How to Find Seed Money for a New Nonprofit Agency
Some foundations specialize in seed funding for new projects and new nonprofit organizations. A seed proposal has two key ingredients: careful assessment of the problem to be addressed and special qualifications its founders bring to its creation. Here’s a quick outline of a proposal for a new endeavor:
Background information introduces the people who are creating the organization, their vision, how they identified the idea, and steps they’ve taken to date to realize their vision.
The problem statement thoughtfully presents what the founders have observed and learned about the needs to be addressed.
While the goals may be lofty, stated objectives and outcomes should be reasonable considering the developing state of the organization.
Methods present plans for the first year or two of activities. They include a discussion of how the organization will be structured and how services will be offered.
Evaluation plans may go easy during the organization’s initial phases. Founders may be testing basic ideas for their feasibility and efficiency for a year or two before studying a program in depth.
The budget is likely to be the entire organizational budget. Some seed grant funders are willing to cover such start-up costs as equipment purchases or deposits for renting an office.
Future and additional funding should outline basic plans for supporting the nonprofit in the future (unless it addresses a discrete problem that may be solved within a few years).
A foundation may be willing to support a feasibility study for a new idea. Such a grant funds interviews and research into how distinctive the idea is, what the likeliest sources of support are, and how much funding the new organization may expect from such resources. Such a plan arms the seed project in applying for other start-up grants.