Private grants require a bit more research than governmental grants. The goal of this research process is to identify grantmakers whose mission and vision align with the purpose, programs, and goals of your nonprofit. Some grantmakers announce grant initiatives in requests for proposals (RFPs) while others have general guidelines and program areas for their giving. They make information about their grantmaking available in a variety of ways: websites, social media, annual reports, and IRS filings (public charities and private foundations must file some version of Form 990 annually). The links on this page provide a starting point for identifying grantmakers and learning more about their giving.
Keep in mind that private grants are typically awarded to nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. If you are want to learn more about the steps involved in establishing a nonprofit, you can read the FAQ on the Foundation Center's website "How do I start a nonprofit organization?" The Foundation Center's list of startup resources is also a great source of information.