There are lots of little known local private and family foundations. Some of these may still not have web sites that allow them to be found via a web search. You may well find it useful to search the local papers of individual cities and towns to track some of these down. Search the name of the town or city you’re interested in to find the online newspaper, or see the link to Wikipedia’s very extensive list of newspapers by state and city for a quick resource.
United States Newspapers by State
You will find an extensive list of newspapers by state and city see Wikipedia’s List of Newspapers in the United States. When you click on a newspaper name it will provide more detail about that publication. If you go to the bottom of the page you will find “External Links” which will include the home page of the newspaper. Follow that link to get to the newspaper and use the publications search function to find articles. Each paper varies in terms of what sorts of searches it allows for free.
Business Week: provides its articles online along with an extensive search function that goes back at least seven year.
Time Magazine: allow users to search apparently going back to 1923. Follow the link to the magazine and then look at the very small print in the upper left corner and click on the magnifying glass to enter your search term. You can also enter the specific time span you want to search.