Service organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis likely have a presence in your community or a nearby community. These service organizations sponsor community events, raise money for local causes, and provide volunteers. Don’t overlook these organizations for grant opportunities as well. Many of these types of organizations can provide local grant opportunities that could help your funding needs. Additionally, a lot of these have national foundations, so larger-scale projects could also be eligible.
|Insider Tip: With most service organizations, it is helpful to work with members with whom you have an established relationship. They can communicate their club's grant process and help champion your cause.|
Below is a short list of some of service organizations that provide grant opportunities.
Rotary is an international service organization that brings together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services. This entity has both district and global grants.
District grants fund small-scale, short-term activities that address needs in local communities. Each district selects its own priorities for grant funding and there is a lot of flexibility in what types of projects can be funded by these grants. Additionally, the district gives a percentage of money to local clubs so that clubs can also distribute grants in their own town. It would be advantageous to start with your local club when you solicit Rotary for funds. Likely the local club will have community members already aware of your project and program and thus you will have a better shot at receiving funding.
Rotary global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes that are within Rotary’s areas of focus. These areas of focus are: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies. Global grants can be used for humanitarian projects, scholarships for graduate-level studies, and vocational training teams. The minimum budget for a global grant activity is $30,000. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year. Rotary clubs must be involved in applying for these global grants, so starting a relationship with your local Rotary club before starting your project would be advantageous.
Kiwanis International offers grants to local Kiwanis districts and clubs twice a year. Thus, starting a relationship with your local Kiwanis organization would be a must to receive a grant as they would have to apply on your behalf. The Kiwanis mission is to serve children of the world, so eligible projects or programs would have to involve the betterment of kids. Grants can be used for projects that are already in place or ones just getting started. All grant-funded projects benefit from a strong commitment from the applicant, demonstrated through significant financial and volunteer support. There is no maximum or minimum for grant awards. Last year the Caledonia Kiwanis Club in Michigan received money for playground equipment for a local park. Contact your local Kiwanis group for deadlines and application procedures.
Much like the Kiwanis grants above, grants from the Lions Club International Foundation need to be applied for through the local club. Grants are awarded for large-scale humanitarian projects. The projects must be concerned with one of the four pillars of Lions Club: preserving sight, serving youth, disaster relief, and humanitarian efforts. Throughout its history, the foundation has awarded more than 12,000 grants totaling more than $43 million. Deadlines for this year’s grants have passed. Check back next year for more information on deadlines.
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Photo Credit: Tobias Toft