What are funding agencies? (with photos)

Private foundations and other funding agencies often contribute programs designed to help poor families become self-reliant.

Funding agencies are organizations that provide grants, scholarships or other forms of support to programs, projects and individuals in a specific area. Funding agencies can be non-profit organizations, private foundations or government agencies. The objective of a funding agency is usually to promote excellence or stimulate interest in a particular subject, such as alternative energy, the environment, social works or medical innovations. Finding appropriate funding agencies for a specific project is usually easily done through a simple Internet search; many websites provide extensive lists of funding possibilities by subject.

Funding agencies can focus on providing adequate shelter for people living in poverty.

The type of funding an agency provides depends largely on its stated goals and missions. Many non-profit organizations and private foundations offer scholarships, which provide funding for students. Scholarships can be based on individual merit, financial need, excellence in a specific field, or personal characteristics. In some cases, foundations may provide scholarships to students of a particular ethnic, national or religious background, or to those who have no representation in the academic world. Scholarships from funding agencies may be available to students at a particular educational institution or may be open to any student at a particular level of education, such as high school graduates.

Funding agencies can promote health programs for specific groups.

Funding agencies can also be geared towards promoting studies, innovation or excellence in a specific area. Grants are often given to groups or individuals who can demonstrate a need for funding for a project in line with the objectives of the specific funding group. A foundation dedicated to gang prevention and awareness, for example, might offer a grant to a local group that wants to create after-school programs for at-risk high school students. A nonprofit with a mission to eliminate cancer can provide funding for a medical clinic that wants to offer free cervical and breast cancer screenings to women in poor areas. Likewise, the same organization can provide funding for a medical team that wants to conduct research on a new cancer drug.

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Funding agencies may provide funding to medical clinics that want to offer free breast cancer screening to women in a certain area.

Governments often act as huge funding agencies, providing funding for projects and initiatives in dozens of areas that can benefit the region or even the country as a whole. To find information on funding possibilities, check with any government department that seems closely related to a specific project’s objectives. An initiative to create jobs to provide environmental cleanup on lands around American Indian reservations, for example, may be able to apply for funding in the United States from the Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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