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11 Places to Look for Grant Funding

Part of the Grant Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you get down to business writing grant requests, you first have to search for and qualify potential grant funding opportunities. Knowing who's funding your type of organization, who's funding in or near your location, and the range of their grant awards (past and present) is critical.

Following are several tips that can help you zero in on the right opportunity quickly:

  • Sit down with your work associates and ask these questions: Who are our corporate vendors? What bank or credit union processes our payroll? What local funders have given us money or in-kind contributions in the past five years? Do we still have a good relationship with these funders? Can we approach them again for funding support? After you have some answers, start taking action.

  • Call and make an appointment to visit every bank in your town, city, village, and county. There's hidden money everywhere — even at your local banks. Find out who heads up the trust department (typically a trust officer) at each institution. Trust officers manage trust accounts for living and dead money-giving individuals and families. These trusts are often not highly advertised sources of grant money. Ask and get some guidelines for finding them and applying to them for grants.

  • Stroll over to the nearest large public or university library to access the Foundation Center's Foundation Directory Online. This is your public-access, free-of-charge source for researching foundation and corporate funding sources.

  • Network with other grant writers to find out about their funding resource subscriptions. Ask what works and check out these additional possibilities.

  • Head down to your city and county economic development agencies to find out about any public monies available (contracts or grants) for your project.

  • If you have a community foundation in your county, call to get an appointment to meet with someone there to ask about the possibility of applying for capacity building funds for your organization. With a capacity building grant, you can contract with qualified consultants for grant writing, fundraising, board training, and volunteer coordination services.

  • Don't forget to call your governor's office and ask about state agency grant funding and other monies that may be available for your organization or business.

  • Attend all public events where the "who's who" crowd will be gathered and hand out business cards. Just make sure your agency's mission and contact info are on the card!

  • Prepare and distribute a press release to all local and regional media announcing that you have a project in need of funding.

  • Most importantly, call your congressional team members to let them know more about your organization and its need for grant funding. Ask if they can start to track any federal bucks that fit your needs.

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Grant Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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