Before we provide you with some resources for grants for nonprofit organizations, it is very important that you know for sure that your organization is a nonprofit. A nonprofit organization in United States means that it does charitable work for the community, and it is registered with the State government and is exempted by the IRS tax.
It is a common assumption that getting a grant is easy for an organization, as long as they are a nonprofit organization. This is a wrong assumption, because you are competing with thousands other nonprofit organizations across the country to get the free financial funding. You need to invest a significant amount of thought, time, and effort in order to raise your chance of success.
In general, most of the grant providers are focused on a specific type of organization. For example, some grant providers will only provides the grant for environmental type nonprofit organizations, some provides support for educational program development, while some other provides grants for nonprofits that focus on a specific population i.e. children or women.
Preparing the nonprofit organization
The first and foremost requirement to get a grant for nonprofit organization is to prove that both your organization and work is needed by the community. You need to explain about the existing problems that need to be fixed, and why your organization method will work. Your organization should be healthy and is properly formed. For example, the organization should have appropriate tax status, capable management, fundraising plan, accounting systems, etc.
Finding Grants for Nonprofit Organizations
As we have mentioned earlier, grant providers vary greatly. You need to determine which category your organization fall into, judging from the funding needs and project goals. In general, there are two sectors offering grants; which are:
Looking for a grant from government agencies is pretty simple and straightforward. All you have to do is to make a call to the possible local agencies that is related to your project and ask whether they are currently opening grant opportunities or not. Check three governmental levels for this kind of opportunities. It is common that besides the Federal grant program, there are additional grant program in State and/or Local government, so you should get in touch with them too.
More information can be obtained from:
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance – List of US Government benefit programs, including grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations
- Grants.gov is also a good source for federal grant opportunities for nonprofit organization.
- USA.gov for Nonprofits, by the U.S. General Services Administration is a good source of information for federal grants for nonprofit organization, families, personal, etc.
Foundations and corporations
There are thousands of foundations and corporations across the United States. Some of them offer grant programs, while some other don’t. How to find grants for nonprofit organizations from that huge list? There are several ways you can find possible grant opportunities from these foundations and corporations.
- First, you should pay a visit to the Foundation Directory Online Professional Covers. This directory lists more than 120k foundations and corporate giving programs in US.
- Second, try to go to Grantmakers’ association, which is a good source for grant providers
- Alternatively, you can hit Google and look for information from there.
Remember to take your time in writing the proposal. A successful grant is often started with a good grant proposal for nonprofit organizations.