The US offers an opportunity to both grow and diversify your funding. Here's how to go about it, without spending any money on consultants, or paid search engines.
This is one of 3 Charity Excellence funding finder downloads, the other 2 being UK and International, both have about 50+. There are also 50+ downloadable funder lists, with 1000s of grant makers, that do the hard work for you. Everything is free. Download from the income questionnaire – the finding new funders assessment statement. This list was last updated Dec 20.
There are about 10k UK charitable foundations, with the top 300 giving about £3bn annually, compared to 90k US foundations donating US$60bn.
There are not only a lot more of them, they also donate much larger amounts.
US Foundations - The Basics
In the US, there are private foundations, usually funded by an individual, family, or corporation and public charities, which are community foundations and other nonprofit groups that raise money from the general public.
There are 2 types of private foundation. Operating foundations use their endowment to achieve their goals directly. Grant-making foundations make grants to other organisations.
What you're looking for are private grant making foundations, not private operating foundations or public charities.
Grantspace is a good source of information on US foundations.
Amounts. About US$9bn, but skewed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Excluding them, giving it's probably about US$4bn. See, when your trustees told you that you need to apply to them, they were right after all.
Methods. Funding is largely project-focused and primarily through intermediaries. About 30% is through US based intermediaries and 30% through non-US intermediaries, with much less directly to organisations based in the country where programmes were implemented.
Area. The biggest area of funding was health.
Locations. Most funding was for global issues in general, rather than a specific region or country. The top-funded region was sub-Saharan Africa, with Asia and the Pacific second, followed by Latin America and Mexico.
For Africa, here's a report from Africa Grant Makers on US Foundation funding for Africa.
How To Find Funding
Internal Revenue Service Data
1. IRS Organisation Search – US charities (usually called 501c(3) tax exempt organisations) submit their accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That's the US version of HMRC; they dropped the HM bit when they won the War of Independence. Search for Private Foundations. Instead of accounts you want their annual IRS filing – Form 990.
2. Grants.io – F990 data sets made publicly available.
3. Non Profit Explorer – over 3 million tax returns for tax exempt organisations.
Other US Government Funding
1. Grants.gov – US Federal grants, lists funding opportunities from 26 federal agencies.
2. Beta.sam.gov – US federal contract opportunities (FBO).
US Funding Finders
1. BackHer.com – curated funder lists for women and girls - Africa, Asia North America and International.
2. Candid – a huge US domestic Covid database.
3. CASE – a social enterprise global funder database.
4. FDO Quick Start - search 100,000 US foundations.
5. Foundation Center – run by CANDID, searchable database, with a wide range of categories and results exportable as a .csv.
6. Grant Finder – Inside Philanthropy’s US search. Limited free access, otherwise paid.
7. Grant Gopher - US animal grant search. Includes a free option.
8. Fundraising Help - 101 sources of auction donations in the US.
9. FUNdraising & Donations - US Pinterest account.
10. Guidestar – free to register data on US non-profits.
11. Inside Philanthropy – free e mail and you can search, but access to detailed information is a paid for service.
12. LGBT Funders – US Covid funders for the LGBTQI+ community.
13. Peak Proposals US Funding Sources – advice and useful links.
14. Peak Proposals Community Foundations – list and links by state.
15. Red Rover – grant programmes for animals.
Can you help?
The CEF works on a community collaboration basis. Can you help me help others by adding to this resource? If so, e mail me at email@example.com.