Grants Available to Nonprofit Organizations
Non Profit Organizations face two goals each year – how to get their funds and how to use those funds for their goals. Fund raising activities enable them to cover the costs of their programs and thus are the life’s blood to them. While there are activities ranging from selling cookies (Girl Scouts) to car washes (school sports teams and others), many depend largely on federal, state and private grants. So, how does one find grants available to nonprofit organizations? There are a number of online resources to assist nonprofit organizations:
- http://www.fundsnetservices.com/ This is a directory of both fundraising and grants that has been provided free of charge since 1996. It can be searched by category as well as viewing new additions. It provides lists of various foundations, fundraising programs, and reference materials and software.
- http://www.npguides.org/ This website assists nonprofits with the actual grant-writing tools. It provides tips, sample proposals and links to assist nonprofits in the grant process.
- http://www.grants.gov/index.jsp This site goes a step farther than some directory sites in that it also lets you apply for grants on their site. It also lets you search for Recovery Act Opportunities. Searches on this site can be done by category, by agency, or through a more advanced search using instrument type, eligibility and sub-agency inputs. After applying you can track your application. The site also includes a number of resources for applicants.
- Some sites are state specific, such as LANO: The Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. Their website www.lano.org includes more than just grant information, but is a great resource for starting up a nonprofit , finding funding sources that are national, regional, state and local.
- An in-depth look at nonprofit reports, in-depth tools, and a wide variety of resources for nonprofits can be found at GuideStar.org. While much of their site is free, a monthly or annual subscription is needed for their premium access.
- Grant writing is a talent – it needs to be done correctly to affect the necessary result of being accepted. There are many courses, websites, and so forth to assist the nonprofit in grant proposal writing. One source is About.com http://nonprofit.about.com/
- Another source for assisting nonprofit organizations is http://www.nonprofitexpert.com which includes various training webinars and video series, as well as links to federal grant databases.
There are many different types of grants; project, formula, categorical, block and earmark grants each provide funds in different ways. Some are awarded competitively while others are dictated by law. Some can only be spent for a specific purpose while others are more flexible. It is important to apply for those that will meet the needs of your organization.