Welcome to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, our exclusive online database of foundations that provide a wide range of funding support for individuals. This section provides you with general information about the Foundation Center and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, as well as some important contact information.

Good luck with your funding research! And remember to visit the Foundation Center's web site at http://foundationcenter.org to take advantage of a wealth of other valuable resources.

About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 550 foundations, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world.

To learn more about the Foundation Center, visit our web site at http://foundationcenter.org/about


About Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is the premier funding research tool for finding foundations that provide financial support for individual grantseekers.

It describes giving for a variety of purposes, including scholarships, student loans, fellowships, program development, internships, professorships, arts and cultural projects, research, awards/grants by nomination only and general welfare. It is intended to be both a grantseeker's guide and a reference tool for those interested in foundation giving to individuals.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is updated on a weekly basis, providing the most up-to-date information available on foundations that fund individual grantseekers. (The print edition of Foundation Grants to Individuals is updated annually.)

Most foundations also have funding programs for nonprofit organizations and institutions. Often these programs are much more substantial than those for individuals. Many of the programs that foundations finance through nonprofit organizations are geared toward individual recipients (e.g., funds given by foundations to colleges and universities for setting up scholarship programs). Such programs are not included in Foundation Grants to Individuals Online. Students must apply to their school rather than to the foundation for assistance.

In order to be included in Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a foundation must meet three criteria:

  1. It must award grants to individuals totaling at least $5,000 annually. In addition, if a foundation gave less than $5,000 in grants to individuals in the latest fiscal year available, financial data from previous years were reviewed, and the foundation was included if a substantial giving pattern was found to exist.
  2. Its grant recipients must be selected by its governing board or an independent selection committee.
  3. It must accept applications from individuals directly or through an intermediary. The exception to this rule are entries noted as Grants by nomination only, which includes information on programs that require nominations from sources other than the individuals themselves (e.g., institutions, organizations affiliated with the foundation, or a third party). These entries have been included for those interested in reviewing the full spectrum of foundation support for individuals. Individuals should not apply directly to foundations described as only accepting nominations.

The Foundation Center defines a foundation as a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization with its own funds (usually from a single source, either an individual, family, or corporation) and program, managed by its own trustees and directors and established to maintain or aid educational, social, charitable, religious, or other activities serving the common welfare, primarily by making grants to other nonprofit organizations.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online does not include organizations whose giving is restricted by charter to one or more specified organizations; foundations that function as endowments for special purposes, within and under the governance of a parent institution, such as a college or church; operating foundations that do not maintain active grantmaking programs; organizations that act as associations for industrial or other special groups; or organizations that make general appeals to the public for funds.

Five types of foundations are included in Foundation Grants to Individuals Online:

Independent foundation. A fund or endowment designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a private foundation under the law, the primary function of which is the making of grants. The assets of most independent foundations are derived from the gift of an individual or family. Some function under the direction of family members and are known as family foundations. Depending on their range of giving, independent foundations may also be known as general purpose or special purpose foundations.

Company-sponsored foundation. A private foundation that derives its funds from a profit-making company or corporation but independently constituted, the purpose of which is to make grants, usually on a broad basis although not without regard for the business interests of the corporation. Company-sponsored foundations are legally distinct from contributions programs administered within the corporation directly from the corporate funds.

Operating foundation. A fund or endowment designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a private operating foundation, the primary purpose of which is to operate research, social welfare, or other programs determined by its governing body or charter. Most operating foundations award few or no grants to outside organizations or individuals.

Community foundation. In its general charitable purposes, a community foundation is much like a private foundation; its funds, however, are derived from many donors rather than a single source, as is usually the case with private foundations. Community foundations are usually classified under the tax law as public charities and are therefore subject to different rules and regulations from those that govern private foundations.

Public charity. Also known as a public foundation, a public charity is an organization identified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and generally derives its funding or support primarily from the general public in carrying out its social, educational, religious, or other charitable activities. A public charity is eligible for maximum income tax-deductible contributions from the public and is not subject to the same rules and restrictions as private foundations. Only those public charities that engage in grantmaking in addition to direct service of other charitable activities are included.

Sources of Information

The information contained in Foundation Grants to Individuals Online was compiled from IRS information returns for private foundations (Form 990-PF), and public charities (Form 990), journal and newspaper articles related to foundation activities, and publications and electronic files sent directly from foundations, such as grants lists, annual reports, program guidelines, and press releases. Requests for verification are sent to all foundations included in the database.

Interpretation of data sets and search results is important in drawing conclusions about foundation funding trends in general. It is important to note that Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is not designed for statistical or aggregate research and should not be used for these purposes. Please contact the Foundation Center for more information if you have these types of research needs.


Contacting the Foundation Center

Customer & Technical Support

For questions regarding your account, system requirements or any difficulties you may experience related to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, contact Customer Support.

General information

All other questions about Foundation Grants to Individuals Online should be directed to gtionline@foundationcenter.org.