Non-profit organizations and charities both rely heavily on grants to help pay for the costs of upkeep, events, and day to day functioning. If you are a part of a charity or non-profit but have never applied for a grant before, the task can seem a little daunting! Read on to learn helpful tips that you can put into practice the next time you apply for a grant.
Determine Your Eligibility
If you are not able to receive a grant, there is no reason to apply for it, so the most important first step you can take in your search is to simply determine whether or not your company is eligible for a particular source of funding. You must know the type of charity or non-profit you run, and you must choose whether or not to apply as an individual or as the company itself. If you do not have this information, you cannot get very far in the application process! Your company might be listed as an educational, government, or public housing organization, or it might simply fall under the non-profit umbrella term. Different funding is available in different categories.
Understand The Steps
Funding opportunity announcements are released regularly from grant-making agencies that are looking to back non-profits. When you find a funding opportunity announcement that you seem to be eligible for, locate the application and gather your information. Register to apply through a grant venue, and wait for your registration to process. This step is crucial, and must be completed before you can apply to the grant itself.
Research The Grant-Making Agency
The agency that is offering the grant will have a web site that is full of useful information to help you understand what it does and why it is interested in backing a non-profit. Knowing what the agency focuses on and cares about will help you write a custom-tailored proposal that is sure to impress those who have the final vote on the grant’s recipient.
Fill Out The Application
Realize that you might have a lot of competition for certain grants, so your application’s professional nature and complete information will be deciding factors in the final decision. It is necessary to have a full-scale concept of what your organization is and where it is going before you ever begin the application process. You will need to write a detailed proposal, which showcases your ideas and explains what your company does, as well as how the grant money can help improve its functionality. The more specific you can be, the better! Do not simply say that you need the money to pay for expenses and upkeep. Talk instead about how the funding will help you grow toward your ultimate goal. This is also a good time to restate the grant-making agency’s goals and policies as they relate to your non-profit.
After you complete the application, submit it and be patient. The screening process may take a long time, but you will eventually find out if your application made it to the final assessment, and if your non-profit was selected as the recipient.