Need Help Finding Grants

Did you know that Martin Library can help you research grants?  If you are a nonprofit or individual grant-seeker, we have a resource for you! We are a Foundation Information Network (FIN) partner.  Which means we provide free on-site access to the Foundation Directory Online, from Candid.

What is the Foundation Directory?

The Foundation Directory is an online database containing information on the history of grants each funder has offered and the types of projects they support. (If you have experience researching grants in the past, you may have used Form 990 for a funding organization to learn about their history of giving. This information is collected for you in the Foundation Directory – no need for the paper forms!)

How does it work?

You can search for potential funders by their geographic focus or by the subject area of your project. The results will show you a list of grant making organizations, including companies, foundations, and government agencies, that have funded similar projects; details about those grants; and a list of recipients. Clicking on an organization will give you more detailed information about them, including what kinds of work they do, where they usually operate, the size of their grants budget, and the names of their staff or board members. For example, if your nonprofit offers educational enrichment to young people, you want to find grant makers who support educational projects in your geographic location, and who typically award grants in the right amount for your project budget.

How does this information help me find grants? Can I apply for grants directly through the Foundation Directory?

 The Foundation Directory does not allow you to directly apply for grants. What it does offer is the ability to find organizations that have funded similar projects in the past, because they can be good prospects for your grant-funded project. The information on funding organizations can help you to focus your search on possible partners likely to support your work.  Some funders have an online application process, and others use networking to determine who will receive funding. You can access details about the application process, if there is one, and LinkedIn profiles for staff and board members to help initiate networking, through the database. (If you would rather search only for funders who accept applications, that’s an option too.)

How else can the library help with grant research?

When it comes to grants, it’s always a good idea to do your research before you get down to the application process. If you are applying for grants, our helpful staff can point you to books and online resources to walk you through the proposal writing process. You’ll have to do the writing and revising yourself, of course, but we’d love to help you find more information!

Some good resources online include a visit to the federal grants site –; the state of Pennsylvania’s grant site –; and the Candid learning site,

How do I get started?
            Come to the second floor Information Desk at Martin Library and ask a staff member about using the Foundation Directory to look for grants. We can’t wait to see you!