Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Through the Eyes of the Reviewer

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 @ 13:12 PM

eyes.jpgAs we discussed in Part I and Part II of our blog series entitled “5 Overlooked Grant Basics,” reviewers want proposals with well-planned, specific projects backed by solid numerical data. But what else are grant funders really looking for? These additional tips can further help you look at your proposal through the eyes of the reviewer.

  1. Understand the reviewers’ circumstances

Grant reviewers often receive a stack of grants to read and evaluate in a short amount of time. By the second or third grant, the words begin to blur together. Make it easy for the reviewer to see the important points of your proposal by using headlines, bullet points, graphs, pull-out quotes, etc.

  1. Personalize the problem you intend to solve

Just like the description of a novel, your proposal should immediately grab the attention of the reviewer. The more personal the introduction, the more likely the reviewer is to give it extra attention. A powerful statement of need is more likely to be internalized than a description of your organization.

  • Weak: “XYZ Food Pantry serving Hungry County has been in operation for over eight years.”
  • Strong: “More than half of the children in our community go to bed hungry.”
  1. Include Both Data and Narrative Support

As covered fully in Part II of our “5 Overlooked Grant Basics,” blog series, you must describe the problem you intend to solve with hard data. But, because you don’t know if your reviewer will be left-brained or right-brained, you should include both narrative and data to appeal to all reviewers. The data should be as recent as possible, presented succinctly – preferably in an easy to read infographic—and should reinforce your narrative. Narratives should be specific, compelling, and as representative of wider demographics as possible. If there’s enough space, include a poignant quote or profile in a separate box.

  1. Long, flowery narratives are hard to read.

Make your key points clearly and move on. Corollary: use bullets for lists. In text, number items for ease of reading, and highlight key words or phrases in bold text.

  1. Create Well-Planned Budgets

The budget is an indication of how capably the organization will manage grant funds. The level of detail will demonstrate the planning the organization has invested in the program. Remember to include in-kind donations, sources of matching funds, a description of anticipated purchases, and the vendor for those purchases if available.

  1. Recognize the Funder

Indicate at least three ways in which you will acknowledge receipt of the grant funds. The first should be upon receipt, with formal acknowledgement and thanks for the award. The second should be regular and at key points of the project. For example, share press releases with funders, and make sure to invite them to special events. The third should be upon completion of the grant, with a final report even if not formally required. We talked about some of these points in a previous blog on Stewardship. We’ll cover the topic again in another blog in the next few months.  It’s important for relationship building, which leads to repeat funding.

Ready to get started finding, applying to, or managing grants? Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers.


Topics: overlooked grant basics, Grant Writing Tips, application tips, grant application tips, grant tips, How to Grant Write, best practices in grant writing, grant writing

5 Overlooked Grant Basics Part II: Use Numbers to Get More Grants

Posted by Roland Garton on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

This blog is the second in a series of five blogs that address the basic aspects of successful proposals grant seekers often overlook. Last time, I wrote about the importance of planning to increase grant awards. Click here to read that post.

The message of this blog is the title. It’s worth repeating:

  Use Numbers to Get More Grants  


Use Numbers to Substantiate Need

Almost all requests for funding address some need. Almost all of them also promise some results or impact if the funding is received. Words can help describe the need and impact. But words, as I mentioned in Part I, have their limitations. If you want to support your case for funding, you need some statistics to prove the truth and extent of your statements.

Here is are two examples that express a concerning need. The numbers are fictitious, but you get the idea:

  • Weak: Many families in our region don’t get enough food to eat.
  • Stronger: Our county has an average income of $48,564/year, well below the 2014 national average of $52,939. At the same time, 43% of our population consists of families with school-age children. Many of these children come to school hungry, and hunger has been shown to lower academic scores (Vedantam, 2017). The 16 schools in our district average 55% of students receiving free and reduced lunch. The weekend backpack program sends home 350 backpacks to the neediest children and turns down requests for another 125. A statistically-sampled survey conducted by our county health department last year revealed 35% of families who indicate that their families sometimes leave the house with inadequate meals.

