Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Opportunities for Garden Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

The gardeners must be getting the itch to plan their gardens as we have gotten numerousgarden_grants.jpg requests lately for grants for community and school gardens. We have received requests for grants for gardens that will simply beautify a community. Some requests are more a necessity, to grow food for people without access to fruits and vegetables. Schools have been asking for grants to add a garden to their school curriculum, to teach healthy eating, nutrition, and science. No matter why you want to start or upgrade a garden, below are some grant opportunities that may help you.

Gro1000 Grassroots Grants

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Scotts Miracle Gro is supporting the creation of community gardens around the country. Any non-profit organization is eligible to apply, and suitable projects could be the creation of green spaces, outdoor places to learn at schools, or the growing of food to support a community. Last year examples of grants included the a creation of a child sensory garden in Detroit, MI and an educational program for Rochester, NY residents to learn about urban agriculture. Applications are being accepted until Feb. 22. Approximately 120 grants are awarded yearly and most grants are $500. A selection of the highest-scoring applicants will receive $1,500.

The Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant

Donald Samull was an elementary school teacher who loved to use herbs to teach his 3rd-6th grade classrooms. He wanted to make sure that love continued, so when he passed away he started an estate that provided herb gardens grants for teachers in grades 3-6. Eligible public or private teachers must have a minimum of 15 students in their classes. The grant program is run by The Herb Society of America. The society will award indoor window sill herb gardens to four schools each year. The classrooms selected will receive three windowsill herb garden kits including pots, soil, seeds and educational materials to use in the classroom. The Herb Society of America will also select five schools/classrooms to receive $200 "seed money" to establish an outdoor herb garden. The 2016 application is due Oct. 1.

Project Orange Thumb

Fiskars is a proud sponsor of the Project Orange Thumb grant program. This grant provides tools and resources to help communities throughout the country. Fundable programs include neighborhood beautification, healthy and sustainable food sources, and community collaboration. This program has awarded over $1.6 million to more than 160 community groups since it started in 2002. The 2016 grant application window has closed. Check back early in 2017 for the new deadlines.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

Annie’s offers grants for schools and other educational programs to start a school garden. The grant program started in 2008 and has funded more than 295 school gardens since that time. Spring 2015 grants went to 25 different schools throughout the country. Waverly-Belmont Elementary School in Nashville, TN plans to use its new urban garden to supplement the free lunch program at their school and incorporate the garden into the curriculum. Students will also learn the importance of seasonal eating and sustainable gardening. The yearly applications for this grant program has closed. It will reopen in November 2016.


These grants might not seem large compared to others, but may provide the seed you need to grow your grant funding capabilities. Enrich your efforts with a free consultation with one of our grant helpers followed by a Grant Opportunity Search or any of our other grant services. We will help you find the funding you need. Contact us today.


Photo Credit: Koshy Koshy

Topics: food grants, community gardens, grants for community gardens, garden grants, grants for gardens, grants for school gardens, grant opportunity, grants, school garden grants

It's the Super Bowl of Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 @ 10:02 AM
There's been the Bud Bowl. There's been the Puppy Bowl. Of course, there's the Super Bowl. Now it's time for the Grant Bowl. We have compiled a list of grants from several foundations that fund a variety of subjects. These foundations feature players and teams competing in this Sunday's big game. The best thing about the Grant Bowl is the winner is YOU! So start applying now and let us know how we can assist you in all your grant needs. 2875342530_d192e0ab14_q.jpg

  Insider Tip: Wherever you are in the country, Google for the names of big-league sports stars in the nearest big city, plus the word “foundation.” Many individuals who do well in sports set up a personal foundation to support causes near to their hearts.  

