Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

Grants and Related Resources: Background Information

A compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

Funding Information Network Partner Library

MSU Libraries is a member of Candid's (formerly the Foundation Center) Funding Information Network (FIN). FIN Partner Libraries provide access to and/or training in using Candid's premier database for identifying grant opportunities and potential funders, the Foundation Directory Online Professional, described below. To identify other partner libraries closer to home, consult the Candid's Directory of Funding Information Network Partner Libraries

Note: The MSU Library is not a funding agency and Library staff cannot do your research for you, make referrals to specific grant-makers, or review your proposals.

The majority of the online resources listed in this Guide are restricted to MSU-authorized users (faculty, staff and students).

Candid (formerly the Foundation Center) Resources

Foundation Directory Online Professional.  Provides access to detailed profiles on over 228,000 private and corporate foundations, corporate giving programs, grantmaking public charities, and federal agency funders; 900,000+ grant recipients; 18.5+ million grants; and over a million recently filed IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF. Updated daily. Available across all MSU IP Ranges and to anyone with a current MSU NetID and password.  Non-affiliated visitors can request access at the Main Library Reference Desk or utilize Foundation Directory Quick Start, a limited version of the database (free registration required). Consult the following tutorials for guidance in using the database:

  • Search by Phrase in FDO (YouTube, 2:01 minutes, January 26, 2018). Learn about FDO's global search bar and open-ended search to find funders.
  • Advanced Search & Filters (YouTube, 7:25 minutes, January 26, 2018).  Learn more about how to use Advanced Search & Filters in FDO. A great tool to help you build and modify a search for funders. Simply modifications can help you generate better search results.
  • Navigating Search Results in FDO (YouTube, 5:56 min, January 26, 2018). Learn about FDO's search functionalities and how FDO helps you find the best matched funders.
  • Key Parts of a Grantmaker Profile (YouTube, 6:17 minutes, January 26, 2018).  Learn about the key sections and insights provided by FDO's Grantmaker Profiles.
  • Subject, Location, Grant Size, and Trends in FDO (YouTube, 4:56, minutes, January 26, 2018).  Assess if a funder is a good match based on its subject, location, and grant size trends over the last 5 years.

FDO Field Definitions.  Geared toward individual subscriptions, but still helpful for MSU's institution-wide interface.

Learn more about the Candid's Taxonomy:

Grants to Individuals Online. Detailed information on more than 10,000 foundations that give grants or scholarships to individuals. 

Candid Learning  (formerly GrantSpace). A portal to free information available from the Foundation Center sorted by subjects, skills, classroom, tools, blog. 

IssueLab. A searchable, browsable website sharing background, funding trends, and funders related to 30+ issues, including racial equity, race and policing, humanitarian and disaster relief (including COVID-19), LGBTQI, etc.

Nonprofit Startup Resources by State. Helpful resources for starting a nonprofit, such as checklists, nonprofit associations, legal support, and government agencies.

Philanthropy News Digest (PND).  A digest of philanthropy-related articles and features culled from print and electronic media outlets nationwide.  Includes a list of recent, searchable and subject-sorted RFPs by large national funders.

Ask the Online Librarian.  Want to tap the expertise of the Foundation Center staff?  Check out this page with answers to many questions, but also a link to a chat interface and an online form for submitting email questions.

Grants Librarians

Contact MSU Grants Librarian -

Ask a Librarian