Because most private foundations make grants only to nonprofit organizations, individuals seeking grants must follow a different funding path than public charities. You need to be both creative and flexible in your approach to seeking funding.

If you are affiliated with a college or university, contact your department office. Some colleges and universities have an office for sponsored programs, which coordinates grant requests and helps researchers with finding grant opportunities.

Also ask your peers and colleagues about funding sources. Please note that many national organizations may have local chapters that may run their own funding programs. National chapters might not know what their local chapters are offering, so it is up to you to check at each level.

Another approach is to find a nonprofit with a similar interest that will act as your fiscal sponsor. In this arrangement, you might qualify for more funding opportunities. Click here to learn learn more about fiscal sponsorship.

Some grantmakers offer support for individual projects. Candid offers the following resources that can help researchers find grants:

Foundation Directory is our searchable database of grantmakers. Perform an advanced search by Transaction Type: Grants to Individuals, in addition to search terms for Subject Area and Geographic Focus. For more detailed search help, please see our article, Find your next scholarship, fellowship, or grant on Foundation Directory Professional. 

Subscribe to search from your own location, or search for free at our Candid partner locations.

If you are unfamiliar with the process of grantseeking, you may want to start with these:

See more Knowledge Base articles related to this topic:

- How do I write a grant proposal for my individual project? Where can I find samples?
- Where can I find information about financial aid as a graduate student?

More articles for individual grantseekers

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