Finding grant opportunities specific to children's museums requires a bit of research. A good place to start is with the Association of Children's Museums. This member organization maintains updated information on current grant opportunities available. For example, among the grants listed as of 2014 are the Charles Lafitte Foundation, Knight Foundation, RGK Foundation, Safeway Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Charles Lafitte Foundation
Types of programs the Charles Lafitte Foundation funds include those aimed at furthering education, the arts and programs involving children's advocacy. If your grant proposal for a children's museum falls into one of these broad categories, this is a foundation that the Association of Children's Museums lists as a possible donor. This foundation requires grant recipients to be certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and gives preference to plans with well-defined objectives.
The Knight Foundation supports organizations with a focus on journalism, advanced media and the arts. This foundation requires applicants to submit a letter of inquiry online. You will be asked to provide a summary of the project for which you are seeking funding. If the foundation is interested in the idea, someone will contact you to submit a full proposal. Grants to children's museums in the past include a $100,000 award to the Miami Children's Museum in 2010 to reduce debt the museum owed from an expansion.
Communities, education, health and medicine are the areas of interest in which the RGK awards grants. In 2012, the RGK Foundation awarded $500,000 to the Austin Children's Museum for construction of an improved facility that would better serve the community. Grant recipients must be certified 501(c)(3) organizations and must submit an inquiry letter initially. If the letter gains approval, you will be asked to submit a full proposal.
The Safeway Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations with a focus on education, human services, relieving hunger and helping people with disabilities. The organization is required to complete an application online. This, too, is a foundation listed by the Association of Children's Museums as a funding source.
W. K. Kellogg Foundation
With a focus on children's education and health, racial equality and civic engagement, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awards grants across the United States, Haiti and in particular regions of Mexico. An organization must be a registered nonprofit to apply and the application process must be done online.