Grant funding: Where to Start Looking

We don't all get to be ALS Association this year. 

We don’t all get to be ALS Association this year. 

Obtaining grant money is among the holiest of grails in nonprofit fundraising. From the outside, it seems so easy, you have a great cause, dedicated people and firm ideas how about to make a difference. Now all you need is the money to get your plans underway.

Fundraising is tough and so competitive these days, having a large company provide funds you don’t have to pay back is a fabulous idea. It looks like a win-win; you receive much needed funds while the donor firm gets some positive karma, enhanced reputation and some good marketing publicity for its community support. However, as with many things, it is not quite as easy as all that.

Below are some areas where you can begin to look for organizations that do provide grant funding for nonprofits like yours.

Where To Look?

National:

There are professionals who spend all day looking for granting opportunities, it can be a full time job; a good place to start looking is at large national firms operating in your area.

For example, Bank of America is pretty much everywhere.

This link is shows what type of funding they provide:

http://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/global-impact/find-grants-sponsorships.html?cm_mmc=EBZ-CorpRep-_-vanity-_-EE01LT0021_Vanity_foundation-_-Enterprise&template=fd_localgrants#fbid=VzHJxpFIUUY

Here are their eligibility requirements:

 http://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/global-impact/eligibility-criteria.html#fbid=VzHJxpFIUUY

Regional:

 BJ’s Wholesale club has a good program, if your business is among these 15 states:

Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Hampshire

New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Virginia

 

Here is the link to their program, be sure to take a look at the lists of previous grant recipients to see who and what type of programs they have funded.

 http://www.bjs.com/bjs-charitable-foundation.content.about_charitable.A.about_community2

Local:

Kroger Grocery Stores  (I live in Southern California, so there are Kroger stores near me, check here http://www.thekrogerco.com/about-kroger for stores near you)

Here is the link to their requirements and the open application procedure:

http://www.thekrogerco.com/corpnews/documents/foundguide.pdf

 

A few tips as you start

First: it is crucial to find a donor source whose funding goals parallel the kind of community work you do. Use language in your narrative that reflects your understanding of how your mission and goals mirror theirs.

Second: read the instructions, twice, before completing the application and attaching all the required associated information at the required time.

This can include:

·         board of director’s listing and program staff information,

·         overall organizational budget,  and the specific project budget and,

·         how you plan to evaluate your success and your plans for reporting this information.

Putting all these moving parts together to create a compelling application requires close attention to detail. This is one time to be sure all spelling and grammar are perfect; the sentences are clear and short.  This is also a good time to be sure you ask at least one other set of eyes to review the entire package to make sure the application looks as good as the information you include in it.

Last Words 

Read the instructions carefully: include what is required, leave out what is not. Notice deadlines and communication rules. Follow them, exactly. 

It may take some time and a few repeated applications to win a grant, and it is worth the effort to pursue them. Know that nothing is guaranteed, don’t plan on winning a grant to fund a program. Funders often look to see that you have other contributors and options for your program and they will not be the sole supporter.

Need to talk about this a little before wading in?  Give us a call  310 828 6979 or drop a question in the mail   clauren@lauren@laurenassociates.com. Good luck!

 

image credit: http://www.inventions-handbook.com/images/inventionsfunding.jpg