Grantmaker Web Sites

As foundations increasingly place their application guidelines, annual reports, and other documents online, the initial prospect identification phase of grantwriting becomes easier. Begin with meta-sites that compile links to the sites of major grantmakers. Remember, however, that the majority of grantmakers have not yet established an online presence.

The Foundation Directory Online is the most comprehensive source of extensive information about and links to thousands of foundations in the United States. There are a number of subscription levels available. In addition you may be able to access the directory at your library — or they should be able to direct you to the nearest collection available to the public.  Check out further information at the Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online.

Corporate Philanthropy: The Foundation Center also lists the 50 largest corporate foundations by total giving as well as by total assets.

Federal Grants: is the go-to site for all government grants. It is easily searchable, updated daily, and provides information about and links to extensive information on grant opportunities.

Philanthropy Trends and Giving Patterns

Grantwriters should pay attention to articles about trends in philanthropy, foundation giving patterns, and the nonprofit sector in general. The archives of online publications often have search capabilities. You can find interviews with foundation officers, announcements of new grant programs, and examples of funded projects.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is the leading fundraising newspaper. One or two year subscriptions (print or digital) are available for $77 and $135 respectively. It also offers some more limited information for free, and there are lots of news stories and links available on the site.  Subscribe at the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s subscription page.

Prospect Research

Major news sources and press releases issued by nonprofits and foundations can give you valuable, timely information about priorities related to funding. It can provide more insights than you will get by simply looking at  a list of previous grant recipients, though those are valuable as well. Further insight can also be gained by looking into the backgrounds of the original funder as well as current executives, program offices and trustees of the foundation.

Local News: Even today some family foundations do not have an internet presence. You might be able to find more information about them through a general internet search and by checking out the newspapers of the towns where they are located.

Print & Online Resources

Directories: If you have the budget to support it, many types of directories and databases are available at the Foundation Center. Some of these resources are also available at local libraries and can also be found at regional centers. Check the public library or nearest university library nearest you to see what might be available at little or no cost.

Online Resources:  An overview of types of grants and where to find them can be found online at the Free Grants Community.

USA Grants Q&A lets you ask questions and get answers from a supportive community including lots of experts in various fields.  You can enter your own question as well as search other questions and answers by keyword.

Email Discussion Groups & E-zines

Philanthropy News Network: You can get a free newsletter for nonprofits that includes new grant announcements, statistics about current fundraising trends, and other news about the nonprofit area.

“The Internet Insider for Grantseekers and Fundraisers” is put out twice each month. It offers up useful information about newly discovered web sites and recently announced grants. The newsletter is published by Marilyn L. Gross of Educational Funding Strategies. To subscribe, send email to with “SUBSCRIBE INSIDER” as the subject.

Grantseeker Tips: provides just what the title implies. It is free, issued twice a month and has great advice about grant writing. It is from the same authors as the book Proposal Planning and Writing.To subscribe, send a blank message to with JOIN in the subject line. Do not add additional comments or signature lines when you subscribe.

Corporate & Foundation Relations Net: This is intended mainly for higher education staff. Send the email message subscribe cfrnet Your Name to Leave the subject line blank

Food For Thought: Provides news regarding nonprofit resources, mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Published by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. publishes a free newsletter. Subscribe online:

American Philanthropy Review: Email with the following in the message space: subscribe talk-amphilrev <your email address>

Art Deadlines: This monthly email newsletter lists art competitions, scholarships, agrants, juried exhibitions, and other resources for artists and related organizations. Both free and premium versions are options. Subscribe at: