How to Find Grants

Grant writing can be a daunting process, but once mastered, grants provide means to fund projects for non-profits or educational organizations.

  1. Determine and understand your organization's area of greatest need for funding. Develop a budget, compile research and reference material for your program or project.
  2. Use the Foundation Directory found in most libraries to research funding prospects. Look in your state's local Foundation Data Book, the "grants" Bible, which lists virtually all granting organizations in your state.
  3. Conduct an Internet search for granting organizations. Focus your search on grants related to your organization's needs: e.g. "grants for a new building" or "grants for programs helping children with cancer."
  4. Compile all your research data on a spreadsheet. Include contact information, the grant's mission and what the grant supports, application guidelines, average funding gift and deadlines.
  5. Write the proposal in a report format with section headings and bullet points. Include all the information the granting organization requires.
  6. Include a cover letter briefly stating the amount of funding you are requesting and give a concise summary of your project.
  7. Submit your cover letter and proposal.


  • Check out where you can find a granting organization's IRS form 990 and discover their funding patterns and history.
  • If a granting organization does not have a specific application format, provide a summary. Include program goals, how funds will be used, the history of your organization and any other relevant information.
  • Be careful to adhere to all the funder's guidelines or your proposal will most likely be thrown out.
  • There are many books about grant writing details and strategies, which you can buy or get from your library. Consider taking a grant writing class.


  • Do not send out mass, blind proposals to granting organizations. It is important to tailor each proposal to the grant funder's guidelines.
  • Remember, a grant is not "free money." A grant establishes a contract between your organization and the funder. Your organization is legally bound by the grant's intended funding. Be prepared to provide the funding organization with follow-up reports.


Alyssa, Maria Thompson, Tom Viren, Imperatrix, Nicole Willson, Anonymous, Sondra C, KnowItSome, Travis Derouin, toothis, Krystle

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