Funding Research Center

October 17, 2016 - 6:29pm -- barry


The Funding Research Center (FRC) assists nonprofits in their search for funding opportunities, as well as provides "how to" information about developing and administering a fund raising program.  The Funding Research Center includes print and online resources. All print materials are available in the reference and circulating collections at the Williamsburg Library (515 Scotland St, Williamsburg VA, 23185).  Feel free to contact Library Development Officer Benjamin Goldberg with any questions.

The FRC includes selected links to many of the best online fund raising resources.

Print resources available at the Williamsburg Library - 515 Scotland Street, include the Foundation Center's highly acclaimed Foundation Directory and National Directory of Corporate Giving. Also in the collection are books about writing proposals and fund raising. In the online catalog you can find these books through a "series search" on the term "Funding Research Center".

Events posted on the nonprofits-l email list (and others) are included on NetworkPeninsula’s monthly community events calendar.

  • The Grantsmanship Center -  Site includes fund raising tips and links to research resources.
  • Internet Prospector - On-line research resources.
  •  ProspectResearchResources - A directory of information related to prospect research and fundraising, particularly in listing relevant associations, publications, websites and social media links. The website is considered an open forum.
  • Portico – This collection of web sites contains publicly available information compiled for the use of the advancement community.
  • Search Systems –  A collection of free public records on the internet.
  • Action Without Borders - Maintains "Idealist," a comprehensive directory of nonprofit and volunteering resources on the Web.
  • Connect Virginia - A Richmond to Southside-based community nonprofit resource center; provides local, state, and national funding announcements.
  • Education-Related Grant Opportunities - Select links to education grant resources as a courtesy to web users.
  • Foundation Finder - Use the Foundation Finder to search by name for basic information about private and community foundations in the U.S.
  • Foundations On-Line - A browseable directory of charitable grantmakers and other nonprofit resources.
  • Fundsnet Online Services - Offers a broad range of links to foundations on-line, grant opportunities by topic and grant writing resources.
  • GrantCraft - Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency encourages transparency among grantors to improve grantee relationships and for community benefit.
  • Grant-Related, Education Research and Statistics, General Education, and Government Sites - Site provides information about grant-related training, grant opportunities, and links to grant-related and educational sites.
  • GuideStar - Features a searchable database on over 850,000 tax exempt organizations. Includes IRS Form 990s for organizations that file them. Three levels of service: Basic access is free with registration; Select and Premium access are fee based.
  • Library Grants Center - Designed to help librarians everywhere navigate the world of library grants.  Divided into three sections: National Grants, State Grants, Library Grants: How to.
  • NetworkPeninsula Grants - Grant database (requires membership).
  • NetworkPeninsula Grant and Award listing - Regularly updated list of available awards.
  • SRA International - Society of Research Administrators International links for grant resources.
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) - A government-wide compendium of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities which provide assistance or benefits to the American public.
  • Department of Education Grant Opportunities - US Department of Education maintained site listing information about applying for their grants and what grants are available.
  • Department of Health and Human Services - US Department of Health and Human Services maintained site listing information about applying for their grants and what grants are available.
  • - Attempts to provide a simple, unified electronic storefront for interactions between grant applicants and the Federal agencies that manage grant funds.
  • Health and Human Services (U.S. Department of) - This portal page attempts to incorporate HHS opportunities from multiple web sites. Some hotlinks will cover more than one type of opportunity.
  • National Endowment for the Arts - Serves the public good by nurturing human creativity, supporting community spirit, and fostering appreciation of the excellence and diversity of our nation's artistic accomplishments through grantmaking; leadership initiatives; partnerships with state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, other federal agencies and the private sector; research; and public information.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities - An independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, and public programs in the humanities. Humanities encompass the study of history, literature, history of art and science, philosophy, religion, folklore and other disciplines.
  • Subsidyscope - Searchable database that tracks Federal grants to NPOs that can be described as subsidies. To access the database highlight "Grants and Contracts" and click on "Search Grants."
  • Virginia Commission for the Arts - The Commission distributes awards to artists, arts and other not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, educators and local governments, and provides technical assistance in arts management.


