I just formed my nonprofit, am I eligible to receive grants?
You may be eligible, but in most cases foundations are reluctant to fund newly-formed organizations, or organizations that may have been established but do not yet have a track record of success.
I want to start a small business – are there grants out there I may qualify for?
Probably not. Most grants originate from foundations and government agencies for the purpose of generating significant benefits to the public. There are a small number of foundations that will provide funding to businesses if they are providing a public service, but this is not common. If you want to start a for profit business you are probably going to have to look for funding through a commercial or SBA loan or private investors.
What type of programs are eligible for government grants?
There are thousands of RFPs for government grants issued every year from many federal agencies such as the Dept. of Education, the EPA, USDA, Dept. of Energy and more. Federal grants typically allow for profit businesses or nonprofit organizations apply as long as they can deliver the desired results. Check www.grants.gov to research.
My nonprofit just got its 501(c)(3) status, can you help me obtain funding
Maybe. As long as your organization has 501(c)(3) status you will be eligible for most grants (of course you have to meet the funding criteria). However it is very difficult to get funding as a startup. There are some, but not many, foundations that are willing to take a chance on a startup. Typically you need about a year of experience under your belt, as an organization, before you have a good shot at winning grant funding. After a 5-10 minute call I can assess whether you have a chance to be competitive.
Can you help me get a grant to go to school, buy a house, etc?
No. I don’t work with individuals, only nonprofits and in some cases, businesses.
Can you help me identify funding sources?
Yes. I offer a research/ feasibility package. If you have not yet identified good prospects it is essential that you do this first. You don’t want to spend lots of $ having me or someone else write you a grant only to realize there is no funder that is will consider it. As part of my prospecting I look through an extensive database of funders whose funding priorities align with your group’s mission, then call them each personally to better ascertain whether there is a good fit.
How long does it take to get grant funding?
Development needs to be viewed as a long-term investment. Very rarely does an organization write a single grant and receive immediate funding. It will generally take 6-9 months from the time you start submitting grant proposals until the funding pipeline starts flowing. You will not receive every grant you apply for so organization’s usually need a broad-based approach — applying to many foundations/ government agencies. It often takes 1-3 months before the foundation reviews the proposal and gets back to you with an answer. Some grantmakers accept proposals on a rolling basis, but most have 2-4 deadlines per year..