Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Find Grant Opportunities

Every leader, employee, board member and volunteer with a nonprofit, tax exempt, nongovernmental organization is looking for grants. This Blog post will give you e-newsletters and two Twitter accounts where you can receive grant and scholarship information daily or weekly at no cost.

There are thousands of local, state, regional and national foundations and corporations that accept grant proposals. But each has its own requirements, process, mission, eligibility, forms, reporting and accountability standards. The Foundation Center and others have large data bases that are for sale.  But there are source to find grant opportunities that cost nothing. There are e-newsletters and Twitter messages available to keep you up to date on many grant possibilities.  How do you keep up with Federal sources of grants? Again there are free e-newsletters available.

You should also be alert to your state or province government and local foundations that provide grants. Your local United Way or similar organization may have information they are willing to share.  

The most difficult process to secure funding for nonprofits is through the grant writing activity. Folks starting out should first have in place a resource development plan that includes grant seeking and also, fund (friend-) raising, use of social media, events, capital funding, social enterprise (not for everyone), volunteers, collect dues, user fees, contracts for service, sell products, equipment donations and so on.  

The place to start seeking grants is in your local delivery area, town, city, county, parish, province, state. Developing relationships and friends is absolutely critical, not only for fundraising but also for securing grants and finding leads to sources of funding. Making friends and developing contacts takes work by the board, volunteers and staff.  The organization has to develop spheres of influence among its supporters, people who share the organization’s mission, activities and values.   

There are a number of places to find information easily and on the cheap...no money. There are a number of e-mail notices about grants which I am listing here. One source of grant funds is corporate giving such as grocery chains, utility companies, pharmaceutical companies, national products and others. I have not found any common source for that information. It takes digging.

Corporations are more likely to give to programs that are in their community, an office, manufacturing plant, research and development center, any physical presence. A corporation is even more likely to provide support if an employee volunteers or serves on the board of the organization.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in Third World countries should see where there are international companies, offices, excavation, mining, research and development, manufacturing, security and so on. They may provide support, not always money, for the project that matches up with their business model. I am sensitive to the fact that many international companies can be the source of problems in Third World countries.  I have seen, however, some international companies not only from the US but also Sweden, Norway, Australia, India provide help to NGOs and provide help for individual children in need of serious medical attention when referred by a NGO.

Program precedes money. Planning precedes program. You start by doing something toward your mission. There are no funders sitting around looking for people to fund. They rarely fund start-ups. They are looking for organizations that meet THEIR mission and requirements. See

For daily, instant and timely grant notices you can follow me on Twitter, @dgriesmann  

For daily scholarship information opportunities, follow @ScholarshipsGL on Twitter  

Federal grant notices by agency, a hit-and-miss proposition but absolutely valuable - http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp   

Federal Register Table of Contents published daily - Lengthy listing of the Federal government at work, meeting announcements, and publications about rules and so on. This used to be the only place to find grants but not any longer. Still, I have found grants through this source not listed elsewhere. It will take about 1-3 minutes to scan the Table of Contents, click on Online mailing list archives,   http://listserv.access.gpo.gov/

GrantsAlert.com for education grants from Joseph B Mizereck and Associates Inc also features fellowships and awards for educators http://www.grantsalert.com/  

FundingAlert from the Washington DC Mayor's Office of Partnerships, small number of listings, mostly Federal but I have found some gems here http://opgs.dc.gov/opgd/cwp/view,a,1318,q,587660,opgdNav,%7C34802%7C.asp

GrantStation through their Insider newsletter or multiple sources, small number of listings but very helpful with descriptions, deadlines and links, http://www.grantstation.com/
Youth Service America, sign up for newsletters, http://ysa.org/about 
National Human Services Assembly, sign up for newsletter, http://nassembly.org/
Capital Venture from Linda Lysakowski http://www.cvfundraising.com/

Miami-Dade Grant Opportunities newsletter, an excellent source with brief descriptions, deadlines and links by categories http://miamidade.gov/wps/portal/Main/grantsmembers

Foundation Center PND RFP Bulletin http://foundationcenter.org/newsletters/

For international grants:

UK Office for Civil Society Funding Central newsletter , create a profile and subscribe to the newsletter “Reminders of approaching deadlines ” or one  that interests you,  http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/profile.aspx 

Are you sure your organization is ready to receive and appropriately account for the assistance from a grant? Before you say “Yes”, please read this 

One Phase of Nonprofit Organizational Readiness for Grant Funding – Recordkeeping  


smartchoicehub.com said...

Thanks Don. I am working on a program to sset up similar links for local grant opportunities in my country

Don Griesmann said...

smartchoicehub.com, I wish you well, Don

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