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Grants: How do you find them?

This image of cold hard cash kind of sums it up for finding grants: Show me the money! Right? Unfortunately trying to find grants isn’t as easy as you think. We work with nonprofit clients to help them with their grant compliance – that tends to be all the stuff that comes after you find grants to apply for and are awarded the funds (aka: the post-award phase or after-the-award). But a lot of clients (especially emerging organizations) want to know how to find grants in the first place. So what follows are our top 5 ideas for where start the quest.

  • Federal grants are easy to look up. At grants.gov there are millions of federal grants awarded every year from dozens of agencies. Using this site to find grants (of course) is FREE.
  • GrantStation has a comprehensive search to find grants from foundation, state, federal, Canadian and international grantmakers. Pretty snazzy, but you have to pay a pretty hefty membership fee. Worth it if you really work it.
  • The Foundation Center has a very nice search tool to help you find grants from 90,000+ foundation funders. TIP: Enter a * for the name and then any state to see a list of funders in your state. They also provide an RFP search and 990 look up service. All FREE.
  • Use your target market to find grants. If your organization serves seniors, then seek out funders who are interested in seniors (i.e. hearing aid company foundations, AARP, etc.). Then research the heck out of them. Most funders have a website. Find their proposal requirements and learn about their values. It’s not rocket science but you’d be surprised to see how many organizations don’t take time to think about where their demographics overlap with potential funders’. And really get specific, if your organization’s mission is to help children of color with asthma, then narrow your focus to funders who also care about healthcare for minority children – not just children in general. Zero in on the funders with the highest value alignment. Later you can move further from the core of the target.
  • Look at how peer organizations find grants. Check out your like-missioned counterparts. Where do they find grants? These are folks you can partner with – get to know them! Or at least read their annual reports, press releases and websites. You can learn a lot.

This list isn’t an exhaustive on how to find grants. Have a great resource? Send us an email and we’ll post an update!

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