Nonprofit Growth

The Ultimate Nonprofit Grant Guide

Nonprofit Grant Guide

You’re on a ladder to success and a grant is that next rung. Grants provide the extra bit of support to keep your organization going strong.

There are countless opportunities out there—it’s all about finding one that best suits your nonprofit. They range from government grants to private, often in the form of foundations. Competition can be fierce when applying, but don’t fret, there are plenty to go around. Let’s look at some of these grants and explore the basics of your grant proposal.

Animals

  1. ASPCA – Animal shelter and rescue, anti-cruelty, equine, emergency and disaster response
  2. The Doris Day Animal Foundation – Provides grants quarterly to support the care of animals (especially senior animals)
  3. The Humane Society – COVID-19 relief funds
  4. Petco Foundation – Service animals, spay and neuter services, and animal welfare organizations
  5. PetSmart Charities – Adoption support
  6. 1 FUR 1 – Animal-assisted therapy programs
  7. Athletes for Animals – Pairs athletes with shelters and provides funding
  8. Maddie’s Fund – Animal shelter programs
  9. Fund for Wild Nature – Protects native species and wild ecosystems
  10. Binky Foundation – Protects both domestic and wild animals by protecting their habitats

Environment

  1. The Conservation Alliance – Protects wild lands and waters
  2. Disney Conservation – Protects our planet and wildlife
  3. The Energy Foundation – Supports clean energy efforts
  4. Farm Aid Foundation – For organizations supporting family farms—started by Willie Nelson
  5. Ocean Grants – Attracts donors to then provide grants for ocean conservation
  6. Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas – Conservation, education, and environmental justice
  7. The Nature Conservancy – Combats climate change
  8. The Ocean Fund – Royal Caribbean’s fund to protect the marine environment
  9. SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund – Habitat protection, species research, and conservation education (also animal rescue)
  10. SC Johnson – Environmental and sustainability organizations (they support community programs as well)

Arts

  1. Adobe – Promotes creativity and offers technological resources
  2. American Music Therapy Association – Supports music therapy programs
  3. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts – Funds art-based institutions and organizations
  4. Barnes & Noble – Supports literacy, the arts, and education
  5. Creative Work Fund – Connects artists and nonprofits
  6. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation – For those focused on contemporary dance, jazz, and theater
  7. The Getty Foundation – Increases access to museums and the arts
  8. Johnson Ohana Foundation – Arts and music education for the youth—formed by Jack Johnson
  9. The Minority Arts and Education Fund (Cleveland Foundation) – Supports the arts in communities of color
  10. National Endowment for the Arts – Supports arts that heal and connect

Communities

  1. Allstate Foundation – Domestic violence prevention, community support, nonprofit leadership programs
  2. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation – For those who support dental care programs
  3. American Express – Developing leaders, preserving historic places, serving communities
  4. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Offers help in multiple areas of inequality from education to gender
  5. CVS Community – Access to healthcare for underserved communities
  6. Girls Opportunity Alliance – Crowdsources fundraising from Michelle Obama’s mission to support adolescent girls’ education
  7. INTEGRIS – Obesity, mental health, access to care, food insecurity and tobacco education funding
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Recovery support services
  9. The Valentine Foundation – Supports social change for women and girls
  10. 3M Foundation – Invests in communities and programs for underrepresented children

More Grants

Didn’t see your cause on this list? Don’t worry, this is just a fraction of what’s out there. Check out the Society for Nonprofits and Grants.gov to search for more. Also, don’t forget about local grants. Ask around in your community and see what’s available.

Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants provide free digital advertising to eligible nonprofits monthly- $10,000 worth to be exact. This allows you to raise awareness and reach more people to either join your team or donate to your cause. Sound intimidating? Nonprofit Megaphone has you covered.

The Application

You have the blank application in front of you, but how do you make your organization stand out? There are several foundational aspects to a good grant application:

  • Personalization

Your application needs to have as much heart behind it as your daily work. Grant providers are often sifting through hundreds of applications, so you need to connect with them quickly. Share a unique story and let them know how much your cause means not only to you, but the entire community.

  • Share the numbers

Make sure you have all annual reports and other monetary information gathered before you write the application. It’s important to back up what you’re asking for with numbers. You also want to respond quickly if they come back with questions. Unfortunately, they don’t have time to wait for you to find the budget report that fell behind your desk a year ago (it happens).

  • Research

Make sure you know some background on the company that offers the grant. They will be impressed you took the time to do your homework. Also, do a quick online search to find other grant proposals. or check our our guide on how to write a compelling grant proposal. It never hurts to get inspired by well-produced proposals, just make sure you don’t copy any of their wording. It’s all about individuality and setting yourself apart.

  • Pay attention to detail

Make sure your grammar is correct, your application flows, and everything you state is accurate. Get multiple eyes on the proposal: it always helps to have another opinion. Also be sure to lay out exact plans on how you will use the money. They want to know you put thought behind the funding and can start using it immediately.

You Get the Grant

All that hard work paid off! You have the grant—so now what? Make sure you continuously thank your grant provider in a public manner. Social media is a great way to do this because you can link directly to them. It also allows you to get creative and showcase the project or new building the grant funded. Some may ask to be featured as a sponsor of the project, be sure to follow all of their requirements. Even if they don’t ask for recognition, be sure to thank them.

Send a thank you email, or better yet, a physical card. You want to remain in good standing with those funding your projects so you can produce many more in the future.

By Kaitlin O’Dougherty