Grants are money you don’t have to pay back — but you must qualify and each grant opportunity has its own eligibility requirements. For example, nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations must have a Letter of Determination from the IRS that proves tax-exempt status. For-profit businesses can also apply for certain grants but only if they are eligible. Grants4Good LLC works with organizations to be sure they are ready and eligible to apply for grants.
Many people don’t know that grants can fund staff salaries, as well as equipment, office space, utilities, travel to meetings, and even new buildings. Sometimes grant funding can mean the difference between cutting staff and programs or achieving your mission with full capacity.
The IMPACT that grant funding can have on people and communities is tremendous! For example, through grants, organizations can help injured veterans, support artists, mentor kids, build homeless shelters, develop alternative energy sources, revitalize cities, and improve schools.
Grants come from various types of funders but can be divided into four broad categories: 1) private or independent foundations; 2) corporations, including corporate foundations and company giving programs; 3) community foundations, located throughout the United States; and, 4) government grants (federal, state and regional). Each of these types of funding sources have their own eligibility requirements, priority funding areas, and grant application requirements. Grants4Good LLC provides training sessions that show you how to find the best funders for your work and apply for grants.
There are approximately 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. who are eligible for grant funding. That’s a lot of competition. But there are also over 100,000 foundations in the U.S. that award grants AND many state and federal grant opportunities. The key to getting grant funding is to follow a proven step-by-step process that includes finding the best funders for your organization and submitting the most competitive and compelling grant proposal. Often, only the top 1-10% of all applicants for any given grant opportunity are funded. Grants4Good LLC will train your staff, board, or volunteers to maximize your chances of getting competitive grants.
Most grants are competitive in nature, meaning that for every time there is a funding opportunity, there will be many organizations applying for a limited amount of funding. For this reason, it is critical to stand out among the crowd. Here are four tips to get you started: 1) Read and adhere to the grant guidelines (or “directions”) very carefully; 2) Have a clear and solid project for which you can track measurable outcomes, because every funder wants to know, “what have you achieved with the funds?”, and “what has changed as a result of your work?”; 3) Be able to articulate your project in writing in such a way that the funder/reader can really picture what you will do and how; and 4) Be willing to spend time researching the funders that best fit your organization and project priorities.
A funder’s guidelines or Request for Proposals usually indicate when they will notify applicants of grant awards (or denials). Since every funder is a bit different, the time from grant application submission until notification varies. Usually foundations have the quickest notification periods of 3-6 months from application. Federal and State applications can vary from a month to over a year. This means it is very important to plan ahead when deciding to apply for grant funds.
There are several databases and web sites that are helpful for getting started in the competitive world of grant seeking. These include:
Training session are often the most cost-effective option for nonprofits and businesses new to grant development. Grants4Good LLC works with organizations to help them get more grants in less time through primarily through: 1) interactive training sessions, 2) individual and group consultations, and 3) high -quality products designed to streamline the grants process. See our services and contact us for a free phone consultation.
As a nationally-certified grant professional (GPC), Margit Brazda Poirier and her associates have helped hundreds of people successfully navigate the complex grant seeking process. The Return on Investment (ROI) for our clients tends to be in the 1:10 range. That is, for every dollar invested in our services, the organization can potentially receive 10 or more in return. After an initial free phone consultation, Grants4Good LLC will provide a written cost estimate, complete with deliverables and a time table, for consideration. Services are typically on a flat rate fee per project, on a retainer basis (e.g. reserve a set number of hours or projects per month for one year), or on occasion, on an hourly basis.
Grants4Good LLC adheres to the Grant Professional Association’s Code of Ethics and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Code of Ethical Standards. For this reason, payment for services is never based on a percentage of the client’s grant funds received or on a commission basis.