 Peyback Foundation

Broncos' star quarterback Peyton Manning's foundation helps organizations in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The foundation has given more than $10 million in programs and grants since its inception in 2002. Just last year, over $1 million was awarded to 144-youth based organizations in those four states. Grant amounts ranged from $2,500-$15,000 last year. The website has an entire list of grants awarded since the inception of the foundation. The foundation focuses primarily on economically disadvantaged youth. Programs that are intended to enrich the lives of disadvantaged youth through activities conducted outside the typical school day, like after-school and summer programming, are particularly favored by the foundation. The deadline for this year is coming quickly: Feb. 10. The Grant Helpers team can help you meet this rushed deadline. Or this is the perfect time to get prepared for next year's Peyback Foundation deadline.

The Elway Foundation and Heroes Foundation

(303) 768-8881 (No website)

Former Denver Bronco quarterback and current executive vice president of football operations, John Elway, has two different foundations that he puts his time and money into. The Elway Foundation supports community efforts to stop child abuse, including programs for treatment and prevention. The Heroes Foundation was created to assist veterans and active-duty military. Since neither of these foundations have websites the best option would be to contact the foundation by the phone number above to find out more about deadlines and criteria.

Cam Newton Foundation

Serving the Charlotte and Atlanta communities, the Carolina Panthers' quarterback's foundation lives by the motto "Every1Matters." The foundation supports programs that fall along three focus areas: learns, plays, and gives. Every 1 Learns focuses on providing academic support and aid for academically talented or motivated youth who are lacking financial resources. It also serves to help mentoring and tutoring programs for all students, including those considered at-risk. In the Every 1 Plays category, the foundation aims to refurbish neighborhood parks, fields, playgrounds, and community centers. Resources are also provided for children who cannot financially afford to compete in sports and recreation opportunities. Under Every 1 Gives, the Cam Newton Foundation supports non-profit initiatives, especially those that promote volunteerism and help those in need. Applications for funding are accepted year round. The website does not have any past grantees or grant amounts listed.

Carolina Panthers Grant Programs

The Carolina Panthers football team has a youth football equipment grant program available to youth football teams in the Carolinas. The program will award five grants valued at $1,000 each. Youth football programs applying for this grant must be a USA Football’s Heads Up Football (HUF) program or have signed up and committed to running HUF in 2015. It is expected the deadline to apply for 2016 will be in May. Check the website for more information on deadlines.


Put The Grant Helpers on your team. Our experts can step in wherever needed to help reach your goals–helping with program development, building a grant system, grant writing, grant administration and reporting, and many other areas. Find a full list of our services and then contact us for a free consultation.


Photo Credit: Parker Knight


Topics: education, parks and recreation grants, veterans grants, grants for veterans, youth fitness, grants for football, grants, youth education, grants for child abuse prevention, grants for after school programs, summer school grants, football equipment grants

Grants for Education Part 1: Pre-K and Elementary Financial Support

Posted by Mary Ross on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 15:01 PM
Education is one of the most heavily funded of all grant sectors. There are more education grants available to teachers than we could ever capture, and it seems that most educational needs are eligible for some type of grant support. Over the next few weeks we will cover a sampling of grants offered for schools and educators. Teachers, principals, and parents, get ready: the support you need is out there if only you ask.

In our upcoming blogs we will be covering grants from pre-K to 12th grade, and we'll discuss topics such as elementary education, art and music education, STEM education, English education, and physical education. If you don’t see your educational need on this list, let us know and we'll cover that, too!preschool.jpg

Let’s start with the little guys—pre-K and elementary education students! Although many curriculum-specific grants are offered to K-12, there are some grants that are specifically given to younger grades. Applying for a grant that is specifically for younger students has the advantage of having fewer applicants and therefore more of a chance for your grant to be funded. Below are some grants that pre-K through 8th grade programs could consider.

Pets in the Classroom

Kids love pets! But caring for a classroom pet can get expensive. That is where education grants come in. Pets in the Classroom, sponsored by the Pet Care Trust, helps offset the costs of a class pet so that teachers have the opportunity to teach kids about the care and responsibility of pets. Unlike many grants that have lengthy applications and long wait times, Pets in the Classroom has streamlined the process to a single email and promises a response within three to four weeks. Pets in the Classroom works with big name pet supply stores like PetCo and PetSmart and offers nine different grant options. Grants are for a max of $150 and applications are being accepted now.    


