Sometimes grant writing can seem like a daunting task.
Should our organization start grant writing?
Where do I even get started?
How do I find grants?
There are so many questions and concerns that you might have, but, luckily, grant writing isn’t as hard or confusing as it sounds.
Today I am going to focus on one grant writing question that I receive A LOT:
“Where do I look for grants when we are just starting out?” and “How do I find grants?”
Okay, first things first: let’s talk about a few different classifications of grants.
There are three main classifications of who we will call grantors (or, who you are looking to receive money from). There are Foundation Grants, Federal Grants, and Business/Corporation Grants.
Foundation grants are grants received from private foundations (hence the name). A foundation grant will typically be relatively small.
The most common amount of money that I see with any given foundation grant is around $2,000 to $12,000. There are also foundation grants out there that range from $50 to $80,000 or more.
The application process for foundation grants will vary depending on the foundation, since each foundation will set up their own grant application and guidelines. That being said, they are going to be much smaller applications than a federal grant.
Federal grants are grants received from the federal government. (There are also state grants that you can apply for through your local government entities.) These grants can be very large, but they are also a LOT of work.
Generally a foundation grant can take you anywhere from a couple of hours to write, to a couple of weeks. A federal grant, on the other hand, will probably take a minimum of 180 hours to complete (not including all of the followup information you will have to report if you receive the grant).
A typical federal grant will range upwards of $50,000. That is a lot of money, but because of that, there will also be a LOT of stipulations with it. The government will require reports on where the money is going.
Business Grants are somewhere in between foundation grants and federal grants. There are some business grants that are really large and involve a lot of work. On the other hand, there are some business grants that are really small and the application is relatively easy.
Okay, now that we have a basic knowledge of the kinds of grantors out there, lets talk about a few places that you can look for grant applications.
Places to Find Foundation Grants
If you’ve read some of my other articles, you’ll know that I am a strong advocate of guidestar.org. Here is a link to another article where I talk about how to use Guidestar to find grants.
- Personal connections
There foundations that accept grant applications in almost every community around the United States. So, get out there and get to know the people in your community.
Places to Find Federal Grants
This is a website that requires you to register in order to see the grant applications. It is an enormous database of federal grants.
This is another website to find federal grant applications.
Places to Find Business Grants
- Local business websites (or stop on in!)
You might not even be aware that some of your local businesses offer grant opportunities. For instance, my dad is a lawyer and even he has a grant! Start researching the businesses in your area and make some connections!
- National business websites
A lot of national businesses have grant opportunities either through their business or connected to a foundation they run. Once again, just start doing some research and find out which national businesses have grant opportunities.
There you have it! There are six places to start looking for grant applications.