By and large, governmental entities and private foundations do not make grants to for-profit enterprises. There are only a limited number of financial grants for specific business purposes offered through federal, state or local governments. The available grants are for such funding uses as research, industrial road access or grants to non-profit organizations to provide assistance to small businesses. Foundations typically fund nonprofit organizations that qualify for public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. These are organizations whose purposes are charitable, educational, scientific, religious, literary, or cultural.

There are an overwhelming number of web sites that claim to provide information on grant opportunities. Be very cautious of web sites that require costly, annual subscriptions and promise to guarantee grant money to their subscribers. Some of the more reputable web sites that can help you search for the limited grant opportunities that may be available are listed below.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides access to a database of all federal programs available to state and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.

The Foundation Center provides information on private corporate foundations that offer funding opportunities. Major corporations such as Ford, Pespi and Target provide grants to private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals for a wide variety of community oriented projects.

The Small Business Administration website provides a list of links to individual government agencies that may provide grant opportunities.