Crayola’s Creative Leadership Grants 2016

Do you have a new and original idea to help kids get creative? Crayola's Creative Leadership Grants program wants to hear about it! Although it is not specifically stated that only elementary grades can apply, the grants awarded in the past are primarily to elementary schools. Crayola will award 20 grants of $2,500 cash and $1,000 of Crayola supplies to programs that “develop an art-infused education creative capacity-building professional development program.” Applications are due June 20 and must be submitted by the school principal. Early bird applications submitted by June 6 will receive a special Crayola gift of a classpack. Applications and other requirement details are on the website. Crayola asks you to imagine “what if…” and to tell them how your students can show their creativity at school. Youth Garden Grants

The Youth Garden Grant program seeks to help classrooms that teach children the value of gardening. The program goals are to create “improved academics, better eating habits, greater environmental stewardship, and ultimately healthier, more secure and engaged communities.” The program started in 1982 and has awarded more than $4.1 million through 10,000 grants. Although the grant cycle just closed, offers an on-line newsletter that will notify you when the next grant cycle becomes available. In the meantime, your school can request a free entry kit for the Carton2Garden contest and a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school gardening program.  



These three classroom grant programs focus on the youngest children in the education system. There are many more grants available as well and we can help you find them with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, STEM Education, educational funding, educational grants, education grant, art education

Three Ways to Justify a Playground Grant

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 08:01 AM

playground-1.jpgEven as the cold weather grips the nation it is time to start planning ahead for spring and summer projects. We have had several requests recently from municipalities and non-profit organizations hoping to fund new playgrounds or to make upgrades to existing playgrounds. Below we will give you three ways to justify funding for a new or upgraded playground. These examples will hopefully help you think outside the box when you start looking for grant funding for playgrounds. If you come up with any additional ideas, please respond.

1) Apply for Grants to Keep Kids Active

There are a lot of funding organizations dedicated to making sure kids have every opportunity to stay active and healthy. Playgrounds give kids a place to play. So organizations that aim to keep children from becoming obese and get active could be a good place to start in your search for grant funding. The Lids Foundation has a grant program for organizations that engage children in activities benefitting their health. Applicants must be non-profit entities. Grants typically range from $1,000-$5,000. Grants are accepted between certain dates every month, with the next deadline being Jan. 25-Feb. 21. See the website for a full list of deadlines.

Insider Tip: To justify funding for a playground through a child activity grant program, make sure you are very specific about the health benefits that your specific playground could have on the children in your community. Notes from a doctor or public health service may be helpful in this justification.

2) Seek Funding for Community Betterment

Places to play are a huge beacon for families looking to move into a community. A new or improved playground could have a huge effect on drawing new families to town as well as improving the quality of life for established families. In the past, Corning Incorporated Foundation has supported community foundations, youth organizations, and more. Their focus is to make sure the funding makes a lasting effect on a community. Applications are online and accepted on an ongoing basis.

Insider Tip: The Corning Incorporated Foundation favors projects that have other financial and volunteer support. So before you apply, try to find other investors and supporters, even locally, to give you a better chance to get the funding.

3) Apply Directly for Playground Grants

We would be remiss to write a blog about playground grants without mentioning KaBOOM!, one of the largest grantors of playground funding. Also, the Let’s Play Community Construction Grants offers grants of $15,000 to municipalities, schools, and non-profit organizations serving children’s needs. These grants can be used to build a new playground or upgrade a current one. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Insider Tip: This grant money is in high demand so make sure your application takes all of their recommendations and requirements to heart.

                                       ____________________________________________ is a full-service grant company with an expert team on hand to assist you with any of your grant needs. Check out our full list of services, and even purchase some of them in our online store. Need more information first? Schedule a free consultation with a Grant Helper today.


