Talk to ‘Em: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Getting a Grant (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Find that grant!

18. Never turn down a grant because you think it’s too small. Remember, you can list each grant you’re awarded on your resume’, which gives you more credibility when you apply for more grants.

19. Grants are everywhere! There are specific grants for women, grants for the disabled, grants for minorities, for writers, for scientists, for high school seniors. You name it, and there’s a grant for it. The problem is, most grants have formal names or titles. I remember finding the Sparkplug grant ( while running a Google search on sparkplugs for cars. I also found the Puffin Foundation Grant (, while searching for a picture of a puffin for a piece I was thinking about writing. So you see, if you don’t know the grant’s formal name, you won’t even know it exists. Keep a sharp eye open while you surf the net. You never know what you’ll find.

That being said, here are some suggestions to get you started:
a. (Google or Yahoo Search): Public Charities; Private Foundations.
b. Government grants: Mostly for 501(c)3’s, but there are some individual grants.
c. A database of foundations; this is a paying service that will provide a convenient shortcut for finding public and private foundations with documented giving.
d. National Endowment for the Humanities. Some individual, but mostly 501(c)3’s.
e. National Endowment for the Arts. Some individual. Many for writers.
f. A free database of grants/opportunities for writers. Must register.
g. Writer and filmmaker grants.
h. Grants for women with low income.
i. For individuals and 501(c)3’s. Check them out.
j. A funder for individuals and foundations.
k. Makes grants to freelance writers and artists
l. State Arts Commission. Call your State Arts Commission and find out what’s being offered.
m. Individual grants; mostly academic, categorized by subject.

Remember, this list just gets you started. There’s an ocean of grants out there. Keep looking!

20. You’ll never win a grant if you don’t try for one.

21. Good things come to those who wait…and to those who prepare themselves accordingly.

UPDATE – 4/1/2009: I have just been awarded a grant from the gracious and generous people at The Haven Foundation. The Haven Foundation makes grants to freelance writers and artists experiencing career-threatening illnesses, accidents, natural disasters, etc. Their full grant is $25,000. I wasn’t awarded anywhere near that much, but I was awarded something…and buddy, I’m grateful. Hey, we’re in a recession, people; the fact that any foundation has money to disburse in this horrible economy is a miracle in and of itself. Just wanted to share this with you. Check them out:

Rita Lorraine

UPDATE – 1/28/2011: I have just been nominated for a $5000 business award from a very generous and very forward-thinking organization called Civic Ventures, and their First Annual Launch Pad Competition. Here’s the link:

Please stop by, VOTE FOR ME, and check out this innovative organization. They have many business and financial opportunities for people age 45 and older. By the way, that’s the first time I haven’t minded telling folks I’m over 45!

UPDATE – 8/2012 – I didn’t win that grant. Hey, that’s what I’ve been saying in this article…you can’t win ’em all! But I did make some good contacts, and I gained even more experience with the grantmaking process. So there. 😀

Rita Lorraine

PSS – Because I wrote this article many moons ago, I’m referencing the original link.


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