How to Find Seed Money for a New Nonprofit Agency
Some foundations specialize in nonprofit seed funding for new projects and new 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 realize their vision.
The problem statement thoughtfully presents what the founders have observed and learned about the needs to be addressed.
Although 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 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.
The sustainability section 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).
The foundation may be willing to support a feasibility study that tests the viability of the seed project — how distinctive it is and who its likeliest sources of support might be.