13 percent at $40.01 billion
• Human services, 9 percent at $27.08 billion
• Foundation grants to individuals, 1 percent at $3.51 billion
• Health, 7 percent at $22.45 billion
• Gifts to foundations, 10 percent at $31.0 billion
• Unallocated, 10 percent at $28.59 billion
• Public society benefit 8 percent at $22.7 billion
• Arts and humanities, 4 percent at $12.34 billion
• Environment and animals, 2 percent at $6.15 billion.
My next article will focus on the steps for identifying a grant maker or foundation.

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