How do I Apply for a Non-Profit Grant?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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There are many different charitable foundations and corporations that will sometimes provide grant funding to non-profit organizations. For many organizations, non-profit grant funding is a primary source of income. Various regional and local entities set aside money specifically to support non-profit organizations. This type of funding is known as a non-profit grant. Applying for a non-profit grant can sometimes seem like a daunting task, however with adequate planning and proper attention to detail you can be successful. As a general rule, you should take the following steps when applying for a non-profit grant.

The first step you should take when applying for a non-profit grant is to determine your eligibility. In some locations, corporations and charitable foundations will only award grants to organizations with certain tax-exempt classifications as defined by regional laws. This requirement helps to determine which organizations abide by regulations governing non-profit institutions.

The next step in applying for a non-profit grant is to identify a potential grantor. There are a variety of different ways to locate charitable foundations, corporations and individuals that provide funds to support non-profit organizations. Local libraries as well as resources on the Internet offer a vast collection of information for locating potential sources of funding. In addition, some grantors publish requests for proposals in order to notify non-profit organizations of specific plans to donate funds.


Next, you should carefully review the foundation or corporation’s funding guidelines. Many times a charitable foundation will issue guidelines detailing what types of programs, projects, and organizations they are willing to fund. These guidelines typically outline what monetary amounts may be requested along with application deadlines, and the date by which applicants can expect to be notified of an acceptance or rejection. Giving careful attention to these funding guidelines will usually determine if the foundation or corporation is a good match for your organization.

Once you have determined a foundation's or corporation’s specific requirements for awarding a non-profit grant, you should be better able to submit a successful application. One possible way to improve your chances of receiving a grant is to try to find common ground between the philosophy of your organization and that of the grantor’s. It can sometimes be helpful if the language used in your application is similar to the language used in the grantor’s funding guidelines.

Probably the most important step in applying for a non-profit grant is to follow the instructions that are provided with the actual grant application. As a general rule, you should avoid providing either too much or too little information to the potential grantor. Following the directions exactly should provide the grantor with all the information that is needed to make a decision about funding your non-profit organization.


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