How can I find funding sources or grants?

Especially for small businesses?

Many different funding sources, both government and private, provide grants for a variety of purposes. Additionally, most public and academic libraries have works available on grant sources and on writing grant proposals.

The Library of Congress has an online guide titled "Foundation and Grant Resources," items listed in this guide are available in the Library's Main Reading Room reference collection. They also can be found at many other public and academic libraries; you should consult your local library for assistance. This list is not exhaustive and specifically does not include student financial aid, contests, prizes or most foreign sources. This guide also includes Library of Congress subject headings for further searching of these and other related topics.

Additional resources include:

  • The Foundation Center publishes a number of useful reference sources, such as the annual "Foundation Directory." The Center also operates libraries around the country.  They provide lists of libraries, extensive information about grants, and links to hundreds of private foundations. The Quick Start Guide provides some free access, full acc
  • Government grants and loans are administered by the federal departments of the United States government. Two good starting points for information are  USA.gov and the Grants.gov website
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the U.S. government agency charged with providing management, technical, and financial assistance to the nation's small businesses. It offers information on startup kits, business plans, grant and loan resources, and federal and state offices providing business assistance.
  • The SBA also sponsors the U.S. Business Advisor website, this site exists to provide business with one-stop access to federal government information, shareware, resources, financing assistance, services and transactions.
  • Another source of information on government grants is "Assistance Listings." This catalog provides extensive information about federal social and economic programs, including eligibility requirements and application procedures. The addresses of state and regional offices of federal agencies and departments, many of which are authorized to distribute funds directly in their geographic areas, are listed in the appendix. 
  • There are also a number of print publications, available at many public libraries, that provide information on starting and financing a small business, such as:
    • "Free Money from the Federal Government for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs" 
    • "Where to Go When the Bank Says No: Alternatives for Financing Your Business"
    • "Entrepreneur Magazine's Where's the Money?: Sure-Fire Financing Solutions for Your Small Business"

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2022
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