Grant Research Sources

Lamson Library’s Grant Research Center is a part of the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. The Foundation Center is a nonprofit service organization with headquarters in New York. Our collection is made possible in part through a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The other Funding Information Network partner in New Hampshire is the Concord Public Library.

The print resources in our Grant Research Center are located on the Main Level of Lamson Library, between the Information Desk and the Reference Desk. Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance. Located with the Grant Research Center print Reference sources will be copies of a bibliography entitled “Selected Materials on Grantwriting and Fund Raising From Our Circulating Collection” which will list a number of books that give tips on writing successful grant proposals and related topics. These may be borrowed directly from Lamson Library or through your local library via interlibrary loan.

Foundation Center

The Foundation Center is an independent nonprofit information clearinghouse whose mission is “to foster public understanding of the foundation field by collecting, organizing, analyzing, and disseminating information on foundations, corporate giving, and related subjects”. Check the Website of the Foundation Center for a wide variety of information about the Foundation Center and its services, including Web links to other nonprofit resources.

One of the most useful parts of this Website is the “FAQs” (frequently-asked-questions) section under the “Get Started” drop down menu at the top of the screen. Here you will find links to answers for the 15 most-frequently-asked questions, and many others — 125 in all. Here is a direct link to this section: FAQs. Under the “Welcome — Nonprofit Grantseekers” section of “Get Started” you will find links to free online tutorials on topics such as “Grantseeking Basics for Nonprofit Organizations”, and “Proposal Writing Short Course”.

For access to a variety of information retrieval tools regarding foundations, click “Find Funders” at the top of the Foundation Center Home Page. This will open a menu of key links, such as: “Foundation Directory Online Free”, to search by foundation name for basic information on more than 92,000 private foundations, community foundations, and corporate giving programs. Note: Despite the name, “Foundation Directory Online Free” does not provide the full search capabilities of Foundation Directory Online (see below). Rather, it just allows a basic search by foundation name, grantmaker location, and/or type of grantmaker. Another link under “Find Funders” is “990 Finder”, which allows one to find both the IRS 990-PF and 990 forms for private foundations and nonprofit organizations from all states. (Also see section below about 990 and 990-PF forms). Also under the “Find Funders” section are links to useful statistics on grantmakers and grants.

Foundation Directory Online (FDO)

Foundation Directory Online (FDO) is the premier grantseeking database on the Web. It includes profiles of over 130,000 foundations, corporate donors, and grantmaking public charities, with descriptions of over 3 million recent grants. Users may also search over 1 million IRS 990 and 990-PF forms.

Using FDO is the most efficient way to generate a prospect list of potential funders, since it allows you to specify and combine various criteria, such as the subject area (e.g. Health), type of support (e.g. General/operating support), and geographic area (e.g. NH or national). The Website of the Foundation Center (see link above) provides more information about FDO.

Lamson Library provides public access only within the library building to the FDO database from the Foundation Center. Users with a PSU computer account may access FDO from any networked computer within the library. Non-PSU users should use the dedicated computer at the Reference Desk. From the Library Home Page, mouse over “Databases” at the left, click on “Databases by Title”, then select “Foundation Directory Online”. Note: FDO is not available over the wireless network.

To take a guided tour of FDO, click on this link from the Website of the Foundation Center: Guided Tour of Foundation Directory Online.

Two other databases from the Foundation Center are also available within Lamson Library: Foundation Grants to Individuals Online and Philanthropy In/Sight. Information on these databases is listed below.

Finding IRS 990 and 990-PF Forms on the Web

Each year, private foundations must file Form 990-PF with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These forms provide valuable financial information about each foundation, and list grants made in the past year. Another IRS form, the 990, is required to be filed by nonprofit organizations that are exempt from Federal income taxes and whose annual receipts are “normally” more than $25,000 a year. The Foundation Center, from its Web site, now provides 990 Finder, which is a searchable database allowing the public to find both 990 and 990-PF forms for organizations and foundations.

GuideStar is another searchable database which gives anyone free Web access to 990-PF forms on private foundations. Free sign up is required to view the 990-PF form. The GuideStar site also has other information for nonprofits, grantmakers, and donors.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

Most of the more than 100,000 foundations included in the Foundation Directory Online database do NOT give grants to individuals. The Foundation Grants to Individuals Online database includes nearly 10,000 foundations and public charities that WILL give grants to individuals, such as grants to support graduate education.

Now you can quickly search through detailed descriptions of these foundations and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers. This unique online database —the only one devoted exclusively to the needs of individuals— is convenient and easy to use! Within seconds you can generate your own list of prospective funders.

Users with a PSU computer account may access Foundation Grants to Individuals Online from any networked computer within the library. Non-PSU users should use the dedicated computer at the Reference Desk. From the Library Home Page, mouse over “Databases” at the left, click on “Databases by Title”, then select “Foundation Grants to Individuals Online”. Note: This database is not available over the wireless network.