I’d like to point out some crucial aspects of the stronger example:

Simple language is fine. The writing has complete sentences, no grammatical errors, and some variety of sentence structure. But it’s not elaborate or especially florid. The writing style is not what makes the second example strong; it’s the power of the numbers that document a community in need.

Do the legwork. It takes time gather the kind of information reflected in the strong example. The type of data shown here could easily take an hour or more to research and document. When planning to write a proposal, set aside sufficient time to find numbers that support your case.

Cite authoritative sources. Any time you can cite sources with credibility, you enhance your own credibility. The strong example above includes a reference to published research. Other authoritative documents might be published magazine articles, reports from units of government, or statements from nationally recognized organizations.

Use Number to Demonstrate Impact

As with need, using numbers to demonstrate impact will strengthen the odds you’ll receive funding. Funders like to know and measure the results of their investments. You can help them by providing clear measurements that prove results.

  • Weak: We will get more people to use rain barrels, which will result in greater water conservation.
  • Stronger: Currently, only 0.5% of the population in our city (100,000) have rain barrels. The proposed awareness program will reach 30,000 people with the fliers, social media, public service announcements, and community presentations described in the Work Plan. We have tested the program with 100 people, and 12 of them took advantage of subsidies for rain barrels. We expect the percentage of adopters in a larger population to drop. If it drops to half of the test group percentage, 6%, the program will still bring an additional 1,800 barrels to peoples’ homes, increasing the total to 2,000, which is 2% of the population.  The resulting annual savings, at an estimated $120 per barrel per year, would be $240,000.

Strong metrics reflect strong planning that will move your proposal up in the reviewer’s evaluation. They will also make things easier when you write your project reports. Furthermore, after the project has shown measurable progress, you will have a strong case for additional funding from this agency, as well as others.  The more your numbers can prove that you’re meeting the funder’s goals, the more likely they are to smile upon your next request.

Using numbers to show results is not only good grantsmanship to help receive funding, but it’s also good stewardship. Good stewardship is an inherent responsibility that accompanies the support you receive from others. But, more than that, good stewardship builds goodwill, which in turn increases your prospects for future funding. Stewardship is the main focus of the next blog in this series.

Topics: overlooked grant basics, numbers, numbers to get grants, Grant Writing Tips, grant application tips, statistics to get grants, show need in grant applications, Grant Writing and Planning, Grant writing objectives, How to Grant Write, best practices in grant writing, Write a Better Grant Series, grant writing help, grant writing examples, grant writing

5 Overlooked Grant Basics Part I: Planning a Fundable Project

Posted by Roland Garton on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 @ 17:10 PM

This blog begins a series of five blogs that address basic aspects of successful proposals that are often overlooked. To start, I’d like to addresst the notion that writing is the primary ingredient 33715849376_5c832c8a3e_m.jpgin a successful proposal. Not that writing quality is unimportant—poor writing can sink a great idea—but it is even more crucial for the proposed project itself to appeal to the funder. Creating a compelling proposal is not a writing task as much as it is a programming and planning task.

  Proposal Development requires more Planning and Research than writing.  

Notice that I avoid using the term “grant writing.” Our role as Grant Helpers, in addition to finding potential funding sources, is to guide and assist grant seekers’ planning and research. Though we do write a lot of solid text, we do so after helping organizations generate ideas and projects worth writing about.  Below are three main areas to work on in developing an exciting project plan.

1) Develop projects that funders want. You are no doubt aware of what your organization wants and needs. But actually securing grants is primarily about what the funding organization wants. One of the most common complaints among grant reviewers is getting proposals that don’t fit their funding priorities.

  Overlooked Basic: Propose something the funder wants to fund.  

As fundamental as this concept seems, you must propose something the funder wants to fund, something that furthers their goals. Usually, this is a specific project. General operating costs are not popular funding items. It takes time and effort to create a plan and its associated budget. No quality of prose can replace the planning required to develop a solid plan. The weak vs. strong comparison below is exaggerated, but not as much as one might think:

  • Weak plan: We do a lot of good things, so please give us money.
  • Stronger plan: We want to leverage our proven impact with a specific initiative that will accomplish X and Y.

