Find The Next Grant For Your Nonprofit Through One Of These 7 Resources
It’s certainly not uncommon for nonprofits to struggle with funding, but grants can help alleviate woes in that department. In fact, grants are one of the best tools nonprofits can employ to build their funding profiles. It’s hard to argue with free money!
However, it isn’t always easy to find a grant that matches up with your organization’s specific mission. Don’t waste your time trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. At Merchant Maverick, we’ve spent hours researching nonprofit grants so you don’t have to. Hopefully, this post will provide a huge jump-start to your grant-hunting process.
Read on through to find out where to look for your next nonprofit grant!
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How To Find Grants For Your Nonprofit
Nonprofit grants aren’t exactly quick to spot, but there are still plenty around if you know where to look. This list primarily covers online sources, but it doesn’t hurt to ask around with those you know in-person.
Note that in some cases, grants are specific to only certain industries. This means that your organization won’t qualify for every grant out there. However, with the right amount of research and dedication, you still should be able to find someone willing to help you out!
All told, you’ll want to find grant organizations that align with your mission and care about the public you serve. Additionally, it may be helpful to focus on local funders (or if you find a funder outside your area, it may help if they’ve already funded organizations within your local community).
When it comes to grants, keep a realistic mindset. Grants may be able to help out a bit when it comes to funding, but don’t expect grants to singularly solve your organization’s funding situation. On top of that, grants aren’t always easy to land. In many cases, you’ll be competing against numerous other organizations for a limited number of slots.
7 Places To Look For For Nonprofit Grants
We’ve combed through the web to come up with seven of our favorite places to find nonprofit grants. Check out our selection below:
This federally-run online database is a great option for US-based nonprofits. There are many wide-ranging grants listed in the Grants.gov database. Grants here focus on a variety of categories, including health, education, income security, nutrition, and more.
Grants.gov is free to use and also offers an app for both the iOS and Google Play app stores. You can additionally sign up for the service’s daily or weekly mailing list to get frequent updates on government grants.
2) Local Resources
Many state and city governments offer grants for local nonprofits. To track down these grants, you should start by looking on your local government’s website. If that fails, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to the appropriate government branch for your organization’s industry to see if they offer grants.
Additionally, you may be able to find local associations made up of grant funders. Finding such an association could be quite beneficial because these funders may be more eager to work with nearby organizations.
Sometimes, local governments or funder associations will only have grants available in a select few industries, while others may have a wider range. The grants that are available to you will depend on your location.
Recently founded after the Foundation Center and GuideStar merged, Candid offers a free database with access to over 100,000 US-based funders through its Foundation Directory Online Quick Start. If you need deeper coverage, Candid also provides paid plans that include more in-depth funder profiles, as wells as recipient details and info on key decision-makers.
Like Grants.org, Candid offers an email news digest. You can sign-up on Candid’s website and get several newsletters delivered to your email inbox weekly.
4) Grant Gopher
Grant Gopher is another grantmaker database. Its free plan allows for basic searching of US-located funders, while paid plans allow for more robust search tools and email alerts.
This service is overall simple and easy-to-use. However, do note that you’ll need to register for a (free) account before you start searching the Gran Gopher database.
Our third general grantmaker aggregation engine on this list, GrantWatch allows users to search for funders that match with their needs. Unlike the above two aggregators, however, this database requires a paid plan to do even a basic search (pricing starts at $18 a week with discounts if you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually).
This service digs up grants that fit community-based and faith-based organizations, hospitals, government agencies, research institutions, schools, and universities. There are also some grants available for small businesses and individuals.
Using Google — or your favorite search engine — could be another great way to find grants in your industry. By simply searching for your industry’s name plus “grants” (and possibly also your local city’s or state’s name), you may be able to find a plethora of grants that aren’t easily accessible in the other databases listed here.
It’s also worth noting that Google enables you to receive email alerts about the search topic of your choosing. All you need to do is head over to Google Alerts, plug your desired search string into the text box, and press “Create Alert”. You can choose to receive alerts as-they-happen, up to once a day, or up to once a week.
7) Your Board Members
It never hurts to ask your board members if they know of any available grants. It’s possible some may be connected with an appropriate funding source and could make an introduction.
To start this process, you’ll want to attend a board meeting and inform the members that you’re looking for grants that closely match up with your organization’s mission. Be sure to inquire if they have any potential contacts, from family foundations to corporate foundations to other funders that could help the organization out.
Hopefully, this list can get you started on the search for your nonprofit’s next grant. As mentioned above, finding the perfect grant may not solve your organization’s funding situation, but it can still help out your bottom line. By utilizing the above tools, you should be able to come up with at least a few solutions for your organization to target.
Comment below if you know of more grant-finding resources worth sharing. Or, if you want to learn more about grants, check out this article on startup grants, or this one on small business grants.