Where to Find the Best-Fit Grants

Anytime you’re trying to find the best-fit grants for your nonprofit organization, or your nonprofit clients, it can be hard.

Because in the beginning, everything’s new.  Basic grant writing elements like figuring out the best grant search platform, knowing which grant programs are the best-fit, and knowing when to submit grant applications can be overwhelming.

Even if you have experience with grant writing already, you’re always looking for the 80/20 rule.  You don’t have time to waste, so you want to find the 20% that’s going to produce 80% of the results.

In our ‘Grant Writing Made Easy’ Series (click here for #140 Grant Lingo or here for #141 Grant Writing Hacks), we discussed the beginning of the steps to learning how to write grants.

In this article, we go over where to find those lovely grants.

To know that you need to know what types of grants are out there. And there are 3 types of grants:

  • Federal
  • State Grants
  • Foundation

#1: Federal Grants

In the United States, federal grants are economic aid issued by the federal government. These grants are awarded to organizations or individuals to carry out a specific purpose of the United States government.

Where do you find federal grants? Well if you’ve been in my free grant training going on this week,  you will know this 😊. But if you haven’t, I got you!

Grants.gov is the motherboard for finding federal grants. Simply visit grants.gov to find out about the different currently published federal grants available for your nonprofit or the nonprofits you work with.

A tip I have for you today is to get the Grants.gov app or sign up for their email list and sign up for categories. In this way, you will get an email or app notification alerting you when grant announcements that you are interested in are published.

You can also visit the specific federal agency websites to find out more about the grant announcements, current grantees, and more.

#2: State Grants

Grants are available through your state and local government agencies. Some of these monies are from the federal government (think CARES Act funding is from the federal government and given to the states to administer through various programs) and other state grants are derived from state taxes.

Where do you find these grants?

Well, check out your local state government agency websites. Also, check your newspapers as some states are required to publish their grant announcements to show transparency.

And be sure to follow state and local government agencies on social media as they will post grant announcements there!  (Yes, a lot of state agencies are now on social!)

#3: Foundation Grants

Did you know that there are more than 88,000 foundations in the United States alone?

Wowza! In 2019, foundations gave $81 billion dollars in grant funding. This trend has continued to go up throughout the pandemic and even as we enter the post-pandemic era. Therefore, there is a pot of money here.

Foundations are different from federal grants and some state grants because they are non-government. Think about the Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.

So where do you find these grants? Well, this is broadly a pay-to-play type of place. But let me share with you some freebies.

Follow foundations on LinkedIn and other social media. The beautiful thing about LinkedIn is if you do a search for a foundation it will also give you the profiles of the decision-makers that work there and you can follow them, too.

One of my freelance grant writing students asked me how to get through the gatekeepers last week when she submitted a foundation grant and I told her to go to LinkedIn and find decision-makers at the foundation. She did exactly that and it worked!

You can also go to GuideStar.org and find some great free information there.

But once again, there are newspapers! Many community foundations will publish grant announcements in the newspaper! Look for them 😊

Let’s do a quick review of what we learned today about writing the best-fit grants

We examined where you can find different types of grants.

You now know where to find the following grants:

  • Federal Grants: Grants.gov and federal agency websites
  • State Grants: On the state and local government websites, social media, and newspapers
  • Foundation Grants: Guidestar.org, social media (mostly LinkedIn), and newspapers

Listen to the full podcast to get all the details!

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