Foundation giving has decreased by 5% between 2001 and 2002 to $15.9 billion total1. Foundations generally give out less money than government grants, the medium being $25,000, but usually giving less than $10,000. Still Foundations gave out 127,728 grants in 2002 which makes this a great source for funding. Most foundations want to support programs and services rather than building and operating funds.
There are 5 main types of foundations:
Community Foundations: Mainly funded by bequests and are developed to address problems and interests in a certain community (state, zip, city).
National General Purpose Foundations: Large foundations that give in several subject areas, give grants from broad-scale plans, look for highly visible and creative projects. (Examples of a National Foundation: Ford Foundation, Bank of America Foundation...)
Special Purpose Foundations: These foundations are set-up to fund only a specific interest, and will evaluate proposals based on how much impact your program will have on their concern.
Family Foundations: Usually directed at a certain geographical area or interest. These foundations are susceptible to the influence of board members, friends, and popular causes.
Corporate Foundations: Fund non-controversial grants, usually only give in areas of operation, give to invest in their community and to improve relationships with their stake/stockholders.
Library Resources: How to find Foundation Funding Opportunities
The Foundation Center Online Professional (In Library Use Only)
The Foundation Directory Online Professional provides access to an unprecedented wealth of timely, comprehensive information on grantmakers and their grants. Included is a database of over 92,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S.; a database of nearly 3,600 sponsoring companies, offering a quick pathway to corporate funders; a database of over 1.3 million recently awarded grants; and a keyword-searchable database of over 527,000 recently filed IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF.
The Foundation Directory
R061 SP - On Display "Nonprofit Reference"
The Foundation Directory offers information on the nation's top 10,000 foundations by total giving. It also includes descriptions on over 51,000 selected grants.
R061 Foundation SP - On Display "Nonprofit Reference"
In-depth profiles of the largest 1000 U.S. Foundations.
National Guide to Funding Series
SP On Display - "Nonprofit Reference"
Topics include: Aging; AIDS; Higher Education
Directory of Missouri Grantmakers (6th ed.)
NP 658.1522 Directory
A listing of Foundations that give money in Missouri, and provides some information about the Foundation's size, interests, total giving, and more
1 The Foundation Center. Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities. Foundation Today Series 2004 Edition. USA, 2004.