Individuals and nonprofits can find philanthropic companies and/or individual grantmakers to fund a particular endeavor through the Foundation Center Directory. While access to the at-home database is free on a limited basis, the full version is available via the Funding Information Network throughout the country.
A non-profit organization or an individual wishing to undertake a worthwhile project, such as starting a community improvement program, seeking educational opportunities or providing youth services, can try to seek funds from grantmakers to fund the endeavor. Grantmakers have certain areas of interest and usually try to fund projects catering to those interests only in certain geographic areas. The Foundation Center Directory has database tools which allow users to search grantmakers by interest, geographic location, past grantees and past amounts donated. The Foundation Center's website includes the closest full-access location in the Funding Information Network, which mainly involves local libraries, museums and other nonprofit locations.
If a business is looking for start-up funds, it might want to seek an angel investor, a wealthy individual who invests funds in early-stage companies. Just like partnering with a venture capitalist or taking out a small-business loan, however, this money is not necessarily free. Someone who invests in a business expects a return on her investment over time in terms of interest or dividends. For more information on finding an investor in an angel group, visit the Angel Capital Association's website.