Applying for Grants


Applying for Grants

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Grants are non-repayable funds or products given by one party (such as a government agency, corporation, foundation or trust) to another party (often a non-profit organization or individual). Most grants are made to fund a specific project or initiative and require some level of compliance and reporting. 

In order to receive a grant, some form of application is usually required. This involves submitting a proposal to a potential funder, either on the applicant's own initiative or in response to a Request for Proposals from the funder. 

Here are some things to keep in mind: 

Know Your “Ask” - Before completing a grant application, know exactly the issue/goal for which you are seeking a grant, and what you are specifically asking for from the grantor (the entity that would provide the grant). Your grant proposal should include details about your objectives, project mission, budget, and a plan for sustainability. Also, include why it’s important to your community. The grantor may not know anything about your community, its needs or the project. Provide as much information about your community and the intended project as possible. When your application is evaluated, you want the grantor to feel your passion and the needs of your community. 

  • Clearly state the objective 
  • Detail the vision and mission of your project 
  • Describe how the benefits from this project will impact the community 
  • A picture is worth a thousand words - include images 
  • Include any documents/information that would support the need for the project

Networking Helps! – Networking is about connecting people, ideas, resources, and opportunities. Develop relationships with grant agencies. Communicate with them about your community periodically, even when you are not in the process of submitting an application. This may help you learn about future funding prospects, as well as increase your chances for a successful proposal. 

  • Attend events hosted by the grantor 
  • If possible, invite the grantor to your community 
  • Social Media and technology are great resources for networking

Seek to Find - Research grant opportunities. Most companies and organizations list grant information on their websites. Consider the following types of funding sources: 

  • Private Foundations 
  • Individual Donors 
  • Corporations 
  • Non-Profit Agencies 
  • Government Agencies (federal, state, and local)

Consider Your Source - Make sure the proposed project is in-line with the funding agency’s overall philosophy and or products. Asking a company that manufactures guns to sponsor a Stop Gun Violence rally make not be a good fit. Here are some additional items to consider: 

  • Timeline for submission 
  • Restrictions 
  • Size of grants offered 
  • Eligibility requirements 
  • Read the fine print

Keep at It –The grantor may ask for additional information. Be positive. Respond thoroughly and promptly. Securing a grant make take several attempts. Don’t be discouraged. 

Did you know? 

  • You can apply for grants from multiple agencies at the same time for the same project. 
  • Colleges, universities, and non-profits may be able to assist you with the grant-application process. 
  • You may be permitted to collaborate with other entities/groups when applying for a grant. 
  • Sometimes grant agencies require their grant recipients to have tax-exempt status or be a registered non-profit. 
  • Grant compliance and reporting requirements vary depending upon the type of grant and funding agency.