Nonprofit Grants: How to Apply

Start Funding-VLFG

When starting a nonprofit company, one of the most important things to do is find funding. Grants can be a great way to get the money you need to get your organization off the ground. But, how do you go about finding these grants and what are the requirements? In this article, we will discuss nonprofit grants and how to apply for them.


Types Of Nonprofit Grants

Before looking for grants, you need to learn which types are available. The three most common types of nonprofit grants are government grants, foundation grants, and corporate grants.

Government Grants

The first type of nonprofit grant is a government grant. These are usually offered by the federal government however, they may also come from state and local governments. To be eligible for a government grant, your nonprofit must have a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Some examples of government grants are the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant for Early-Careering Investigators.

Foundation Grants

The second type of nonprofit grant is a foundation grant. These are typically offered by private foundations or corporations. Some examples of foundation grants are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant and the Walmart Foundation grant. To be eligible for a foundation grant, your nonprofit must have a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS.

Corporate Grants

The third type of nonprofit grant is a corporate grant. These are typically offered by companies as a way to support causes they care about. Some examples of corporate grants are the Google Ad grant, Chick-Fil-A grant and the Bancorp Corporate grant.


How To Find Grants For Your Nonprofit Organization

Now that you know the three main types of nonprofit grants, you need to learn how to find them. The best way to find nonprofit grants is to use a grant search engine. There are free grant search engines available online, such as, as well as search engines that charge a subscription fee, such as Foundation Directory Online and GrantScape. You can also find nonprofit grants by talking with other nonprofit organizations in your field, attending nonprofit conferences, or reading nonprofit trade publications.


How To Apply For Nonprofit Grants

Once you have found some nonprofit grants for which your organization is eligible, you need to learn how to apply for them. Taking the time to fill out the application correctly is very important, as it can make the difference between getting the grant and being denied.


Make Sure You Qualify For All The Grant Criteria

The first step is to make sure you qualify for all the grant criteria. Each grant has different eligibility requirements, so make sure you read through the requirements carefully before applying.

For example, some grants may only be available to nonprofits that are located in a certain state or city. Others may only be available to nonprofits that serve a specific population, such as children or the elderly. Read these requirements carefully to make sure you are eligible before moving on to the next step.

Fill Out The Application And Write A Proposal

The next step is to fill out the application accurately and completely. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people make mistakes on their applications. Remember, the grant reviewers will be reading through dozens, if not hundreds, of applications. They will be looking for complete accuracy in your application, so make sure you fill it out correctly.

An application often involves submitting a proposal. The proposal is where you will describe your non-profit and what you plan to do with the grant money. This is your chance to sell the reviewer on why your nonprofit deserves the grant.

To write a strong proposal, you need to know what the reviewers are looking for. Reviewers are typically looking for nonprofits that have a clear plan for how they will use the grant money and can demonstrate a need for the funds. They also want to see nonprofits that have a good track record of success and have a strong management team.

If you can show the reviewer that your nonprofit meets all of these criteria, you will have a good chance of getting a grant.

Keep in mind that some organizations have similar applications for multiple grants. In these cases, it is important to tailor your application and proposal to each individual grant. Generic applications are often seen as subpar and are less likely to be funded.

Supply The Required Documents

Once you have completed the application and proposal, you will need to supply the required documents. These documents can vary depending on the grant, but they often include things like financial statements, IRS forms, and audited financial statements.

If you are having trouble gathering all of the required documents, you can contact the grantor and ask for help. Many grantors are willing to work with applicants who are having difficulty gathering all of the necessary materials.

Get Letters Of Support

The final step is to get letters of support from other nonprofits or individuals. These letters show the reviewer that you have the support of your community and that other people believe in your nonprofit. They can also provide helpful information about your nonprofit and your track record of success.

Letters of support can be difficult to obtain, but they are well worth the effort. Grant reviewers often give extra consideration to nonprofits that have letters of support. Here are a few tips for getting great letters of support:

– Ask nonprofits that you have worked with in the past. These organizations can attest to your work and your commitment to the community.

– Ask individuals who have been helped by your nonprofit. These letters can be very powerful, as they show that your nonprofit is making a difference in the lives of people.

– Ask businesses or other organizations that support your nonprofit. These letters show that you have the backing of important members of your community.



With these tips, you should be well on your way to applying for and getting nonprofit grants. Remember to follow the requirements carefully, write a strong proposal, and get letters of support. If you do all of these things, you will increase your chances of getting the grant money you need to continue your important work.