Photo Credit: Carl Wycoff

Topics: parks and recreation grants, parks and recreation, grants for playgrounds, playground grants, obesity grants, community improvement grant, grants, keepking kids active

Grant Funding for Healthy Lifestyles in 2016 (Part Two): Stop Smoking.  Eat Heathfully.

Posted by Mary Ross on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 09:01 AM

Continuing with our two-part blog on New Year’s Resolutions, we will now look new_year_2.jpgat more grants to support good health, in two specific areas. With new laws in place that keep smokers outside, more and more people who suffer from the harmful effects of smoking and looking for programs to help. Below are three resources that can help if you are looking to fund an anti-smoking program.  After that are several programs that support healthful eating habits.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers grants for both smoking cessation and prevention programs at the state level. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, provides information on locating and applying for current program funding opportunities and grants related to smoking and tobacco use prevention.” supplies a list of grants to support anti-smoking programs. From promoting healthy lifestyles to researching the effects of smoking, the list includes many opportunities you could apply for.


Pfizer is currently taking letters of interest from programs to support “organizations for healthcare quality improvement and education projects related to tobacco dependence" through its Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC) program. From their web site: "IGLC’s goal is to increase the number of people who stop smoking by improving the frequency and effectiveness of treatment interventions (e.g., counseling and/or evidence-based pharmacotherapy) provided by health care professionals.” Although this particular request is for the European region, other funded areas are also available. You can read the entire proposal request put out by Pfizer.  This grant is a maximum of $2 million; Pfizer is worth looking at to see if your program may fit their goals.


The American Lung Associations goal is to defeat lung cancer. According to their website, “Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., killing close to half a million people each year.” Grants ranging from $32,000/year to $130,000/year are available for research to end lung cancer. A complete list of grants, application requirements, and deadlines is now availible.  Another, non-research based program available through The American Lung Association is Partnering with Spark. Through this program colleges and universities can get materials on how to create a smoke-free-campus and apply for “mini-spark grants” (currently only available in WI).    


Many of us have resolved to eat better in the coming year—or to help others to eat healthier. Here are three grants that are also working toward this goal.


One of the four pillars of the Newman’s Own Foundation is nutrition. Supporting organizations that are working in underserved communities to improve issues of hunger and nutrition is one of the founding principles of this organization. The Newman’s Own Foundation has supported a variety of school and community groups working to improve healthy eating. Newman’s Own supports programs for the long term through capacity building and program expansion. Since its inception in 1982, the Foundation has given $450 million to charities and funded over 800 grants. Currently the foundation is accepting applications by invitation only, but a complete list of who they are funding is available, and they like to work with organizations who reach out to others. Check to see what’s available in your community to partner with someone who can draw the attention of the Newman’s Own Foundation.        


The Allen Foundation Inc. is committed to improving diet in order to improve health through nutritional programs, education, training, and research. While many programs support food banks dealing with immediate hunger concerns, The Allen Foundation Inc. gives higher priority to programs that teach people how a healthy diet leads to a healthy lifestyle. Applications are accepted year round and all applications are reviewed after the yearly Dec. 31 deadline. Grants have been awarded from $3,000 to over $200,000. For more information on who The Allen Foundation Inc. has funded in the past and to take their eligibility quiz, follow the link here to their webpage.


School physical fitness programs, gardens and nature trails are all programs supported by Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. To see a list of sample projects that would gain support, check out their webpage. Lowe’s offers grants of up to $5,000 and is accepting on-line applications for spring 2016 now through Feb. 16. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education is a great place to start for your school-based health program.  


The time is right for New Year’s Resolutions, and your program can get the support it needs to help make these resolutions realities. We can help you expand your potential funding opportunities with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.


Photo Credit: Carol VanHook

Topics: health grants, hunger, nutrition grants, grants, Lowe's, smoking

Grant Funding for Healthy Lifestyles in 2016

Posted by Mary Ross on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 @ 15:01 PM

Happy New Year from The Grant Helpers!


