Clip art of a hand holding dollar bills.Every nonprofit organization needs diverse sources of funding to keep its programs going. Many government or foundation grants pay for some things but not others: start-up costs but not facilities costs, programming costs but not operating costs.

In addition to the Federal government and national foundations, funding sources can include individuals in your community, local businesses and corporations, State or local government agencies, and community foundations. Often, gifts from individual community members provide the most versatile funding, allowing you to pay for many things that institutional grantors won't cover.


Proposal Writing and Fundraising Photograph of two young women writing.

The following resources will help you apply for Federal and private funds, research funders, write a successful grant proposal, and learn about successful fundraising methods:

Maximizing Program Services Through Private Sector Partnerships and Relationships (PDF, 2500KB) (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Effective Fundraising (FASTEN)

Grassroots Fundraising Journal

Guide to Funding Research (Foundation Center)

Proposal Writing Short Course (Foundation Center)

Sources of Funding

Look to these links for lists or databases of funders and grant programs, both government and private.

Close up of a roll of hundred-dollar bills. (U.S. Government)

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

Federal Funding Sources (

Find Funders (Foundation Center)

Afterschool Funding Database (Afterschool Alliance)

Funding Resources (The Grantsmanship Center)

Guide to Federal Resources for Youth Development (PDF, 1300KB) (Civic Enterprises)

Obtaining Federal Grants for Mentoring (MENTOR/ National Mentoring Partnership)

Philanthropy News Digest's RFP Bulletin (Foundation Center)

Youth Funders Database (The After-School Corporation)


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