4 ways to identify a foundation's specific giving interests

There are lots of subtle and not-so-subtle ways to identify the specific giving interests of a grantmaking foundation, such as the following:

1. Go to the foundation's website (if they have one). Here you might find the funder's giving interests, annual report, list of donors, guidelines, deadlines, application forms, and more.

2. Look at the foundation's form 990. One of my favorite tricks! This is the annual tax form that every foundation must file. Scroll down toward the end of the 990; usually the last few pages will list every grant made in that tax year, including each donor's name, the amount granted, and for what purpose. One way to access 990s: register for free on Guidestar.

3. Sign up for e-alerts and e-newsletters. Some foundations publish their own e-newsletters, which offer information about recent grant awards and future grant opportunities. You might also create Google Alerts around your top foundation prospects. In addition, Foundation Center offers free and paid resources--including their free Philanthropy News Digest and RFP Bulletin, which talk about major grants awarded and new requests for proposals.

4. Get creative online. Use Google to your heart's content. Get creative with your keywords. This might turn out to be especially helpful for foundations with no websites and/or with less robust 990s. Simply search for the foundation's name with words such as "grant," "sponsor," "donation," etc. 

Happy hunting!

Popular Posts