Researching Funders

There are some free resources for researching funders on the web, but for a detailed, targeted search you will probably need to use a subscription database or go to the library. Links to both free and fee-based sources are listed below.

Free Foundation Databases

  • NOZA – Searches for foundations are free. For corporations and individuals, there is a fee. You can search by subject area, though not in as much detail as in the subscription databases.
  • Foundation Directory Online – If you already know the name of the foundation you’re interested in, the Foundation Center will let you see the first page of the foundation’s profile for free. Further information requires a subscription.

990-PF Tax Forms

The tax forms filed by all private and corporate foundations are available free at these sites:

  • Foundation Center 990 Finder: 990-PFs for the past three years are free.
  • Guidestar – access to Form 990s, filed by grantseeking organizations, as well as 990-PFs. The most recent three years are free.
  • ERI – free access to Form 990s and 990-PFs back to 2001.

Subscription Databases

  • Foundation Directory Online – You can subscribe on a monthly or annual basis, at different levels of cost and coverage. Professional Level available free at all libraries in the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network, including Seattle CentralRedmond and UW Tacoma. Ask the librarian how to log in.
  • Foundation Search / Big Online – The Foundation Directory’s main competitor. Includes maps, charts, analyses of giving patterns, and many more excellent tools. Shows new foundations in your area. More expensive and not at libraries, but loved by many researchers.
  • Guidestar – Offers a subscription grants database. Two levels, annual or monthly subscriptions.
  • GrantStation – Covers a smaller number of private foundations, but includes federal and state grants. Includes “how to” grantwriting sections and a weekly newsletter with grant opportunities. Watch for their sales, available several times a year, offering subscriptions at a reduced price. Available in all Seattle Public libraries.
  • Washington Foundation Data Book Directory and CD. Hardcopy available at libraries.

Free Grants Newsletters

Newsletters can help you keep up on RFP’s (Requests for Proposals), new funder guidelines, and other current grant information.

  • Foundation Center’s Philanthropy News Digest
    News, RFP’s and jobs. You can sign up to receive RFP’s in your area of interest, such as arts, education, or human services.

Click below for more information on these types of grants:

Gateways to Further Information

  • King County Library System’s Nonprofit and Philanthropy Resource Center. Created by our own Jeannette Privat, this outstanding collection can help you learn whatever you need to know about philanthropy in the Northwest and nationally. Includes a book collection at the Redmond Library and an online resource collection available from any computer.
  • David Lamb’s Prospect Research Page Annotated links for researching foundations, corporations, public records, and many others.