We know that each new year brings new possibilities; this is the time when people are setting resolutions and are ready to make life changes. Many people are resolving to lose weight, quit smoking, or eat better, and many organizations are resolved to promoting such active lifestyle changes. We at The Grant Helpers are resolved to help find the funding you need to support these resolutions! This two-part blog series will help you find the grants you are looking for.

Toward that end, here are a few foundations with the goal of getting people healthy.

The Saucony Run For Good Foundation encourages running with its App. For every mile logged with the App, Saucony donates one dollar to a cause aimed at keeping kids healthy and moving. Your organization could be one of Saucony’s causes. If your goal is to keep kids “healthy and active,” you can apply for a grant to help your program. Grants are awarded twice per year, once in February and once in August. Grant deadlines are Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, so there is still time for your program to be considered for the February award. Check out the grant guide on their website for information on who The Saucony Run For Good Foundation supports and to apply. Saucony has already donated over a million dollars; your program could be next.  


The Robert McCormick Foundation supports community health centers, school-based health centers, and programs dealing with obesity awareness, prevention, and treatment. Grants are awarded only to non-profits with 501(c)3 designations and application information can be found on the foundation’s website. Grant seekers should apply by state through the related charities and programs listed on the website.  To see if your program qualifies and to start the application process, follow our link to The Robert McCormick Foundations webpage.


Supporting nine different grants, Let’s Move is aimed at getting school kids active. Schools looking to improve their physical fitness programs can apply for grants based on the program that works best for their school. Most grants range from $1,000-$5,000 and are program-specific. Just by signing up on-line, your school has access to physical fitness resources and information. Take a look at the range of program grants available on the Let's Move website. For instance, the New Balance Foundation’s Billion Mile Race grant supports school-based walking and running programs. The deadline to apply for this grant is Feb. 5, so don’t walk, but run to the website to learn more about how you can apply. 


In the second part of this blog series we will look at grants that address smoking cessation and more healthful eating habits. Until then, we can help you find a lot more opportunities with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact Tammi at The Grant Helpers to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.

Topics: education, after school program, food grants, health grants, 501(c)(3), nonprofit, grants for gardens, hunger, poverty health grants, poverty, nutrition for kids, grants, kids meals

Grants for Hunger, Grants for Food

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 16:12 PM

With the holidays approaching fast, it is a time to think of others—a time of giving. food-2.jpgWe applaud those organizations that give back during the holiday season by distributing food to individuals and families that have trouble putting food on the table. These food pantries, school backpack programs, meals for the homebound, and other organizations that make food a priority can’t operate just on food donations though. We support these organizations with a brief sampling of granting organizations that will help local food support groups make sure everyone has a good meal.

Insider Tip: When applying for food-related grant, be specific about the number and demographics of the population served.


In 2014, Ameriprise provided 10 million meals to hunger-relief organizations across the country through its grant-making program. Food banks, food shelves, food pantries, daily meal programs as well as meal services for the homebound are eligible to apply. Additionally, food programs run by non-profits where food is not their main focus (e.g., a Boys and Girls Club that operates a backpack meal program) are also eligible to apply. Nutrition education, cooking instruction, and gardening programs are ineligible for funding from this grant program. Grant applications can be submitted at any time. They are reviewed twice a year, on Jan. 15 and May 15.


One of the focuses of Cisco’s grant program is critical human needs. They hope to fund programs that provide clean water, food, shelter, disaster response, and other necessities for self-sufficiency. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for this funding. The deadline is ongoing.

Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program

There is $9 million to award in grant funding to non-profits, tribal organizations, and food program service providers that promote food security and provide solutions to food need problems, especially in low-income communities. Projects can varygardens, market stands, marketing operations and others are all eligible—as long as the projects benefit low-income communities and help with food necessities. These one-time grants require a dollar-for-dollar match in resources, which can include in-kind support. The deadline for this year has already passed but it is expected that a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued in October 2016 for awarding in November 2016.

