Many new nonprofits don’t have the time, money, or know-how to fill out complicated grant applications. Even so, there are plenty of grants available for small and new nonprofits that don’t require lengthy applications. You may be surprised at how many grants are out there just waiting for you to apply. Unlike traditional grants, these financial awards need to be applied for because they have specific eligibility requirements to qualify. However, most of them are fairly straightforward and require little paperwork. This article will provide you with an overview of some of the top grant programs designed specifically for new or small nonprofit organizations. You can find a list of each program listed below along with links directly to their websites where you can learn more about becoming a beneficiary as well as what types of organizations they typically fund.
Basics of Grant Writing
If you’ve ever written a college paper you’ve already got the basics of grant writing down. To get a grant, you need to clearly state your problem and how your nonprofit plans to solve it. The key difference is that a grant application is typically much shorter than a college paper and the “problem” section must be quantifiable. For example, you might want to start your essay with a statement like this: “Every year x number of people in our community die from drug overdoses.” As far as length goes, you want to keep your essay as short and to the point as possible. You will likely be competing for the grant against other nonprofits with similar problems and goals. Therefore, it’s critical to make your essay interesting enough to stand out from the crowd.
Grants for New Nonprofits
Grants for new nonprofits are designed to help new organizations get their footing. They typically don’t require lengthy applications and are often open to organizations that can’t apply for other types of grants. However, they may have certain restrictions on the types of activities they fund and/or a specific focus they’re interested in. For example, a grant to support infrastructure development would not fund programs that help individuals directly. Keep in mind that you won’t know if you’re eligible for a grant until you apply. Therefore, you should do your research to find out which types of grants are open to new nonprofits. You may be surprised by the number of options you discover.
The Casey Foundation’s Dough-n-Doughnut Grant Program
The Casey Foundation’s Dough-n-Doughnut Grant Program awards grants that support projects that increase civic engagement and/or get more people to vote. The foundation is specifically focused on increasing voter turnout among younger voters (18-29-year-olds). Grants from the program are typically around $500-$1,500 and are awarded to events or projects that increase civic engagement. One example of an event that received funding is a “Dough-n-Doughnut” festival in Ohio that brought people together to discuss local issues and vote. Since the grant program is focused on younger voters, it’s important to note that grant recipients must agree to promote voting among their peers. Therefore, your event or project must have a voting component.
Citizen Fund’s Seed Grant Program
Citizen Fund’s Seed Grant Program awards grants that help new nonprofits get off the ground. Grants are typically small, around $5,000, but they can make a big difference for a new organization. The Citizen Fund has a few eligibility requirements for the Seed Grant Program. You must be a new organization (such as a nonprofit or advocacy group), you must be located in California, and you must be working to promote public health. You’ll find a complete list of the types of organizations Citizen Fund typically funds in their guidelines.
Computer Loan Program from the MLK Foundation
The Computer Loan Program from the MLK Foundation awards grants to community organizations in certain states that provide computers and Internet access to low-income individuals. The foundation may be able to provide computers as well as money from its general fund to support the operating costs of the computer program. The foundation prefers to award grants to organizations that will use the computers for specific purposes. For example, a nonprofit that teaches computer skills to low-income individuals may receive funding to purchase computers and use them for the program.
Elmer and Edith Lew/URL program for Hispanic Serving Nonprofits
The Elmer and Edith Lew/URL program for Hispanic Serving Nonprofits is an annual grant program. It awards grants to organizations that serve the Hispanic community. The focus of the grant program changes annually. For example, the grant program in 2018 was primarily focused on “connecting Latinos to critical health and human services in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.” The program awards grant up to $5,000. There are also opportunities to receive matching funds of up to $5,000. The matching funds are voluntary contributions to the program from philanthropic organizations.
The world is full of people who need your help, and if you’re willing to stand up and offer assistance, you have a lot of options. You can start a nonprofit and petition your state for nonprofit status if you don’t have one already. You can also look into getting funding for a nonprofit you’re already a part of. Keep in mind that every nonprofit has to start somewhere. Some of the best organizations in the world started as nothing more than an idea in someone’s mind. The key is to not let anything stop you from helping those in need.