Your organization has a dream project in mind and needs funding to make it come to reality. Now you might be wondering where to begin searching for grant funding to support your project. With the internet at our fingertips, there are hundreds of places to look, but only a few effective resources available to identify the grants we need.
Here are some tips to consider as you prep for your next big grant search:
1. Start where you are. Dust off those old digital files and review your organization's previous grant applications. Has your organization successfully secured grants in the past? If so, take note of them and reapply for the same grants. Making an effort to secure recurring dollars will save you time and energy in your grant-funding search.
2. Connect with your board. Ask the board for their ideas about the type of grants to search for. Ask them about potential funders and connections. You never know what connections they might have that could lead to your next big grant win. You don't have to do it alone and collaboration is key in this process!
3. Connect with volunteers and corporate relationships. Can you think of any current or former volunteers and corporate relationships that could lead to grant funding that aligns with your organization's needs? Consider who your volunteers are associated with. Use your network to your advantage and reach out to your connections to see if they have potential leads. A brief email or a LinkedIn message to your contact can do the trick.
4. Use free resources. Although there are abundant free online resources available for grant searching, not all resources are created equally. For example, there are currently no known online resources available that filters grants. Below are a couple of popular grant funding resources to consider:
ProPublica: an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. ProPublica is a fantastic resource for grant research as it offers the best public information available about 990s and how to read them.
Candid: Candid is a subscription-based tool that shows you where the money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Candid's data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world.
5. Learn to navigate the 990: Form 990 is a United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization. A 990 can be easy to navigate once you know what to look for. Read this article to help you demystify and clarify a 990 form. On the form, we encourage you to pay close attention to Pages 6-7 (foundation officer names and contact information), page 10 (application instructions), and page 11 (previous grants given, how much we can apply for, who they like funding).
The resources above are excellent tools to consider in your grant searching process. However, free grant funding search tools only take you so far and subscription-based tools can be highly costly. The advantage of working with a grant writing consultant is getting access to subscription-based filtering systems. Bloom Grant Consulting has access to grant searching tools like Inside Philanthropy, Foundation Directory Online (Candid), and GrantStation. With these tools, we can identify and prepare grant applications with you and support your organization throughout the application process.
Complete our interest form to schedule an introductory chat and tell us about your grant searching and writing needs. We'd love to support you!
Jacquee + Alex | Grant Writers at Bloom Grant Consulting
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