  • The Art of Grantsmanship by Jacob Kraicer - Proposal writing tips geared toward research grants, but applicable in general to all grant writing .
  • GrantCraft - Learn what grant makers want to achieve and how they assess grant applications. Especially explore the "guides," "case studies" and "more tools" sections.
  • Grantmakers For Effective Organization (GEO) - Promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.
  • GuideStar - Features a searchable database on over 850,000 tax exempt organizations. Includes IRS Form 990s for organizations that file them. Three levels of service: Basic access is free with registration; Select and Premium access are fee based.
  • Non-Profit Guides - Offers information on grant writing, plus tips and samples for letters of inquiry, cover letters, grant summaries, grant budgets and applications.
  • Point K Learning Center - Free registration required.  Offers free tools and resources for assessment, accountability, communication, and program improvement.
  • A Proposal Writers Short Course - An introduction and overview to the process of background researching, and writing a grant proposal.
  • William Strunk's Elements of Style - The classic book on grammar, composition, etc.

The purpose of providing these grants is to give prospective grant writers an overview on the types of proposals submitted and how successful proposals are constructed and written. These applications and proposals are intended to foment ideas, help formulate concepts and act as general guides. They do not replace the grant writing process.

  • The Alliance for Nonprofit Management - FAQs on board development, financial management, fund raising and strategic planning.
  • Boardsource - A premier resource for practical information, tools and best practices, training, and leadership development for board members of nonprofit organizations worldwide.
  • Free Management Library - Provides highly accessible and practical resources to managers throughout the nation. Explore the detailed index of library materials to find information on evaluation, fundraising, board resources, letter samples and more.
  • Governance Matters - Provides nonprofit leaders with the governance resources needed to strengthen their boards. Although based in New York City, most of the on-line resources can benefit most Nonprofit. Includes board member job descriptions, evaluations, etc.
  • Housing and Urban Development, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives - The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives links community and faith-based organizations to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 
  • Idealware - A nonprofit organization that provides thoroughly researched, impartial and accessible resources about software to help nonprofits.  The site offers a mix of free resources and products for purchace.
  • Non-profit Good Practice Guide - A one-stop shop for widely-accepted and innovative nonprofit practices offering Preferred Practices and Pitfalls, Glossaries, Resources, Trends and Web site Profiles within ten topic areas.
  • Nonprofit Expert - Categories cover many nonprofit topics including fundraising, nonprofit management, prospect research, grantwriting, nonprofit software, etc. Speciality is consultation for creating nonprofits organizations.
  • - features news and information regarding the communities of the Lower Peninsula and the Historic Triangle.
  • PerformWell - Provides measurement tools and practical knowledge that human services professionals can use to manage their programs’ day-to-day performance.
  • - an interactive site with in-depth information and guides on budgeting, financial analysis, monitoring, and the role of boards in financial management.
  • Websites for Grantseekers & Nonprofit Organizations - This site contains information about grants for individuals and small businesses (Maintained by the Tucson-Pima Public Library (AZ)).
  • Lewis B. Cullman website - Solicitation advice and recommendations from philanthropist Lewis Cullman. Includes downloadable document "How To Succeed in Fundraising By Really Trying" as well as his opinions on what make good and bad appeal letters.
  • Foundation Center Frequently Asked Questions - Offers links to numerous topics for non-profits including the funding research process, examples of nonprofit documents and nonprofit organizations.
  • The Foundation Center Gain Knowledge - On-line research resources, use the drop down menu from Gain knowledge, as well as resources listed on the page.
  • GuideStar - Features a searchable database on over 850,000 tax exempt organizations. Includes IRS Form 990s for organizations that file them. Three levels of service: Basic access is free with registration; Select and Premium access are fee based.
  • NOZA - (formerly Grantsmart) Features a searchable database of tax-related information for private foundations that file Form 990-PF with the (IRS). Also see Guidestar for additional charitable organization 990s.
  • ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer - Includes nonprofit tax return data released by the IRS in April 2013 for tax returns processed by the IRS during 2012.
  • SOFII - Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration. Working to provide charitable fundraisers with a comprehensive, easily accessible archive of the best fundraising creativity from around the world. Requires free registration.
  • Supporting Advancement - a collection of resources for "those supporting advancement and development organizations." Maintained by submissions from professionals around the country. Categories include sample forms, policy examples, acknowledgment samples, grant writing advise, and many more topics.
  • Efile Form 990 - This web site and the Desktop 990 software can be used to complete IRS Form 990, 990-EZ, Schedule A, and Unified Registration Statement. Upon completion, the forms are sent electronically to this web site. The Forms can also be printed out from the Desktop 990 so that they can be mailed to the IRS. There is a fee for this service.
  • Life Cycle of a Public Charity - This resources is designed to help public charities understand the process for obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status. Divided into five sections: Starting Out, Applying to IRS, Annual Filings, Ongoing Compliance, and Significant Events.
  • IRS Automatic Revocation of Exemption List - List of 275,00 nonprofits that have lost their tax exempt status as a result of non-compliance with IRS tax filing requirements.  Organized by state and downloadable (posted June 2011).
  • IRS Tax Exempt Kit - A packet of federal forms and publications for tax-exempt organizations or groups wishing to apply for tax-exempt status.
  • IRS Search for a Charity - Search for IRS designated charities through the online Exempt Organizations Select Check.
  • Quality 990 - Most nonprofits have to file 990s. This website offers tips on filling out the 990 as well as disclosure regulations and other 990 related information.
  • Stay Exempt Basics for 501(c)(3)s - IRS online training provides five free training modules to help you keep an organization’s exempt status intact. Modules can be taken individually and in any order.


