How to Find Grants for Genealogy Research Projects

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

Grants for genealogy projects are not easy to come by. However, researching and selling your ancestry projects ideas may lead you to some of the genealogy grant opportunities available. You can also create new opportunities by identifying private foundations and presenting your ancestry project. There are individual philanthropists and other private associations willing to fund genealogy research projects.

Step 1

Identify the type of genealogy research projects you want to undertake. Projects can be large scale and performed by professional ancestry research organizations or small individualized work. The smaller projects can include: creating and maintaining an ancestry Internet site, writing a family history newsletter and forming a genealogy club. You may want to focus on specific ethic origin studies or on general family history research.

Step 2

Join a national or a local genealogical society to find grants. There are a number of genealogy associations, such as the National Genealogical Society. Also, some states and cities have one or more genealogy societies and foundations. Look for society listings on the Internet. By joining one of these societies a researcher can network, learn about ancestry research and identify sources of funding.

Step 3

Prepare a letter of inquiry to solicit genealogy research grants. This letter should be a well-prepared description of your genealogy projects, outlining the benefits of your research. Generally, people searching for grants use a two-page letter of inquiry stating how much money they are soliciting. Send this letter to a contact person in each foundation you identify for genealogy grants.

Step 4

Contact individual philanthropists to find genealogy research grants. There are philanthropists that have a lot of interest in ancestry research and they provide small funding opportunities for professional and amateur genealogists.

Step 5

Identify family foundations and other private organizations to request genealogy grants. Look for foundations of famous family names such as Ford, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Getty, Carnegie and others. Read philanthropist publications to find some of the famous and not-so-famous family foundations.

Step 6

Look for foundations representing ethic groups to identify potential grant opportunities. By focusing your genealogy research on specific groups, you can search for grants from the associations representing them.