A nonprofit grant is a sum of money you need not pay back and is often free from tax. Typically, nonprofit startup grants are given to those with projects that benefit the community, are socially motivated, or are innovative. Nonprofit grants often come from charitable trusts and the public sector. They also come from foundations and businesses in the form of small business grants. The variety of funding sources translates into a variety of ways to apply for nonprofit grants.
What Are Grants For Nonprofits
Nonprofit grants are tax-free sums of money offered without any expectation of repayment. When you see the term, “Grants for nonprofit organizations,” you may misinterpret its meaning. Said nonprofit grants are often given to charitable organizations, but you do not have to be a charity in order to receive one. You simply cannot use the money to fund or partially fund a profit-making venture.
When you receive a charitable grant, then you must put that money towards a project hosted and controlled by a charity. On the other hand, there are charities that may offer grants to nonprofit ventures, and those may also be defined as charitable grants.
A fundraising grant is similar to most other nonprofit grants. But, where others may be to fund nonprofit startups, or nonprofit projects, a fundraising grant must have a specific purpose, and the money must be spent only on that purpose.
Who Can Apply for Nonprofit Grants
Anybody can apply for things like nonprofit startup and nonprofit grants, just like anybody can apply for small business grants. The real question is, who is eligible for it, and that is a trickier question.
For starters, there are some companies, foundations, etc., who demand that you are set up as or are setting up as a charity. However, most programs do not require 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to be eligible. The variety of eligibility requirements is almost as diverse as the companies, foundations, and organizations that issue them. There are so many organizations offering nonprofit grants that you are likely to find dozens for which you are eligible.
Finding The Right Nonprofit Grants Program
Finding your nonprofit grant is not as easy as searching the first page of Google. Start with Google, and follow links from authority websites, forums, and even from social media if it is relevant. There are several directories with links to organizations that offer such programs.
Federal Nonprofit Grant Funding Programs
The biggest and most authoritative source for this is the “Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)”. Though beware when trying to access it because there are many faux links out there to scammer sites. Be very careful which links you trust.
- Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grants – This is just one example of a federal nonprofit grant created to help companies, organizations, and charities deal with mental health issues more professionally.
Non-Federal Grant Programs
These nonprofit grants programs are all over the internet and include personal foundations where wealthy people give away money to needy or worthy causes. The Foundation Center is a Nonprofit organization in the USA that helps people find non-federal programs. This organization claims that 90% of US foundations do not have websites.
- Existential Hope Grants – This is just one example of a non-federal program that helps people develop eco-friendly or eco-changing technology.
Nonprofit Grants Writing Tips
When you write your proposal, keep it simple, be honest, and note the risks to the project. Make sure you’re eligible and highlight the purpose of your project or organization.
Review The Requirements
When you apply for your nonprofit grants, make sure you review the requirements to find out if you actually qualify. You need to make sure that the program itself is a good fit and your organization is eligible.
Each issuer has its own rules, terms, and conditions, and many of them apply after the grant is given. You need to be sure that you can abide by whatever requirements are stipulated.
Tell A Story
You are not dealing with an algorithm. You are dealing with humans who have a very strong interest in where the money goes. Telling a story with your proposal may help humanize your cause. Making your cause/organization look less like another by-the-numbers cause, and more like something that can make an impact. This is especially true if you are trying to innovate in some way and have no other sources of funds.
Get Straight To The Point
The most grating part of any proposal or application is the lead-up to the request. People feel like they need to sell an idea with showmanship and all forms of marketing bluster. Do not do this. Instead, keep it simple, and do not be afraid to be direct.
Cover The Important Factors
Each project has its own ideas about important factors. Where the money goes, what it does, and why, are very important factors. The risks to your project are also important.
Being unique doesn’t mean being different. It doesn’t mean green hair and saluting hello. It means be yourself and show the unique nature of your organization. What makes you and your project different from all the others? How do you intend to be different from the others?
Make An Impact
What impact do you intend to make? Can you demonstrate that with your proposal? Have you already made an impact to prove you can do it? Does your application and proposal have an impact on the reader when it is read? All of these are important questions to ask yourself.
Is your project sustainable without further funding? How will you raise money in the future? Is this a one-off deal? Does your project have a future? How will you ensure that future? Will your project have a sustainable eco influence? Answer these questions in your application and proposal.
Hire A Professional Writer
If you are having trouble making your case, getting your application right, or making your proposal, then hire a professional writer. A professional writer will help you with your nonprofit startup grants applications and proposals. This is important if you are struggling to make an impact with your proposal. It is also helpful if there are sticking points with your application that you cannot resolve.
Quick Summary Of What We Have Learned So Far
You don’t have to be a registered charity in order to apply for nonprofit grants. In fact, sometimes it is charities themselves that offer it. You also do not have to pay back the money, but some people choose to reinvest back to the grant-giver after the successful completion of their project.
You are able to make a profit on your new business venture if you wish. In most cases, it is understood that profits are reinvested into your cause. You will be required to return the money if you convert your project into a full-time profit-making business.