Foundation Maps

Foundation Maps is Foundation Center’s new data visualization platform that brings to life data about U.S. and global philanthropy through extensive mapping, charting, and analytic capabilities. With this new interactive mapping tool you can see who is funding what and where. Foundation Maps allows you to display grantmaker, grant recipient, and grants data using maps, charts, and lists.

Lamson Library provides public access only within the library building to the Foundation Maps database from the Foundation Center. Users with a PSU computer account may access Foundation Maps from any networked computer within the library. Non-PSU users should use the dedicated computer at the Reference Desk. From the Library Home Page, mouse over “Databases” at the left, click on “Databases by Title”, then select “Foundation Maps”. Note: This database is not available over the wireless network.

Resources for Individual Grantseekers

The above link is to a selective bibliography of print and electronic resources for the individual grantseeker. The bibliography is from the Foundation Center, compiled by Katrina Brown. Abstracts were taken from the Foundation Center’s bibliographic database, the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, or the publisher’s Website. In addition to a General section, there are sections on Arts & Humanities, International Travel & Study, Media & Communications, Medicine & Health, Minorities & Special Populations, Research, Scholarships, Fellowships, & Loans, and Writing. The entire bibliography runs approximately 19 pages.

Directory of Charitable Trusts in New Hampshire

This directory is produced by the NH Department of Justice, Charitable Trusts Unit. According to the purpose statement on this Web site, this Directory is ” A directory to assist New Hampshire residents and organizations to locate and utilize charitable funds established on their behalf”. The Directory is online in PDF format, with no electronic search option. There are separate links to the separate parts of the directory: Purpose and Scope of Directory; Alphabetical Index of the Directory; Geographical Index of the Directory; Purpose Index of the Directory
See below for a print directory of New Hampshire foundations.

New Hampshire Directory of Foundations, 2007-08

The most recent print directory of New Hampshire foundations was first produced in 2001 by CPG Enterprises, Inc., PO Box 199, Shaftsbury, VT 05262. The 5th edition, 2007-08, is apparently the last produced by CPG Enterprises. Information previously provided by these directories has reportedly been made available to the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits. (See link to this organization below.) Entitled The New Hampshire Directory of Foundations, this publication “lists all foundations incorporated in New Hampshire plus foundations incorporated elsewhere with giving or guidelines that include New Hampshire. Information includes: names, addresses, phone and other contact information; assets and typical grant ranges; application guidelines; areas of interest; restrictions and limitations; lists of recent New Hampshire grantees”. The directory is priced at $55.00. Also available from this publisher is a Vermont Directory of Foundations. Here is the Web link to the publications pages of CPG Enterprises.

New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits

While this resource is not strictly devoted to grant research, it is a valuable contact for nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits (NHCN), formerly the Granite State Association of Nonprofits (GSAN), “is a statewide association with more than 600 nonprofit, corporate, and individual members. The Center offers a wide range of leadership, management, and technical skill building educational programs, advanced seminars, and peer learning circles to the entire sector”. The Center “acts as a catalyst and a convener on important issues which impact the nonprofit sector”. It also “works to unify the sector offering a yearly Nonprofit Leadership Summit and other statewide and regional networking and collaborating events.” NHCN monitors public policy on issues affecting nonprofits, makes sure NH nonprofits are recognized, provides a network of peers, offers solutions to problems confronting nonprofits today, and provides informational programs and services to help nonprofits look forward to the future.

A Web site from the federal government that began in October, 2003, this site will allow those seeking federal grants to browse for funding from the 26 federal grant-making agencies. is a storehouse of information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. Users can browse through a list of grant topic areas, such as Arts, Education, Health, and Natural Resources. Clicking on a topic leads the user to a list detailing which federal agencies provide grants within each topic area. The site also includes an electronic “Apply for Grants” feature that provides a simple, unified application form. Since Nov. 7, 2003, all federal agencies are required to post announcements of available grants in a standard format on Users of the portal will also be able to sign up for e-mail alerts that will notify them when grant competitions have opened.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is “a government-wide compendium of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public”. It provides detailed descriptions for over 2,200 Federal assistance programs.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The major newspaper of the non-profit world is The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Published every other week, it is, in its own words, “the No. 1 news source for nonprofit leaders, fund raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise”. However, some of this material is only available to Chronicle subscribers. Full information on how to subscribe is on the Chronicle’s Web site. Plymouth State students, faculty, and staff can access full text articles from The Chronicle of Philanthropy via the Academic Search Premier database (connecting from the Lamson Library Website). PSU authorized users may also browse issues of this periodical by clicking on the “Journal Titles” tab at the top of the Library Website, then typing the journal title in the box, and then clicking on the Academic Search Premier link on the next screen.

Grant Writing Tips

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts provides a number of links to information on grantwriting, from such organizations as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Foundation Center, and Guidestar.

Compiled by Gary McCool.

One Comment

  1. daberona
    Posted July 16, 2007 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    None of the links work on the right sidebar at the top.