Writing a Grant: Where to Start Looking to Fund Your Project

You have a project and want to find a grant that will fund it.  Where do you go to look for grants?  Of course, you can do a Google search.  I just did one as research for writing this post.  Thirty-four million results popped up and of those, some of the choices I clicked seemed to be businesses offering access to a database of grants and a streamlined application process to apply for them.  If you have tried googling for grants without success I want to offer a few options that you can try.  To save you from unnecessary reading, I am providing a short list of websites for you to try. You can also check with your local library to see if they can help you find listings of national, federal, state, and local grants.

Grants:

Just with anything else worth doing, you need to educate yourself about writing grants.  I recommend The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need by Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue-Fox.  It is a great book.  The cool thing about this book is that the authors organized the book in the order in which you write grants.  So when you finish the book you would have gone through the grant writing process.  Learning about writing grants will save you time and will increase the chances of your project being funded.  For example, you don’t want to spend the time applying for a grant and find out that your project does not meet the requirements for consideration. 

The last three links of the list provided above are the top three foundation sources.  I have also provided two links to websites that provide information about government grants.  Many grants have guidelines for you to use to determine if your project is a project that will be considered, i.e., are you a 501(c) or 501 (a) organization.  Five-zero-one (c) organizations are nonprofit organizations that are exempt from federal income taxes.  Other grant providers require that you be a member of the organization before you can apply for their grants.

Who are the grant providers?  Companies, individuals, and the government provide grants for various projects.  The companies give money through foundations.   The American Honda Foundation is Honda’s foundation used to award grants.  In exchange for tax breaks, the companies give money to worthy causes.  The same is true for wealthy individuals like Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.  They received tax breaks for operating the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  If you know people in the field with connections to a foundation or board member of a company you should call them and ask if they can put you in touch with someone that will consider your grant.  Family foundations make the decisions about what projects are founded.  A call might help. 

You have enough information to get started.  Grant writing takes time.  In fact, some grants post the number of hours that it will take to complete the grant based on research.  Some grant providers estimate as much as hour-hundred hours are required from start to submission of their grants.  I say this to warn you that the major grants, unlike some of the “provide your name and address and you have applied grants” that you find on the web, are huge time and effort projects.  Good luck with getting funded. 

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