Researching Foundation Grants

The first step of researching foundation grants is to decide what type of grant maker you think would be the best fit to support your goals/programs/projects. This means that you need to step back and look at your grant seeking organization and think about what type of organization you are, and how a grant maker will define you in relation to their eligibility criteria for organizations. Are you a 501(c)(3) organization? Or a private researcher? How about an individual artist? All potentially eligible applicant categories from foundations.

We often get asked for recommendations about tools including tools for researching new grant opportunities for grant seeking organizations. Our response, as with so many things in the grant field is that “it depends.” It depends because you who you are as an organization and what your goals are for the type of grants and type of funders you want to build relationships with will help you decide which tool you might want to consider.

One of the best ways that we think you can consider the number of options available to assist with your grant research is to begin by looking at the tools and companies that have relationships with the Grant Professionals Association. Those that provide GPA members with a discount meet a wide range of grant seeker goals for the type of grant and type of grant makers that they include in their databases. Some of the providers offer grant management capabilities within their system. Some of the providers include research about both foundations and government grants. Others include information about internationally based grant makers. You can quickly see why our answer is that “it depends” when we are asked to recommend a grant research tool.

Once you have your tool or likely tools identified your research, it is time to buckle down and start to dig into your potential funders. Now the *real* fun begins for the grant funder research process!

If you are new to grant seeking, or are trying to expand beyond government contracts and grants into the foundation grant world, we have a few great foundation grant research professional development opportunities for you this week. We will be talking this week in #grantchat as well in our Thursday Blueprints for Grants webinar (just $25 for the webinar handouts as well as both the live and recorded access to the session!).  Hope to see you at one or both! Not able to make either? Let us know your biggest question or concern about foundation grant research in the comments below.


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