Looking for research or nonprofit grants? Henry Madden Library has a database

Fresno State librarian Jane Magee shows resources to attendees at a July 19 workshop. Magee was part of a team presenting on a new funding database that is now available to faculty, students and the community at the Henry Madden Library (photo courtesy of the Henry Madden Library).

Henry Madden Library patrons now have access to the Foundation Grants for Individuals database. According to librarian Britt Foster, the database links users “to tens of thousands of funding opportunities.”

The database was unveiled at a training seminar library staff held for nonprofit groups on July 19. Foster says the Fresno State library is now one of three local points of access to the Funding Information Network (FIN). The other two are the central headquarters of the Fresno County Public Library and the regional foundation office in Northwest Fresno.

Foster says the database identifies scholarship and fellowship funding opportunities for faculty and students.

“This is a good source for students searching for funding to continue their graduate education,” Foster said. “Faculty can use the database to find money for research.”

She says local nonprofit organizations will find the database especially useful in identifying funding.

“There are so many organizations out there that fund nonprofits. Many of them are very targeted in what they fund,” Foster said. “The database will help nonprofits locate potential funding sources that are specific to what they do.”

Library communications assistant Jessica Piffero explained that the process of finding funding for nonprofits can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack because there’s so much out there.

“Nonprofits don’t have the resources or the time to search,” she said.

Currently, users must be within the Henry Madden Library in order to access the database. It can be accessed, Foster says, by going to the database link on the library homepage and then clicking on the A-Z List link. She adds there are three research guides she has compiled available online.

The guides are: “Funding Sources for Graduate and Undergraduate Students”; “Grant Seeking and Proposal Background Resources”; and “Grants, Funding and Foundation Center Resources”. They are online under the Grants & Foundations tab on the research guides webpage, Foster says.

Foster says the best way to find items in the database is by using the advanced search tool.

“The standard search function has its limitations, but users can tailor the details of their search by using advanced search, instead, she said.” She  adds users can find sources of non-monetary assistance in the database, too.

Foster says the library offers workshops to students in using the database in partnership with the county library system. She says those workshops usually happen every spring.

She said they focus on how graduate students can find study support dollars. She says the library also will do on-demand workshops on specific topics, adding that, as an example, she’s currently developing a workshop series on homelessness and food security. There are also plans to go out to different areas on the Fresno State campus with tailored workshops over the next year.

The library plans to have the database available to “any Fresno State affiliated patron (students, staff, and faculty) with access to the Fresno State network from on or off campus by the beginning of fall semester,” Piffero says.

Foster and Piffero say there are many other library resources available to the public.

“We’re open to the community, so people can come in and use the book collections and our reference and online resources,” they said. “Many of our online resources are available to off-campus users, like the aerial and mapping tool. People come in to use our special collections to do family and historical research.”

Editor’s Note: This story was updated from its earlier version to reflect new information.

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