2) Build specific programs for funding. The best time to position your organization for funding is early in your organization’s program planning cycle. It’s easier to revise activities before they are underway.  Your project must include specific steps and outcomes happening at specific times. Here some examples of ways to build specific programs for funding.

  • Food bank: Add a nutritional/informational component along with the food you hand out. Food bank funders increasingly want projects that promote better health overall, not just fill empty stomachs.
  • Park District facility: Propose a youth fitness program for a new facility or expansion. A targeted program is more likely to align with funders’ goals than a general facility. Reaching out to at-risk populations can further increase your project’s appeal to funders.
  • Public garden: Add an outreach component for aging citizens, and partner with local senior centers. You may attract funds from age-related organizations as well as gardening groups.

Two related notes here. First, in order to plan ahead for grant funding, you must be aware of what’s being funded, which is a research project itself. The Grant Helpers can expedite your research and help position you and your projects for higher-probability funding. Second, the shifts you make in your program must serve your mission. It is unwise to chase money in areas outside your purview just because the money is there.

3) Think through the details. The more you can present a feasible, well-considered plan, the stronger your proposal will be. If you don’t have time to plan a project, spending time on a proposal is probably not a good time investment. We’ve seen many initial drafts of grants that ask for money to plan a project. These will not rise to the top of the reviewer’s stack when compared with others spelling out more clearly what the funder will be supporting.

In the coming months, we’ll present more overlooked grant basics.  All of them deal with areas typically not considered strict “writing” tasks.  Here’s what we plan for this series:

#1: Planning a Fundable Project

#2: Justifying Your Grant Request with Hard Data

#3: Demonstrating Value and Impact

#4: Developing Good Collaborators

#5: Proposal Value Beyond Grant Dollars


Photo Credit: GotCredit

Topics: overlooked grant basics, fundable project, grant planning, grant research tips, grant project development, developing fundable projects, securing grants, Grant Writing Tips, Grant Writing and Planning, How to Grant Write, best practices in grant writing, grant writing, grant writing help

3 Ways Community Foundations Can Help with Grant Funding

Posted by Roland Garton on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 15:05 PM

TwoAtComputer.jpgCommunity 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.

Topics: Grant Writing and Planning, Grant Writing Tips, grant writing, grant writing help, best practices in grant writing, Community Foundations

A Team Approach to Grant Funding

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

7650804342_9715bb425f_q.jpgMultiple Ways to Justify Grant Funds

Grant seekers can often get more grant dollars by considering the various aspects of their programs that can attract funding. For example, a homeless program for men could look for funders interested in any of a number of categories including:

  • Homelessness
  • Veterans affairs
  • Food insecurity
  • Education and training
  • Life skills
  • Mental health/substance abuse
  • Financial literacy

By developing a database of potential funders for each of these categories, an organization could build a sustainable funding model not reliant on any one source.

Multiple Sources of Grant Funds for a Single Project

There are times when a project requires more funding than can reasonably be attained through a single funder. Often, these are short-term efforts such as construction programs. In those cases, a team approach to funding may be beneficial to all concerned.

Using the a homeless shelter as an example, consider the potential funders and messages associated with a project to build a dozen tiny houses for shelter residents. The first step would be to identify potential funders based on the various aspects of the project. In this example, the shelter might look for funders who could provide:

  • Land
  • Materials
  • Labor
  • Financing
  • Furnishings
  • Landscaping
  • Home ownership training

Step two is for the organization to look at each funder as part of a team, considering questions such as:

  • Who benefits from working together?
  • Are there natural alliances among the team members?
  • Are there obvious competitors?
  • Are there opponents to the project and how do they affect the potential funders?
  • How will each organization benefit from supporting the project?
  • Who would be interested in naming rights?
  • Is there positive or negative history among the organizations that wouldn’t be obvious based on their missions?
  • Are there individuals with an interest in the project who can make introductions to decision makers for potential funders?
  • Is there an order in which solicitations are made that are most beneficial for the project?

