for Funds (with help from Susan Kuyper)
are a variety of online resources, particularly
- Foundation Center—They have a list of collections, and they publish the
Foundation Directory (which includes the IRS From 990 which every
foundation has to file, and which contains a lot of useful
information). The Foundation Center also publishes paper
versions of its Directories and books on grantmaking. There are several libraries in Minnesota which are depositories for the Foundation Center
collection—the Minneapolis main
library has the best (and oldest) collection; the public libraries in Rochester, Marshall,
and now Mankato
also have collections. This means
that, in addition to the paper copies, they have at least one librarian
who knows the collection fairly well—another very useful
resource! The Foundation Center
has a number of directories that are worth checking out, such as
While full use of these online
directories requires a subscription, you can get the paper version of these
directories (and/or online access) at the libraries which have a Foundation Center collection.
Federal Grants, there are a number of helpful resources, including:
- Catalogue of Federal Domestic
Assistance is a comprehensive list of everything the Federal Government has offered (grants,
contracts, etc.)—including programs that are no longer
funded. But it can help you
anticipate awards that might be coming up but have not yet been
announced (once they are announced, you usually have 60 days to
respond—often with a detailed, 30-page proposal plus
- Federal Register: This is an online site for searching
the official posting of all Federal grants and contracts (and any other
activities of the government—this is not just for grants). You can go here to get the full text
of guidelines for any NOFA (Notice of Funds Availability).
- Grants.gov, a searchable database of
federal grants for organizations (no individual grants are listed). It can be easier than trolling through
- The Grantsmanship
Center has a lot of information on grant writing, including an
interactive map displaying the top
40-50 foundations by State.
Prospector, a free resource for grant-grubbing.
a subscription service for some things, but even their public site has
some helpful information.
listed by our library and by the University
of Wisconsin library (which has a
site just for federal
funds and for grants
your institutional resources to get a richer profile (personal
networks—such as your Board members—in addition to the other
resources discussed in your book, such as Philanthropy News Digest).
can ask for any proposal funded by the federal government—it comes
under the Freedom of Information Act.
Principal Investigator will generally provide not only the proposal, but
also advice (“Steal from the best.”—but remember Hans
Sachs in Wagner’s Opera, The
Meistersinger of Nurmburg)
Officers at the funding agency will also often help.
Steps (Rule In & Rule Out):
their mission to yours
at prior patterns of giving (subject area, geography, type of support)
at size of gifts
- Look for
your qualifications (range from small local to major
is your track record?
ability to perform & manage?
Start writing the next proposal the day after mailing the
© 2005 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 16 January 2009