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RHET 305: Writing Grant Proposals: Foundation Directory, etc.

Accessing Foundation Directory Online

Start at Log in with your username and password.

There is help if you need it along the way:

Grantwriting help

If you need help with FDO after your month of professional-level access, please feel free to get in touch with me and I can work with you one-on-one.  Or you may get in touch with Pamela Snyder, Executive Director of Oberlin's Office of Foundation, Government, and Corporate Grants.

GrantSAT (Grant Proposal Self-Assessment Tool)
An instrument for evaluating and improving the quality of proposals. Good tool to use for peer-evaluation of proposals (i.e., evaluating a classmate’s proposal and vice versa).

Proposal Writing Short Course -- From the Foundation Center. Essential information from the Foundation Center if you are planning to write a proposal to a private funder. 



Specific strategies for using The Foundation Directory Online :
•    Use Boolean searching: AND, OR, NOT (e.g., female OR girl OR woman)
•    Don’t forget about truncating: wom* (for woman, women, women’s)
•    Have a clear purpose and have answers to these questions: Who is the audience served? What need will your idea meet?  What makes your idea unique from others? How much ($$) are you seeking?
•    Keep track of all potentially useful information you find! Use the options in the "tools" section at the top of the page

Criteria for identifying likely funding sources

  • Geography:  Match your needs with a funder that has an interest in your geographic region or a corporation that has its headquarters or a plant in your area of interest.
  • Interests / Values:  Match your goals with the interests of possible funders.  Find foundations that have the same values as your organization or in line with your goals.
  • Past recipients: What other organizations has this funder supported in the past?
  • Obtain the grantmaker’s guidelines or a grant application to further determine its potential to meet your criteria.  Often, this information can be found on a grantmaker’s web site.
  • Be aware that economic conditions may affect the foundation’s finances and willingness/ability to provide funding.
  • Carefully consider the motivations of foundations.  Company-sponsored foundations act out of both philanthropy and self-interest.  Public charities or family foundations may have specific issue areas or geographic interests.

Other funding sources

The Foundation Center's guide to proposal writing / Jane C. Geever, Foundation Center, 2007
Main Library  HG177.5.U6 G44 2012
You may want to pay particular attention to the chapter called: Researching Potential Funders

Foundation Grants to Individuals / Foundation Center (24th ed)
Main Reference    LB2336.F599    Library use only
Information about foundations that provide funding opportunities  for individuals in the areas of: Education, Arts & Culture, and Research.  It contains seven different indexes: Subject Index, International Giving,  Geographic Index, Specific School Index, Grantmaker Index, Type of Support and Company Name Index.
Gathers and publicizes information about nonprofit organizations.  Note that some features are only available to you if you create a free account. is the only website that provides a comprehensive listing of the most current funding opportunities: Federal, Foundation grants for nonprofits, for-profits, preschools, education, community, faith based organizations, universities, small businesses and government.

The Opportunity Project will bring together data from several agencies in the hope of giving cities insights into how to provide children with better opportunities. This site is currently in beta.