Evergreen Grant Writing has been working with agencies and businesses since 1999 to obtain grant funding. Let’s explore a little of the “world of grants.”
What is a “grant”? A grant is funding provided to an individual, agency, or business to do something that the funder considers worthwhile. The grant is not a loan and does not have to be paid back. However, the recipient of the grant does have to carry out, or try to carry out, the activities for which the grant is given, and may be requested by the grantor to show evidence of this effort.
Who gives grants? The largest grantors are agencies of the federal, state, and city governments, followed by large charitable foundations. The U.S. government is the largest grant provider. In the private sector, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest charitable foundation.
Who is eligible to receive a grant? Many grants are available to nonprofit agencies. These include hospitals, social-service organizations, schools, and houses of worship. At this time, a large grant program is available to nonprofits, schools, and for-profit agencies in New York that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy or that work with such populations. There are also important grants for businesses. The government funds businesses to encourage economic recovery or economic growth in certain areas. Currently, there is a large grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (the “Neighborhood Game-Changer Investment Competition”) focused on projects in Sandy-impacted areas. Grants for individuals are also available. Although this is not a focus of Evergreen Grant Writing, there are many individual education grants, usually based on financial need.
Who decides which agencies or businesses receive a grant? Most grant-giving government agencies and foundations review and score grants competitively. Funding decisions are made by this competitive process. Certain types of government funding (appropriations and member items) are not truly competitive, and depend on lobbying or political connections. There are also some private foundations that only give grants to charities suggested by their board members and do not accept unsolicited grant applications. But the vast majority of grant funding is given through an open, competitive process.
How can I receive a grant for my agency or business? First you must be able to locate a grant that matches your program or project. There are many government and foundation websites that list grants available. It can be a time-consuming process, and two important sources are www.grants.gov for federal grants and www.fdncenter.org for foundation grants. Next, it is important for you to have a compelling project that is needed by the community and to show that you can carry out the project effectively. For example, if a grant is available to fund crisis counseling for Sandy victims, the applicant must show evidence of a crisis in the area and that the method being proposed will effectively address this need. The applicant must also show the capacity to carry out the project successfully. In addition, the grant proposal budget must be reasonable for the activities proposed, and any required forms or information must be provided.
What about grants for projects in the Jewish community? There are many applicable grants available to the Jewish community. Government and general foundation grants fund Jewish community programs and businesses. For example, a kosher food pantry can receive a hunger-prevention grant from the federal or state government, or a Jewish community business can receive an economic-stimulus grant to expand its business. Foundations from companies such as Toyota, Lowe’s, or Target provide educational grants to Jewish day schools and yeshivas. In addition to these opportunities, there are many Jewish foundations and Jewish agencies that provide grants through a competitive process by which the applicant submits a proposal and budget for the project or program.
What are current grant opportunities? The damage caused by Sandy has been recognized by many government and private funders. There are current grants available for repair, rebuilding, and reimbursement, as well as to provide future services for impacted populations. There are grants for businesses that are interested in starting or expanding in Sandy-impacted areas. In addition, there are always grants available for just about any program at any time, whether it is education, housing, legal services, disabilities, social services, health, Jewish outreach, or care for the elderly.
How can Evergreen Grant Writing help? A professional grant-writing agency can assist in many ways. The first step is matching the grant seeker with grant programs that are interested in funding the project. The second step is writing a compelling proposal and budget. The third step is assisting with the follow-up after receiving funding to assure that the program provides the paperwork and carries out the grant properly. This follow-up increases the chances of future funding and program expansion.
Evergreen grant writing can be reached at 516-448-6069 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please visit www.evergreengrantwriting.com for more information. v