One of your resources for grant funding is foundation grants, so knowing a little about how they work and what gets funded can unlock a vast resource of grant money. We’re going to look at a representative sample of foundation funding. These figures are for what was given out in the United States in a recent year, but many of the categories are similar to the types of foundation grants that are available in other countries as well.

In just one year, foundations distributed over $20 billion to grant recipients. While it’s true that most of this went to other organizations, there are foundation grants available for individuals as well. You don’t need a very big piece of a $20 billion pie to make it still be worth your while. Let’s look at what the money went to, and you think of where you might be able to benefit, as many of my students have in the past.

About $2 billion in foundation grants were allocated to Arts and Culture, with subcategories including Media and Communications, Visual Arts, Architecture, Performing Arts, and Historic Preservation.

Education got over twice as much, with nearly $5 billion provided through foundation grants. This is an area where you or your kids would benefit more indirectly. Even if you don’t get money handed directly to you, better schools and learning materials will improve your educational experience. The way the education money was divided up was to Elementary and Secondary Schools, Vocational and Technical Training, Higher Education, Graduate and Professional Development, Adult and Continuing Education, Libraries, and Student Services.

Next, the category of Environment and Animals received about $1.3 billion worth of foundation grants, with the subcategories of the Environment, and Animals and Wildlife.

Healthcare was the recipient of around $4.5 billion in foundation grants. The specific categories that benefitted included Hospitals and Medical Care, Reproductive Health Care, Public Health, Medical Research, Mental Health, and Specific Diseases.

Human Services got about $3 billion of the overall amount of foundation grants. The areas of funding included Crime, Justice, and Legal Services; Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture; Housing and Shelter; Safety and Disaster Preparedness; Recreation and Sports; and Youth Development.

Next, the category of International Affairs, Development, Peace, and Human Rights (with no subcategories) had about $721 million of foundation grants.

About $2.5 billion was awarded for the category of Public Affairs/Society Benefit. The foundation grants were awarded for Civil Rights and Social Action; Community Improvement and Development; Philanthropy Voluntarism; and Public Affairs.

Then, there was $631 billion provided for Science and Technology. The foundation grants included funding for General Science, Physical Science, Technology, and Life Science The Social Sciences attracted $197 billion in foundation funding, with a portion for Social Science and Economics and some for Interdisciplinary usage.

Then, finally, over $413 million was provided in the category of Religion.

Foundation funding is provided for a large number of different categories, with each receiving a significant amount of money for individuals and organizations to use for improving many different areas of life.