There are numerous government and public grants available and many organizations that provide easy-to-search, free listings. Although researching grants can be time-consuming, it can also be very rewarding in the end. Going to a few key websites will help you get started in your quest.
For a comprehensive list of government grants and their eligibility requirements, go to Grants.gov. Many organizations and a few individuals are eligible. Organizations include those in the education, government, for-profit, nonprofit and public-housing sectors. Grants are also available for small businesses. For personal financial assistance, search USA.gov's alphabetical listing.
Contact agencies that get funding to assist projects similar to yours. For example, if you want to start a no-kill animal shelter, contact the Humane Society (HumaneSociety.org) for grant information. If you want a business grant, contact the Small Business Administration (SBA.gov). If you need to get equipment to help a disabled person work, you would go to your local vocational rehabilitation center. If you are seeking funding for school, visit your college's admissions office.
Private funding can be a life saver when trying to find money for a one-time project or enough cash to save a government-funded project that went over budget. The Society of Research Administrators International, a nonprofit, keeps a well organized list of private grants that you can peruse on its website (SRAInternational.org).