The Graduate Funding Information Center exists to help UNC-Chapel Hill graduate students identify funding for research and graduate study. Because of this, the center does not have the information or staff resources to assist non-UNC nonprofit organizations. However, GFIC staff have compiled the following guide to funding information resources for community nonprofit organizations.
Foundation Center Resources:
This national nonprofit service organization has many excellent resources for nonprofits seeking funding.
- Visit a Foundation Center (FC) library or cooperating collection, which are located in almost every state in the United States. To find one near you, click here. For example, in the Research Triangle area the following FC Cooperating Collections provide free public access to grantmaker and grant directories, books on fundraising, grantwriting and nonprofit management, and FC’s electronic databases:
- Durham County Public Library
- Cameron Village Regional Library Nonprofit Resource Center, which also sponsors workshops on searching for funding, writing proposals and other topics for nonprofits.
- Search the print Foundation Directory or Foundation Directory Online database for information about foundations, corporate sponsors, and other grantmakers. These or similar resources are available in most public libraries, including the following in the Research Triangle Area:
- Foundation Directory Online – offers a free trial of their monthly subscription service.
- Visit the Foundation Center’s website, which contains valuable information for nonprofits that are seeking funding. For example, see:
- Online Training and Tutorials on Grantseeking
- Training Webinars, including Before You Seek a Grant, Grantseeking Basics, How to Approach a Foundation, Proposal Writing Basics, Proposal Budgeting Basics, and many more.
- Foundation Finder, which offers basic information, such as recent IRS tax returns, on U.S. grantmakers including private and community foundations, grantmaking public charities, and corporate giving programs.
- Reference Guides, a guide to FC resources.
- Foundation Center Newsletters, weekly electronic newsletters with funding opportunities. RFP Bulletin, Arts Funding Watch, Education Funding Watch, and Health Funding Watch are recommended.
- Proposal Writing Short Course
- Proposal Budgeting Basics
- Establishing a Nonprofit
- Funding Quick Start
Federal and State Funding Resources:
- Use Grants.gov, the federal government’s central portal for federal funding opportunities, to conduct a basic or advanced search, browse by category or agency, or find Recovery Act opportunities.
- Advanced Search is recommended to search for funding for different eligibility types, such as city or county governments, school districts, nonprofits, housing authorities, and others.
- Set up a Grants.gov Email Subscription to receive notifications of new funding opportunities.
- Check USA.gov for Nonprofits for links to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, federal agency funding websites, surplus property for nonprofits, and more.
- Visit the White House’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Grants and Resources page to learn more about grant opportunities available to community organizations throughout the federal government.
- Search NC OpenBudget by agency and by grant program for North Carolina state government grant and financial assistance programs and awards made.
Other Funding Guides and Databases:
- Find out whether there is a community foundation in your area. Such organizations are usually eager to fund programs serving their home communities or states. A local community foundation would be more likely to fund nonprofits in your area than would a national foundation. See:
- Ask at your local public library whether their reference collection includes a published directory or database of foundations and other grantmakers in the state in which your nonprofit operates. For a list of available state and local foundation directories, click here.
- Check Michigan State University Libraries’ funding guides which contain lists of funding opportunities on specific topics relevant to nonprofits. These include:
- If you are on campus at UNC or another subscribing university, COS Pivot and GrantForward are two funding databases that may be useful in your search. Although designed primarily for academic researchers, these databases include some foundations and other sponsors that support community nonprofits. Unfortunately, these are subscription databases and must be accessed through the domain of a subscribing institution, such as Carolina, Duke, or other UNC system schools. If you are on one of these campuses, you can access these databases as follows:
All of these databases include links to instructions or tutorials to assist you in using them.
Other Nonprofit Fundraising Information
- NC Center for Nonprofits, including training opportunities, consultants, and guides to setting up a nonprofit.
- Grantsmanship Center, a membership organization which provides training, funding databases, and other grantseeking information.