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9 Free Grant Research Tools for Nonprofits




 

You don't have to spend a fortune on a grant database to find funding for your organization. While several excellent paid databases offer supplementary tools to enhance your grant strategy, plenty of free resources can help you begin finding funding opportunities for your nonprofit today. Below is a list of tools we frequently utilize to identify funders for our clients:

 

  1. Foundation Directory Online (now the Candid Foundation Directory) offers access to its full database at one of its Funding Information Network access locations.

  2. GrantStation does not offer a free version, but you can sign up for their newsletter, GrantStation Insider, which will deliver free grant notices straight to your inbox.

  3. Grant Gopher offers a free version and sends out grant announcements!  

  4. Grantmakers.io's insights are not as extensive as others, but it's free.

  5. Impala's free version is pretty robust but may be a little difficult to navigate for the less tech-savvy. However, it allows you to look at other nonprofit organizations and see who is funding them, which can help steer you in the right direction.

  6. The Grantsmanship Center has a free list of State Grant Resources right on their website!

  7. Grants.gov: Free! Federal grants only, but you can see a list of open and forecasted federal grant opportunities.

  8. Annual Reports: One of the first things we ask our clients is, “What organizations are doing work similar to yours?” Then, we’ll go to the websites of those organizations and dig into their annual reports to see who’s funding them. As a further step, you can use GuideStar or ProPublica to look up a foundation’s 990s and see who else they’ve funded, their average grant sizes, and what types of projects they’ve supported. Not all funders will have this level of detail in their 990, but most do, and it can be incredibly valuable in helping you determine whether a foundation is a good fit for your organization.

  9. Google: Yep, good ol’ Google can also be handy and is free. There’s no shortage of keyword combinations you can try. You never know what you might stumble upon!

 

Finding the right grant opportunities for your organization takes time. If you need assistance with grant research, check out our Grant Research Package.

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