There are many grant funding sources available to non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, but how do you determine which grant opportunities are the best to pursue?
We will explain how to find them here.
- Analyze what type of funding you need. Is your funding going to be for helping people weatherize their homes, shelter the homeless, or provide an after-school outreach program for kids, etc.? The discovery of your funding needs will be the ultimate motivator when it comes to researching your grant opportunities.
- Do a Google search for grant giving foundations in your geographic location. Often foundations will only give money to non-profits in their area. Determine if your organization fits within their priorities. For example, if you are planning to run an after-school outreach program for kids, then make sure that the foundation wants to give grants out to organizations that want to run such programs. Also, check to see what they don't fund. For example, many will not fund any type of debt, construction or funds to supplant programs. If you have any questions about the eligibility of your non-profit or you have any questions regarding the funding priorities, contact the grant program officer. That person is in charge of answering questions regarding the grant programs. See which grants are available to your organization and keep track of those that interest you. You should do this for steps two and three also.
- Search federal grants The Grants.gov website is your federal source for all grants made by federal agencies. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, you are eligible for a number of grants available from departments like the Department of: Health and Human Services, Education, Homeland Security and many, many more. The key to identifying these is to make sure that their "program focus" is similar to programs that you need funding for. If you have any questions regarding these, make sure that you contact the "program officer" for that particular grant.
- Search for state grants. State grants are a little harder to track down. Basically you will need to go to the state website and look at each of the individual web-pages for each department that you will be seeking grants from. For example, if you are looking for funding for a battered women's shelter, you will need to go the state Department of Health and Human Services. If you are looking for an after-school outreach program for kids, you will need to contact the state Department of Education.
- Contact a professional grant writer. Most people in need of grant funding do not have the experience required to develop a grant proposal that is likely to get awarded. You may need to seek out grant writers. A professional can provide invaluable service, or you can pick up crucial information by taking the appropriate classes - many of which can be found in online schools' human services departments.
Marissa Berg invites you to contact Resource Associates, one of the oldest and most distinguished grant writing firms in the country.
Marissa Berg, Outreach Manager Resource Associates: The Grant Experts