To get a grant from a private foundation, you should be a 501(c)3 organization. The number comes from the section of the Federal Code “Title 26, section 501, subsection c, paragraph 3″ that deals with the requirements for “tax-exempt” status. To qualify for this designation you must prove to the IRS that your organization will do things for the public good, and not for your own profit. You’ll need to fill out the relevant portions of IRS form 1023 found on http://www.irs.gov under forms and publications. Along with the form, there is a $750 non-refundable application fee, if your organization will make over $10,000, or $350 if making less than $10,000, Private foundations receive a tax break from the Federal government if they give at least 5% of their foundation grant money away every year, but only if they give to 501(c)3 organizations.