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Grants, Scholarships, and Funding Sources

Important Notice

Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals is no Longer Available via the Fresno State Library

Fresno State is facing a multi-year reduction in funding for library resources. In addition, the campus pivot to primarily virtual instruction due to COVID-19 will continue through the end of spring semester 2021. In light of these unprecedented challenges, the library has reviewed its collections expenditures to control costs. Please see here for more information. Unfortunately, due to this financial situation, the library subscription to the Foundation Directory Online (FDO) resource will not be renewed. In order to access the FDO, please visit the Funding Information Network (FIN) member sites directory to locate the nearest FIN member to you.

Funding Sources

Private or foundation funding can come from many sources, including the philanthropic arm of corporations, endowments set up by individuals or families, or giving circles/giving cooperatives. There are approximately 87,000 private foundations in the United States, with around $1.7 trillion held in the endowments of these organizations. These organizations fund a range of activities, and may offer a diversity of funding opportunities, including grants (in which some kind of outcome or return is expected from the funding), gifts, or scholarships.

Private and Foundation Funding Resources
Resource Description Access
Altum ProposalCentral "Search for funding from 200+ organizations and 600+ programs in one place and receive alerts as new funding opportunities get posted" Free, with the creation of an account
Foundation Directory Online An in-depth database of funders, grant recipients, grants given, and IRS tax documents for private foundations. Also includes federal grant funders. Access via the Funding Information Network: find a location here
Foundation Directory Online QuickStart A very basic version of the Foundation Directory Online, QuickStart provides a pared-down funder profile that includes funding interests and links to further funding information Free, with the creation of an account
Guidestar A database of over 1.8 million non-profits, including financial, leadership, and mission profiles and reports Fresno State students, faculty, and staff can access via this link with a Fresno State log in. A basic version is also available for free.
Philanthropy News Digest A news and current events site for the philanthropic sector, this site also includes an RFP (request for proposals) search feature, as well as an email notification sign-up by topic/sector. Free, with the creation of an account



California state funding resources are funds that are available from the state government.  These may come from departments and agencies within the state government, such as the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) or the California Natural Resources Agency, as well as the Office of the Governor. These funds are aligned with state-wide priorities, which may include air and water quality, workforce training, or public health initiatives.

State Funding Resources
Resource Description Access
California Grants Portal A project of the California State Library, this is a one-stop database for finding grants, loans, and other funding opportunities from California state departments, agencies, and offices.  Users may search by state entity, by topic (e.g., education, health and human services, transportation), or by applicant type (nonprofit, institution, etc...) Free
California Business Incentives, Grants, and Financing Administered by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), this resource is a portal to a variety of opportunities available for business owners, communities, researchers, and non-profits, centered around workforce training, R&D, and economic development. This includes the Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, Cannabis Equity Grants, and the California Film Commission. Free
California Personal Grants and Loans California also offers grants, loans, rebates, and tax incentives for individuals.  This might include funding for pollinator habitat restoration, investment in green/alternative energy, or housing funds for veterans.

Note: This does not include benefits and services resources, such as cash assistance, which is available from the Department of Social Services. This also does not include funding for education, such as scholarships.  See the Scholarships and Fellowships tab for more information.


Federal funding resources come from the United States government at the national level: this includes the executive agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy; as well as other federal agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The minimum funding available from these agencies is usually a larger amount, and they are often very competitive, with extensive reporting and evaluation requirements.  These funding sources reflect both long-term national priorities, such as defense, food and nutrition access, or education initiatives like increasing the number of women in STEM, as well as initiatives of the current administration and Congress.

