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Project: Find potential sources of funding


Project: Find potential sources of funding

Funding--the universal challenge. Finding a source for it can depend on how much you need, and how much you need depends on what you want to do. At this stage, you might not know how much money you need, but you can start looking around for people and organizations who could help!

Identify funding partners
Role who does itFounding Team, especially Treasurer and PR Officer

Funding can come from a variety of people and organizations including:

  • Foundations
  • Individual and group donors
  • Corporate sponsors
  • Economic development groups that work with your city, including both government and corporate groups (try starting with business improvement districts and community development corporations)

Think broadly about what your space will have to offer the community and the different reasons why various groups might want to support those efforts. (For example, people focused on business development might appreciate the opportunity for the development of skilled labor to fill local jobs, while the arts community would care more about providing a place for people to be creative together.)

Look for people and organizations in your community who want to help grow the arts and/or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Go to your local university or library and do some research--some libraries have a grants section for searching for non-profit foundations that can support you.

You might also find individuals who have contributed to the improvement of the city in the past. Who is the library named after? Sometimes these individuals have a foundation that can help.

Your local utility, internet provider, and tool shop / hardware store might also be a funding partner. They might not give you money, but they might give you in-kind services or a donation of services/equipment.

Wealthy individuals with a passion for creativity and making might be willing to make large individual contributions to support the space as well.

Estimated Time1-2 months
Level of EffortHard: requires research, interviews, and observations
Create a list of funding sources
Role who does itFounding Team, especially Treasurer and PR Officer

Create a shared document containing a list of possible funding sources. Ask everyone on your Founding Team to brainstorm possible donors and investors.

Typical fields on this spreadsheet for donors might include:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Who contacts them (who can reach the person most directly)
  • What's the likelihood of them giving?
  • How much can we ask for?
  • What have they given to in the past?

It will probably help to include separate tabs for different types of funding such as grants, individuals donors, corporate sponsorships, and so on, since the type of information you would track for each of these differs. 

While the Treasurer, PR Officer, or some other individual interested in fundraising may take the primary lead on researching funding sources, a shared list will allow all members of the founding group to add new ideas or leads as they come up. Don't let ideas or information fall through the cracks!

Estimated Time1 hour
Level of EffortEasy


Need help?


The notebook section provides a way for you to store and share information with your group members. With the book feature you can:

  • Add book pages and organize them hierarchically into different books.
  • Attach files to pages to share them with others.
  • Track changes that others have made and revert changes as necessary.
  • Archive books that are no longer of interest to the group. Archived books can be reactivated later if needed.