A Well-fed World

This foundation has several priorities related to hunger relief and assuring access to healthy food throughout the world. The foundation offers a wide variety of programs, all of which have food access as a priority. A Well-fed World supports feeding programs in both low-income countries such as India and Africa as well as programs in low-income communities in the United States. The foundation also supports a unique food program, veganic farming, and research programs for food security. Healthy school lunch programs are part of the empowering youth fund, and the social justice outreach fund awards grants for food justice issues. Online advocacy, print advocacy, and event advocacy, as they relate to food issues, are also all covered by the fund. Applications are accepted year-round for quarterly distribution. Grants range from $500 to $1,000. Non-profit status from the IRS is not necessary to apply. Special priority is given to small vegan groups that assist low-income communities. A past award winner is Loudoun Veg, which used the grant money to operate a food pantry and sponsor cooking classes.


We are a full-service grant company that can work with municipalities, schools, and non-profit organizations. Our expert Grant Helpers are available for free consultations to answer questions, and also tell you how we can help you reach your grant goals.


Photo Credit: Masahiro Ihara

Topics: food grants, food program grants, nonprofit grants, hunger, food insecurity, hunger prevention grants, non-profit, hunger relief, food pantry

Grants for Religious Organizations

Posted by Mary Ross on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 14:12 PM

’Tis the season for giving; with the introduction of “Giving Tuesday” after “religious.jpgBlack Friday” it looks as though the giving spirit continues to be a central aspect of a season fostered by religious observance.  For years, foundations shied away from supporting religiously oriented groups. But more recently many grant-givers are ready and willing to support religious organizations, provided that no one is excluded from participating in a funded program based on faith.

In fact, many grant givers like to see faith-based organizations working hand in hand with government agencies and secular non-profits to reach a common goal. To read more about how some states are encouraging religious and secular groups to work together, check out:

Many faiths are eligible for awards. We’ve chosen a few examples here, not to exclude the other eligible religions, but to provide examples of the types of funding available.

Merry Christmas!

The Lilly Endowment offers grants in community development, education, and religion. A family foundation, the Lilly Endowment operates to support both Christian and secular initiatives. The founders state that giving back to Christian organizations is an important part of what they do because they believe “that being a member of a religious congregation [is] an important part of a citizen's life.” Although the foundation gives about 70% of their grants to proposals from Indiana, their home state, anyone can apply. Those interested should first submit a letter of interest explaining their organization, project, and needs. These letters must be delivered in hard-copy through land mail; no electronic submissions will be considered. An application form can be found on their website. Grant proposals are reviewed in March, June, September, November, and December, and the process takes three to six months. Now is the time to write your proposal letter for the March review if you want your program funded for Christmas 2016. can help you with this process.

The Dale and Edna Walsh Foundation, now coined as the DEW Foundation, is looking for organizations with “clear vision and capabilities to be successful.” Two organizations that DEW is currently championing are Convoy of Hope (a faith-based organization helping people in need across the nation) and Animal Ark (a sanctuary for non-releasable wildlife). Reviewing past organization that have been awarded grants will help direct your organization’s letter since the DEW Foundation likes to support programs that their team has an active interest in. You should start by submitting a letter of inquiry (LOI) to the foundation. All LOIs must be submitted on-line before September 1st. Upon receipt of the LOI the foundation will send instructions for the formal application process. The DEW foundation does accept LOI from tax-exempt organizations without a 501(c)(3) designation, such as schools, libraries, and tribes. Take a look at their website to find out more about this giving foundation.      

Happy Hanukah

The Blaustein Philanthropic Group is an assembly of four foundations “united by their roots in Jewish tradition, and by their concern for social justice and equality of opportunity.” Although working together, each of these four foundations has a particular mission; one supports social justice, another education, a third health care, and the fourth human services. Although all four support each of these, be sure to read up on the goals of each before submitting your proposal to one specific foundation. Each foundation makes its own decisions on awards. These foundations do not require an LOI before the application, and you can submit your application to more than one foundation. Find out what your proposal should include by reviewing their “proposal guidelines” on their website.    

