Nonprofit organizations in the state of Ohio are eligible for grants from a number of sources, including independent grant-making foundations, the federal government and various branches of the Ohio state government. Grants are designed to help fund operational costs and community service initiatives. Three primary free grant assistance resources are available to Ohio-based nonprofit organizations looking for funding.

State Grants

The Ohio Arts Council provides grants to for-profit and nonprofit arts organizations that meet the Council’s Four Public Purposes of the Arts: defining national identity and American pluralism; positively impacting quality of life and economic growth; assisting with the formation of an educated and aware populace; and enhancing the lives of individuals. Nonprofits are also eligible for grants through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Lake Erie Commission and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Foundational Grants

Foundational grants are awarded by independent foundations. The Cleveland Foundation awards roughly $82.5 million in grants annually to nonprofits in the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga. Qualifying organizations are those that anticipate community needs, respond to ideas and proposals from the community or support the desires of grant donors. The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations that benefit Hancock County, Ohio, residents. The Stark County Foundation awards four grants to nonprofits of Stark County, Ohio. Two of these grants are discretionary; one is for children’s summer programs and one is reserved for neighborhood partnership initiatives.

Federal Grants

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio maintains an online resource of federal grants for Ohio organizations and individuals. Ohio-based nonprofit organizations are eligible for federal grants awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Commodity Food Distribution Network, Combined Federal Campaign Participation program, Save America's Treasures Grant Program, Department of Education and the department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships also awards grants to American nonprofit organizations in an effort to ensure those organizations understand their importance to the federal government.

Grant Assistance

Two grant assistance resources are available to Ohio nonprofits in addition to Sen. Brown’s online database. The office of David Yost, Ohio State Auditor as of 2011, maintains a database of federal and state grant-making agencies for which Ohio-based organizations and initials are eligible. The Ohio Grantmakers Forum is an online resource that monitors grant-making activities and opportunities in the state. The Forum lists programs and events, relevant jobs, public policy regarding grants and maintains a database of common grant forms that can be downloaded.