Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Using Google to Find Grants, Part II

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 14:01 PM / by Katie Adams

use google to find grants resized 600Our clients frequently ask us for suggestions on where to find relevant grants.  If you have a specific funding need in mind, a targeted grant search by can be a wonderful investment (especially if your time is limited). However, if you’re looking to simply get a clearer picture of the types of opportunities available, a well-conducted Google search could also be helpful.


Three Ways to Improve Your Google Grant Search:

  • Include the year

The rule that “once it is online, it is online forever” often applies to grant announcements and grant applications as well.  In fact, I’ve had the misfortune of reading through half a booklet of grant guidelines before I realized the RFP was for the previous year and the application deadline had already passed! By including the current year in your keyword phrase (or the coming year, depending on when you plan to apply), you’ll help target your grant search results to upcoming opportunities only.

  • Be specific with your keyword phrase

Many grant-making organizations are very specific in regards to whom and what they will fund. When conducting a Google search to find grants, use keywords that are specific to your field, needs, and location. You won’t get as many results, but hopefully the ones you do receive will be targeted to your needs.

For instance, consider the difference between searching for “grants for educational nonprofits” and “grants for capacity building, educational nonprofits, Illinois 2012.” With the second search phrase, you won’t get as many Google results, but you’ll also bypass outdated RFPs and unrelated grant opportunities.

  • Utilize Google Alerts

New grant announcements are made daily and sometimes the application window is short (about 30 days). To help ensure that you don’t miss a funding opportunity, have Google Alerts monitor the Internet for you. In case you’re unfamiliar with Google Alerts, it lets you automate a Google search and will email you the search results.

  • The Limits of Google

While these Google search tips will make your grant search more effective, there are limits to using Google to conduct all of your fundraising research.  Finding grants via Google will take more staff time than a professional-conducted grant search (done across multiple grant databases), and because not all foundations are designed with Google use in mind, there’s no guarantee you’ll find the best grant matches for your organization.

A Grant Funding Opportunity Search, conducted by, is an affordable option for many organizations and a worthy investment. We guarantee at least 5 different vetted grant opportunities, and we provide them along with our professional recommendation regarding which to pursue first and how to move forward. If you’d like more information or are interested in scheduling your search today, contact Katie at

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Topics: great resources, grant research tips

Katie Adams

Written by Katie Adams

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