For Non-Profits: How to Find Grants in Your Area

If you are running a non-profit to help out your community, it can be hard to find grants in your area in order to make sure that you can actually sustainably do the work that you are trying to get done. Since you are a non-profit, it only makes sense that you are not going to start looking at the profit margins of your activities.

Instead, take a look at this list on how to find grants in your area for non-profits – chances are that you are going to find something that will see the value in what you do, and happily provide the funding for it. Just always make sure not to take too much time applying for grants. They are usually popular and quickly depleted if you are not one of the first to get your hands on them.

1. Board members.

The first thing that you should look at to find grants in your area as a non-profit organization is the members of your board. It may sound weird at first, but think about it: First, they are invested in the success of your non-profit, and second, they are likely to be connected in one or the other way to some grant opportunities out there.

They may know about foundations, different corporations, or even family foundations that they could even be personally connected to. Also, this is a great opportunity to involve your board more with the process of searching for grants, which may streamline the process a lot for the future. After all, if everyone looks out for grants and alerts the board once they find something, then the likelihood of something going through is suddenly much greater.

Once you are at a board meeting, all you need to do is highlight the fact that you are looking for grants and ask for input. Also make sure that you outline very clearly what kind of grant you are looking for, and which project the grant is supposed to be for. This way you save yourself a lot of time sifting through opportunities that do not really fit. Also, remember that this is just the first step – nice if it works out, but not a big problem if it does not. Because the second way of how to find grants in your area is…

2. Use the internet.

Not intending to be snarky here, the internet is a great source of potential grants that may fit your needs perfectly. Now, nobody wins if you spend a week just sifting through pages upon pages of search engine results, without getting anywhere. Instead, take a similar approach as with engaging your board – see it as a way of opening yourself up to the possibility that there may be a grant just waiting for you if you simply asked.

Just this time, instead of asking your board members, you are checking search engine results for an hour. Search engines are also a great way to get an idea of all the different grant-giving organizations out there and find the websites where they are listed. Here, you also want to look for other non-profits that are a bit like yours, to see which grants they may have gotten access to. This way you can quickly find grants that fit your type of organization and work.

3. Local resources.

Often times, how to find grants in your area is as simple as literally looking around your area. It is actually quite likely that you also have a regional association of grantmakers that focus all your local funders in one place, which makes them very convenient to access for you. The most important thing here is that you get your hands on their membership list and the grant guidelines that are in place. Then, you can start looking into establishing a connection with the funders. One way to do that is to show up at the next “meet the funders” event, but there are many ways to build a relationship that may even help you’re non-profit to stay funded for many years to come.

4. Federal funding.

After looking at how to find grants in your area on a micro level, it is also important to look at a higher level. Because federal funding sounds big at first, but there is a surprising amount of attention given to funding organizations that do important work on a local level. The great thing here is that there is already a convenient website for you to check out and see if you can get access to being funded through one of the federal programs on there.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, as well as, are going to be a great way to see which grants may be an option for you, and how you can start getting funded by them. If the federal government is a bit too far out for your taste, your local state government should have similar programs that are a bit closer to your area.

With these four options on how to find grants in your area, your non-profit should get funded in no time! Always remember that the most important thing is to make people see the value of your organization and the service that you provide. As soon as that is done, getting funding should be much less of a problem moving forward.