Start Here


The Fundraising Process: Follow the links to the right.
Are you ready to seek funding? Whether you're a nonprofit or an individual, start here to learn the ropes.


What do you need funding for? Questions you need to ask before you begin researching funders: What kind of need do you have? What will the money be used for? What are the various kinds of funding?


Understanding the funding mix. Various kinds of funders and which ones are best for different kinds of funding.


Researching potential funding sources and donors. Where to look for information on potential sources, who gives money to what organizations, how much to ask for, finding guidelines, and deadlines.


Making contact with donors. Preparing a proposal, building relationships with funders, the Chicago Area Grant Application, following up.


Donors Forum tools and resources. The Donors Forum Library, joining the Donors Forum, workshops and Fundraising and Management Workshops, online tools, publications, glossary.


Our Funders
Donors Forum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Polk Bros. Foundation and the Illinois State Library. Their generous grants made this Grantseekers Toolbox possible.


Using Grantseekers Toolbox
If you are new at fundraising, we recommend that begin with the first link on the right-hand navitation area on this page, and cover each step. If you have experience already, go directly to the sections where you need more information.


Donors Forum Can Help
Donors Forum is here to help you navigate the fundraising process. With our Library and Philanthropy Centers, databases (links on the right), and nonprofit workshops (link on the left), we can help you prepare to be in the strongest position possible.


To get the highest level of service, we recommend that you join Donors Forum as a Forum Partner and take advantage of the many benefits Partnership offers.