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.
You might 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:
- Guide to Funding Research, our free tutorial
- Foundation Center worksheets for individual projects, which help you develop a statement of purpose and funding and affiliations profiles.
- Our Individual Grantseekers area for additional tools and information
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, you can subscribe at our web site, or you can use it for free at Foundation Center libraries and Cooperating Collections.
See more Knowledge Base articles related to this topic:
To learn more about this topic, selected resources below may also be helpful.
Books & Articles
Check title availability at Foundation Center libraries and Cooperating Collections or through your local library.
Annual register of grant support : a directory of funding sources. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.. Published yearly.
Chapin, Paul G. Research projects and research proposals : a guide for scientists seeking funding. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 2004.
The grants register. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, Ltd.. Published yearly.
Institute of International Education. Fulbright and related grants for graduate study, graduate research, or English teaching assistantships. New York, NY: Institute of International Education. Published yearly.
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