How to Find Grants: 3 Online Directories to Get You Started

Billions of dollars are awarded to grantees in Tennessee every year. In 2012, grants from 226 foundations were awarded to 840 organizations across Tennessee, totaling $184 billion dollars (Source: Even with funding available, the process of finding, writing and receiving a grant is not easy for nonprofit organization. First, you need to know where to look.

Top 3 places to find grants for your nonprofit:


This is the best way to search for specific grant opportunities. The online directory is comprised of more than 140,000 grant makers and includes filters for quickly identifying funding sources for your organization.  You can search by foundation and view information such as previous donations, net assets and 990 forms. Keep in mind, foundations and corporations will more likely fund organizations in close proximity to their company offices or headquarters.

To access the Foundation Directory Online, you will need a subscription. Luckily, Knox County offers free access to the directory through the Lawson McGhee Library. If you have questions or need help navigating the directory, you can set up an appointment with the Foundation Center Librarian.


This is where you can find and apply for federal grants. It provides basic insight into the process of federal grant funding, including the 26 federal agencies awarding the grants.

Federal grant eligibility and guidelines can be specific, so the website offers filters to narrow down your search so you can find applicable funding for your organization. The website provides instructions on how to apply for the grant and you can track your application status once it is submitted.


The Chronicle of Philanthropy partnered with to provide grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations. Available grants include private and international grant makers as well as resources to state funding agencies.You will need to subscribe to The Chronicle of Philanthropy for $79/year or $138/2 years.

Grant Writing 101

Locating potential grants is only half the battle. ABN courses are a great investment if you want to learn grant writing fundamentals or just need to brush up on your skills.


You can also hire an ABN consultant to guide your organization through the process of finding and applying for grants. Learn more about our budget-friendly consulting rates HERE.