Local Nonprofit representatives are invited to subscribe to the nonprofits-l email list. The email list is intended to facilitate communication among local area NPOs. To request to be subscribed please complete the following form. Incomplete forms will not be processed.

This email list for is representatives of nonprofits in the Greater Williamsburg, VA area ONLY.

Organization Address
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals - an individual member association, advances philanthropy through education, training and advocacy based on research and a Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice.
  • Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement - APRA fosters professional development and promotes standards that enhance the expertise and status of development research and information service professionals.
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive - CFRE International offers the only internationally- recognized baseline professional credential for philanthropic fundraising executives.
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education -  CASE exists to develop and foster training programs, products, and services in the areas of alumni relations, communications, and philanthropy and to serve as a strong force for the advancement and support of education.
  • NetworkPeninsula - Supports nonprofits across the Peninsula through continuing education, Board Training, networking, information sharing.
  • Partnership for Philanthropic Planning - PPP is a federation of planned giving councils to facilitate, coordinate, and encourage the education and training of the planned giving community, and to facilitate effective communication among the many different professionals in this community.
  • Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executives (VAFRE) - 300 member non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the professional skills of fundraisers across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The following are selected links (not a comprehensive list) to companies that sell donor databases (except Ebase which is free). Included are some of the leading fund raising software companies in the industry. Other options can be found by searching on the Internet and through trade journals. You may wish to review this tip sheet on databases, explore the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Technology Guide (which includes fundraising databases) or review some advice about choosing a program below.

Fund raising software varies in features and cost. Hands-on exploration of a demonstration version of a program is strongly recommended and often accompanied by a free phone tour of the software.  In narrowing the options the following measures of comparison might be helpful:

  • What are program features and could/would you use them?
  • What is the cost of basic program taking into account number of user licenses that come with it?
  • How much are additional user licenses (usually sold in groups of 2-5)?
  • What is the cost of additional modules and which modules might be desirable (if applicable)?
  • What fees are there for the annual maintenance contract?
  • Are product updates included in the maintenance contract? if not, how much extra?
  • Are there data conversion and/or database setup fees (if applicable)?
  • How much is training, including potential travel and accommodation expenses?
  • What are the training options (locations, schedules)?

Free Software

  • Ebase - FREE downloadable template database designed to manage information about individuals and households. There may be ancillary costs to adopting ebase.

Select Software Companies

  • Chronicle of Philanthropy - Offers fund raising articles, grantmaking information, resources. Access to parts of this site is now available only to Chronicle subscribers.
  • Foundation News and Commentary - A Council of Foundations publication. Offers fund raising articles, grantmaking information, resources.
  • Grantsmanship Center Archives - Contains Grantsmanship Center archived publications. Offers fund raising articles, grantmaking information, resources.
  • GuideStar - Features a searchable database on over 850,000 tax exempt organizations. Includes IRS Form 990s for organizations that file them. Three levels of service: Basic access is free with registration; Select and Premium access are fee based.
  • Issuelab - IssueLab is an online publishing forum for nonprofit research. Our mission is to more effectively archive, distribute and promote the extensive and diverse body of work being produced by the third sector.
  • IRS Automatic Revocation of Exemption List - List of 275,00 nonprofits that have lost their tax exempt status as a result of non-compliance with IRS tax filing requirements.  Organized by state and downloadable (posted June 2011).
  • Nonprofits-l Email List Community Calendar - Events posted on the nonprofits-l community calendar via
  • NTEN: Change - A quarterly eletronic journal for nonprofit leaders.  Offers NPO articles, fundraising advice, other resources.  Free with registration. 
  • Philanthropy Journal - Offers fund raising articles, grantmaking information, resources.
  • The Nonprofit Times - Offers fund raising articles, nonprofit news, resources.
  • Philanthropy News Digest - A Foundation Center publication. Offers fund raising articles, grantmaking information, resources.