Getting Started

How to Research Funders

Important Note: Please check the list of UVA’s Priority Foundations and contact The Corporate and Foundation Relations Office, [email protected] before pursuing or contacting any of the listed foundations.  Relationships with these funders are controlled by the Office of the President and/or Foundation Relations, and you must get prior approval before initiating contact with these funders.


To find potential foundation and government funders, including those who fund by invitation only:


Tips/Important Things to Know:

  • Before you begin your search, identify themes and key phrases/words you could envision being in a short summary paragraph related to your project.
  • Be creative and play around with the tool. Some funders may use slightly different language than a grant-seeker might use concerning a particular topic. 
  • Pay attention to funding restrictions (for example, a foundation might provide funds for arts programming, but not towards capital building or renovation costs for a space in which arts programming might occur). 
  • Check foundation websites where available. Some profiles are more detailed than others, as the information is primarily self-reported and updated, and many foundations have very basic criteria and funding interests, while others have a wider range of established program interests.


For specific guidance on how to search for potential foundation funders for a given project or funding priority, check the following pages linked below.