Grants sometimes make up the backbone of nonprofit funding, especially for newer organizations that don't yet have their own sources of support. The Internet has created new grant opportunities that make a nonprofit organization's development department a little less stressed than it was in days gone by. That's not to say the researching and writing grants is simple, by any stretch of the imagination, but online resources have certainly taken some of the legwork out of the process.
The Internet has especially simplified the research step of the grant search. Not only are there online databases of funders, but many foundations have their own web sites. Likewise, many companies have special pages on their sites to highlight their corporate giving or community outreach programs. Each of these resources generally includes:
- The funder's name and contact information
- Their areas of interest
- Guidelines for applying
- Projects they have funded in the past
It can still be worthwhile to spend some time in the library using printed resources for your research, but the Internet is definitely a tool that you should be using, too. One of the most useful sites is The Foundation Center
. Their mission is to " . . . strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy." They do this by hosting sort of a clearing house of information, including a great database of grantmaking foundations. There is a subscription fee for this service, although there are enough free resources on the site to make it a worthwhile visit for any development professional.
In addition to lists and databases of funders, many sites also offer tutorials on how to write and submit grant proposals, too. A few other useful online grant resources include:
These are just a few of the grant resources available online. Determining if your organizaiton fits the guidelines, crafting a great proposal, and meeting deadlines are still all up to you, but at least these sites give you a leg up on the research portion of your project.
Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013