How to Find and Apply for Private Foundation Grants


Private foundation grants may be available for personal use, business use and for community projects. Every private foundation is unique and is dedicated to specific causes, such as education, science, children and the environment. When researching private foundations for grant money, it's important to keep their mission in mind. By visiting a few key websites and following some simple tips, you will be well on your way to finding and applying for private foundation grant money.

Visit the IRS website and search for "Publication 78" to find a list of charitable private organizations. You will be directed to a searchable database listing information on organizations with charitable status. Using this list, you can identify many private foundations that give out grants.

Search online to find companies' websites and links to their private foundations. Look for the corporate foundations of companies such as Microsoft, UPS, Walmart, Exxon, Lilly, Ford and many others. Most of the large U.S. corporations run not-for-profit private foundations.

Go to to find resources and information about private foundations and grants. The organization that sponsors the site educates and helps grant seekers with seminars and technical resources.

Visit Council on Foundations ( to look for associations of private foundations. This is an association of private foundations made up of community, corporate and family grant givers. There are many other national networks of private foundations you can find by doing an Internet search for "associations of private foundations."

Research the foundation's requirements and purpose before inquiring for grant money. Determine if your projects are a match with those of the foundation. Generally, private foundation grants are very project-specific. Find out the deadline for grant proposals and the name of the contact person to mail in your request.

Prepare a letter of inquiry and submit it to the private foundation. Most private foundations ask for a letter of inquiry before accepting a proposal for grants. This letter should demonstrate how your project fits with the foundation's program. Be clear about how much money you are seeking and detail how these funds will be spent. If your project is approved, the foundation will request a grant proposal for further consideration.

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