How do I locate funding to support my family-based/family engagement initiative(s)?

October 28, 2016

After deciding on how to support parent engagement at your school, the next step is to identify how you will fund it. Here is a short list of databases that will help you to identify both private and public funding sources for your family engagement initiatives:


There are many sources of monies from departments, offices, bureaus and centers at the federal level. For instance, the U.S. Department of Education confers Title 1 funds and Investing in Innovation (i3) grants that can be used to fund school-sponsored programs like FAST®. Numerous specialized programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Safe Schools/Healthy Students, are administered through agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal Sources that have funded FAST® Implementation:

  • Promise Neighborhood Grant
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • United States Department of Education
  • Safe Schools/ Healthy Students Grant
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant
  • Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
  • Connected Youth Grant
  • Strengthening Families Grant

The following databases can help you to search for available federal grants:

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (Free Access)

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is a government-wide compendium of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public. It contains financial and non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the Federal government. (Free Access)

This site includes grant opportunities notices posted in the most recent seven days, links to grant application packages, and resources such as proposal writing information.


Organizations can gain support for FAST at the state level through grants and programs administered through departments focused on education, health, or human resources; offices for children and families; child welfare funds; foster care block grants; and other funds focused on children’s well-being.

Example State-level Funding Sources:

  • Texas Department of State Health Service
  • Department of Children and Families (DCF)

Example State-level Funding Databases:

  • (Free Access) Start here for links (organized by topic) to state government, education, business, and other information resources, with its links to city, county, and local government and community web sites in Wisconsin.


Support for FAST Programs can be found throughout county and municipal governments. Sources include city or county health departments, juvenile departments and youth bureaus, parenting funds, child and family services, drug prevention and treatment agencies, and mental health commissions.

Municipal/County & School District Funding Examples:

  • County Mental Health
  • City of San Antonio
  • City of Jackson-Community Development Block Grant
  • San Antonio Independent School District
  • Clinton Elementary School Counseling Program

Example Municipal Grant Database:

    The Municipal Grant Finder provides a central location to learn about state grant opportunities for cities and towns, regardless of which state agency manages a grant program.


Private, community and corporate foundations are the source of billions of dollars annually. Many focus on solutions to specific problems or challenges, others prefer to support causes located in communities where the organization has a physical presence, such as their headquarters, manufacturing plant or a retail location.

Example foundations that have funded FAST:

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Duke Endowment Fund Grant
  • Local Investment Commission (LINC)
  • Humana Foundation
  • Madison Community Foundation
  • Allergan Foundation

Private Giving Databases:

  • Foundation Directory Online (Restricted access, available at public libraries) An online database from the Foundation Center, the nation’s leading authority on philanthropy, grants and giving. Includes information on over 100,000 private and corporate foundations, direct corporate givers, and grant-making public charities.
  • Philanthropy In/Sight (Restricted Access, available at public libraries) Combines the Foundation Center’s grant data and Google maps. Users can create maps that reveal patterns of giving and funding relationships, and can overlay grant data with demographic, socioeconomic, and other data sets.

Databases for Private and Government Giving:

  • COS Pivot (Restricted Access, available at public libraries) Offers up-to-date and complete descriptions private and federal funding sources. Great for grants outside of the sciences too!
  • GrantSelect (Restricted Access, available at public libraries) Provides information on over 14,000 grants available to both individuals and organizations from 5,900 federal, state, and local governments, commercial organizations, associations, and private foundations.


An umbrella organization is an association of (often related, industry-specific) institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources.

Umbrella Funding Sources:

  • United Way: FAST providers have received funding from a multitude of different United Way operations across the country.


Many providers of FAST are able to secure in-kind donations by working with local businesses to secure support to fund program materials as well as resources for the family meal.

Other Funding Resources: