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EXP201H - Advanced Inquiry in Writing (Grant Writing): Step 2: Finding a Grantor

As You Search for Grantors

As you embark on a search for who might give funding to your project, you should ask yourself some questions.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Affiliation - How deeply attached is the grantor to the grantee's project?
  • Affiliation - Does the grantor have an established funding pattern with another grantee?
  • Capacity - Does the grantor have the financial resources to fund multiple grantees?
  • Approach - Which approach to the grantor is best?

As you do research, make sure you are working toward completion of the following tasks:

Plan to match grantors with the following aspects of your project:

  • goals
  • geographic and population focus
  • timeline
  • grant size

Set priorities:

  • closeness of the match between grantor and grantee
  • proposal guidelines
  • deadlines

Using the Prospect Worksheet (the electronic version is attached in the box below) is one way to organize your prospective grantors as you go along.

Prospect Worksheet

Where & How to Search

1. The Foundation Directory Online [website; the username and password are in your Blackboard site. Please log out when you're done, since the library only has one account.]

Click on "Search Grantmakers." You can search by geography (including congressional district), field of interest, type of support, and more. You can also click on "Search Grants" to search for grants that have already been made. (We do not have access to "Search Companies" or "Search 990s" - use GuideStar to search for 990s.)

2. The Foundation Directory, 38th ed. 2016 parts 1 & 2 [print resource; Reference Stacks AS911.A2 F65 2016. Note: print volumes ceased publication in 2016. For current information, use the online version]

Print version of the Foundation Directory Online. Browse by Subject first, then by State. The Index to Donors, Officers and Trustees is also useful to see if foundation officers are connected to other funds.

3. Annual Register of Grant Support [print resource; Reference Desk AS911 .A2 A67 2019]

Descriptions of grantor organizations by category; includes organizations that are not private foundations. Also includes a geographical index.

4. Philanthropy News Digest - RFPs [website]

Search for RFPs (Requests for Proposals) by keyword or category. You can also subscribe to get the latest RFPs by e-mail.

5. Chronicle of Philanthropy's Guide to Grants

The Library's subscription to the Chronicle allows you to browse the two most recent issues of the Guide to Grants. You will need to browse, not search. You can also look at print versions of the past four years' worth of the Chronicle at the library. Current issues are kept in the Periodical Reading Room on the first floor, while older issues can be found on the ground floor. Ask a librarian if you need assistance.

6. National Center for Charitable Statistics [website; contact reference desk for log-in information]

Build a custom report of nonprofits and other sources of charitable giving, or find statistics on giving, state profiles, and fundraising effectiveness. Some content requires a registration.

7. Corporate Giving Directory, 2018 [print resource; Reference Desk HV 97. A3 T29 2018] Profiles America's major corporate foundations and giving programs. A good source of information but be careful about geographic location and size of grants.