Rivernorth Guide to Online Funding Directories

In recent years there has been a surge in the number of online grants directories. To help you decide which services to use here is the Rivernorth guide to some of the main providers. Clicking on the preview will take you to the website concerned. If you know of other directories worth featuring please use our contact form to tell us about them. We would also be pleased to receive any comments about these services.



Preview by Thumbshots.com Website - http://www.fundinginformation.org

Costs - Try before you buy gives 2 free logins, then Professional service, 2 users £300.00 plus VAT
The Professional Plus access for up to 8 users and costs £550.00 plus VAT, for groups with an income of less than £50,000 reduced subscription rate of £100.00 plus VAT.

Launched in 1998 Fundinginformation.org was one of the very first online funding information services. It is not a grant directory as such, but a comprehensive funding bulletin updated several times a week. User friendly interface includes new trusts section listing new entries in the Charity Commission database, also a political and economic trends section and an archive of past entries stretching back over 2 years. Well researched and accurate. There is plenty of other useful and informative fundraising information on the site. A good tool to have in your funding toolbox if you can afford it! Why not give the free trial a whirl? 


Funding Scotland

Preview by Thumbshots.com  Website http://www.fundingscotland.com (re-launched November 2014)

Cost - Free

Funding Scotland was originally launched in April 2011 however after showing promise it closed in 2012; it has now been relaunched by Scottish Council for Voluntary Service (SCVO). It hold over 800 records of interest to Scottish groups. The interface is clear and easy to use. Search results are a bit weak at present, but hopefully they will improve as the site develops.


Funding Central

Preview by Thumbshots.com website http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk

Cost - Free

Funding Central is an extensive searchable database containing over 4,000 sources of local, national and european funding. It is heavily resourced by the Cabinet Office and is probably the best free source of funding information for groups in England and Wales. It will not bring up results for Scottish based charities, but you can still use the service in a less area specific fashion. It has an extensive range of filters, possibly too many, making the user interface a little exhausting to get to grips with! Has a good range of features including funding bulletins, deadline information and email alerts.


Grantmakers Online

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website www.grantmakersonline.com

Cost - Free

Now here is a very exciting new initiative from the fundraiser services provider Chapel and York. Grantmakers Online is a free and interactive grants directory, where the users can create, amend and comment on the content. You can also post questions and share your fundraising experiences. Sign up for a free account and you can access the easy to use database which currently includes over 6,000 entries of grant-makers from around the world who have websites in English and who make grants either nationally or internationally. Grantmakers Online describes itself as a 'philanthropic community, powered by its users who can share what they know and benefit from other people’s sharing'. This is a unique project and is in beta test version at present, but we urge you to have a look and get involved. Obviously it is reliant on user generated content so if people don't get involved it wont fulfil its exciting potential. Currently there are lots of dead links to funders websites on the site but hopefully this will improve as time goes on.



Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.grantsnet.co.uk/

Cost - Free (note also currently offline - awaiting re-launch !)

Sometimes less is more and Grantsnet applies this principle to its funding directory. This does not mean less funding sources, (the database of funders is very large with over 2,800 sources) but rather less detail as results are paired down to only essential basics avoiding the danger of trying to provide too much information which could go out of date. The Grantsnet interface is beautifully simple and straightforward to use and produces plenty of easily scrollable and helpful results. This service delivers information not only on a wide range of well known national and european funders, but also on the more hidden trusts usually only found by delving into the Charity Commission, OSCR or Guidestar listings. You can also sign up for email alert bulletins. An excellent free tool!


Green Communities

Preview by Thumbshots.com

Cost - free

Provided by the Energy Saving Trust, Green Communities is a database containing over 150 funders who might support green, renewable or energy saving projects. Easy to use and free, but we found the results are not as useful as we might have hoped. As interest in green projects grows there certainly seems room in the market for someone to compile a robust, online, green funding directory.


Green Grants Machine

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website - http://www.greengrantsmachine.co.uk

Cost - Free

Provided free by Idox information services this website holds details of over 350 funding sources to help charities and businesses 'go green'. There is a simple and accurate search facility where you can search under categories such as 'use renewables' or 'use resources more efficiently' or ' low carbon transport' . There is considerable detail provided about each funding scheme including application deadlines.



Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.j4bcommunity.co.uk

Cost- Limited Free service with access to search, then subscription service from £49.99.

This website is provided by the Idox group who supply software and information to UK local government, private, voluntary and charitable sectors in the UK, mainland Europe and US. they also produce the Grantfinder database which is in use in many local authorities and voluntary sector agencies. The free service gives you access to a basic search facility which trawls through 3,000+ trusts in the database. Searches provide long lists which need to be sifted through to find relevant information. The subscription service provides a more detailed results section. The interface and results section has a distinct feel of the Trustfunding website (see below) about it. You probably don't need both !



Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.trustfunding.org.uk

Costs - Free very basic interactive demo.
Various rates charities - 1 week access £99 +vat, 1 year -1 user £250 + vat , 1 year 2-5 users £345+vat.

The Directory of Social change has a strong reputation in the grants directory world and produces a huge range of online and offline information. Trustfunding has a huge database with over 4,400 funding sources and includes details on application procedures, grant making guidelines, previous beneficiaries, income, assets and grant distribution, beneficial area and causes supported. However, with so much detail information can go quickly out of date and could be misleading if you don't double check it with the grant provider concerned. With free services such as Funding Central, Grantsnet and Fundingscotland on the scene will Trustfunding continue to occupy a place in fundraiser's hearts? Certainly Trustfunding is the most expensive directory tool featured here and has the most limited free trial. We see a new pricing option of £99+vat for one week access is now being offered. Is this value when a whole year is only £250? You decide! 



Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.grantsonline.org.uk

Costs - Free 7 day trial, 1 month £25.00 + vat, 3 months £60 + vat, 6 months £99 + vat,1 year £175 + vat

Grants Online has one of the smoothest user interfaces we have tried. Clear and  easy to use, results well presented for quick scanning. Features include simple keyword search, search by countries, geographic region / type of funder or category. We particularly liked the grant mind maps which seem to be unique to this site ! You won’t find some of the more hidden funders here i.e. those without websites or who only appear in OSCR / Charity Commission listings and this is a disadvantage. Good range of sensible pricing options however.


Turn 2 Us

Preview by Thumbshots.com website http://www.turn2us.org.uk

Cost - Free

Funded by the Charity Elizabeth Finn Care, Turn 2 Us holds a database of over 3,500 charitable funds offering welfare and educational grants. It is essentially aimed at individuals so the search facility is not geared for groups. There is no reason why groups can't use the database as many of the charities listed will also give to groups. Results are presented in a clear and easy to access format.


Heritage Link

Website http.//www.heritagelink.org.uk/fundingdirectory/main/search.php

Cost - Free

If you are looking for funding for a heritage based project this specialist directory lists over 170 sources of potential funding. It includes details of the majority of substantive sources of funding from central and local government, non-governmental agencies and grant-making trusts which specialise in supporting heritage projects, as well as many which provide such funding within a wider remit. The interface is straightforward to use and results well presented.


Funds For Historic Buildings

Preview by Thumbshots.com website http://www.fundsforhistoricbuildings.org.uk/

Cost - free

If you are specifically looking for a grant to fund a heritage building project this website lists over 180 sources of potential funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert for a new use any historic building in the United Kingdom (excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). The site is aimed at properties which are listed, scheduled or in a conservation area and of acknowledged historic merit. It includes details of virtually all substantive funding sources which specialise in historic buildings, as well as many (including a variety of regeneration programmes) which provide funding for historic building projects within a wider remit.


Rivernorth FundLink

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website www. http://www.rivernorth.co.uk/fundlink.html

Cost - Free

This is our own directory of funders websites. Currently contains over 500 listings of funding bodies in the UK, with one-click links to their websites. Each trust is described in one short sentence with keywords linking to main priorities. The directory is presented as a simple scrollable list. The directory is continually updated and growing in size.



Africa Grant Makers

Preview by Thumbshots.com   Website - http://www.africagrantmakers.org

Cost - free

This is a very small directory, but specific to grant makers who support activities in a range of African countries and in a variety of thematic areas, some of which are cross-cutting and do not fit within any one specific program area. There is a basic search feature and basic information on each grant maker.


Foundation Directory Online

Preview by Thumbshots.com  Website http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/

Cost - five subscription plans from $19-$195 dollars per month.

Heavyweight US based service featuring over 100,000 U.S. foundations and corporate donors, over 2.4 million recent grants, and over half a million key decision makers. Up to nine comprehensive databases — Grantmakers, Companies, Grants, and 990s, plus five unique databases covering RFPs, philanthropy news, foundation-sponsored publications, nonprofit literature and jobs. Up to 54 search fields including keyword searching. Interactive maps and charts. There are also a number of free services on here which can be used for tracking down US funders who have given grants overseas!



Terra Viva Grants Directory

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website - http://www.terravivagrants.org

Cost - Free

The Terra Viva Grants Directory provides information about international grant funding for agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources in the developing world. Grant makers included in the Terra Viva Grants Directory range from funders of community projects to funders of science and research. The directory includes international grant making organisations based in Western Europe and North America but also includes relevant grant makers located in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and elsewhere.


Archive of closed services

Access Funds

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.access-funds.co.uk/ ( note - website off line at present, we don't know why as yet!)

Cost - Free 7 day trial then; Voluntary/Community Group - £50 per annum first member from organisation Business/Statutory Organisation - £60 first member from organisation.

Access funds is run by the charity London Access Trust. It has a free trial service and the subscription cost is low. The interface offers a good range of filters and an easily scrollable results list. Additional email alert system and funding bulleting for subscribers. Search results generated were useful although too much information on each grant provider means there is some out of date information and links in the results.You won’t find many of the more hidden funders here i.e. those without websites or who only appear in OSCR / Charity Commission listings. The service is likely to struggle to compete with some of the more powerful free services listed below.


Funder Finder - now closed

Preview by Thumbshots.com Website http://www.funderfinder.org.uk/ ( Now closed )

Cost - 24hour access to the online Groups in Need database £10.00.

Funderfinder is a small national charity which has been operating since 1991. Since that time it has offered a superb, simple piece of software which has helped thousands of charities find funds. With over 4,000 entries, its database is large and straightforward to use. Entries are short avoiding the problems of out of date information. A search will provide access to information and grant making practices for almost every UK charitable trust and foundation, even those that don't post primary information directly on the internet. There is also a separate Person's in Need database.

Unfortunately, from reading their last annual report we can see Funderfinder is struggling to make ends meet and is facing the prospect of closure. Access this excellent service while you still can! 

UPDATE - Sadly funderfinder closed it doors in JULY 2011, but you may still find copies of its software floating about here and there, it's still really useful so grab one if you can!   




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