Step three is to identify a small number of founding sponsors from the larger list. These are the sponsors who would provide the essential elements of the project. It’s best to secure them prior to making the project public. Initial solicitation messages to these organizations should be crafted based on their individual priorities.

After the founding sponsors have been identified and are ready to step forward as a cohesive project core, appeals to other potential funders can begin.

Ongoing Acknowledgement

The final step in this team approach is to routinely – throughout the construction and implementation of the project – acknowledge all sponsors in ways that best meet their needs. The goodwill generated by the project will not only solidify the success of this particular effort but will enable the organization to continue generating funds for basic and future programing.

The Grant Helpers can assist your organization in developing a strategy for long-term or project-specific funding. Contact us for more information.


Photo Credit: thetaxhaven

Topics: team approach to funding, grant sources, multiple sources for grant funding, grant strategy, grant strategies, funding strategy, strategy for team approach to grant funding, grant writing, grant proposal writing

Increase your Percentage of Grant Funding: Submit Early!

Posted by Carol Timms on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 15:01 PM

image001.pngGrant horror stories serve as reminder: To increase funding chances, apply ahead of schedule


You’ve heard it your entire life, “If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late.” 
Internalizing this quote by Lik Hock Yap Ivan has the ability to not only provide serenity, but also success in the grant arena.

Most grant applications have a specific deadline specifying the date and time by time zone the application is due. These are firm deadlines. Do not assume otherwise.

As you’re planning your schedule, plan to submit the grant at least 24-36 hours before the deadline. While it’s not our intention to give you nightmares, here are some of the unexpected delays we’ve experienced at Without planning to be early, we could have easily missed these deadlines.

Malfunctioning Equipment

Working remotely with a client often requires us to complete documents, scan them and send them to the client for signature. Several years ago, we were working with three different clients who were applying for non-competitive engineering grants from the same funding source. The deadline was 5 p.m.  Try as we might to get documents ahead of time, the completed packages weren’t ready to scan and send for signatures and transmittals until mid-morning. We scanned the documents and were planning to go to lunch after sending the packets to the clients.

The scanner had a different idea. Instead of compiling a complete .pdf file of each application, the scanner decided to create each page as an individual .jpeg graphic. After troubleshooting didn’t work, we called a technician who suggested our only recourse was to pack up the scanner and the desktop computer and bring all our equipment in for diagnosis. There was no guarantee they could get to it that day. Rather than an early lunch, stress was on the menu.

Our solution was to contact a local business who agreed to let us use their scanner. The applications were submitted just shy of two hours before the deadline and, happily, all three were funded.

The Blizzard

Telling a story that inspires funders to think of the possibilities as they read a grant application is one way we help our clients stand out. We were confident we’d captured the right balance in an education grant for a client on the east coast.

We had completed the package and planned to spend the next day printing and shipping the original and 12 copies. Reviewing the morning’s paper prior to the work day, we saw a story about an unexpected blizzard that had completely paralyzed the east coast. The grant requirements clearly stated the package had to arrive by 5 p.m. on the designated day. Calls to various shipping services confirmed our fears. They couldn’t guarantee delivery given the weather.

The solution? Through mobile printing we sent our file to a local east coast printer. They made all the copies and sent them via courier to the granting organization. We weren’t about to let a blizzard bury the inspiration contained in that grant application.

The Suicidal Squirrel

One of our proposal writers suffered a power outage in the middle of submitting a proposal. Apparently, a squirrel chewed into the transformer of the power pole outside his office. Since we’d allowed extra time, the proposal was submitted on time. Sadly, the squirrel’s time was up.

For more tips on meeting grant deadlines, read Grant Writing Tip #9: Submitting Your Grant Application.

To learn more about ways in which The Grant Helpers can help you stand out from the crowd – under any circumstances – contact us.

Topics: deadlines, grant deadlines, we can meet grant deadlines, deadlines for grants, grant deadline emergency, grant writing, Grant Writing Tips

Ideas for Justifying a Grant

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 07:03 AM

Our clients are passionate about their goals. However, transferring that passion into a strong justification for the grant can be tricky. In this blog, offers several ideas for use in justifying a grant to the funding organization to which you are applying.

