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What is a Grant vs. a Sponsorship?


Grants vs. Sponsorships

What is a grant and how is it different from a sponsorship? Read on to learn all about grants and sponsorships and what they each have in common and what they do not.


You are likely reading this post because you want to maintain a robust budget for your nonprofit and you know how important it is for your organization to maintain several sources of income to support the sustainability and long-term impact of your nonprofit. This is where grants and sponsorships can support your budget needs, and as a result, attract more funders!


So, what exactly is the difference between a sponsorship and a grant? 🤔


Sponsorship: A sponsorship is an exchange for goods or services (e.g., sponsorship funding can be exchanged for visibility via social media) and does not have any impact or performance measures. Sponsorship dollars come from marketing departments and are more flexible in nature than grant applications. Corporate foundations tend to be sponsors and the initiatives that they fund tend to be smaller investments. Bloom does not provide a sponsorship strategy but often supports clients with sponsorship applications.


Grants: A grant is a quantity of money given by the government, a foundation or charity, or a person for a specific purpose (e.g., for research, general operating, and capacity-building needs). These agencies typically have the resources to fund initiatives at a national level but do not have the human capital, relationships, and understanding of the problems at a local level to take on initiatives directly. Additionally, unlike a loan, you do not have to pay back grant money; a grant is like a gift. Bloom provides a suite of services, resources, and coaching to clients to search for and help win grants.


Both Sponsorships and Grants:

  • require a relationship in place and a clear ask;

  • require deliverables (but look different for Grants vs Sponsorships).


Grants and sponsorships venn diagram


Still feeling unsure about which one to go for? Let's review these scenarios:


Scenario 1: Your nonprofit needs funding for a fundraising event that is coming up within the next couple of months. Apply for a Sponsorship.


Scenario 2: Your nonprofit wants to design and execute a long-term program with performance measures and impact at the forefront. Apply for a Grant.


Do you need support with researching funders for your nonprofit? We'd love to help! Complete our Interest Form to schedule an introductory chat and tell us about your organization's needs.

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