Recommended Sources for Grants
You have identified a need in your community, designed an action plan and are now in need of a grant to augment your budget. The question is, where should you look to for grants ? Funders come from different sources and frequently disburse money based on their interests. Generally, grants can be obtained through Foundations, Businesses, Federal Grants and State and City Grants.
There are different types of foundations in existence and familiarizing one's self with them will contribute to a smooth grant application process. Some of these foundations include Family Foundations, Independent Private Foundations , Federated Funds , Corporate Foundations and Community Foundations. The main differences between these foundations lies in the way the foundations are run and in their interests. For instance, a pharmaceutical company's foundation may be channeled towards non-profits addressing malnutrition in children.
Business entities tend to fulfill their corporate business responsibilities through the award of grants to non-profits. Also, different businesses have different frameworks or structures that guides their funding activities. A multinational business entity will generally disburse funds differently than a micro business would. In addition, larger businesses generally fund large non-profits with a history of successful fund raising and implementation of projects. They(larger businesses) also have internal departments tasked with decisions regarding their philanthropic endeavors.
Federal grants are awarded with the goal of discharging a public good. Some non-profits bulk at the thought of applying for federal grants due to factors such as extensive reporting requirements. Yet, it is a great source of funding that shouldn't be overlooked. Some of the benefits of applying for federal grants lies in the fact that the funds offered tend to be substantial and stable. Also, non-profits tend to earn a degree of credibility when federal grants are listed as part of their funding sources.
State and City Grants:
Typically, these types of grants are smaller than federal grants and less demanding. Also, the application period tends to be less stringent. Some of the projects that typically get funded include projects that improve the lives of people residing within the state's/city's area of jurisdiction. This essentially means that so far as your non-profit has identified a need in the community and has proposed a project that can effectively address the problem, you are eligible for a grant from your state or city. It also pays to keep elected officials of your state or city informed about the activities that your non-profit organizes and engages in.
Familiarizing yourself with the various grant giving entities (Foundations, Businesses, Federal Grants, State and City Grants) is a key step in ensuring the delivery of proposals to relevant funders. This leads to a smooth grant seeking process and an increased likelihood of success.
Written By Sherita N Brace
Sherita N Brace is an International Development Professional and a Blogger. She serves as a Consultant to non-profits and provides grant writing services, program planning services and communications services.