Justify GrantConsider the benefits. Your grant must benefit someone, and the more people who benefit, the merrier. Try to consider the benefits as they exist beyond people. For example, if you are applying for an energy grant, people may benefit, but so might the environment, including plants and wildlife. If you are trying to justify a garden grant for schools, consider that people may benefit not only from the food produced, but also, students may benefit from the curriculum associated with a garden, including science, math and economics.

Consider workplace and social skills: Workplace skills will include planning, time management, problem solving and team work. Social skills will include communication, persuasion, inclusion, understanding the challenges of others, etc. These types of skills might apply to certain groups of the population more than others. For example, if your grant involves children, it may be worth pointing out that the project could help children begin developing these types of skills.

Focus on positive image: Consider the types of positive images associated with the project you are trying to fund. How would the community perceive this project as positive? Will the project generate feelings of good will and possibly result in donations to further the project? Consider adding information explaining how you will direct that good will to reflect positively on others.

Consider special projects: Consider whether or not there is a way for you to involve specific community groups in your project. For example, if you are trying to start a community or school garden, you might encourage students to develop recipes and menus incorporating the vegetables they've grown. Perhaps the food and/or recipes can be shared with the food pantries as well as local families. In this example, projects done with the help of students could also lend themselves to cross-curricular interest areas such as math and science to determine rate of growth, amounts of moisture, etc. or language arts to write about the process of planting the garden, growing the food, how it felt to deliver it to needy families, etc.

Consider benefits of volunteering: There are many benefits that may apply to your grant if your program includes volunteer efforts. Click this link to see an article with more ideas.

Cite numbers: Whatever the main benefits of your program, support your impact with statistics and measurable goals. How many lives will you touch? How many dollars will you save? How many ex-offenders will you place into productive jobs? How much pollution will you remove? Find ways to measure your outcomes so you can demonstrate what you will accomplish.

Sometimes, a strong justification for your grant program can prove to be the trickiest component of writing your grant proposal. If you need additional assistance, our team of experts is here to help. We offer free consultations and are happy to help you think things through. Contact us today.


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Topics: justifying a grant, grant writing help, grant writing, grant tips, Grant Writing Tips, grant hints, grant application tips

The Importance of an Abstract in Grant Applications

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

The Abstract is your grant proposal’s first impression, usually the most important part of your grant application. It is the less-than-a-minute chance you have to grab aabstract reviewer’s attention and develop interest in reading more. Based on the first few lines of the Abstract, most reviewers develop a positive or negative mindset about the proposal, and then look for evidence to support that initial opinion. Therefore, the Abstract is THEE most critical piece of the entire proposal and deserves a great deal of time and attention throughout the entire grant proposal writing process. Below are some points to help you in writing a strong Abstract.

Focus on Overall Impacts and Outcomes

The main key to a successful Abstract is to summarize the overall case for funding in a concise, compelling manner. To do so, an Abstract needs to lean heavily on overall impacts and outcomes far more than activities or processes.

 A successful Abstract should provide succinct answers to the following questions:

  • What problem are you addressing or what opportunity are you taking advantage of?

  • What demonstrable results will you achieve?

  • What specific goals and objectives will you attain?

  • How will you go about performing the work?

  • What aspects of your project will assure success?

  • How will your project stand out from other, similar work being done?

These questions should be answered using practical, nuts-and-bolts details, not in-depth project plans that will be showcased later in the proposal. Use high-level, summary numbers to quantify impacts and outcomes.

Consultant Bob Lucas, a former university research administrator who is now director of the Institute for Scholarly Productivity based in California says, "The problem [with most Abstracts] is that applicants don't summarize the full proposal.” Because the Abstract is the first glimpse a reader gets of an application's worth, such oversights can raise unnecessary questions, and may even create the impression that the research plan itself may be incomplete.

Keep Your Reviewers in Mind

Often a grant application is seen by several different reviewers at different levels. These reviewers may not even have the opportunity to read your entire proposal. Therefore, the Abstract must clearly connect with the funder’s mission and objectives, showing how the project will meet their goals. Use only plain English, no jargon or industry slang, to ensure every reviewer understands perfectly your goals and plans.

