Credit: Ale Cretul (Redstart), John Jewitt, Enoch Pratt

The task of searching for grants for your non-profit can seem daunting, but when you know where to look and have some incredible free resources at your disposal, the research process becomes less stressful and more organized.

Here in Baltimore, The Enoch Pratt Free Library has a Grants Collection which contains over 500 books, databases, newspapers and magazines on grants and non-profit organizations. The Grants Collection is located in the Social Science and History Department of the Central Library at 400 Cathedral Street. You’ll find a vast amount of how-to and subjects guides to help you during the process. Just some of the subjects include: funding for artists, board development, budgets, fundraising, grants seeking and grant writing, nonprofit management, special events, strategic plans, volunteer management, 990 and 990-PF forms.

To reserve a 2 hour appointment on the Grants computer, simply call (410) 396-5321 up to a week ahead of time. You will be able to receive an orientation to the database and the grants collection upon arrival.

During your time on the Grants computer, you will be able to search the Foundation Directory database, which includes over 108,000 foundations, corporate giving programs and grantmaking public charities in the U.S. You are permitted to use a flash drive to save records and search results for your own purposes. You can also print out results (5 pages free per day, 10¢ per page after that) or export to an Excel spreadsheet.

You will also be able to browse some insightful non-profit books during your time at the Grants Collection. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Creating Your Strategic Plan, John Bryson
  2. Board Steps: The Framework for Effective Non-Profit Governance, Joann Burstein
  3. Nonprofit Management 101, Darian Hayman
  4. Starting & Managing a Non-Profit Organization, Bruce Hopkins
  5. Nonprofit Kit for Dummies, Stan Hutton
  6. The Nonprofit Business Plan, David LaPiana

The Enoch Pratt Library also has a wealth of free resources on their website for non-profits that you can access now: