The Foundation Center

| September 22, 2010

Credit: Andrew Magill

At one time the penniless grad student seemed a very romantic portrait.  But now, those visions of waxing intellectual  whilst donning your thick-rimmed glasses and smoking Gauloise cigarettes in your professor’s weekly salon has been replaced by smelly, scary subway riders, a travel mug full of cheap coffee and a roommate who gives lectures on the terrors of bedbugs.  What is the penniless grad student to do?

There are a number of grants out there for the plain ol’ grad student or the grad student researcher that can help to cover project costs, rent and more. In this series, Show Me the Money, we will highlight for you some options for grant money – from financing your education to jump-starting your project with seed money. Today we take a look at The Foundation Center.

The Foundation Center is the one-stop-shop for the newbie or veteran grant researcher. As a newbie, it is easiest to use if you know the name of the funder, otherwise you might end up sifting through a lot of listings. A subscription will get you a more detailed search.  At $19.95 a month it is not a bargain, but definitely worth splitting with a few friends. The site is not only home to search features, but also announces requests for proposals (RFPs) and news from the foundation world.

Not feeling the Internet? The Foundation Center’s offices are open to visitors (79 5th Avenue at 17th Street). The Center’s library is free and hosts big binders chock full of foundation asset information, including IRS 990 forms, grant application procedures and other information. If you are lucky, you might stop by on a day when the Center is hosting one of its free workshops. Topics range from proposal writing to grantseeking basics. Why not check out Finding Foundation Support For Your Education?

Make your stop on a Thursday and afterwards grab some fresh fruit and veggies from the Union Square Greenmarket. See, here at the library we try to nourish your mind and your body. You’re welcome!