Describing a funding organization in general that’s a good fit for funding is easy enough: it’s a 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.
Out of the $316.2 billion of private giving in the United States in 2012 (latest year for which real numbers are available), 16% came from foundations. (72% was from individuals). Grants from foundations are a major source of funds that support impact-making organizations in the United States. These numbers are according to a report, “Key Facts on U.S. Foundations,” released by the Foundation Center in New York City.
It is a harsh truth of today’s world – scams surround us. Unfortunately, the world of grants is not devoid of individuals who try to take advantage of others. In fact, we recently fielded some questions from individuals who wanted to know whether or not a particular grant they had “been awarded” was legitimate. One of our Grant Helpers even got a scam call! As he recounts, "The caller announced that I had been selected to receive a $9,000 grant from the government as a result of paying my taxes on time. I had to provide a 'security deposit' of $250 to receive the grant." The caller even said he was with Health and Human Services and gave their address in Washington, D.C.