Where’s the Money? Find the Right Funding

Once you understand your organization’s mission and priorities, you’re ready to begin identifying funders that might be a good fit.

Let’s start with a few key points:

1. There are no shortcuts to finding the right funding source. Nothing can replace thorough research.

2. Look beyond the obvious funders to find a wider group of prospects.

3. Grantmakers can change interest areas, application processes, and staff. Always get the most up-to-date information.

4. Get strong community support before seeking funding outside your community. Local support can build a potential funder’s confidence in your organization.

5. Grantmakers receive tons of requests for funding. Don’t waste their time – or yours – with requests that don’t align with their interests.

Be Strategic

Your task is to identify all potential funders whose interests align with your organization’s mission, priorities, and program plans. Sometimes you’ll focus your search on grantmakers for a specific program. That’s fine. But to build a grant funding program that will be most productive over time, it’s best to explore the entire universe of grantmakers to find those that are the best fit for your organization.

Don’t approach this task in a hit-or-miss manner. Lots of internet sites provide lists of foundations and announcements of upcoming foundation or government funding opportunities, and you may run across some promising opportunities there. But browsing free sites and responding to list-serve announcements puts you in a disorganized, reactive position that won’t produce the best results. Learn about the serious research tools available then use them in a well-considered, strategic way to find appropriate funders.

There are two general types of grant funders: government and private.

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