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.
Look for government programs that focus on supporting nonprofits within your industry. Both federal and state governments offer specialized grants for specific sectors.
- Grants.gov is a great source for federal government grants in the United States.
- For grants at the state level, visit your state's website and contact local government agencies and ask about their grant programs.
Research private foundations that have a specific interest in your industry. You can start by looking into:
- Foundation Center now Candid has a database of foundations, their funding priorities, and grant opportunities.
- GrantStation is a subscription-based grant database with information on grant opportunities for nonprofits in the US.
Seek partnerships with businesses in your industry. These days, a lot of companies have corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that fund nonprofit projects.
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:
- Follow hashtags like #NonprofitGrants, #GrantOpportunity, #NonprofitFunding, and #GrantAlert to see new grant opportunities for your nonprofit.
- Set up Google Alerts for specific keywords related to nonprofit grants and Google will send you email notifications when new content matching your chosen keywords is published online. (Seriously, it’s basically internet magic.)
- Join LinkedIn groups dedicated to nonprofit fundraising and grant-seeking.
- Take advantage of everything Twitter (now called X for some unexplainable reason) has to offer. You can start by following these accounts:
@GrantWatch: GrantWatch is a platform that shares grant opportunities for nonprofits.
@TheNonProfitTimes: The NonProfit Times often tweets about grant opportunities, nonprofit news, and resources.
@Funding_Guide: This account tweets about various funding opportunities for nonprofits, including grants and scholarships.
@FC_Conferences: The Foundation Center, now part of Candid, shares information on grants, webinars, and nonprofit resources.
@GrantStation: GrantStation offers grant-related news, tips, and funding opportunities for nonprofits.
- Subscribe to the blogs and websites of nonprofit news outlets and grant-related organizations.
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.
- Grants.gov is a good place to find information on grants and funding programs available at the federal level. Your nonprofit can use their searchable database of grants and funding opportunities to find relevant grants.
- Every state in the US has its own funding programs for nonprofits.
- Local governments and municipalities also offer grants and funding to nonprofits. Check with your city or municipal government for information on available grants.