Non-Profit Seed Money Grants

Grants or contributions used to start a new project or organization are called non-profit seed money grants. Non-profit seed money grants may cover salaries and other operating expenses of a new project. U.S.G.G. Grant Writing Workshops include training on how to apply for non-profit seed money grants. A 300+ page workbook full of funding resources, sample grant proposals, and grant writing tips is provided to all participants. Research is conducted prior to the workshop for each participant providing a list of 10-100 potential funders interested in funding their issue in their state. For example, participants from Iowa interested in receiving seed money would receive a list of 10-100 private foundations interested in providing non-profit seed money grants in Iowa.

The Foundation Directory Online provides access to a vast database of private and corporate foundations for as little as $19.95 per month at Enter your state into the geographic focus search field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that make grants in your state or enter “seed money” in the text field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that give non-profit seed money grants. According to a recent search on The Foundation Directory Online, there were over 3,200 non-profit seed money grants awarded between 2001 and 2005. For example, in 2005 the Ford Foundation provided two non-profit seed money grants to Jobs for the Future and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. Other foundations that give non-profit seed money grants are the Starr Foundation, San Diego Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, and William Penn Foundation.

Another resource to identify who gives non-profit seed money grants is Guidestar. Much of the information on this website is free, but you do have to log in to access the information. Guidestar has information that helps nonprofit organizations identify foundations interested in their cause and also helps foundations and philanthropists identify nonprofit organizations they would like to fund. All nonprofit organizations that complete a 990 form are listed on Guidestar’s website. Nonprofit organizations should update their profiles regularly to increase chances of having foundations and philanthropists choose them for funding. is THE site to find and apply for more than $360 billion in competitive federal grants across all 26 federal grant-making agencies. Currently there are more than 2,050 active grant opportunities posted on the site spanning 20+ diverse grant categories. Over 70 active electronic grant applications packages are available on to apply from federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security Administration, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

One of the best single sites for learning about all federal grants is Anyone can sign up to receive daily e-mails announcing federal grant opportunities for free. Each grant posting in the e-mail notification also has a direct link to get details on the grant opportunity. There are usually 10 or more opportunities each day if you sign up to receive all notifications. A sampling of what you get from (excluding the link due to the length of time it would be available) is below:

Headquarters and Regional Offices
Discretionary Grant and Mandatory Grant Competitions
Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities–Parent Training and Information Centers (84.328M) Grant

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