Community foundations exist to improve the communities in which they’re located. These Foundations are active fund-raisers, pooling funds from contributors to provide grants to local charitable organizations. They are therefore grant-making agencies not be overlooked in a search for grant funding. Providing grant funds is only one way they can help, though. Here are three ways community foundation can help find grant funding.
1. Community Foundation Grants - Direct Funding
Organizations that contribute to the quality of life and social conditions of a community are prime candidates for community foundation funding. If you are such an organization, locate your nearest community foundation, and then understand their priorities and funding cycle. As with any potential funder, your ability to attract funds lies largely with how well you support their mission, and how well you communicate your case for funding. The Community Foundation Atlas can help you find a community foundation near you. Click on the Profiles button for a comprehensive directory in convenient map form, and find a link to the community foundation nearest you. (Another typical convenience of community foundations is that they tend to have relatively short URLs!)
|Insider Tip: Community foundations are staffed by local people. Meet with them before applying. Understand what they’re trying to accomplish, how you can support that, and how they can help you in ways beyond providing grant funds.|
2. Help with Grant Sources and Preparation
Some community foundations will help find funding sources outside their own capital resources. Many have subscriptions to databases of potential funders, and they may help with a search for sources. Some will strategize funding approaches, and some will review proposal drafts. Occasionally community foundations will offer open sessions on finding and applying for grant funds. Get to know the people at your local community foundation to find out what they are willing and able to do.
3. Lead Fiscal Agent
Some proposal efforts may be initiated by a group that does not yet have a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit IRS designation. These groups are rarely funded by public foundations. However, a community foundation might be willing to serve as the lead fiscal agent for such a proposal, assuming a role in grant oversight and administration. As with the other two suggestions, the key is getting to know the people in your local community foundation, and demonstrating how your work improves the community.
The Grant Helpers can increase your grant funding with help in all these areas, and more. Our not-for-profit specialist can help you obtain 501(c)(3) IRS status. Contact us with your questions No charge for the initial consultation.