Charity Grants for Individuals

Updated March 23, 2017

According to the Foundation Center, foundations award most grants to non-profit organisations. Grants for individuals are limited and usually involve a highly competitive process, whether the source is a foundation or a government agency. Grants for individuals may support research, artistic projects, professional development or assistance with personal needs. Providers of grants to individuals usually require submission of supporting documents that prove financial need, merit or talent.

Literature Fellowships for Creative Writing

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provides fellowship grants to published writers of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. The grants support travel, research, writing and career advancement. The NEA awards the fellowships on a two-year cycle: prose in one year and poetry in the next year. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet publication requirements. Applicants must register with to apply. Applications are due to the NEA no later than 10 days before the application deadline. Applicants who cannot submit applications electronically may apply in writing for a waiver to this requirement.

National Endowment for the Arts

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20506


Modest Needs Grants

Modest Needs is a non-profit organisation that operates in the U.S. and its territories, as well as in Canada. Modest Needs provides four grants for normally self-sufficient individuals or families who experience an unanticipated crisis or emergency, the resolution of which will allow them to maintain financial stability. The grants are paid directly to creditors for one-time or short-term expenses. Grants include the Self-Sufficiency Grant for emergencies; the Independent Living Grant for disabled persons who cannot work; and the Bridge and New Employment Grants for those who are unemployed due to layoffs or disasters. Grant amounts are limited to the greater of £650 or 7.5 per cent of the applicant's household income. Modest Needs provides grant applications on its website.

Modest Needs Foundation

115 E. 30th Street, FL 1

New York, NY 10016


The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award

National Grid awards the £6,500 Samuel Huntington Public Service Award annually to one or two graduating college seniors who plan to begin a one-year public service project after graduation. Eligible applicants must attend a U.S. college or university; however, there is no requirement for U.S. citizenship. Applicants must submit a public service proposal for an activity that furthers the public good in any country. Projects may be undertaken as solo activities or in partnership with charitable or governmental agencies. National Grid provides an application on its website. Applications must include a resume, college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a proposal and budget. The application deadline is in January.

National Grid

40 Sylvan Road

Waltham, MA 02451


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About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.