Operating worldwide, AVI CHAI offers funding specifically to advance Jewish people and the Jewish religion. Their stated mission is twofold: “To encourage those of the Jewish faith towards greater commitment to Jewish observance and lifestyle by increasing their understanding, appreciation and practice of Jewish traditions, customs and laws, and to encourage mutual understanding and sensitivity among Jews of different religious backgrounds and commitments to observance.” Capacity building, Jewish schools and camps, and research projects have all been funded through AVI CHAI. The foundation stresses that both of its set mission statements must be present in any organization it funds. Look at a list of past programs that have been funded before submitting your own grant proposal.

Happy Kwanzaa

Though Kwanzaa is built more on cultural than religious traditions, faith is one of the seven principles for the seven days of Kwanzaa (the others: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, and creativity). In any event, Kwanzaa is seasonal, and Kwanzaa events are eligible for grant funding.

Are you operating in Minnesota? If so, take a look at the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grants. Although specifically interested in funding community art programs, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council funded the community Kwanzaa event at the Minnesota History Center. If you are not from Minnesota, take a closer look at the funding offered for art programs in your area. You may find that, like this foundation, the local art education grants are willing to look at your community Kwanzaa event.

For Brooklyn, consider:

For New York State:



Additional Foundations Supporting Religious Groups

Lastly, the Bank of American Philanthropic Solutions website offers a list of 19 foundations with a history of giving to religious organizations. Some of the listed foundations only give to specific states or regions, so check the list to see if your area can apply.


We can help you find lots more opportunities with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.


Photo Credit: Andy Mangold

Topics: grants, religious grants, grants for religious causes, grants for specific populations

Watch out for “Hidden” Grant Requirements: Part Four–Evaluating, Reporting, and Follow-up

Posted by Roland Garton on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

This is the fourth and final blog in the “hidden requirements” series. To recap checklist.jpgquickly: The main take-away from Part One would be to check carefully for requirements you must meet in order to apply. Part Two cautioned to watch out for “wired” requests for proposals (RFPs)—that is, RFPs that favor certain candidates. Part Three described some frequently overlooked compliance requirements such as financial capacity, organizational structure, and required certifications.

Part Four provides another round of compliance requirements that must be met after you’ve gotten funding. When you are working on a proposal, be alert for reporting, evaluation, and other follow-up requirements that might put an undue strain on your agency. At the same time, keep in mind that any required interaction with the funding agency is also an opportunity to build a strong, positive relationship that enhances your chances of future grant funding.

Reporting Requirements

Funding agencies, especially those in the social services arena, often want to assure that you’re reaching a broad population. To do this, they may require reports on the populations served, broken down by several demographics. Some of the most common are race, ethnicity (not the same as race), age, socio-economic status, gender, geography, education, and profession. Level of involvement in the proposed program is another common reporting requirement. Some funding agencies also expect longitudinal data, that is, data on impact months or years after an initial contact. Example: how many high-schoolers who took supplemental instruction on reading skills went to college?

Collecting such data may incur a burden you are not equipped to bear. If you hold a public yoga workshop, for example, you may need each participant to complete a form providing the required information. Most participants will not want to bother, and some may not be sure what to record. Youth will not necessarily know information such as family income level. Workers may wonder whether to put their home zip code or work zip code, and so forth.

Once forms are filled out, they must be compiled and summarized. The task of data entry is not trivial for programs involving many participants. The task of summarizing the data for reports can also be non-trivial. You need staff, time, access to data, and some technical skills.

The main point here:

Make sure you can handle the reporting requirements before applying for a grant.

The award may impose an obligation you can’t realistically meet, or one that requires enough effort to make the award not worthwhile.


Evaluation requirements are an extension of reporting requirement. They are different, however, in that you have some control of them when writing the proposal. When developing an application, you want to propose an Evaluation Plan that is within your ability to carry out. It’s all too easy to propose an evaluation that entails some tasking or access to data that is not apparent on the surface.

To re-emphasize:

Propose an Evaluation Plan whose details you can implement.

