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NPO Management

5 unexpected places to find nonprofit grants in the United States.

September 29, 2023

Where to find grant opportunities for nonprofits in the US.

Believe it or not, there are grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations everywhere. You just need to know where to look! Here are some unexpected (and a few bonus expected) places where your nonprofit can find grant funding for your US-based nonprofit organization.

1. Community foundations, industry associations and other nonprofit organizations.

Just like anything else, when it comes to looking for something new—whether it’s a t-shirt, a recipe or a grant—the best place to start is by asking our peers. If your nonprofit organization belongs to a specific industry, industry associations and professional organizations can be a great place to grant hunt.

Whether your nonprofit is in healthcare, education, environmental conservation, arts and culture, etc., understanding your niche is a good place to start.

Join industry associations.

These organizations often have resources and grant opportunities tailored to your industry or sector.

Government programs.

Look for government programs that focus on supporting nonprofits within your industry. Both federal and state governments offer specialized grants for specific sectors.

Private foundations.

Research private foundations that have a specific interest in your industry. You can start by looking into:

Corporate partnerships.

Seek partnerships with businesses in your industry. These days, a lot of companies have corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that fund nonprofit projects.

Industry-Specific Publications.

Subscribe to industry-specific publications, newsletters, or journals—they often print grant announcements and funding opportunities.

Network with peers.

Attend industry-related conferences, seminars, and networking events to connect with other nonprofit organizations in your field.

Online grant databases.

Databases that allow you to filter by industry or sector can help you find funding sources inline with your nonprofit’s mission. A few examples are: GrantWatch, Philanthropy News Digest, and Idealist.

Community foundations or groups.

Research local community foundations in your area and ask about their grants. The Council on Foundations offers a directory of community foundations in the United States and is a good place to start your research.

2. Nonprofit grant announcements in local media.

Believe it or not, a lot of nonprofit grants will advertise when it’s time to apply. So, subscribe to your local news outlets. Check the listings in local newspapers and magazines and tune into your local TV and radio stations to see if there are any new grant opportunities being advertised.

3. Find nonprofit grants on social media.

We know, we know. Social media is a big place. But, it’s a big place full of new grant opportunities. Many organizations post calls for grant applications on their social media channels. Here are a few tips and tricks to get your social media nonprofit grant hunting started:

4. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are a surprising source for nonprofit grants.

More and more companies are launching corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that offer grants and funding to nonprofit organizations doing work in their sector. Start by research companies in your industry or region that have CSR initiatives and reach out and ask about their grant opportunities.

5. The United States government, state governments and even municipal governments all have resources to help nonprofits find grants.