You may turn to a foundation for a portion of your funding. A foundation is either public, receiving support from multiple sources including individuals, private foundations, and government agencies; or it is private, deriving money from an individual, a family, or a corporation. Foundations are usually nonprofit and are set up to provide money to worthwhile causes and activities, including educational, scientific, environmental, political, and charitable needs. To retain nonprofit status, they usually must donate a specific portion of their funds each year.
Foundations typically provide funding for special projects that help a specific cause; they generally do not fund the ongoing operating expenses of a nonprofit organization. To find foundations, you will need to do research. The Foundation Center (
Seeking a grant from a foundation will require not only research on your part, but a well-honed grant proposal in accordance with the guidelines of the foundation. While grants can be a major step for a small nonprofit, keep in mind there is great competition for grants, and they are designed to provide a portion, not the majority, of your fundraising needs. Chapters 17 and 18 have more information on grants.