Federal Funding Resources
Resource Description Access Assistance Listings
(formerly, Center for Domestic Assistance) Assistance Listings provide "detailed public descriptions of federal programs that provide grants, loans, scholarships, insurance, and other types of assistance awards." These listings are helpful for identifying funding opportunities. Free is the one-stop portal for all federal grant funding opportunities across all funding agencies. also provides extensive support for seeking, writing, and administering grants.  Recently, a mobile app for was released for both Apple and Android devices. Free
Grantmaking federal agencies directory A complete directory of all grantmaking agencies at the federal level, with links to their funding initiatives and programs Free
NIH Grants and Funding A large grant-making entity, this database provides listings of all funding opportunities available from the NIH, or National Institutes of Health. Free
NSF Grants and Funding AN A-Z index of funding opportunities from the National Science Foundation Free
Tribal Government Resources Federally-recognized tribes are eligible for funding opportunities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; additional cultural and social services funding opportunities are also linked. Guidelines for projects on tribal lands, as well as tribal leader contacts are included. Free
USA Spending: Award Search An extensive database of federal spending awards, this tool allows for searching by recipient, granting agency, location, or other award aspects. Free


Scholarships and fellowships are specific types of funding opportunities for education and research activities.  Scholarships are often used to pay for tuition, fees, books, or other expenses associated with education costs.  Scholarships can also be used for specific learning opportunities, such as a summer learning institute or attending a professional conference.  There are several types of fellowships, including research fellowships, graduate fellowships, or professional fellowships.  These are often short-term, competitive awards that allow the awardee to engage in focused research, learning, or professional activities. 

TIP: Not sure where to start with scholarship funding? Start with the Fresno State financial aid scholarship application, which includes awards specific to certain majors, departments, or areas of study. Then, consider your affiliations, attributes, and ambitions:

  • Affiliations: Do you or your parents work at a certain company or belong to any civic organizations? These places may offer scholarships to employees and members.
  • Attributes: Consider your personal characteristics, such as race or ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, family status-- even if you're a twin or left-handed!
  • Ambitions: What field of study or profession do you want to enter? Professional ambitions or career types are good keywords to use when searching for scholarship funding.
Resource Description Access
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Grants and Fellowships The AAUW promotes academic achievement by women, with several funding opportunities to promote educational attainment, professional development, research activities, and community activism. Free
California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) CSAC is primarily geared towards helping students and their families navigate the financial aid process, but in addition to these resources, includes multiple financial aid grants, such as the Pell Grant, Veteran's benefits, and the Chafee Grant. This agency also administers state funding for Dreamer/undocumented students. Free
CareerOneStop (US Dept. of Labor) "Search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial aid award opportunities." Free
College Board Scholarship Search "Find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion." This database also includes research funding, internships, and other opportunities. Free A not-for-profit resource for thousands of scholarships. A great starting point for scholarship searching. Funding at all levels, but primarily undergraduate. Free Study Abroad In addition to general scholarships, also lists funding opportunities for study abroad, including general resources and resources specific to certain countries. Free
Directory of Associations Not a funding resource itself, this is a directory of professional organizations and societies. These organizations often offer scholarships, fellowships, free or reduced student membership, and/or free conference registration or conference travel funding.  Use this directory to find the organization for your discipline or profession. Free
Foundation Directory Online Grants for Individuals A large database of scholarships, fellowships, travel and research awards, and other funding opportunities for individuals, or those not associated with a tax-exempt organization. Access via the Funding Information Network: find a location here. Monthly and annual subscriptions also available.
Fresno State Office of Financial Aid: Scholarships "Fresno State awards over a thousand scholarships totaling more than 4.3 million dollars in free money to incoming and continuing students.  Scholarships are offered by various colleges, departments, and organizations to students who meet specific criteria." Free, but must have a Fresno State username and password to access application
Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) "HSF awards more than $30 million in Scholarships annually and, depending upon available funds, HSF Scholars may also be eligible to receive a scholarship, which range from $500-$5,000 and awarded directly to students." HSF also offers valuable mentorship and professional development opportunities. Free
IEFA Scholarships for International Students International students have unique considerations when applying for scholarships or other financial support for education in the United States. IEFA includes an extensive database of scholarships and loans that takes these considerations into account. This also includes resources for students in the United States who would like to study in other countries. Free
Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), this document lists extensively internship, fellowship, and other paid professional opportunities in the federal government for all education and academic levels. Free
UCLA Graduate, Fellowship, Research and Postdoc Funding Database Not just opportunities from UCLA, this database provides over 600 graduate and research funding opportunities, searchable by keyword, institution, and discipline. Free
USA Jobs A directory of federal government jobs, this includes fellowships and other paid learning opportunities. Free