Overall, the reaction you want from the reviewers is two-fold: 1) this is an important project that serves our mission perfectly. It must be funded. 2) I want to read more about this.  Every sentence in your Abstract should be crafted to generate this reaction.

Write and Review, then Repeat

When to write the Abstract is up for discussion in the grant-writing industry. Some experts recommend composing the Abstract after your proposal is completed, by pulling the most significant sentences from each key writing section in the grant narrative.

However, at the we generally write the Abstract first, before the rest of the proposal. Quite often, we need the Abstract in order to present the project to potential collaborators and supporters anyway.  Then we keep reviewing and re-writing the Abstract during the proposal development. Before submission, we go back and review the proposal guidelines to make sure the Abstract meets all technical requirements. 

Abstracts are typically no longer than a single page  If you have difficulty getting under the length requirement, you are probably trying to say too much in the Abstract.

After you have completed your Abstract have several individuals review and provide feedback to see if you get the desired reaction. If you don’t, continue to rewrite until you do. This may force you to change aspects of your proposal, which in turn will strengthen the overall package. has made it easy for you to get started on your Abstract. We have created a Making the Case document, a guide designed to help anyone wanting to make grant proposals stronger from the ground up. To download this free document, click here. After you get started, if you need more direction or help with any part of your grant process, please contact us. As part of our free initial consultation, we can review your Abstract.


Photo credit: Sean MacEntee

Topics: grant readiness, grant writing, grant proposal writing, writing a grant abstract, case for funding, grant tips, Grant Writing Tips, abstract, abstract writing

Top 10 Most Giving U.S. Grant Foundations

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 15:04 PM

We recently wrote a two-part blog on the top federal funding agencies and federal funding trends. (See Part 1 here.) In that article, we stressed that federal dollars are not the only place to get funding; in fact, we expect federal grant dollars to become even less abundant.Top Ten Foundations

It is our expectation that private foundations, as well as corporations (see our recent article on some corporate funders here), will become more of a factor in funding for nonprofit groups and other organizations. The following is a list of the top 10 foundations by total giving, which includes grants, scholarships, employee matching gifts, and other monies, as listed on the Foundation Center website. Each has a short description of the foundation’s areas of interest. (Keep in mind that this list is different than a list of top 10 foundations by total assets.)


1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Washington ($3,239,412,884 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on three major initiatives: 1) Global Development, which includes poverty, agricultural development, access to technology, water/sanitation, etc. ; 2) Global Health, which includes initiatives for controlling or eliminating AIDS and malaria, issues related to nutrition, tobacco, and polio and other diseases; and 3) United States, which includes community grants, libraries, and learning.


2. Abbot Patient Assistance Foundation
    Illinois ($594,182,250 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Abbot Patient Assistance Foundation provides assistance in the form of Abbot medications, medical nutritionals, and diabetes care products to those who are economically disadvantaged or lack prescription drug coverage.


3. Pfizer Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.
    New York ($569,495,443 given as of 12/31/2010)

The Pfizer Patient Assistance Foundation supplies Pfizer medications to uninsured, underinsured, and economically disadvantaged patients through health centers, hospitals, and healthcare providers.


4. GlaxoSmithKline Patient Access Programs Foundation
    North Carolina ($555,867,032 given as of 12/31/2010)

The GlaxoSmithKline Patient Access Programs Foundation supplies non-oncology prescription medication to those who are economically disadvantaged and do not have prescription drug benefits.


5. Genentech Access to Care Foundation
    California ($553,352,278 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Genentech Access to Care Foundation provides prescription medication to people who are economically disadvantaged.


6. Lilly Cares Foundation, Inc.
    Indiana ($504,948,121 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Lilly Cares Foundation supplies pharmaceutical medications to economically disadvantaged patients who fall below the poverty level and are not eligible for third-party medication assistance.


7. Sanofi Foundation for North America
    New Jersey ($497,491,467 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Sanofi Foundation for North America provides medication for patients who are below the federal poverty level and are not eligible for other third-party payments towards medication.


8. Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc.
    New Jersey ($496,523,981 given as of 12/13/2011)

The Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation provides medical products to persons of need who lack prescription drug coverage.


9. Walton Family Foundation, Inc.
    Arkansas ($487,795,351 given as of 12/31/2011)

The Walton Family Foundation focuses its funding in four areas: 1) reform of primary education, K-12; 2) the environment, specifically marine and freshwater conservation efforts; 3) the delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi; and 4) northwest Arkansas.


10. Ford Foundation
    New York ($478,286,000 given as of 9/30/2012)

The Ford Foundation supports social change worldwide. It has eight different focuses: 1) human rights; 2) democratic and accountable government; 3) educational opportunity and scholarship; 4) economic fairness; 5) metropolitan opportunity; 6) sustainable development; 7) freedom of expression; and 8) sexuality and reproductive health and rights.


After reviewing this list of the top 10 most giving foundations, one will notice that seven of the ten foundations provide medication assistance to patients who are economically disadvantaged or do not have prescription drug coverage. The others have a variety of interests, one of which partially limited to certain geographical areas. For a list of the top 100 foundations, which have a much broader range of interests, see the Foundation Center’s “Top 100 U.S. Foundations by Total Giving.”

Current trends in grant funding and future projections emphasize the need for many organizations to depend less on federal funding. While many of the foundations on this top ten list might not suite your needs, we have the tools and resources necessary to help you find the foundations that are right for you. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like to speak to a grant expert. Our initial consultations are always free.

Image credit: rweait-osm

Topics: grant trend, funding trend, top ten U.S. foundations, top foundations, foundations, foundation grant money, grant writing, grant seeking

Report: More Seeking Grant Funds

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 @ 09:02 AM

Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, PhilanTech (an online grants management system) and Grant Station (an online database of grant funding sources) conduct a survey of nonprofit organizations. The organizations represent nonprofits of a variety of sizes, geographic locations, and mission goals. Using the results of the survey, PhilanTech and Grant Station compile a report they call “The State of Grantseeking.” Recently, the fall 2012 report was released.

In this blog, we highlight a few of the findings of the most recent “State of Grantseeking Report” and how we can help bridge the gap between funding goals and funding realities. For a downloadable copy of the full report, visit PhilanTech’s website.

From “The State of Grantseeking Report Fall 2012”Grant funding

  • Most nonprofit organizations reported that they had applied for the same number of grants or more grants than they did in the spring of 2012.
  • In the last six months, 27% of nonprofits polled reported receiving more grants as a result of increased application efforts.
  • From a year ago, the average grant award increased from $39,000 to $50,000.
  • The amount of government grants increased by 6.1% and private foundations became less likely to be the source of the most grant money awarded.
  • 74.1% of nonprofits felt optimistic that grant funding would increase or at least remain the same for the next six months.
  • Nonprofits claim the biggest challenge to grantseeking is a lack of time and/or staff.

So what do these findings mean? To us, these findings reinforce the importance and viability of grant funding, while at the same time underscoring difficulties of doing so. They also mean that competition for funding will become stiffer. The Grant Helpers exist to make the task more doable, and to increase your odds of funding.

Nonprofit organizations typically operate on very lean budgets, and the smaller the nonprofit organization, the smaller the payroll. This is where we can help. We can do time-consuming work for you “seasonally,” or whenever it is needed. We offer customizable services at reasonable prices on demand, which works well for nonprofit groups that do not have the funding to keep a grant writer or grant manager on staff. We also help structure your proposal development efforts to succeed in the face of revolving staff. So your nonprofit organization wins in several ways:

  1. You save money by not keeping grant writers/managers on staff.
  2. You keep your employees focused on fulfilling your organization’s mission, not funding your mission.
  3. You establish a system that allows staff and volunteers to more quickly come up to speed and respond to grant opportunities.
  4. Ultimately, with professional support, you get more money for your mission.

Let us help you reach your goals and be part of your funding team. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We would love to hear more about your goals and your needs.


Image credit: puuikibeach, davidd

Topics: grant management, grant writing, grant tips, Grant Writing Tips, grant hints, grant seeking, the state of grantseeking