Job & Family Services Office of Workforce Development
Funding Sources & Searching for Grants
Nonprofit organizations, both community- and faith-based, provide important services and often need assistance in locating and applying for diversified program funding. Funding may be available from federal, state, or local government, foundations, grant-making arms of businesses or other organizations, and even individuals.

A solicited proposal is one that is submitted in response to a specific work statement from the sponsor. A Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Applications (RFA) is sometimes published by sponsors to solicit proposals for specific services.The RFP or RFA generally includes standard terms, conditions, and assurances that the grantee is asked to accept.

 Woman training at whiteboard
An unsolicited proposal is initiated by the applicant and submitted according to the sponsor’s broad guidelines. The funding arrangement for unsolicited proposals is usually a grant.
Funding Sources
Foundation Center is a national, nonprofit service organization recognized as the nation’s leading authority on organized philanthropy which maintains a database of grants and publishes educational and informational materials on grants.
Grants.gov is a central source for grant solicitations offered by the federal government. Grant applications can be electronically submitted through this site. Registration is required and may take some time, so review the site early if you are planning to submit a proposal.
The Grantsmanship Center, a source of information on grantsmanship for nonprofit and government agencies.

 Searching for Grants

A simple internet search can often guide would-be grant applicants to workforce development funding and resources.  Combine concepts to focus your search. To construct your search use 1 term from each column below.  
Concept #1: funding sourceConcept #2: population or type of programConcept #3: location (optional)
Suggested terms: grants, foundations, donors, "sponsored giving", "funding opportunities", RFP, "private foundation", etc.Suggested terms: youth, "youth offender, "foster youth" "dislocated workers", "older workers", dropouts, "out-of-school", etc.
"occupational training", mentoring, "Job Corps", OJT or "on the job training", "adult education", "green jobs", "career pathways", apprenticeship, etc.
Suggested terms: Ohio, Appalachia, "Greene County", etc.
Searching hints:
Using more terms results in a more targeted search, but using more than 3-4 terms may exclude valuable sites.
Try different synonyms to see which get the best results.
Using quotes (") around 2 or more words ensures they are treated as a phrase on most search engines.









See the Grant Opportunities page for currently available grants and check out Proposal Writing Resources when you have found a potential funder.

Last reviewed: 03/08/2017