Firstly, where do grants come from? There are several sources; foundations and federal government, state government, local government and private grants. With the federal government paying out 300 billion dollars each year in grants – not including foundations, there is a distinct possibility that you may be able to get a share.
To do this you will need to be able to demonstrate that your organization is fulfilling a desperate need in the community – and doing it in a way that works and is really innovative and professional. In other words, you need to be good at what you do.
To apply for a grant you need to prepare in-kind donation your application in a way that demonstrates that your organization is fulfilling this need in a way that is innovative and unlike others. Set out your organization’s aims, goals and what you hope to accomplish in the future, as well as your past accomplishments.
The application will go before a grants committee who may not be able to relate naturally to your project, therefore it is essential that you include such things as a case study of the help given in the past, and demonstrate the need for your project by including pertinent and specific facts.
Your plan should reach into the future by at least twelve months, with projections aimed at both financial needs and accomplishments. Pay particular attention to your budgets, both past, present and future. The slightest hint of dishonesty or inaccuracy will put your hopes of a grant beyond the pale.
Information about foundation grants is not that easy to find, but if you go to The Foundation Center’s website you’ll be able to access foundation summaries and contact information. Details of the latest grants are available via electronic newsletters. You could even take their course on grant seeker training to learn the proper basics of grant writing and budgeting. Using The Community Foundation Locator you can access grants information in your geographical area by the use of an online map.
You may be able to access even more information from your local library, as many subscribe to national databases like the Foundation Directory Online.