How to Find Grant Sources for Individuals
Are you looking for funding for your artwork, education, film, research, writing, housing, or other projects? Do you want to know which foundations, associations or government agencies would be useful?
The Grants Collection housed within the Social Science and History Department at the Central Library/State Library Resource Center has prepared this guide to walk you through some of the available resources.
Finding Help from the Government
Assistance from the Federal Government can be found through the following websites:
- GovBenefits is the "official benefits website of the U.S. government containing information on over 1,000 benefit assistance programs"
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides access to a database of Federal programs that are available to states, local municipalities, nonprofits and individuals
- U.S. Government's Official Web Portal has information about benefits, grants, and financial aid available through the Federal Government
Grant opportunities from the State of Maryland can be found using the Maryland Governor's Grants Office.
Finding Help from Charitable Foundations
Generally speaking foundations do not provide grants to individuals, however, there are some exceptions. Some grantmakers will provide support to individuals for:
- Arts and cultural support
- Educational support
- General welfare
- Reserach and professional support
The database Foundation Directory Online (freely available at the Central Library only) is a good place to start researching foundations. It contains information about more than 80,000 foundations of which approximately 2,700 provide grants to individuals.
If you live the Baltimore area, you can access Foundation Directory Online by coming to the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Central Library. Foundation Directory Online may be access at any computer in the Central Library.
The book Foundation Grants to Individuals (XLB2336.F596) is another source to research foundation grants.
If you don't live in the Baltimore area, there are more that 250 libraries throughout the United States that offer free public access to both Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals. To find a library near you, use the Foundation Center's directory of Cooperating Collections.
If you would like more information about the foundation grants to individuals, the Foundation Center has put together a guide for individual grants.
Finding Help from Other Organizations in Your Community
If you can't find someone to write a check, you may still be able to find the products, services or help that you need. There are thousands of nonprofit organizations in Maryland (and hundreds of thousands across the United States) that exist specifically to help people. Each and every day, nonprofit organizations provide health services, housing, food, information, entertainment, and many other things to millions of people.
Nonprofits receive partial funding from government agencies, corporations, foundations, and generous individuals in order to do good work in the community, so that can sometimes provide lower-cost alternatives. For example, you may not find anyone to pay your home mortgage, but nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity build homes for low-income families.
Artists, Musicians, Writers, and Other Creative Types
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has links to the many state art agencies.
Maryland State Arts Council has a listing of grants available from the Council to individuals, schools and organizations.
Maryland County Arts Councils provides links to designated County Arts Councils throughout Maryland.
National Endowment for the Arts has information about fellowships for artists.
National Endowment for the Humanities has a listing of grants available.
People with Disabilities
Disability Resource Monthly Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet has a comprehensive guide to resources, including funding sources, browsable by funder type.
Students looking for finacial aid resources should check out the resources that are available through the Education Collection in the Social Science and History Department.
Education and Financial Aid Resources has a listing of resources found on the internet.
Where Can I Find Money for College contains information about resources available in the Social Science and History Department as well as government financial assistance resources.
If you have any questions about how to get started or need help using some of these sources, e-mail us through our Ask A Question service, call us at (410) 396-5321, or contact us by mail at:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Central Library/State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201