Yet another potential “gotcha”: the requirement for an outside evaluator. Some funding agencies stipulate that the applicant hire an independent evaluator to conduct the project’s evaluation. If so, you have the additional task of identifying potential vendors and obtaining accurate pricing data from them for the proposal budget.

Followup: Publicity and Documentation

Be alert for requirements to recognize the funding agency in public documents. The typical difficulty here is making sure that the people producing public documents are aware of the proposal requirements.

Make sure that all those preparing public documents are aware of and adhere to award requirements to recognize the funding agency.

Followup: Stewardship

It’s always important to build the relationship with a funding agency. Award requirements are a good place to start, but usually not all you can do to keep in the funders’ good graces. The blog on Grant Stewardship provides many additional ways to foster strong rapport. You may want to review this blog occasionally after receiving an award.

If you’d like a second opinion on the viability of a particular opportunity, we can help. Browse to our online store and scroll down to the Single, Specific Opportunity Review.

Topics: grants, grants requirements, reporting requirements, grants evaluation

Finding the Top Funding Agencies for Your Organization

Posted by Sherry Sherman on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

Describing a funding organization in general that’s a good fit for funding is easy enough: it’s amoney-4.jpg foundation that funds your proposed activities, in the amount you need, when you need it. The time-consuming part is sifting through all of the foundations—their funding criteria and their funding history—to find the ones that are the best match for your organization. There are tens of thousands of foundations, so it can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. can help you with this task by narrowing the field from thousands to a few. Our Grant Opportunity Search is a good way to do that. In this blog, though, we assume you’ve already narrowed the field to several viable agencies that fund the types or programs you want to propose. Now you want to narrow the list further. Here are five questions some key factors to consider when prioritizing opportunities, and where to find that information. Here are five questions to ask when assessing a potential funder:

  1. Does this funder give in your geographic area? Funders can be quite geographically specific in their mandate (think “community foundations”), and will often reject otherwise very good proposals based on geography alone.
  2. Does the size of grant you need fall within the funder’s guidelines? Grant size can be overlooked.  If you are asking for too much—or even too little—the funder may be less likely to fund your project over a competing project that has an ask amount more in line with the funder’s giving preferences.
  3. What type of support does the organization fund? While some funders will not specify where or how the grant dollars should be spent, other funders will explicitly provide only program support, or may choose not to fund capital campaigns, or prefer not to pay for facilities or equipment.
  4. Are there any specific requirements or restrictions that you have to meet? Funding agencies may require matching funds, which might be a stretch for your organization. They may require reports on end-user demographics that you are not able to obtain. There may be “hidden” requirements as well, as described in a recent blog here.
  5. What is the organization's funding history? Although many foundations publish detailed funding guidelines, actual funding history gives the truest picture of a foundation’s giving interests and patterns. A few questions to ask when evaluating a foundation’s funding history: How diverse are the foundation’s funding practices? Do they give to a wide range of funding categories, or are they very specific in what they choose to fund? How many recent award winners are first-time winners and how many are recurring winners?

There are foundation research products such as FoundationSearch, Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online, and GuideStar that provide tools to research and identify funders meeting a diverse range of funding criteria. Both FoundationSearch and Foundation Directory Online are subscription services. GuideStar is a free service. All of these organizations provide access to foundations’ Forms 990 which can provide a wealth of information for a non-profit researching grant opportunities.

Form 990 is the IRS form filed annually by tax-exempt organizations. A few tips for how to review 990s when conducting grant prospect research:

  • Page 1 will typically provide a phone number, contact name, mailing address, etc. in case this information is not readily available online or on a website.
  • A board of directors is usually listed, which can help you see potential connections between the funding organization and yours.
  • A list of previous grantees appears toward the end of most 990s.. The list typically includes the amounts funded, and occasionally the project/type of funding (general operating support, capital, program/project, etc.).


Call or email for help in finding funding agencies, in assessing opportunities you have found, or in any aspect of the grant process.


Photo Credit:Pictures of Money

Topics: grant trend, funding trend, funding needs