Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Two Ways To Stretch Your Construction Funds

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 @ 15:10 PM

ConstructionConstruction and renovation projects often result in unexpected expenses. When those projects involve energy improvements, schools, local governments and non-profits can employ a variety of funding sources to stretch project budgets. In addition to grants, it is useful to include utility incentives and performance contracting. 


Utility Incentives

Utilities often offer a variety of incentives for the installation of energy efficient equipment and lighting.  These incentives often apply to renovation and new construction projects. Contact your local utility to determine what incentives are available. 

Performance Contracting

Performance contracting is considered a budget neutral solution. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) first conduct energy audits to determine projected energy and maintenance savings resulting from the elements of the project. They then offer a guaranteed projection of savings. Project costs are not paid up front but, rather, are treated as installment contracts or leases. The client pays in installments using energy and maintenance savings. If the guaranteed savings are not achieved in any given period, the client doesn’t pay for that period. 

In addition to the benefits of paying with savings, performance contracting also offers the following benefits:

  • Single Contract – Accredited ESCOs manage the construction process
  • Fixed Price – The contracts specifically state there will be no change orders
  • Guarantees – If energy savings aren’t as predicted, the client doesn’t pay for that time period
  • Energy Savings Continue After Contract Ends
  • Clients Benefit From a Relationship With a Trusted Energy Advisor 

Some ESCOs also provide customer service after the sale including grant writing services.


When planning a construction project, contact The Grant Helpers to assist you in developing your funding portfolio.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Topics: grant budget, grant strategies, grant funding, finance grants, resources, budget, areas of funding, energy funding, non-profit, find matching funds, find matching funds for grants, municipal development funds, city development funds, nonprofit, finding funding, funding sources, nonprofit funding, municipality funding, grants for energy reduction, grant sources, grants for green projects, green grants, municipal grant, educational grants, educational funding, more grant dollars

What are Foundations Funding? -- Foundation Center as Grant Resource

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 11:06 AM

We often get questions from people about how “fundable” their organization or project might be if they continue to do this or start to do that. While each situation is unique in its own way, dependent upon many variables such as location, need and population served, tax-exempt status, etc., this got us thinking, just how much grant money do various “fundable” areas attract? 

For some intitial answers, we turned to The Foundation Center, an online resource that not only provides grant-maker and grant recipient information, but also collects and distributes data on the number of grant-making organizations (federal agencies or foundations), dollars distributed, and more. 

According to The Foundation Center, there were 81,777 foundations in the United States in 2011 that gave almost $49 billion ($48,998,948,594 to be exact). The total number of foundations included all independent, corporate, community, and operating foundations. The total amount given includes grants that were paid to organizations and individuals as well as employee matching gifts. In comparison, the total amount these foundations brought in from donors totaled $42,158,676,746, which included all cash and in-kind contributions. 

What areas of need or interest received these monies? The chart below displays the distribution of these funds by the top 1,000 foundations.

Foundation Grants   Funded Areas   Graph 1    

Just as some need or interest areas received more grant money than others, some states and areas received more grant money than others. The chart below demonstrates the top seven states in the U.S. that received the most money from the top 1,000 foundations.

     Foundation Grants   Funded Areas   Graph 2

According to the 2010 U. S. Census, the states mentioned above had the following populations as of the end of 2010. As you can see, the population of states did not always matter in where the states ranked in receiving funding.



Population Rank   (if in Top 10)

Funding Rank





District of Columbia












New York












Finally, The Foundation Center reports that 86% of the grant money distributed by the top 1,000 grant-making foundations was distributed nationwide, whereas 14% of it was distributed to organizations outside the U.S.

If you are interested in more statistics or data on how much your particular geographical locations or areas of need or interest receive from grant-makers, you may want to visit The Foundation Center’s press room. There, you can find frequently asked questions, grant and grant maker statistics, the top funders, and more. 

If you need assistance interpreting grant information or are interested in finding grant funds that fit your organization’s needs, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Topics: foundation funding, foundation grant, foundation grants, areas of funding