Grants to Individuals

Are there grants available for individuals?

Government and foundation grants are usually not given directly to individuals. Grants are given to nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to individuals. The Find Human Service and Community Referral Agencies page has several websites that you can search to find organizations that may provide the assistance you are seekingYou may also find the web sites listed below useful.

The Foundation Center explains that:

Because most private foundations make grants only to incorporated nonprofit organizations, individual grantseekers must follow a different funding path than organizations with tax-exempt status. Some private foundations currently offer support for individual projects; it is up to you to determine which foundations might be interested in your particular subject area or project.

Most grantmakers place very specific limitations on their giving to individuals, since provisions for grants to individuals require advance approval of the program by the IRS. For this reason, grantmakers usually cannot make exceptions to their program guidelines, even if you present a compelling case for them to do so.

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What is fiscal sponsorship and what can it do for you?

Fiscal Sponsorship is a system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity provides sponsorship for a project that does not have its own 501(c)(3) status. This allows that project to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions. An individual can have a fiscal sponsor and work under the umbrella of an organization with tax-exempt status.

The Foundation Center explains how to find a fiscal sponsor

For more information on fiscal sponsorship see the book, Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right by Gregory L. Colvin and the Foundation Center's FAQ on fiscal sponsorship

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Find government benefits is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs.

Where do I find local assistance?

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Finding Grants for Individuals

Use the resources below to find grants for an individual.

Grants Database

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
Search detailed descriptions of more than 6,000 foundation programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers. Available for use inside the library.
Take the Foundation Center's free online tour of this database.

Web Sites

Financial Help for Artists and Writers
Foundation Center's Information For Individual Grantseekers
Prepares individuals to seek out and identify potential sources of foundation support.
Foundation Center's Reference Guides and Worksheets for Individual Grantseekers
Basic information, reference guides, and worksheets to help research funding.
Government Benefits
For individuals looking for information on government benefits. Offers a free, confidential tool that helps individuals find government benefits they may be eligible to receive, as well as information on how to apply.
Modest Needs
"Modest Needs exists to prevent otherwise financially self-sufficient individuals and families from entering the cycle of poverty, when this might be avoided with a small amount of well-timed financial assistance." In keeping with its mission, Modest Needs offers the following three types of grants:
  • Self-Sufficiency Grants
  • Back-to-Work Grants
  • Independent Living Grants
University of Arizona Foundation Grant Information, Facilitation and Training (GIFT) Center
Services are only available to University of Arizona faculty, staff, and development personnel. The GIFT Center offers support with their non-governmental charitable grantseeking activities.

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Finding Financial Aid & Scholarships

For information on finding financial aid and scholarships for education, please see the library's Financial Aid & Scholarships Info Guide

Pima County Website