Alumni & Community Grants Guidance
The Grant Consultant in the NDSU Center for Writers consults on grants for NDSU faculty and staff. Due to the limited number of hours available in the grant consultant office, grant consultations are reserved for faculty and staff at NDSU writing grants on behalf of NDSU. The grant consultant does not offer community grant consultations at this time; however, this page has been created to provide some general grant writing guidance for a public audience, and you may submit questions that we will answer or post as an FAQ to this page as time permits.
How do I find grant opportunities to apply for?
I'll highlight a few online methods for grant searching. Remember, for each funding opportunity you are interested in, be sure to research it well before beginning an application. Double check that you are eligible by applicant type and geographic location. Read all the directions, learn about their recently awarded grants, and check for a list of “what we fund & what we do not fund.”
Grant searching by internet browser can take time to test different search queries. Be prepared to comb through various articles, blog posts, and discussion forum threads for reference to grant funders in your subject area. Some of these types of results might be old with broken links. I usually end up with multiple tabs and windows open in my browser when I am searching for grants.
There are some free-to-search databases available, such as Fundsnet Services and ProFellow for professional and academic fellowships. You can access some other grant databases with a subscription. The National Council of Nonprofits lists some of these tools here.
The Foundation Center (in the process of merging with GuideStar to form Candid) has a database with over 3 million grants and profiles of over 120,000 grantmakers. You may access the database yourself through the downtown Fargo Public Library Online Resources, by using their computers or by being on their wireless with your own device. You may need a valid FPL Library Card in order to access the online services. Non-resident cards are available. If you have questions before planning a trip to the library, call ahead to the Reference Desk at 701.241.1472.
NDSU uses Pivot, which is a comprehensive, user-friendly grant database with searchable funding opportunities by foundations, federal agencies, international entities, and professional societies. NDSU faculty, staff, and students have access to Pivot through the university’s subscription (access from off campus requires a log-in) and can register for an account with their NDSU email. Visitors to campus may be able to arrange guest access to Pivot at the NDSU Library through the reference desk when it is attended by a reference librarian. Consider inquiring with the reference desk ahead of your visit, and be sure to specify your research agenda and the resource you wish to access. See policies here and see hours here.
The NDSU Office of Research and Creative Activity maintains this list of North Dakota and Minnesota Grant Agencies.
Once you have found a grantmaking agency or foundation that seems a fit for you, it's time to start planning your application. Don't forget to contact the funder before applying. You can double check that your project is a programmatic fit for the grant program, ask questions you couldn't find answers for in their online materials, and make a personal connection.